Contact(s): Christine Haag, Remediation and Redevelopment Program Director, 608-266-0244; Andrew Savagian, communications, 608-261-6422
May 29, 2019
MADISON - Efforts to assess possible contamination at the former "shoe factory" in Edgerton will take a leap forward with a recently issued brownfields grant from the Department of Natural Resources.
The award comes from the DNR Wisconsin Assessment Monies program and will provide for contractor services worth approximately $35,000. The work will help city officials assess possible contamination, which will help position the site for eventual reuse.
The 6.6-acre property on Main Street is the site of the former Nunn Bush Shoe Company, which operated a shoe assembly factory from 1933 to 1988. Since then, a 55,000 sq. ft. building on the site has seen a handful of tenants but has been mostly vacant since 2011. The building has been used to store various items but has fallen into disrepair. An investigation in the late 1980s found evidence of asbestos in the building and other contamination on the property.
City officials say the run-down property on the city's most visible street hampers Edgerton's economic development and future growth of the area.
"The property has been for sale for many years but it's just not attractive to potential buyers in its present condition," said Edgerton Mayor Chris Lund. "The DNR's help with this project is a critical step toward cleaning up and redeveloping the site."
Administered by the DNR's Remediation and Redevelopment Program, WAM awards provide communities with professional environmental site assessments of properties with known or perceived contamination. The program is funded through a U.S. EPA brownfields assessment grant.
Participation in the WAM program requires minimal effort by local governments. Because there is no financial match or project administration involved, the program is an attractive opportunity for communities. In many instances, WAM awards are leveraged with other sources of funding to kick-start repurposing efforts on properties that may have been underutilized for many years.
Applications can be submitted for WAM awards at any time. The DNR uses WAM funding to assess brownfields throughout the state, concentrating on industrial sites and closed or closing manufacturing plants. WAM awards are also made for sites that may not have had a history of manufacturing but are in rural areas, racially diverse communities, and/or economically disadvantaged areas.