Ottawa County Brownfield Redevelopment
Brownfields are idle, underutilized, or vacant industrial or commercial properties where redevelopment is hindered by real or perceived environmental contamination, blight, or functional obsolescence. Many brownfield sites sit unused for decades because the cost of clean-up for these sites can be high and uncertain.
Brownfield Redevelopment Resources
United States Environmental Protection Agency Grant Funding
On May 6, 2020, the Ottawa County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (OCBRA) was awarded $300,000 in grant funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist with brownfield redevelopment, the second such grant received by the County. EPA grants are a very effective tool for catalyzing the redevelopment of brownfields. The grant funds can be used to pay for Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments on eligible property anywhere in the County. There is also a limited amount of funding available to develop Clean up or Brownfield Plans. Interested parties can apply by completing this Property Nomination Form and submitting it to firstname.lastname@example.org. OCBRA staff will contact you to let you know the form was received and guide you through the next steps
In 2013 Ottawa County was awarded its first EPA grant of $400,000 to perform environmental assessments of properties that could be contaminated with either hazardous substances or petroleum pollutants. More information about the successes of this grant can be found in the Final Report.
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Grants
Grant and loan programs for brownfield redevelopment projects using state tax dollars are provided by Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (MDEGLE). The OCBRA has helped developers access both grants and loans from MDEGLE to help finance their brownfield projects. To apply to have your project considered for an EGLE grant or loan, click here. Learn More »
Tax Increment Financing—Brownfield Redevelopment Act
Tax increment financing, or TIF, is a common economic development tool that is enabled by a number of statutes under Michigan Law. Brownfield TIF is guided by Act 381. TIF allows for the capture of tax revenue generated by the increase in taxable value of a brownfield property that has been redeveloped. That revenue is then used to reimburse the property developer for the costs of certain eligible brownfield redevelopment activities. In order to utilize TIF, a Brownfield Plan Amendment for the subject property must be approved by one or more of the following governmental units: the local municipality, the County, and/or the State. To apply to have your project considered for a Brownfield Plan Amendment, please click here. More information about using Tax Increment Financing in Michigan can be found here: Learn More »
Local Brownfield Revolving Fund
The OCBRA has a long term goal of establishing a Local Brownfield Revolving Fund (LBRF). LBRFs can be created under Act 381 by using a portion of tax revenue generated by TIF, as set forth in an approved Brownfield Plan Amendment. Currently the County has three TIF plans that are designated to deposit tax revenue into this fund. Once adequate funds are accumulated, those funds can then be used to provide small, low-interest loans to developers in order to assist with the assessment of brownfield properties and other eligible activities. This LBRF will give the County a much greater ability to attract developers to consider brownfield properties as potential project sites that might otherwise be passed over.
Brownfield Incentive Program
Grant funding from the EPA can be difficult to secure year to year, and the LBRF will not have funds available for a number of years still. So in 2018, the OCBRA identified some local funds that can be used to incentivize assessments on suspected or confirmed brownfield sites. The Brownfield Incentive Program, or BIP, can be used on eligible projects in Ottawa County. After interested parties apply for funding, each is scored by the OCBRA, which will determine the level of funding, if any, for each selected project. For additional information, email email@example.com.
Housing Projects supported by the Brownfield Redevelopment Act
The approved Mission Statement and Priorities and Policies of the Ottawa County Land Bank Authority (OCLBA) identify affordable housing as a Priority Use of Property. Land bank authorities organized under Public Act 258 of 2003 can utilize Brownfield Tax Increment Financing (TIF) via the Brownfield Redevelopment Act. When the OCLBA’s participation in such affordable housing projects is requested by a local unit or a developer, HousingNext and the County Housing Commission developed several criteria that should be considered in the project evaluation process.
Ottawa County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority
The first step to accessing brownfield redevelopment financing tools is to connect with your local Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. Under the Brownfield Redevelopment Act (PA 381 of 1996, as amended), a municipality may create a Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) to develop and implement brownfield projects. Any city, village, township, or county may create a BRA. In Ottawa County there are eight local BRAs and the County also has a county-wide BRA with an established Brownfield Plan for redevelopment. The Ottawa County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority information is listed below.