City identifying potential brownfields; Spitzer says he’ll make sure needy

NORWICH –  Even if the Brownfield Opportunities Area Program only jumpstarts development of one or two underutilized or abandoned sites in the City of Norwich, it can still be considered a success, one city official said.

Statewide, however, Gov. Eliot Spitzer says the brownfield program has been a “failure,” claiming hefty amounts of state subsidies have gone to multi-million dollar projects that didn’t need any help from taxpayers.

Norwich isn’t at the redevelopment stage, yet. With the help of a $37,000 grant, the city is still identifying areas that may or may not even be Brownfield sites.

What is a brownfield site? According the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a brownfield is a property with the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant which may complicate its expansion, redevelopment, or reuse.

The city has currently identified 20 potential brownfield spots east of Broad Street. Sites include a few areas near Hosbach Trail along the Chenango River and a property next to the P&C grocery store.

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