The U- Environmental Protection Agency is awarding Oakland County $600,000 to assess and clean up polluted sites. The idea is to prepare those sites for redevelopment.
"If you can show some economic development going into it, where you're actually investing the property, creating jobs, then it's eligible for funding," said Mike Kulka, founder and CEO of PM Environmental which helped apply for the grant.
The grants are awarded to communities deemed underserved and economically disadvantaged, including neighborhoods where environmental cleanup and new jobs are most needed.
Kulka says other "brownfield" sites have been redeveloped successfully in Oakland County, including the Emagine Royal Oak Theater, Motor City Harley-Davidson in Farmington Hills and the Flagstar Strand Theater for the Performing Arts.
“This certainly is a big step for Oakland County,” County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said in a written release. “Unfortunately there are a number of brownfields sites that should have been cleaned up a long time ago. This continues the momentum we’ve begun in developing these sites.”
The county also partnered with Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Pontiac and Southfield in seeking the grant.