Three North Country communities were awarded grant money from New York state yesterday to address contaminated sites called brownfields.
The village of Lyons Falls in Lewis County received over half a million dollars to figure out a plan for 4 sites – including the old abandoned paper mill in the center of town.
Katie Liendecker is mayor of Lyons Falls. She says the mill is in pretty bad shape.
"Looking over at the paper mill you can see how some of the buildings have just collapsed. And thank goodness from our main street we’re not looking at that."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is looking to raise the amount of money that can go to cleaning up former industrial sites in a move she says will spark for redevelopment.
On Monday she crossed upstate New York promoting the Brownfields Utilization Investment and Local Development Act, or BUILD Act.
Most former industrial sites are contaminated with solvents or metals that leaked into the ground. They're known as brownfields and require remediation before they can be redeveloped.
Syracuse will use money from a state program to take another step in the long process of redeveloping former industrial sites.
Syracuse is getting a $500,000 Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) grant for work on 113 acres just south of downtown and a 478 acre strip through the east side of the city.
The grant is for the development of a revitalization strategy, the second of three phases of the BOA program, according to Owen Kerney, the city's deputy director for planning and sustainability.
A new report from a statewide environmental group says New York's brownfield remediation program is broken. Advocates say too few sites are being redeveloped -- at too high a cost.