A blighted riverfront property in Stoughton is on the way to being cleaned up with assistance from a brownfields grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The financial award is from the DNR’s Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program, which provides contractor services worth up to $35,000 for eligible sites. The DNR awarded the grant to the Stoughton Redevelopment Authority for a property on the Yahara River near Mandt and Riverside parks.
The property, located at 501 E. South St. in Stoughton, has a 130-year history, going back to 1889 when the Moline Plow Company manufactured and assembled trucks, plows and other farm implements. Through the years, the buildings and property have been used for a variety of manufacturing and storage purposes.
“This property is adjacent to a proposed city park project that includes a new whitewater paddling and tubing area on the Yahara River,” said Jodie Peotter, DNR brownfields outreach and policy section chief in the Remediation and Redevelopment Program. “The DNR is excited to play a role in this potential redevelopment.”
The Stoughton Redevelopment Authority acquired the 2.25-acre property in 2012 as part of an effort to take over ownership of several blighted riverfront properties near a planned development that includes a whitewater park, a riverside walking path, pedestrian bridge and a multi-use trail.
Since 2009, the WAM program has provided more than $2.6 million to 64 communities across the state, partnering to help clean up and redevelop often run-down or underused properties that distract from a community’s potential.
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. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brownfields assessment grant.
Participation in the WAM program requires minimal effort by local governments. Because there is no local financial match, WAM is an attractive opportunity for communities to gain knowledge of environmental conditions. 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 for WAM assistance may be submitted 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 available to brownfields that may not have had a history of manufacturing but are in rural areas, racially diverse communities or economically disadvantaged areas.