Brownfields Study Group

Brownfields Study Group Co-Chair Dave Misky Honored With Public Policy Award

Citing his creative solutions to solving complex redevelopment challenges, the Public Policy Forum has chosen David Misky, Assistant Executive Director-Secretary for the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee (RACM) and the Co-Chair of the Wisconsin Brownfields Study Group, as the recipient of the 2016 Norman N. Gill Award for Individual Excellence. The award will be presented at the Forum’s “Salute to Local Government” event on June 21, 2016 in Milwaukee.

Misky joined RACM in 2003 and was appointed Assistant Executive Director-Secretary in 2008. He led the agency’s redevelopment efforts in the Menomonee Valley, the Villard Library project, the 440th Local Redevelopment Plan and on efforts at Century City and the Harbor District. Under his leadership, RACM has been a national leader in securing federal brownfield grants and Milwaukee has become an EPA “showcase community.” He also helped to organize a unique Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund and has played a leading role in the city’s efforts to aggressively address tax delinquent and blighted properties.

Established in 1913 as a good government watchdog, the Public Policy Forum is a private, non-profit, independent research organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of public policy decision-making in southeast Wisconsin.

As Co-Chair of the Brownfields Study Group, Misky helps lead a wide-ranging group of professionals evaluating the state’s current brownfields policies and, where necessary, recommending changes and proposing additional incentives for the cleanup and reuse of abandoned or underused properties with real or perceived contamination.

UW-Whitewater Report Identifies Big Benefits from Brownfield Reclamation

Since 1998, Wisconsin has invested $121.4 million in the remediation of 703 contaminated properties, according to a recent UW-Whitewater study. The study says this investment leveraged tens of millions of dollars in local and federal incentives, and recouped nearly $1.8 billion from enhanced economic activity. This is a 14-fold return on investment, on top of the public health and environmental benefits generated by these cleanup projects.

The 703 projects that received state assistance are a small, but important, portion of the 15,000-plus state properties that have been cleaned up and put back into productive use over the past 20 years. These brownfield properties were once some of the toughest projects to tackle. They were dilapidated, destitute and, often, significantly contaminated. These properties needed a public push to get going.

The UW-Whitewater study, prepared by the University’s Fiscal and Economic Research Center for the Brownfields Study Group and the Wisconsin Economic Development Institute, calculates that local governments in Wisconsin gain $88.5 million annually from redeveloped brownfields.

The report shows that $1.00 of state funding for brownfields projects leverages $27.25 in total economic growth funding. In other words, $121.4 million from the state has generated $3.3 billion in direct total investment. The report also identified 29,883 direct new and retained permanent jobs related to completed projects in the 703 studied, and says another 9,107 jobs are planned at projects still underway.