newsgrant funding awarded to four virginia localities for brownfield site restoration

Grant funding awarded to four Virginia localities for brownfield site restoration

Rebecca Barnabi
business incubator
(© Gajus –

The Town of Bedford, Patrick County, the Town of Saltville and Smyth County have been awarded grants totaling $847,000 to restore and redevelop brownfield sites.

Brownfield sites, according to a press release, are properties that contain hazardous materials, pollution or contaminants, and therefore cannot easily be redeveloped or reused.

“The Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund is a powerful economic development tool that gives localities the resources they need to redevelop and return sites to productive use for economic development opportunities,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in the press release. “These revitalization projects are critical to strengthen rural Virginia’s business portfolio and overall competitiveness, and we are thrilled to support the Town of Bedford, Patrick County, the Town of Saltville, and Smyth County in this endeavor.”

The former Winoa US Plant in the Town of Bedford will be redeveloped with $316,374 in grant funding. In Patrick County, the former Pioneer Hospital property will be redeveloped with $107,966. Saltville Town Shop in the Town of Saltville will be redeveloped with $300,000. In Smyth County, $122,718 will go toward redevelopment of Marion Intermediate School.

“By preparing more competitive project-ready properties, corporate and industrial end-users will be more likely to select Virginia for investment,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick said in the press release. “It is exciting to see many rural regions of our Commonwealth benefit from the Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund that directly enhances our ability to compete for economic development projects.”

The Site Remediation Grants will cover remediation of each contaminated property to remove hazardous substances and wastes, demolition and removal of existing structures, and other site work necessary to make a site or property usable for new economic development.

Since 2011, the VBAF has awarded more than $14.6 million in grants to redevelop brownfield sites.

“These projects show the ability of the Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund to help resolve environmental issues and provide for economic development that is vital to these communities in bringing back jobs and tax revenue. To date, 34 remediation grants of up to $500,000 have been awarded to redevelopment projects which have provided lasting positive environmental impacts and improved the quality of life for Virginia residents,” Acting Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources Travis Voyles said in the press release.

VBAF is administered by the Virginia Resources Authority, and is a partnership between the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Department of Environmental Quality.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.