published Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Grant to fund Whirlpool site study in Cleveland, Tenn.

Construction continues Monday on the new Whirlpool manufacturing facility in Cleveland, Tenn.
Construction continues Monday on the new Whirlpool manufacturing facility in Cleveland, Tenn.
Photo by Dan Henry.
WHAT'S NEXT

The Cleveland City Council meets at 2 p.m. today for a final vote on the next general budget. The Bradley County Commission will vote on its budget later in July.

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CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The U.S. Economic Development Administration has approved a $125,000 grant to fund studies and planning for the future of the current Whirlpool site.

Both the city and Bradley County must match the grant. The city’s half of the match, $62,500, is in the budget to be voted on today, City Manager Janice Casteel said.

“This will be from the sales tax,” she said.

County Planner Corey Divel said the county’s half remains in the budget for fiscal 2011-12, as well.

The Southside Redevelopment Committee, formed by Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and the City Council, met Monday. The task is to focus on planning for redevelopment of the multiblock area once Whirlpool moves to its new plant on Benton Pike.

Rowland said the task force is looking for mixed uses for Whirlpool’s former site.

The city also had applied to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a National Brownfields Program grant, too. Brownfields are vacant, former industrial or commercial areas that can be cleaned and reused.

The EPA grant request was turned down this year, City Finance Director Michael Keith said Monday, but Cleveland is being encouraged by the EPA to reapply.

“I think we will reapply,” Keith said. “That’s been our policy.”

An EPA letter from David Loyd, director of the office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization, noted the program received more than 700 applications this year but could grant only 200.

Recent state legislation also allows the creation of economic development zones for brownfields to take advantage of any future grants for redevelopment.

Contact Randall Higgins at rhiggins@timesfreepress.com or 423-314-1029.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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