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ALPENA, MI-The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality director recently awardedthis city two brownfield clean-up grants totaling $325,500 for two local development projects. A $61,000 grant will be used for environmental assessment and limitedremedial action at a property located on the Thunder Bay River near Third and River streets, while a $264,500 grant will assist in the investigation of potential contamination at the former Fletcher Paper Co. property.

A local development company, Walden Properties LLC, will construct a $4-million, 30,000-sf riverfront condominium development.

Environmental data gathered at the property will be used to help protect thefuture owners from liability and allow the developers to safely reuse the former lumber and coal yards and automobile dealerships site. The new development will result in private investment of nearly $4 million and will generate substantial new tax dollars for the city.

The grants were announced by Department of Environmental Quality Director Russell Harding.

The site assessment fund grant will be used for environmental investigation activities at the former paper manufacturing plant located on Fletcher Street on the Thunder Bay River. Alpena Paper Co. intends to purchase and upgrade 94,000 sf of the former paper mill for $1.5 million and rehire 116 former mill employees.

Environmental data gathered at the property will determine the status of environmental conditions at the property; determine the potential liability for the future owners; if possible, protect them from liability; and allowthe company to safely reuse the plant.

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