State grant will help Edgerton on project
Gov. Jim Doyle announced Friday that the state awarded the city $87,500 to clean up a downtown site for the Fulton Square project.
The site, a former parking lot, will be developed into one- and two-bedroom condominiums and 16,000 square feet of retail space. The project will cost an estimated $6.31 million.
“Cleaning up brownfields restores vacant or underused land to productivity and renews community pride,” Doyle said in a news release. “I’m pleased that we could help the City of Edgerton accomplish a major downtown redevelopment project.”
A brownfield grant is short for Blight Elimination and Brownfield Redevelopment. Such grants are used to clean up environmentally contaminated sites so they can be redeveloped. Before brownfield grants, contaminated sites languished for years because developers and municipalities didn’t have the money to clean them up.
Doyle’s announcement was old news to Edgerton City Manager Ramona Flanigan. The governor’s office informed the city of the grant about a month ago, she said.
The contamination was found late in construction, Flanigan said.
“During phase one, we looked at the history of the property and didn’t find anything,” Flanigan explained.
But when developers did soil borings, they found petroleum. The gasoline probably came from an off-site source. No tank or other container was found in the ground.
“In some cases, the DNR would allow the stuff to stay in the ground, if the ground wasn’t going to be disturbed, say if it was going to be a parking lot,” Flanigan said. “But once you touch it, you’ve got to deal with it.”
Tom Keller, the developer of the downtown project, estimated the buildings should be completed by August 2008. The condos, which will run $110,000 to $170,000, are targeted to commuters to Janesville and Madison, young couples and “empty nesters” who winter in the south.