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Group to discuss 'brownfields' in Cheyenne County


Brownfields in Cheyenne County and opportunities for their improvement will be the topics of discussion at a meeting scheduled for Friday in Sidney.

Brownfields are properties that may have been contaminated by hazardous substances or pollutants in the past, complicating redevelopment of reuse of the sites.

The Panhandle Area Development District – a nonprofit serving 11 Nebraska Panhandle communities to help enhance community vitality – was recently awarded a $113,273 grant to identify brownfields.

“The [PADD] was awarded those funds to help identify properties that maybe have an opportunity for redevelopment,” Tina Hochwender, City of Sidney economic development director, said. “And specifically brownfields – properties that may have known or perceived contamination.”

Friday’s meeting is set for 1:30 p.m. at Serenity Café, located at 940 10th Ave. in Sidney.

“They’re coming to Sidney and kicking it off,” Hochwender said. “They’ll let us know what the project is and ask if there are any sites in Sidney that should be looked at.”

The meeting will also include a brief presentation providing an overview of brownfields and how community health and quality of life can be improved by the redevelopment of blighted or potentially contaminated properties.

The event is expected to last a half hour and will be followed by a future “more in-depth community meeting looking at potential sites and ideas for redevelopment,” a media release states.

The grant funding the project has a one-year scope.

“Most basically, this project will allow us to inventory sites with redevelopment potential in Panhandle communities and host sessions to help connect the community’s vision to the tools and next steps for development,” the release explains. “In many of our Panhandle communities, it is the properties that have been let go on our main streets and major corridors that be the biggest drain on the community but also present the most opportunity.”

The project will begin the process of identifying contaminated sites and possible ideas and opportunities for redevelopment, the release adds.

What: Meeting to discuss “brownfields” and opportunities for their redevelopment

When: Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Where: Serenity Café, 940 10th Ave. in Sidney

Who: All interested community members are invited to attend


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