Tuskegee leaders talk progress of Brownfields Assessment Grant redevelopment projects

Published: May. 19, 2023 at 7:16 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Big changes are on the horizon for several properties in Tuskegee. Federal Grant money is being used to clean up the area with hopes of stimulating future economic development.

Friday, community leaders provided progress updates for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) Brownfields Assessment Grant’s community redevelopment projects.

“You can plan a thing, you can work on it, but it’s key when you see things start to happen,” said Mayor Tony Haygood.

Renderings shown during the press conference were examples of what residents might like to see in Tuskegee. And it’s closer to becoming a reality thanks to a grant the EPA awarded the city. The Brownfields Assessment Grant redevelopment project aligns with city-wide abatement projects intended to eliminate blighted, abandoned, and overgrown properties.

“This funding targets the entire city, but we prioritize the redevelopment of exit 38, the former Macon Motel, which we are standing here right now, and the historic downtown area, said Debra Love, Technical Project Manager E3 Solutions. “When you have a Brownfield project and a community, it attracts developers because environmental assessment work is not cheap. So when you have a city with a grant that can provide those services at no cost to developers, it is a win-win solution.”

The vision for Tuskegee is moving forward thanks to many groups, including the EPA, ADEM, and developers like Marceid Hatcher.

“This is a project that we’re extremely passionate about. We’re all part of a larger community. And as such, we all share in the responsibility of the success,” said Marceid Hatcher, Haltere Group

While the project’s specifics are still in the works, everyone involved wants these projects to be a source of pride for the community.

“We’re excited about the fact that all these partners have come together with the city of Tuskegee, to start addressing some concerns about properties in our community,” said Haygood.

“There are a number of projects throughout the state that have benefited from this program and communities being engaged to want to see something change,” said Sonja Favors, Alabama Department of Environmental Management.

Favors says other Brownfield properties include Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery and much of downtown Birmingham.

The city will host community information sessions later this year to keep the public updated as the project progresses.

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