Mass Development has announced that its long-standing and highly successful Brownfields Redevelopment Program is once again open for business thanks to a $2.5 million capital investment authorized by the Massachusetts Legislature and approved by the Baker Administration.
The investment follows a persistent effort by MACDC, CHAPA, the Mass. Smart Growth Alliance and many others to secure bond authorization for the program in last year’s Economic Development legislation and the subsequent allocation by Governor Baker. The program funds both the assessment and remediation of contaminated land with the goal or creating jobs and homes for Massachusetts communities. As part of a strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability of the program, Mass Development and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development have announced the following changes to the program.
The new provisions are as follows:
• Municipalities will make annual repayments to the Fund in an amount equal to 15% of the new municipal revenues from new growth on sites that have received BRF grants. The repayment obligation will apply to all grants, regardless of whether the grantee was a CDC or a municipality. The first $100,000 of a site assessment grant to CDCs for a site it does not yet own and that is not owned by a municipality will be excluded from this repayment obligation.
• Annual repayments would commence in the first year that new municipal revenues are realized, and stop after the earlier of 30 years or full repayment of the grant. If no redevelopment of the site commences within 30 years after the grant agreement, the repayment obligation will expire.
• Before closing on a grant agreement, MassDevelopment must receive a vote of the governing body of the municipality agreeing to budget for and make the contingent annual repayment, subject to annual appropriation.
• Grantees will continue to be required to repay the Fund from net proceeds of a sale of the benefitted site; which repayments would reduce the amount to be recovered from the new municipal revenues.
“We are thrilled that this critical tool is once again available for CDCs and others seeking to put these properties back to productive use,” said Joseph Kriesberg, President of MACDC and a member of the state’s Brownfields Advisory Committee. “We will continue to advocate for the program’s full funding so economic growth and opportunity can reach every community across the state.”