HARTSVILLE – The Butler Heritage Foundation hosted the first of three community outreach meetings on February 24 at the auditorium of the Butler Community Center.
During this meeting, the community was introduced to the EPA’s Brownfields program and representatives from PPM Consultants, Inc., which is the environmental consulting firm working with the Foundation.
The EPA Brownfields Program is a nationwide competition that provides communities with funds to “clean up and revitalize brownfields,” which are areas containing hazardous materials such as asbestos. The objectives of the grant are to support economic growth in historically ceded areas by assisting in the cleanup of brownfield sites.
At the Butler Community Center, the grant will pay for the assessment and reduction of asbestos-containing materials in school buildings. Reducing asbestos will remove a barrier to building health and allow for the redevelopment of classrooms and other buildings on campus.
Designated BHF Project Manager Kenzie DeLaine said the initial community meeting was a good start as it provided insight into the scale of the cleanup project for all who attended.
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“The Butler Heritage Foundation encourages the community to get involved and support the project,” he said.
During the meeting, representatives from PPM Consultants, Inc., Charles Ray, who is a community representative, and Fred Rowell, who is an environmental engineer, provided details of the US Agency for Protection (EPA) granted to BHF and important information regarding EPA Brownfields programs.
Meeting attendees were briefed on the overall benefit of the EPA Brownfields program and grants, which includes assessment, cleanup, planning, and the revolving loan fund. These grants are awarded by the US EPA in annual cycles on a competitive basis to local governments and 501(C)3 nonprofit corporations. During the meeting, participants asked questions about the project and the grant application, and whether other community organizations might be eligible to apply for Brownfields grants.
The mission of the Butler Heritage Foundation is to preserve the heritage of Butler High School by creating a community and cultural center, and by providing and supporting various programs for all. Today, the campus is home to the Boys & Girls Club and the Butler Senior Center, as well as Legacy of Women, Inc., which supports the growth of women and families. Additionally, Florence Darlington Tech will offer on-campus electronics courses.
For updates on Brownfields grant progress, the next community meeting, or to support the Butler Heritage Foundation, visit the Foundation’s website (http://www.butlerheritagefoundation.org/) and Facebook page.