Fort Dodge used Iowa DNR brownfield funds to help keep a local Fareway grocery store downtown. The DNR Brownfield funds supported soil and groundwater tests in a dilapidated two-block area, The city used $5,346 in DNR brownfield grants to perform initial environmental site assessments and the DNR spent $21,000 for its own site assessment. The assessment effort resulted in clearing the way for a new 33,000-square-foot Fareway store.
The brownfields process in action is best exemplified by the following project highlight in Fort Dodge. A former radiator and carburetor repair shop site had the potential for reuse. The historical use at the site indicated that potentially hazardous compounds could be present in the soil or groundwater and therefore jeopardize redevelopment. The site owner assisted by providing access to the property to conduct environmental site assessments (ESAs), sold the property to the city, and relocated his business. Costs to conduct the necessary (ESAs) were around $20,000, posing another barrier. Fort Dodge used a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct a Phase I ESA and review the site’s historic use. The Phase I report recommended that a Phase II ESA be carried out to collect soil and groundwater samples. Fort Dodge contacted IDNR’s Iowa Brownfield Redevelopment Program for assistance with the final due diligence step. IDNR’s collection of site samples reported various contaminants including, petroleum, solvents, and heavy metals. The IDNR analysis concluded that elevated levels of contaminants did not exist in the soils or groundwater and, as a result, the site was deemed appropriate for residential use. Fort Dodge has moved forward to complete a housing redevelopment on the parcel, including two single-family homes. The revitalized neighborhood now holds the name Park View.