By Associated Press - Monday, November 16, 2015

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) - A survey of Muncie’s brownfield properties shows there are 68 areas in the city and in a handful of nearby towns where industrial and commercial operations once did business.

The list of properties was compiled by economic development consultant Brad Bookout and was shared with The Star Press ( ). Brownfields are areas contaminated by industrial or commercial use.

Properties on the list include a former Chevrolet factory and a former video rental store. There’s also a former Coca-Cola plant and a bar near downtown.

The fates of many sites might not be known for years, Bookout said.

“What the public has to understand is that these problems took a hundred-plus years to develop,” he said. “They were created over a long, long period of time. Not to say it will take a hundred years to fix, but it won’t take a month.”

Some sites have been addressed, including four parcels on the south edge of downtown Muncie where a Courtyard hotel is being built. New uses have been announced for others, such as a new business park at an old industrial site.

Putting together a list of brownfield properties is a step toward seeking funds to clean up, monitor and possibly redevelop sites. Having a proposal for redevelopment can speed up the process, Bookout said.

It’s difficult to say how much cleaning each site will cost, Bookout said. Some pollution can dilute over time, he said, and sometimes sites might just need to be monitored rather than have soil removed.

No one has ever calculated what it will cost to clean up all of the brownfields, Bookout said.

“It’s always a moving target,” he said.


Information from: The Star Press,

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