City receives $400K grant from EPA

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The federal Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded the city of Bogalusa a $400,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant.

The grant is intended to assess former businesses that might have had contaminated soil. There is no necessary match from the city.

George R. Carr Memorial Air Field Manager Louis Busby and Bogalusa Parks and Recreation Director Landon Tims went to Chicago last week to accept the grant and learn more of its details.

“This grant allows us to assess commercial and industrial properties for Phase I and Phase II environmentals,” Tims said. “Phase I deals with history and Phase II is soil samples.”

The city of Bogalusa applied for the grant in December of 2014. Busby said the grant is an attempt to bring in new businesses.

“This grant will help us try to assess vacant properties in order to have new businesses come in on those properties,” Busby said.

Tims said he and Busby were educated in Chicago on the grant’s inner workings.

“While were up there, we went to seminars and classes to learn how to administer certain aspects of the grant process,” Tims said. “We did a lot of networking while we were there and met a lot of people who can help us along since it’s the first time ever Bogalusa received the grant.”

Busby said the Brownfields Grant could be the first of a number of grants awarded to Bogalusa.

“This is a lead-in grant for grants down the road,” Busby said. “This is just the first block of a series of grants.”

Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette said she appreciated Tims’ and Busby’s efforts.

“I think we had good representation in Chicago,” she said. “These two young men did a good job of coming back and sharing with everybody what they learned.”

Before attending seminars and classes in Chicago, Tims and Busby received training in Texas during a June conference.

“These two young men have worked hard for the betterment of all citizens of Bogalusa to bring this city forward,” Perrette said.