FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Neenah awarded grant to redevelop former auto salvage yard

Local News

NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) – The City of Neenah will receive a brownfields grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to redevelop a former auto salvage yard on the city’s south side.

The award is from the DNR’s Wisconsin Assessment Monies (WAM) program, which provides contractor services worth up to $35,000 for eligible sites.

According to a Monday release, the grant is awarded to the Community Development Authority of the City of Neenah for the property that local officials say will be in position for redevelopment once a determination is made regarding the presence of any environmental contamination.

“This property is in a prime location for redevelopment given its proximity to Neenah’s Southpark Industrial Center and U.S. Highway 41,” says Jodie Peotter, DNR Remediation and Redevelopment Program’s Brownfields, Outreach and Policy Section Chief. “It’s a highly visible property located at one of the main entry locations to the city. Until the property is investigated, the ability to attract new development remains diminished because of the perceived environmental condition of the property.”

The 9.3-acre property, located on Schultz Drive, has a history as an auto salvage yard in Neenah that goes back to at least the mid-1980s.

Some 3,000 salvaged vehicles in various conditions accumulated on the property. The DNR says a rail line on the western edge of the property and uncharacterized fill material were also identifed as potential environmental concerns.

“The property is not as attractive as it could be to potential buyers in its present condition,” Peotter says. “With the DNR’s help, the city will determine the true environmental conditions at the property, address any necessary cleanup issues and then market the property to a new buyer.”

For over 10 years, the WAM program has provided 95 awards worth more than $2.6 million to more than 65 communities across Wisconsin.

Earlier this year, Brillion and Green Bay received Brownfield Grants from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The villages of Sister Bay and Egg Harbor recently applied for grants to buy more land and expand opportunities for outdoor activities.

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