Since 2010, Cardno has helped the City secure four EPA Brownfield Assessment grants, totalling $900,000 in funding, and an EPA Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund of $1,000,000. With the funding, over two dozen properties have now been assessed for environmental contamination. In cases where contamination was found, Cardno developed cleanup plans and assisted potential developers with negotiating and obtaining brownfield agreements with NCDEQ to limit liability.
Cardno has also assisted property owners with creating concepts and redevelopment plans, such as helping a local church explore transforming a former agricultural chemical site into a recreational and fellowship space for their congregation.
Overall, the City has successfully leveraged the EPA Program funding to encourage the redevelopment of brownfields sites into useful properties: former Western Auto building into mixed-use commercial and residential space; the Wilson Community College transformed the Lee Motor Property, a former car dealership, into a space to house their Advanced Trades and Transportation program; a craft brewer transformed a former industrial warehouse; the redevelopment of the former Hi-Dollar tobacco warehouse into a mixed use development; and the transformation of a former dry cleaner building into a needed downtown restaurant. The City itself will also leverage the revolving loan fund to help remediate and renovate the historic downtown train depot.