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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Louise Slaughter were in Rochester on Monday to promote legislation designed to reauthorize and improve programs that clean up and rebuild brownfield sites.
Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Slaughter, D-Perinton, were joined at the site of the former Cunningham Carriage Factory on Litchfield Street in Rochester’s west end by Mayor Thomas Richards.
The 73,000-square-foot building there is under construction to become 71 units of affordable housing, including for special needs residents. It has been vacant for nearly 25 years.
“Redeveloping sites like the Carriage Factory is a smart way to help our economy grow,” Gillibrand said.
“This strong, bi-partisan bill can unlock new investments to develop brownfield sites into usable spaces that can attract new businesses, support new jobs and make more New York communities a great place to live, work and raise a family,” she said.
The Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development Act would jumpstart development efforts and provide additional resources for redevelopment, officials said. The legislation would allow municipalities and non-profit organizations access to more money, tools and resources.
Congressional authorization for the brownfield program lapsed at the end of 2006.
“Our industrial heritage has made us a great nation, but part of that legacy has been urban blight and environmental pollution,” said Slaughter, a sponsor of the BUILD Act in the House of Representatives.
“It’s long past time we revitalized these sites so we can attract new businesses and tourism to these areas, both of which will help our local economy.”
The $23 million Carriage Factory Apartments project includes $50,000 in funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It also includes state and local funding.
DePaul Community Services Inc. is managing the project.
“Sen. Gillibrand’s proposed BUILD Act is good news for Rochester as we look to find new uses for properties with environmental challenges,” Mayor Thomas Richards said.
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