The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it has awarded a $200,000 grant to the Fremont Redevelopment Agency for soil remediation at the former Union Pacific Railroad yard in the Niles District. The city's redevelopment agency is scheduled to begin removal of contaminated soil at the site in late summer, in preparation for construction of the Niles Town Plaza.
The Fremont project was one of 17 selected to receive a Brownfields grant from EPA Region IX, which covers California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.
Redevelopment budget is $85 million:
Fremont Redevelopment Agency received a first report on the agency's budget at a May 22 meeting.
Convening as the Redevelopment Agency, Fremont City Council learned it will have $74.5 million in the 2007/2008 fiscal year for non-housing projects, and $10 million for below-market rate housing projects.
The redevelopment agency's budget is incorporated as a component of the city's budget. A second public hearing on the budget will be held June 5.
Elisa Tierney, Fremont Redevelopment Agency director, said some of the highlighted projects in the budget include Irvington District's Bay Street Streetscape.
The project, slated to cost about $5.3 million, is anticipating an additional $810,000 in appropriations, according to Tierney.
She added the project's first phase is scheduled to start this summer.
Tierney also highlighted the Greenbelt Gateway project along Grimmer Boulevard.
Estimated at $200,000, the project aims to make the streetscape along Grimmer more attractive.
Another highlight Tierney touched on was exploring commercial enhancement options in the Centerville area.
"This includes options for the Center Theater," Tierney said. "But we'll come back on June 26 with more detailed plans for the theater."
Other commercial enhancements in Centerville include streetscape improvements and pedestrian linkage areas.
The last highlight Tierney noted was the Niles Canyon Railway pedestrian bridge.
Currently, the project description on staff reports states redevelopment and engineering staff will assess the best options to locate and then design a pedestrian bridge. It is estimated to cost $350,000.
Resident Ed Pentalari said the agency should make the Greenbelt Gateway project a priority.
"It's an important thing for us to begin looking at," he said. "It's one of the main gateways into Irvington. As I drive into it, I always think what other people must be thinking when they drive into Irvington."