The Glynn County Commission is expected to discuss on Tuesday a grant to evaluate potentially contaminated vacant properties.
“We’re going to be asking the county commission to support our partnership with the city of Brunswick for a coalition grant,” said county Planning Manager Stefanie Leif.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Assessment Grant would pay for the city and county to find and evaluate Brownfield land.
“A Brownfield is a property, the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant,” according to the EPA’s website.
Leif used a property on which a dry cleaner once operated. Due to the chemicals used in such a business, the land may be contaminated. Whether it is or not, others may be reluctant to redevelop the land because of the possibility of contamination.
This grant would allow the city and county to hire a consultant to make that final determination and to develop a cleanup plan specific to that property if necessary.
The type of properties they can assess isn’t limited to commercial or industrial, however, any property can be assessed using the grant money, she said.
“This grant would cover the assessments, primarily. That would be our number one goal, but we can also develop site-specific cleanup plans. We can’t use it for the actual cleanup, though,” Leif said.
One Hundred Miles has also agreed to work with the city and county on this initiative, mostly serving as public outreach.
If they get the grant, Leif said their efforts will be focused on Brunswick.
“Our goal is really to look at the Brunswick peninsula for the most part, so the city of Brunswick and the Arco area,” Leif said.
The grant is worth up to $600,000, Leif said, but the EPA decides how much is awarded and to whom.
In other business, the commission will hear from the county’s recreation and parks department about improving safety on the beach.
“Basically what we’re doing is we’re bringing forward a proposal to enhance beach safety operations by hiring more seasonal staff,” said Lisa Gurganus, recreation and parks manager. “More resources means more cost.
“A big component would be trying to establish a beach resources and operations division.”
To make it happen, recreation and parks would need a full-time employee to handle beach operations, educational programs and partnerships with other local organizations with an interest in beach safety, Gurganus said.
“To really get where we want to have a robust program where we’re educating visitors and residents on the dangers of the beach and safety measures, we need this year-round person,” Gurganus said.
Commissioners are also expected to discuss a toll road study on the F.J. Torras Causeway.
The meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday in the Harold Pate Building, 1725 Reynolds St. in Brunswick.