Press Release

Gillibrand Announces $200,000 for Ithaca Falls Overlook Revitalization Effort

May 8, 2013

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced a federal grant worth $200,000 for the City of Ithaca to plan the clean-up and reuse of an abandoned brownfield property at Ithaca Falls Overlook. The federal investment is allocated through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Program. Senator Gillibrand wrote to EPA officials in April to help secure the federal investment that can help strengthen the local economy.

The effort follows legislation that Senator Gillibrand introduced in September to revitalize brownfield sites across the country.

“Ithaca is bursting with potential for economic growth,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “With smart investments like this, we can attract new businesses and create new jobs, and transform more parts of our communities into places for New Yorkers to live, work and raise a family, and help our economy thrive.”

“The City of Ithaca is excited to partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean up the Ithaca Gun Company site and revitalize this long-blighted property into a public park and Ithaca Falls overlook together with new community housing,” said Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick. “I am grateful for this grant, and for folks like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for this support on this important project.  We look forward to an active partnership with EPA on the revitalization of Ithaca.”

The City of Ithaca will use the $200,000 federal grant to repurpose the roughly 1 acre Ithaca Falls Overlook site by cleaning up the environmental contamination, developing a public park and creating housing on the former factory site.  Specifically, the funding will aid in remediating the Western Accessway portion of the site, excavating contaminated soils, removing lead in subsurface soils through liming, and using a clay and geosynthetic cap on portions of the site.

Last September, Senator Gillibrand introduced the Waterfront Brownfields Revitalization Act to award similar grants to local government and nonprofit organizations that redevelop abandoned, idled or underused industrial properties on waterfronts.

Senator Gillibrand’s letter advocating for the federal investment is attached.