City of A.L. awarded funding to clean up contaminated soils at Blazing Star Landing

Published 8:30 pm Friday, December 25, 2020

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The city of Albert Lea this week announced it was awarded a $1.4 million Contamination Cleanup and Investigation Grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to assist in the remediation of contaminated soils at the Blazing Star Landing, the former site of Farmstead Foods.

Albert Lea City Engineer Steven Jahnke previously stated the contamination is believed to have been from a coal ash pile that Wilson & Co. previously had on the southern portion of the property.

The property is now being considered for a multi-family housing project.

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Unique Opportunities of Fergus Falls plans to develop a 48-unit apartment complex on the area south of the railroad tracks. The city also created a tax-increment financing (TIF) district to assist with funding the project.

The city stated the grant will cover 75% of the project costs.

Cleanup is expected to start in the spring and will be ongoing until mid-summer. The cleanup includes hauling the soil to a regulated facility and then placing clean fill at the site.

The grant is part of $3,954,243 in funding awarded throughout the state.