2003 Adopted Resolutions
71st Annual Meeting
Denver

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CONTINUED FUNDING AND EXPANDED ACCESS TO THE BROWNFIELDS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE

WHEREAS, the nation's mayors have long recognized the importance of redeveloping brownfield properties within their communities as a catalyst for economic development, job creation, and neighborhood improvement; and

WHEREAS, since 1998 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has had in place the Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) which assists communities with the development of brownfield properties by providing financial support for activities such as land acquisition, site preparation, and economic development; and

WHEREAS, to date, the BEDI program has benefitted close to fifty communities across the nation in efforts to redevelop brownfields sites; and

WHEREAS, the BEDI program requires local governments to use their Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) monies as partial collateral for a loan guarantee under the section 108 loan program which, for some communities, poses an obstacle to applying for and benefitting from the BEDI program; and

WHEREAS, Congress is now considering legislation, H.R.239, that would eliminate the BEDI program's requirement for a Section 108 loan guarantee; and

WHEREAS, mayors are concerned that the Administration's budget for FY04 proposes to completely eliminate the BEDI program; and

WHEREAS, the nation's mayors believe there is a critical need not only to maintain federal programs that encourage the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated brownfield sites, but also to improve upon those programs, especially because federal estimates indicate that there are still several hundred thousand brownfield sites across the nation;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors strongly encourages Congress to enact legislation, such as H.R. 239, the Brownfields Redevelopment Enhancement Act, that would eliminate the BEDI program's requirement for a Section 108 loan guarantee, thereby giving more communities access to funding for redevelopment of brownfield sites; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors strongly urges Congress to provide at least $25 million in FY04 funding so that the BEDI program can continue to exist as a resource for the redevelopment of brownfield sites across the country.