The Federal Economic Development Administration has awarded the City of Belton and the Belton Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) a $2 million grant to fund a utility project at the former Rockwool Superfund site.
The grant will help fund the extension of water and sewer to the site, which is located on FM 93, an area zoned for both light and heavy industrial uses, a quarter-mile east of I-35.
“Essential utility service will make the site much more appealing to developers,” Belton Grants Coordinator Jo-Ell Guzman said.
The grant requires a $500,000 local match to be funded by the BEDC, which has been marketing the property for several years and estimates that the project will be instrumental in retaining 215 current jobs and attracting an additional 20 jobs to Belton.
“This funding helps facilitate an expansion for one of our local industries and opens up the area for additional development,” said BEDC Executive Director Cynthia Hernandez. “It’s an environmentally sensitive parcel with some challenges that now has a more realistic opportunity to become a productive part of the community.”
In 1998, the Rockwool property was designated a Federal Superfund site, and a $17 million State and Federal project was undertaken to remediate contaminants at the location impacted by a manufacturing process for mineral wool insulation.
In 2017, all property liens were released, and the property was conveyed to the City of Belton resulting in an opportunity for development to occur at the site. The City subsequently transferred the site to the BEDC to encourage its development, but site constraints and lack of utilities made that difficult. The EDA grant provides a catalyst for development and job creation.
“We appreciate the assistance of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, U.S. Rep. John Carter, and all the partners that helped make this grant possible,” said Belton Mayor Wayne Carpenter.