As part of their first September meeting, the Gila County Board of Supervisors voted to accept a $600,000 federal
grant that will assist with hazardous materials assessment and remediation of buildings in several communities.
With that vote, Gila County will act as the lead agency for the Copper Corridor Blight Busters (CCBB), a coalition
of communities formed to apply for funding to address local blight issues. Participating communities include Globe,
Hayden, Kearny, Miami, Superior and Winkelman. Staff from Gila and Pinal Counties have also taken part in the
In fiscal year 2020, also with Gila County as lead agency, the group applied unsuccessfully for an EPA Brownfields
Coalition Assessment Grant. However, the CCBB did not give up; last year, with input from the communities and revisions to the application by county staff, they tried again. The second time proved different, with a $600,000
EPA brownfields grant awarded in May 2021 – which the Board of Supervisors accepted on September 7. The grant
will allow the coalition to conduct two-phase environmental assessments on a number of properties in Globe-Miami and Hayden-Winkelman, including Globe’s Hill Street School and the Inspiration School in Miami.
In a Phase I assessment, a contractor with experience in such hazardous materials as lead and asbestos examines
a building’s age and history to determine whether those materials are likely to be present. A Phase II assessment consists of their removal from the building. “This grant will provide Phase I and II environmental assessments for the coalition,” said Gila County’s Cathy Melvin. She added that, with the Industrial Development Authority doing work in the area over the last few years, some of the properties have already had Phase I assessments. “We’re working on getting that list (of properties where a Phase I assessment has been completed),” Melvin told the Board.
The grant will allow the CCBB to identify and assess brownfield sites that could contain hazardous materials, and
plan for their redevelopment; it will also lead to a Re-Use Plan for the properties. In addition to identified sites, there will be community outreach so that citizens can add neighborhood buildings they would like to see work done on.
On another cleanup front, the Board also accepted community donations to GilaPROUD and approved the group’s
request to advertise for a landscaper for the Highway 60 corridor cleanup. At press time, donations to GilaPROUD had been received from BHP Billiton ($15,830), Capstone Pinto Valley Mine ($10,000), Freeport-McMoRan Copper &
Gold ($10,000), Resolution Copper ($1,000) and Southern Gila County Economic Development Corporation ($10,000); a $20,000 check from Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center was on its way and the City of Globe planned to put its donation ($10,000) on an upcoming agenda.