April 29, 2021
City of Rockford
425 E State St
Rockford, IL 61104
These notices shall satisfy two separate but related procedural requirements for activities to be undertaken by the Rockford Housing Authority (RHA).
REQUEST FOR RELEASE OF FUNDS
On or about May 15, 2021 the City of Rockford will authorize the Rockford Housing Authority to submit a request to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Public Housing for the release of Public Housing funds under the US Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C.A Part 1437), as amended, to undertake a project known as Fairgrounds Demolition/Disposition for the purpose described below.
Fairgrounds Valley (Fairgrounds), comprised of nine (9) parcels of land encompassing approximately 14.87 acres of land is bounded by School Street followed by industrial properties to the north, Tanner, Acorn, and Mulberry Streets followed by residential and commercial properties and Fairground Park to the east, West Jefferson Street, Police Department, and Fairground Park to the south, and Underwood Street and residential properties to the west. It is one of the largest properties in Rockford Housing Authority’s (RHA) public housing portfolio. Fairgrounds consists of two-story-walkup townhome-style buildings (210 units) and a 2,600 square foot community/maintenance building. The Grove, the first phase of a Department of Housing and Urban Development Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) conversion project vacated 47 units, leaving 163 two to six-bedroom public housing apartments.
Fairgrounds is no longer providing adequate housing due to its substandard physical condition, location, and concentration of public housing units. Therefore, after relocating residents to locations with high opportunity scores, RHA plans to use Section 18 to demolish and dispose Fairgrounds (210 units and the community/maintenance building). The estimated cost of demolition is $5,222,000 will be funded by Public Housing Capital Funds. The estimated fair cash value of the vacant residential land after demolition takes place is $54,610, industrial land after demolition takes place is $63,000, and a projected sales price of $50,488 based on the industrial land estimate.
Required mitigation for the demolition/disposition includes:
A demolition permit is required. Parking lots and/or buildings located in the 100 year floodplain require a local floodplain development permit. After demolition, the project grade must match the existing grade.
The property must be cleared of all existing structures and related improvements, dedicated for permanent use for flood control, wetland protection, park land, or open space, and a Declaration of Restrictive Covenant to preserve the floodplain must be recorded with the Winnebago County Recorder.
To address all contaminants during demolition and throughout any future developments on the site, safety precautions shall be taken for construction worker populations. Earthwork and other underground construction activities where soil will be disturbed shall not commence until a Remedial Action Plan is approved by the Illinois EPA as part of the Site Remediation Program enrollment, in addition to the creation of a Construction worker Site Specific Health and Safety Plan that is approved and stamped by a Licensed Professional Engineer. All construction workers with the potential to handle or come into contact with contaminated soil shall be OSHA 40-Hour HAZWOPER Certified and must have completed an annual 8-hour refresher in the prior 12 months.
Prior to any final building occupancy or site reuse associated with redevelopment of the current Fairgrounds land parcels, a No Further Remediation (NFR) Letter shall be obtained from the Illinois EPA’s Site Remediation Program (SRP). Enrollment in the SRP shall be Comprehensive. If redeveloped land use is residential, mixed use with a residential component, and/or greenspace, assessment and cleanup shall be completed in accordance with Residential Cleanup Standards. Industrial/Commercial Cleanup Standards may be utilized if final end use is industrial or commercial. Final NFR letter(s) shall be recorded on the property deed(s) within 30 days of being issued by the Illinois EPA. A Declaration of Restrictive Covenant reflecting all measures to address all contaminants must be recorded with the Winnebago County Recorder.
The removal of mature trees should take place between November and March to avoid possible impact to bats roosting. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act applies. Should any underground storage tank be discovered, an environmental professional should assist with proper closure. Asbestos abatement and building demolition procedures should be performed in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws.
In the future, RHA will increase their scattered site portfolio by acquiring, rehabilitating, and/or constructing single family and 2-4 unit buildings. One hundred percent (100%) of the units will be replaced with 163 new Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPV’s).
Any future federally funded projects will require an Environmental Review.
This Environmental Review Record expires after 5 years.
FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT
The City of Rockford has determined that the project will have no significant impact on the human environment. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is not required. Additional project information is contained in the Environmental Review Record (ERR) on file at City of Rockford, Community & Economic Development Department, 425 E. State, Rockford, IL 61104 and may be examined or copied weekdays 8 A.M to 5 P.M.
Any individual, group, or agency may submit written comments on the ERR to the City of Rockford Community & Economic Development Department, 425 E State St – 2nd Floor, Rockford, IL 61104, Attn: Andrea Hinrichs or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments received by May 14, 2021 will be considered by the City of Rockford prior to authorizing submission of a request for release of funds. Comments should specify which Notice they are addressing.
The City of Rockford certifies to HUD that Thomas McNamara in his capacity as Mayor consents to accept the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts if an action is brought to enforce responsibilities in relation to the environmental review process and that these responsibilities have been satisfied. HUD’s approval of the certification satisfies its responsibilities under NEPA and related laws and authorities and allows the Rockford Housing Authority to use Program funds.
OBJECTIONS TO RELEASE OF FUNDS
HUD will accept objections to its release of fund and the City of Rockford’s certification for a period of fifteen days following the anticipated submission date or its actual receipt of the request (whichever is later) only if they are on one of the following bases: (a) the certification was not executed by the Certifying Officer of the City of Rockford; (b) the City of Rockford has omitted a step or failed to make a decision or finding required by HUD regulations at 24 CFR part 58; (c) the grant recipient or other participants in the development process have committed funds, incurred costs or undertaken activities not authorized by 24 CFR Part 58 before approval of a release of funds by HUD; or (d) another Federal agency acting pursuant to 40 CFR Part 1504 has submitted a written finding that the project is unsatisfactory from the standpoint of environmental quality. Objections must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the required procedures (24 CFR Part 58, Sec. 58.76) and shall be addressed to Mr. William O. Dawson III, MPA, Director Illinois State Office of Public Housing – Ralph Metcalfe Federal Building, 77 W. Jackson Boulevard 24th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604-3507, William.O.DawsonIII@hud.gov. Potential objectors should contact HUD to verify the actual last day of the objection period.
Mayor Thomas P. McNamara