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Environmental Response Fund (ERF)

Grants and Loans to Ramsey County, Minnesota Nonprofits,
For-Profits, and Agencies for Environmental Cleanups

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Ramsey County Community and Economic Development and Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA)

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Grants and loans to Ramsey County, Minnesota nonprofits, for-profits, and government agencies for capital investments related to the redevelopment of polluted or contaminated property. The purpose of this program is to transform currently contaminated sites into usable properties.


Ramsey County recognizes the need to transform contaminated property into viable use. Land acquisition and construction costs are rising rapidly and little undeveloped property remains. Re‐use of existing sites can increase development costs and can leave owners with the additional costs of mitigating contamination created by prior land uses. Ramsey County wishes to facilitate preservation and enhancement of the property tax base through brownfields clean‐up.

Ramsey County Environmental Response Fund Priorities:

Consistent with the legislative requirements of the ERF, Ramsey County affirms the following priorities for expenditure of ERF funds:
-Development/redevelopment of blighted sites, including orphan sites, that will result in additional jobs at living wages and/or affordable housing; and/or
-Clean‐up of public land and green space that will enhance the quality of life in neighborhoods and communities.

Ramsey County will maintain an equal fund balance between city and suburban projects appropriate to available and anticipated sources of funding available to the ERF.

Proposals will be evaluated based on ability to achieve Ramsey County priorities. Project proposals will be reviewed by HRA staff to determine:

-The degree to which clean‐up addresses human health and environmental safety consistent with the end use of the site;
-The degree to which clean‐up assists economic development;
-The degree to which clean‐up facilitates construction of new affordable housing units;
-Confirmation of the financing gap based on commitments of other sources of funds; and
-The capacity of the developer/property owner to complete the project as proposed in a timely manner.
-How quickly the project will result in increased tax capacity and generate revenue for Ramsey County
-The short‐term and long‐term financial benefit of Ramsey County’s ERF investment in the project.

The HRA will execute agreements with the recipient agency that will detail roles, responsibility, accountability for the expenditure of funds and repayment, where applicable. Funds may be awarded as grants, deferred loans, and/or amortized loans or loans repayable upon sale of cleaned‐up land at a price no less than the original purchase price plus the actual cost of clean‐up. The HRA may negotiate ERF awards and repayment as appropriate. Repayment or recapture of ERF funds will be returned to the Fund for future use.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 155053

Estimated Size of Grant:

There is no limit on grant funding that may be requested from the Ramsey County ERF.

Term of Contract:

The project should be ready to be implemented within 90 days of fund award with funds fully expended within 18 months from the time an agreement is executed.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Ramsey County and Ramsey County municipalities, public and private for-profit and not-for-profit agencies and organizations may apply for Ramsey County ERF funds.

Applicants should have site control prior to requesting ERF gap financing. All projects must receive the written support of the jurisdiction in which they are located.

Funding Limits:

ERF funds are intended as gap financing and applicants should have exhausted funds available from other sources including, but not limited to the Department of Employment and Economic Development, the federal government, the Metropolitan Council and the private sector at the time application is made. All applicants for Ramsey County ERF gap financing to mitigate a site must own or demonstrate legal control of the contaminated property and have a pre‐approved Response Action Plan from the State of Minnesota (RAP).

Pre-Application Information:

Eligible Applicants must document that all other potential sources of funds have been identified and requested and that no other sources of funding exist. Applicants must include written confirmation from funding sources and demonstrate that a gap exists.

The Ramsey County ERF process will be coordinated with other fund sources (DEED, Met. Council) to the extent feasible to avoid unnecessary administrative reviews and maximize investment.

ERF project proposals will be accepted at the same time application is made to the Metropolitan Council Metropolitan Livable Communities Fund Tax Base Revitalization Account, currently November 1 and May 1 of each year.

Suburban Ramsey County projects that also propose to use funds available from the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be encouraged to coordinate submissions with County HRA deadlines for proposals for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnership (HOME) funds.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For additional information, contact the HRA Staff at 651-266-8000.

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Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: Ramsey County