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Milwaukee gets grant for Tower Auto cleanup

The state on Friday awarded an $800,000 grant to the city of Milwaukee’s plan to clean contamination from the former A.O. Smith and Tower Automotive site.

The grant is from a Wisconsin Department of Commerce program that targets blighted properties.

The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee completed the purchase of the 84-acre property in December. The authority is raising money for an estimated $30.5 million, two-year remediation project that will make the land ready for new development.

The city created a $15.6 million tax-incremental financing district to help pay for the remediation and, under the TIF plan, would raise $9 million through grants from other government agencies for the work.

The city bought the site from Milwaukee Industrial Trade Center LLC, West Milwaukee. The company bought the property in October 2006. Tower Automotive, which manufactured car parts, stopped its manufacturing at the property in 2005.

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