Salt Lake Mayor Deedee Corradini says she's optimistic the federal government may choose her city to showcase how to turn hazardous-waste "brownfields" into desirable development for the Olympics.
She made that comment Tuesday after a day of lobbying federal agencies for such help for the city's Gateway area on the west side."We're trying to do in four years what would normally take 10," she said about the project to remove many railroad tracks and to replace other blighted areas, many of which have problems with hazardous materials.
"I'm very optimistic" that the city may be named a brownfields showcase next spring, she said, adding that could attract some additional money for cleanup and development of the area.
She said the administration has put a high priority on cleaning up brownfields. Selection of Salt Lake City as a showcase would be a natural, especially as the world focuses on the area during the 2002 Olympics, the mayor said.
Corradini said she has tried to persuade a team of Housing and Urban Development officials to visit the city to see how various programs administered by the team might help the project.
Also, she said she seeks the formation of an interagency team from HUD, the Transportation Department, the Energy Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and others to help speed development of the area to benefit the Olympics.
She said after talks with such agencies that they consider plans for a variety of housing and economic development there as "visionary."
She said among the possibilities is a central plaza for the Olympics. Discussions also include a new "museum row" with a new science museum, children's museum, IMAX theater and even an aquarium in the area, she said .
She said discussions have also considered attracting a downtown "executive" campus for local universities.
Corradini said while the area is "now an ugly part of town, it is the future of Salt Lake City."