Belton, TX (FOX 44) – The City of Belton and its Economic Development Corporation received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Made possible with American Rescue Plan Act funds, both groups worked for years with federal and state agencies and representatives to make this happen.

Belton is using the $2 million to fund a utility project at the former Rockwool Superfund site.

Unusable for years, city leaders say its a new opportunity for growth in the area.

“This tract of land has been vacant for over 30 years. Just having a business out there is is an improvement, and being able to use this land will help add to the economic base in the area,” said Paul Romer, Public Information Officer for the City of Belton.

The vacant property of Rockwool industries lies on farm to market road 93.

Located in the heavy industry zone of Belton, Belton Economic Development Corporation Director, Cynthia Hernandez says the grant will be used to extend water and sewage utility lines to the area.

“This grant is going to serve us to be able to design the infrastructure and serve not just the Rockwall site, but adjacent properties,” said Hernadez. “It will serve to enhance some of the existing infrastructure in place as well.”

Taking up 36 land acres, Hernandez says the development will retain nearly 220 jobs in the area and potentially add 20 new jobs with existing Belton businesses looking to expand.

“In addition to that, it will facilitate future development, and just depending on how that develops, commercial, industrial, there will be opportunities for additional job creation as well,” said Hernandez.

There is preliminary alignment for where infrastructure can go and Paul Romer with the City of Belton says they’ll continue to work with the Environmental Protection Agency and Texas Commission of Environmental Quality to ensure they’re building in good areas.

“There is usable land out there,” said Romer. “There is a cap on some contaminants that where the development would not occur, but in the usable spaces is where those water lines will be placed.”

With the grant in hand, Romer says the city will start administrative planning then begin seeking bids for construction.

He adds the process will take months before work is done on the property.