• June 22nd, 2024
  • Saturday, 10:53:15 PM

State Grant Provides $200,416 to Reopen Historic San Luis Market


A state grant will cover the cost of asbestos abatement and lead-based paint and mold removal, making it possible for the San Luis Peoples Market to reopen this summer. (Photo: San Luis Peoples Market/fb)

 

Posted May 16, 2024

 

The San Luis Peoples Market is the only full-service grocery store in San Luis, Colorado, serving the community since 1857, making it the oldest operating business in Colorado. In 2023, a building inspection identified asbestos, lead-based paint, and mold, forcing the store to close its doors. With the help of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund, the Acequia Institute, which is working on behalf of the market, received a grant for $200,416. The grant will cover the cost of asbestos abatement and lead-based paint and mold removal, making it possible for the market to reopen this summer.

 

“Access to fresh food is important for healthy and active people. As the only full-service grocery store in San Luis, Colorado, the reopening of San Luis Market will help ensure Coloradans in the valley have access to healthy food in a safe store, and I am glad the state could provide a grant to help reopen this community landmark,” said Gov. Jared Polis.

 

The Colorado Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund supports Colorado businesses by providing funds to clean up contaminated properties. The fund offers financing with reduced interest rates, flexible loan terms, and flexibility in acceptable forms of collateral. The fund also provides cleanup grants to qualifying local governments and nonprofits. The San Luis Peoples Market is the most recent recipient of a cleanup grant.

 

“We’re committed to supporting disproportionately impacted and underserved communities in Colorado,” said CDPHE’s Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division Director Tracie White. “The Colorado Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund transforms properties, and helps small businesses, like the San Luis Peoples Market, keep their community healthy by providing essential services.”

 

The San Luis Peoples Market provides fresh food and groceries in a community where they are not easily accessible, and the top floor of the market is affordable housing.

 

“The community the market serves is disproportionately impacted, with EBT purchases (monthly food benefits such as SNAP and WIC that help families and individuals buy the food they need) accounting for over 50% of the 25,000 customers served in 2022. While the market was closed, we were forced to furlough employees, and the community noticed less business traffic on Main Street.” says Devon Peña, the president of The Acequia Institute. “The Brownfields grant will help us create a healthy building for healthy food, and restore the market as a vital resource in San Luis. The Acequia Institute has an 181-acre farm producing healthy, traditional crops to donate to the market.”

 

The institute hopes that the San Luis Peoples Market will continue to serve as a cultural and community health hub in the area, and provide a roadmap for other rural communities as they restore and revitalize their neighborhoods.

 

Learn about the Brownfields Program and available grants on the CDPHE website.