Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
60 West Lynde Street and 30 Wickman Drive, Gardner, MA
Success in Assessment Demonstration Pilot
Montachusett Regional Planning Agency
(April 23, 2002)
In 1998, EPA's Assessment Demonstration Pilot Program awarded Montachusett Regional Planning Commission $200,000 to establish an advisory committee, compile a brownfields inventory, prioritize sites, and perform site assessments within the 22 town area serviced by the commission. Two of the properties selected for assessment were 60 West Lynde Street and 30 Wickman Drive in Gardner, MA. As a result of the assessments, these properties are being redeveloped to host the new Gardner Public Library and affordable housing units.
60 West Lynde Street
This property is located in the downtown area. Formerly the Conant-Ball furniture manufacturing facility, it went out of business in the mid-1980's. A Canadian company bought the property in 1995 and ran a storage and distribution facility out of it until the facility was demolished in 1997.
In the early 1990's, the city became interested in redeveloping the site for a more appropriate use. The wood frame and wood clapboard building needed to be demolished and there was concern for contamination in both the building and the surrounding property. In 2000, the city began a reuse study for the property. The plan evolved to include a parking lot and the new Gardner Public Library. The city purchased the property in April 1998 and the assessment was performed in December 1999. A final draft of the Phase II Comprehensive Site Assessment and Response Action Outcome Statement Report was submitted by the environmental contractor to the city in January 2002. The Library Trustees are conducting additional soil borings and testing of groundwater at the site.
As a result of the assessment, local and state funds have been leveraged to meet 80% of the needed $7.6 million package for the site cleanup and construction of the library. It is anticipated that groundbreaking will take place next year and the library building will be completed in 2 to 3 years.
30 Wickman Drive
This is the site of a former light manufacturing and welding shop. The owner vacated the property in 1995 without paying property taxes and the city took ownership by tax foreclosure in November 2000. A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment was completed in March 2000. A small portion of the property adjacent to the road was found to be contaminated with EPHs, SVOCs, and lead which required remediation. As a result, there will be an activity use limit on a portion of the parcel.
This site is located in the middle of a residential area, and the Greater Gardener Community Development Corporation is working to return the property to residential use. They plan to construct three, single-family units of affordable housing. Using Community Development Block Grant funds from the city of Gardner, site preparation and utility hook-ups will be completed in August 2002. Potential home owners will have to meet HUD low to moderate income guidelines. GFA, a local credit union, will finance construction by the Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, with an expected completion date of May 2003.