R1 Success Story: United Community Family Services, Griswold, Conn.
EPA Grant Recipient:
Town of Griswold
Coating and Manufacturing of wire products
United Community & Family Services – Griswold Health Center
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Brownfields Success Story: United Community Family Services, Griswold, Connecticut (pdf)
For 139 years United Community and Family Services (UCFS) has provided primary, preventative, and behavioral health care to the communities in eastern Connecticut. Its workforce of over 400 doctors, nurses, and other staff serve more than 20,000 individuals in the area. With the need for expansion, UCFS was committed to finding another location to serve the Town of Griswold. Town officials approached UCFS to consider the former Triangle Wire property at 226 East Main Street. The Town had taken ownership of this brownfield with the goal of redeveloping it for the benefit of the community and had received funding from both EPA and the State of Connecticut to address brownfields concerns.
Priming the Property for Redevelopment
The former Triangle Wire site had been abandoned since 1995. It was used for the manufacturing and coating of wire products since the 1940s leaving the site with environmental challenges and the need for cleanup. The Town applied for and received Brownfields funding from EPA in 2004 to assess the site. After completing the assessment, the Town acquired the property for back taxes and then received a Brownfields cleanup grant from EPA in 2010. This funding, along with State funding from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), enabled the Town to address most of the environmental issues on the property, making it ready for re-use.
In 2014, UCFS entered into an agreement with the Town of Griswold to acquire the property to create a new public health center. The Town and UCFS worked with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to enroll the site into the State's Abandoned Brownfields Cleanup Program, which provided liability relief and enabled the Town to use both the State and EPA funding to complete the cleanup at the site. UCFS purchased the property in 2015, and construction was completed in the summer of 2018. The new $6.8M health care facility has been open since July of 2018 and employs upwards of 40 staff.
EPA has invested $400,000 in Brownfields funding at this site. The 2004 assessment grant provided $200,000 for the Phase 1 and Phase 2 assessments, which defined the extent of contamination at the site and helped determine the parameters for the cleanup. The 2010 cleanup grant provided the Town $200,000 to initiate the site cleanup, and a DECD grant of $250,000 in Municipal Brownfields funding allowed the Town to complete the cleanup, which included excavation of contaminated soils and abatement of hazardous materials. Construction at this site began in July 2017, leveraging jobs that involved 33 trades and over 160 construction workers on site during the redevelopment.
"It would be difficult to find a finer example of the synergy resulting from the collaboration of two critical federal programs than this project. United Community and Family Services, part of a Community Health Center program, can serve three times the number of clients at our new community health center building, erected on property that was returned to sustainable commercial use by the Town of Griswold through the EPA Brownfields program. The community benefit of improved health and economic development will have a lasting impact".Jennifer Granger
UCFS President & CEO
With the success of this project UCFS can better serve nearly 2,000 residents of the Griswold area. UCFS employs 27 health care professionals at this facility, with plans to increase the staff to approximately 40. The newly built environmentally-friendly facility includes climate-controlled automated heating and cooling, LED lighting and green products. With significant financial investment in Brownfields grant programs at the federal, state, local and the private sector, this project is a great example of how investment by EPA leverages further investment by project partners.