WILTON — The town is slated to receive a $200,000 Environmental Protection Agency grant to clean up of the Forster building site, according to a statement Friday from U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King.

The money from the Brownfields program is part of $7.3 million awarded to Maine.

“A Brownfield site is a property that contains a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant, which hinders the potential to reuse or redevelop the site,” according to the release.

The town foreclosed on the former woodenware mill on Depot Street in April 2015 for unpaid taxes and after a four-year demolition effort stalled.

The town applied for three grants of $200,000 each in December 2015 and was awarded one. It can reapply for the other two grants this fall, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said.

“This $200,000 is much better than the zero we had yesterday,” she said. “It is a good start. It will help us start the project and get a better idea of what there really is to do to complete the project.”

Irish will attend a meeting to sign papers for the grant June 16 and learn why they the other two grants were not awarded.

The grant will primarily pay for demolition of the main section of the former woodenware mill on Depot Street. To reach any contaminants under the building, the structure has to come down and be removed, Irish said.

The town has set aside $25,000 toward demolition and voters will consider appropriating $50,000 from the fund balance at the June town meeting. Irish plans to propose that the town use the $75,000 to remove the free-standing back wall as its matching fund for the grant. 

The Board of Selectpersons will consider a pre-award option when it meets June 7. It could put out a request for bids for an environmental consultant and hopefully hire one this summer. The consultant could start working on a plan of what needs to be done and write bid specs, Irish said.

If the option is approved, the town can start work on the site before Oct. 1.

The town may have to front funding to start the project until the grant is available Oct. 1.

Irish also plans to continue looking for funding for the cleanup.

The EPA consultant for the project is Amy Jean McKeown, who worked with the town on the Wilton Tannery site cleanup, Irish said.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: