Now Reading
Day – Stonington gets $139,000 grant to study the Stillman Avenue mill site.

Day – Stonington gets $139,000 grant to study the Stillman Avenue mill site.

Stonington — The town has received a $139,000 state grant to conduct an environmental assessment of the Stillman Avenue mill site to assist in its redevelopment.  

The purpose of the Brownfields Municipal Grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Development is to help clean up blighted properties and allow for their redevelopment. The town has sent a request for proposals to conduct the assessment to licensed environmental professionals on the state’s pre-qualified list of bidders. Proposals are due Feb. 17.

In announcing the grant, the town said it then plans to review the proposals and sign a contract as quickly as possible to begin the assessment of the property.

“This grant opportunity will be an important role in providing information about this underutilized, contaminated property. This assessment will provide information to both the current property owner and potential buyers about the cost of revitalizing the property. This is important to understand the future redevelopment possibilities,” said town Director of Economic and Community Development Susan Cullen, in the town’s announcement of the grant.

Cullen along with members of the Eastern Connecticut Land Bank, the town’s Economic Development Commission, Selectwoman Deborah Downie, First Selectwoman Danielle Chesebrough put together the grant application. 

“It was almost exactly two years ago that Town Planner Keith Brynes and myself went up to Hartford to meet with DEEP (state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) to discuss potential revitalization options for this property,” said Chesebrough. Although it took us a lot of team effort to reach this stage, it is a significant milestone and we look forward to taking the next critical step towards realizing the potential of this property in our community.

In April 2019, the town was forced to demolish the mill, also known as the former Connecticut Casting Mill, and haul away the contaminated debris after a portion of the structure collapsed into the Pawcatuck River during a heavy rainstorm. Pawcatuck Landing LLC in Worcester, Mass., was the owner. They refused to take any action. The building debris contained asbestos, PCBs, and lead.

The town placed a lien on the property after spending $700,000. Pawcatuck Landing LLC also owes taxes to the town.

The building, which had been used as a woolen factory in the 1800s, was vacant for decades before being demolished. Pawcatuck Landing proposed to build 15 condos in the former brick mill measuring 18,000 square feet, with a four-story structure, at the Pawcatuck River. Additional 24 units would have been found in two additional buildings.

Those plans never came to fruition, as Pawcatuck Landing was unable to line up money for environmental cleanup of the 1.2-acre site. Although there have been many studies over the years of the property, the town has not done an in-depth study to determine what is in the ground or what it will cost to remove.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.