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Erving, Montague get grants for hazardous material cleanups

May 15, 2019 : Greenfield Recorder, by Melina Bourdeau

Erving and Montague were among 13 projects which received over $2.6 million in Brownfields Redevelopment Fund grants to support the environmental assessment and cleanup across the state.

The town of Erving will use $200,000 in grant funds at the former IP Millers Falls mill complex for the abatement of hazardous materials in advance of a selective demolition program. When complete, the town will market the site to attract new business growth.

At the former Strathmore Mill in Montague, $250,000 in grant funds will be used for the abatement of hazardous materials in four buildings of the former mill complex which will have a future as an adaptively re-used mixed-use property.

"The Brownfields Redevelopment Fund works in tandem with other statewide initiatives to support the redevelopment of underutilized and abandoned properties – where the reuse of the property can result in new jobs and housing opportunities,” said Gov. Charlie Baker in a statement. “Together with MassWorks and the Site Readiness Program, this funding helps cities and towns identify opportunities and lay the groundwork for economic development.”

MassDevelopment oversees the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund, which helps to transform vacant, abandoned or underused industrial or commercial properties by financing the environmental assessment and remediation of brownfield sites in “Economically Distressed Areas” of the Commonwealth.

Since the fund’s inception in 1998, it has supported 726 sites for a total investment of more than $102 million. Once redeveloped the 13 projects receiving funding today are projected to redevelop over 37 acres, create more than 508 new housing units and provide more than 450 full-time, part-time and construction jobs.

"The Brownfields Redevelopment Fund is one of the most important tools in our economic development toolbox, as it provides needed resources to help communities clean up vacant or abandoned properties and put them back into active use," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss in a statement. "We're grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature for their continued support of this fund."