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Westford Wins Grant For Abandoned Mill Cleanup

January 24, 2020 : Patch.com, by Jenna Fisher


MassDevelopment just awarded Westford $64,500 to go toward assessing and cleaning up the building, which has started to deterior

WESTFORD, MA — State officials just announced that the town won a $64,500 grant to use to go toward cleaning up the old abandoned mill building that was formerly part of the Abbot Worsted Company, on North Main Street.

MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth. Thursday, officials announced that $2.6 million in Brownfields Redevelopment Fund awards would go to support the environmental assessment and cleanup of 16 contaminated and challenging sites across the Commonwealth, including in Westford.

Anybody heading into Graniteville or driving from Forge Village to Groton Road has seen it at some point: the long-abandoned mill at 12 North Main St., slowly decaying.

Several town employees testified to the Selectmen in 2012 that if nothing was done the building would eventually collapse, and that the town should contact the owner of the property to address the issue for the sake of public safety.

Since then, a task force was put together in Westford to look at just what to do with the site. In December they asked the owners of 10 North Main Street if they might be interested in acquiring the property.

The Town will use funds to assess this 1.5-acre site, which contains an historic, 32,000-square-foot mill building formerly home to Westford Anodizing. Westford Anodizing was established in 1971 to manufacture steel plates. The Town is hoping to preserve the mill building and incorporate its re-use into a future development plan.

"The Brownfields Redevelopment Fund breathes life into vacant or underused properties where redevelopment may be complicated by environmental contamination," said Governor Charlie Baker in a statement. "Today's awards will provide communities with the resources they need to transform some of the state's most challenging sites, clearing the way for much-need new housing units and opening the door for new jobs across the Commonwealth."