Mayor Richard Kos welcomed Deb Szaro and other officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to Chicopee Thursday morning for an announcement regarding the EPA’s Brownfields Program. The City of Chicopee accepted three $200,000 U.S. EPA grants for continued Brownfields clean-up at the former Uniroyal property. Mayor Kos also joined David Spada of DS Development, LLC to announce plans for redevelopment of Facemate Lot #4.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last month that these three grants are part of 17 awards totaling $4.92 million which will be given to communities across Massachusetts for Brownfields assessment and clean-up efforts. The grants may be used for Brownfields site assessments and clean-up in redeveloping vacant and unused properties. A Brownfields site is defined by the U.S. EPA as a property for which the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
The grants that Chicopee has received will be used toward the abatement of hazardous building materials at the former Uniroyal site within Buildings #15, #27, and #42. Also receiving U.S. EPA Brownfields grants include the Belchertown Economic Development & Industrial Corporation, the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Great Barrington, North Adams, Williamstown, and Worcester.
“Congratulations to Lee and his team on their continued success on securing these much needed remediation funds,” said Mayor Kos. “Their efforts enable our city to continue the clean-up and redevelopment of this important former industrial site.”
“It is impressive to see so many communities in the First Congressional District of Massachusetts being awarded grants from the Environmental Protection Agency for Brownfields assessments and cleanups,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “North Adams, Williamstown, Great Barrington, Chicopee, and the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission have all put in tremendous work to attain these funds that give each of these communities the opportunity to completely transform a space for economic growth and community well-being. I have seen first-hand what these monies can do to spur change and renewal, and I am excited to see what these cities and towns have in store for their projects.”
To date, the City of Chicopee has received $2.4 million in EPA Brownfields grants, with an additional $200,000 from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, for Brownfields clean-up at the former Uniroyal and Facemate sites. Since 2009, eleven of the original 21 structures have been demolished and ten remain standing as of May 2017. In March, the City Council approved an appropriation request of $870,000 from the Office of Community Development and Planning Department for the continued work as the City prepares the site for redevelopment.
The City of Chicopee also announced the plans for redevelopment of Facemate Lot #4, which represents the second phase of redevelopment for RiverMills. DS Development, LLC has been selected to covert the lot adjacent to the RiverMills Senior Center into a 92-unit assisted living center. The proposed three-story, 72,000 square foot facility will help create approximately 38 full-time and 52 part-time jobs and will result in an investment of about $23 million. DS Development has also discussed a commitment to partnering with the Senior Center at RiverMills.