Norwich – For the past five years, the city has used a federal EA grant to survey significant properties, from the abandoned YMCA on Main Street and the Old American Legion in Laurel Hill to the Old Hebrew School on Church Street .
With the end of the grant period looming and $ 35,879 remaining, Planning Director Deanna Rhodes is looking for commercial property owners interested in selling or redeveloping potentially oil-contaminated properties or old reservoirs. underground before their property. The money must be spent by September 30, the end of the current federal fiscal year.
The remaining money is in the petroleum portion of the initial grant and can be used to conduct a Phase 1 study, which includes a literature search on the history of the property’s uses and assessments to see if any underground reservoirs could be found. be present and remove them if they pre-date the current ownership of the property.
“We are looking for small non-residential properties,” Rhodes said, “not large factory buildings. We are ready to speak with anyone who has not put the tanks in the ground.
For information on the program or to apply for a grant, contact the Planning Office at (860) 823-3766.
There would be no cost to the landowner for studies, reservoir assessment and removal.
Rhodes said the Phase 1 historical use studies cost around $ 3,500 per property and would be useful for homeowners considering selling their properties or submitting reuse proposals. The studies are valid for 120 days and could be updated easily if no changes were made, she said.
The city received the initial grant in 2016, with $ 185,000 dedicated to properties suspected of being contaminated with petroleum and $ 199,000 for properties suspected of being contaminated with hazardous materials.
The city’s redevelopment agency administered the grant, along with environmental consultancy firm Tighe & Bond, which carried out the work in partnership with Three Rivers Community College. Students of the environmental engineering and technology program of Professor Diba Khan-Bureau participated in the studies.
“It’s nice to have them as partners,” Rhodes said.
Grant money was used on properties across the city, including municipal, private and institutional projects. The city has allocated $ 43,751 to assess the potential contamination of buildings and grounds on the Norwich portion of the former Norwich Hospital property; $ 20,000 to assess a building in the former Thermos factory complex for a possible expansion of the day charter school; $ 13,500 for asbestos and concrete testing at the old Hebrew school for the brewery redevelopment and $ 37,500 to assess hazardous materials at the old YMCA on Main Street.
“This is sort of our last effort to use the remaining funds,” Rhodes said. “It’s not a lot of money, but we want to reach out to the public and see if there’s someone we can help with the money.”