The town council unanimously authorized the town manager to sign a tri-party agreement that will lead to cleanup of the contaminated site the former Beaton & Corbin site at 318 North Main St. The agreement involves the Town of Southington, developer Mark Lovley, and the Connecticut Brownfield Land Bank, a nonprofit initiative.
Beaton & Corbin was a former plating facility. For years, the property has been abandoned, and many contaminants were left behind. Economic development coordinator Lou Perillo said there is an underground storage tank filled with gasoline, an above-ground fuel oil tank, and solvents on the site that potentially pose a threat.
The value of the property is far below the value of cleanup, according to Perillo. It would cost over $1 million. By coming to this tri-party agreement, the town will turn the property over to the land bank, which will foreclose the property.
The town contributed $150,000, and the developer will contribute the same amount once the property is turned over to him. He will pay for anything that exceeds cleanup costs. In addition, the developer is receiving a loan from the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments for $400,000. The town was also awarded a State Department of Economic and Community Development grant of $400,000.
The town also has an abatement to help cover any costs over the $1.1 total. The abatement is the responsibility of the developer to pay for, and is locked in for 10 years.
“We have a site that requires over $1 million to clean up,” said Perillo. “It’s a gateway to the town, adjacent to the fire department. This is something we’ve been trying to get cleaned up, and Mr. [Arthur] Bogan has created this path by forming this nonprofit.”
Bogan, president of the land bank, said he looks forward to breaking ground on the cleanup.
“We envision immediately working to clear the lanes on the site, foreclosing and taking title,” he said. “We almost immediately will transfer that title to the developer and work to manage the cleanup grant funds from the state, coordinating with licensed environmental professionals to manage the revolving loan fund the developer is taking, and get the site remediated within about 60 days.”
He said the site will be the first in the state under this program, and will go from “abandoned” to “productive.” The work that will be done will be reviewed by the state’s DEEP (department of energy and environmental protection), the EPA (environmental protection agency) and the DECD (department of economic community development).
Perillo said this is a positive for taxpayers in Southington.
“If we continue to do nothing with this site, there is a gas tank underground that eventually will leak. The above-ground fuel oil tank eventually will leak,” he said. “Just because we’re not addressing it doesn’t mean it’s not a future problem for the town.”
In addition, remediation of the site will allow for a new building to be built there, and added to the town’s tax roll. It will also bring more jobs to Southington, Perillo said.
“Eventually that property will become productive,” he said. “We are doing it for our own community. We have a chance to get that property back.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.