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Brookfield gets interest in contaminated, blighted property

A blighted, contaminated property in Brookfield could be cleaned up. The development company behind commercial and residential construction in the Town Center District has an offer on 20 Station Road.  Brookfield Community Development Specialist Greg Dembowski says Brookfield Village is under contract to buy the property. 

The site was home to a dry cleaning business decades ago and includes a run down two-story home with the windows boarded up.  Brookfield is seeking to collect $86,000 in blight violation fines wracked up since 2011. 

The town secured a state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection grant in 2017 for an environmental assessment of the 2-point-31 acres.  There's asbestos and PCB contamination, petroleum contaminants leached from drainage sources, and underground heating fuel storage tank.  Only municipalities can apply for funding, not private developers, under DEEP and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant programs. 

Licensed environmental professional and brownfield specialist for Tighe and Bond Amy Vaillancourt has been hired by Brookfield to help the town with the application process to get state money to clean up and monitor the lot.  She says the damaged property abuts a designated wetlands zone and any structure built there requires a developer to install an underground vapor mitigation system. Under a state law taking effect this October, changes are coming to both the Abandonment Brownfield Cleanup program and the Brownfield Remediation & Liability Relief Program.  Property owners would be “protected from third-party lawsuits,” in situations where, “neighbors [seek] to sue the viable owner,” as a result of contamination spreading to surrounding properties and causing harm. Any future application for a state grant has to go out to bid, not awarded right to Tighe and Bond. 

The Inland-Wetlands Commission must sign off on Brookfield Village's design plans.

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