Cleanup grant eyed for Central Hall

By Stuart Hedstrom, Piscataquis Observer
Posted Nov. 25, 2011, at 1:51 p.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — As part of the process to secure all of the needed funding for the cleanup work at Central Hall, an application has been submitted for an Environmental Protection Agency brownfields hazardous substances cleanup grant.

Ken Woodbury, community development director for the Piscataquis County Economic Development, said during a Nov. 15 selectmen’s meeting that the Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society is applying for $200,000 for work on the late 19th century building.

Woodbury said a previous grant awarded for the structure, a little more than $105,000, “was not enough after bids were received to totally clean up Central Hall.” He said the $105,000 grant and another $200,000 awarded for Central Hall upgrades would both be held until the status of the EPA grant application is determined.

“There is more lead-based paint than [detected] during the original look-through of Central Hall,” Woodbury said. He said matching monies would be covered by the previously awarded funding packages.

Woodbury said the removal of hazardous lead paint and asbestos is needed even if plans for Central Hall — which presently are to convert the first floor into an adult day services center while renovating the auditorium on the upper floor — change.

“If Central Hall had to be torn down and if you didn’t have these grants you would be liable to clean that up with taxpayer money,” he said.

“I don’t believe we’re going to hear anything until March or April of 2012,” Town Manager Jack Clukey said of the submitted grant application. He said funds likely would not be received until early October 2012.

“We are beginning the destruction of Central Hall, tentatively on the 28th,” said Chris Maas of the Friends of Central Hall, an organization that has spent more than two years working on a long-term plan for the East Main Street landmark. “We are negotiating with the abatement firm and we are planning to be using local labor.”

He said the abatement work could take place in January and February, with the building down to “studs and rafters” by March to get the structure ready for removal of the lead paint and asbestos later on.

In other business, Clukey said the Pine Crest Development Council, which currently owns the

Moosehead property along the Piscataquis River, has “done [a] request for proposals for an environmental consultant to do work on cleanups. They are doing interviews tomorrow and are going to meet next week to make a decision on that.” As with Central Hall, the cleanup would comprise lead paint and asbestos removal.

Clukey said developer Jonathan Arnold of the Arnold Development Group of Missouri “is still very much engaged in this.” The firm is looking at renovating the building for a variety of uses.

“It’s really moving along as it needs to,” he said. Clukey said the grant funds awarded for the project from the EPA have a September 2013 deadline.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/11/25/news/piscataquis/cleanup-grant-eyed-for-central-hall/ printed on July 23, 2014