City gets grant to clean-up Middle St. property

Mayor Ken Cockayne announced last week in a press release the receipt of a grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development that will enable the City of Bristol to clean up the brownfield parcel located at 894 Middle St. The $1.3 million grant will focus on removing PCBs and other contaminants from the 17-acre, city-owned property.

“This grant will help us clean up a public health concern and put this property back on the tax rolls,” Cockayne said, according to the press release. “We’re grateful to DECD and the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) for their support in the past and going forward with this important project.”

A large part of the proposal includes a land lease deal with FuelCell Energy, Inc. to develop a fuel cell park on a corner of the site that is isolated by an Eversource right-of-way, said the release. FCE is awaiting approval for its proposal from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The clean energy that is generated from the facility will feed back into the power grid, said the release.

“The partnership with FCE makes this project a win-win for the city as well as the residents of entire area,” said Justin Malley, director of the Bristol Development Authority, in the press release. “The fuel cell park will permanently encapsulate some of the hazardous materials, thus reducing the cost of the clean-up.”

The release said Malley noted the contributions of Grants Administrator Dawn Leger, who worked closely with Arthur Bogen from NVCOG, and Tim Carr and Ray Janeiro from Nobis Engineering, to write the application.

“Dawn wrote the assessment grant for DECD back in 2014 and has taken the lead since then,” Malley said, according to the release. “We have a great plan and a hard working team, so we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get this project done.”

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