Funds eyed for remediation efforts

NAUGATUCK — The Joint Boards of Mayor and Burgesses and Finance last week approved using $782,600 from the borough’s fund balance for environmental remediation and redevelopment purposes on parcels around the borough.

According to the motion, the money can be used for a variety of projects, including site improvement, acquisition of land, and repair or reconstruction of buildings.

Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said part of the money will be put towards consultants that will investigate the 86.5 acre former Uniroyal Chemical Co. property along Elm Street. The land is owned by Chemtura Corp.

“Right now we are investigating whether or not we will be able to get to the point where we will be able to acquire the title,” Hess said.

Due to the nature of the work that went on in Uniroyal the site is contaminated and considered a brownfield by the state.

Hess has previously said the property, which has sat vacant for decades, could possibly be the site for a new industrial park. The current industrial park is nearly filled and the parcels remaining are difficult to build on.

Hess said officials with Chemtura have been doing remediation work on the property and will continue to do so while the property is under the company’s control.

None of the $782,600 will be put towards remediation on that property unless the borough acquires the title to it, Hess said.

Although the borough is primarily focusing on the Chemtura property, the money may also be used for remediation on other parcels, such as Parcels A and B — the former General DataComm building and adjacent parking lot — along Old Firehouse Road, Hess said.

Controller Robert Butler said the borough’s fund balance was approximately $13 million at the start of the 2016-17 fiscal year.