Bolton Conservation Trust|
IMPORTANT => Slideset (.pdf) - Determining the Future Use of the Smith Land
Bolton Center Update on Smith Property January 20, 2013
In 2012, the Bolton Conservation Trust (Trust) purchased the 8.3 acres of the Smith gas station in the center of Town with the objective of cleaning it up and returning it to productive use. The property had been abandoned for many years and condemned by the Board of Health for lack of a septic system. The site is also registered as a Brownfield Site with the Department of Environmental Protection and must be cleaned up before it can be returned to productive use.
The Trust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the rural character of the Bolton. The Trust operates several educational programs for children (Tom Denny Nature Camp, Four Winds education of elementary students) as well as maintaining conservation land and the trail system for public use. Although the Trust has undertaken other projects in Town such as facilitating the development of the Nashoba Winery, the purchase and cleanup of the Smith property is the largest project the Trust has ever undertaken.
There are two major reasons the Trust decided to purchase this land:
· The Trust has long been a supporter of the environmental health of Bolton. Cleaning up an area of intense pollution in the center of our Town is consistent with its mission.
· The Trust is acting to help preserve the character of the historical center of our Town. This, too, is consistent with its mission to "assist in and promote the preservation of the rural character of the Town of Bolton."
To manage the cleanup and redevelopment of the property, the Trust set up the Bolton Center Steering Committee (BCSC) made up of volunteers of the Trust. Bob Roemer is chair and members include Bob Cohen, Dan Gaffney, Dick Heaton, Rob Held, Bob Johnson, Chris Mariano and Liz Schoepke.
The BCSC has developed five goals for the project:
• Cleanup the Center of Town
• Eliminate blighted Brownfield Site with MassDEP
• Resolve status of Condemned Buildings
• Provide a Public Trail Access & Connection to other Trails
• Breakeven financially
To help purchase the property and implement the cleanup, the Trust received a $750,000 loan from MassDevelopment. These funds must be paid back within five years.
To date the BCSC has completed an engineering study of the property and with the assistance of Ducharme and Dillis of Bolton, received approval of wetland delineations from the Conservation Commission. The engineering study confirmed the previous analysis of the pollution of the site and produced no major surprises.
To help pay for the cleanup of the site, the BCSC applied for a $400,000 cleanup grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. These funds are awarded on a competitive basis to brownfield sites throughout the country. The Trust believes they have a good chance of being awarded a grant and expect to find out late in the spring of 2013. If we are awarded the grant, funds will be available in the fall of 2013 at which time demolition of the garage and house at 729 Main Street and the cleanup will commence. If funds are not awarded, they will reapply for funds and the project will be delayed for a year.
The Trust has undertaken this large complex project that has a serious financial risk. The primary objective is to come up with the "best outcome" for the Town of Bolton and is financially breakeven to the Trust. The Trust has no interest in making a profit on the project, but likewise, cannot as it has no resources of its own, end up with significant debt. The total project is expected to cost $950,000. If the Trust receives a $400,000 EPA grant, the remaining $550,000 must be made up with contributions to the project or from the sale of the land to developers.
They are at the point where, having the engineering data in hand, they can start to figure out our options for the use of this property. To facilitate our decision, the Trust has asked the Board of Selectmen to sponsor a process to facilitate discussion with key stakeholders including Town departments, boards, committees, neighbors and the general public.
The Trust is considering five options for the site. Each option has specific advantages and disadvantages as well as a cost. They will be discussed with the stakeholders over the next several months. The five options are:
• Single Family Homes
• 40B or mixed use
• Compact Overlay Housing District
• Open Space for Town Offices
• Commercial space
The Trust invites all interested parties to participate in the process to determine the future look of the center of Town. Participation could include attending a stakeholders meeting and expressing your opinion, volunteering to work on a committee or making a financial donation. They invite you to visit the Trust’s web site or contact a member of the BCSC or the Trust for more information.
Bolton Conservation Trust
P.O. Box 14
Bolton, MA 01740
Bolton Center Steering Committee Info/Update Autumn 2012:
Public Hearing Document #1 "Table of Contents"
Public Hearing Document #2 "Ranking Criteria"
Public Hearing Document #3 "Brownfield Analysis"
Background on Bolton Center
Development Road Map
EPA Grant Application
Public Hearing October 25th, 2012
Public Hearing on Bolton Conservation Trust Application for EPA Clean-up Grant for the Smith property
On Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 8:00 P.M. in the Lois Alex Meeting Room in the Houghton Building, 697 Main Street, Bolton, MA. the Bolton Conservation Trust (Trust) will hold a public hearing to discuss the Trust’s application for a USEPA Brownfield Cleanup grant for the former Smith property located at 715-723 Main Street in Bolton.
The Trust purchased the Smith property in the center of Bolton as a brownfield site and has been testing the property for contamination as defined by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The federal government through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers grants that are awarded on a competitive basis to non-profit organizations and other organizations that assume the responsibility for cleaning up brownfield sites.
After cleanup, the redevelopment strategy under consideration by the Trust includes housing development, public infrastructure, and public hiking trails. The Trust’s initial conceptual process and draft analysis of brownfield cleanup alternatives will be discussed at this meeting. Background information including the draft application is available for review on the Trust’s web site at: http://www.boltonconservationtrust.org/.
All interested persons are invited to attend and are encouraged to provide input on the grant application and cleanup alternatives. For information about the meeting, please call or email Dick Heaton at (978) 779-2892 or email@example.com
To donate to the Bolton Conservation Trust in memory of Rob Held
1.) Send a check to the Bolton Conservation Trust with Rob’s name in the memo line
2.) Make a credit card payment through our membership website http://tdnc.boltonconservationtrust.org
Click on membership and set the amount you would like to donate.
Then, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us that your donation is for Rob's fund.
Bolton Center Cleanup
Members of the Bolton Conservation Trust and other volunteers worked to remove unsightly growth, trash and recyclable metal at the former Smith property in Bolton Center. It was one of the initial steps in the overall process to transform the property to an asset to the Bolton community.
On July 13 several volunteers removed the overgrown shrubs in front of 715 Main Street revealing the façade of the historical building behind. Plans are being made to repaint the classic entrance to further enhance the appearance of this classic 1840s building.
On July 21, sixteen volunteers worked for several hours to fill two metal recycling containers and a large trash container to the tops with the steel and trash from the abandoned trailer bodies and elsewhere on the property. The trailer bodies are scheduled to be removed in the near future.
The above-ground cleanup complements the ongoing subsurface environmental investigation of the property to meet Massachusetts DEP requirements and prepare to remediate the property from its current contaminated condition. The Trust wishes to thank all of the volunteers who engaged in the challenging job of moving all of the metal and trash.
2012 - Bolton Center Trail Open to the Public
The Bolton Conservation Trust is pleased to announce the opening of the new Bolton Center Trail. Set well above the bustle of Main Street, the trail offers hikers a unique perspective of the Town Center, highlighting the rocky woodlands, interweaved by old stone walls and scattered with wild blueberries. The trail starts at the northeast side of the former Smith property (near intersection of Main Street and Wattaquadock Hill Road), ascends into the woods and traverses east across the ridge to join the Powderhouse Hill Trail near the historic Powderhouse above the Town Hall.
Parking is available at the former Smith property near the blinking light.
***Please take out whatever you bring in - leave only footprints. Please do not pick the flowers or flowering shrubs - leave them for others to enjoy. Be careful not to disturb the stone walls and, if crossing, they can be dangerous. Fires and motorized vehicles are not permitted on Bolton Conservation Land.***
For more information about this trail, contact the Bolton Conservation Trust at 978-429-3004 or Email at email@example.com .