A draft analysis of the cleanup alternatives essentially presented two options: Excavate and dispose of soil and remediate groundwater under the footprint of the demolished dry cleaning building; or do so in a larger area around the footprint.
Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire executive director Tim Geller said he expects environmental remediation to begin late this month and construction on the apartments to commence in late October.
The language that is always being used is that the CDC is ghettoizing our poor, or low- and moderate-income families … We think that description is absurd, given where the site is … and the fact that … 50 percent of the families in Great Barrington qualify for these units.”
— Tim Geller, executive director of the CDC
Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire’s executive director Tim Geller noted that these changes are “insubstantial” enough not to trigger another public hearing, as state regulations require it for “substantial” changes to the comprehensive permit, which was already granted last fall.
Ward says he wants to stay alert to potential consequences of future remediation and construction work at 100 Bridge St. in case “disturbances to the site could lead to enhanced pollution” of the Sheffield water supply.
Developer Jeffrey Cohen says the town should deal with the property no matter who eventually develops it since it will require the town’s capacities in both finding funding and shouldering liability for the legacy of dry cleaning chemicals that are still migrating across town in groundwater.
In his letter to the editor, Tim Geller writes: “This zoning approval of the affordable housing at 100 Bridge is an important step forward in addressing our unconscionable lack of housing affordable for our friends and families who live and work here.”
Removing contaminants attributable to Ried Cleaners may cost up to $1.6 million. “We have to hold the responsible parties’ feet to the fire but also be practical. We want it cleaned up and on the tax rolls.”
— Great Barrington Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin
“From a practical standpoint, and from a health and safety standpoint, if we cap rather than bioremediate, there is virtually no impact on development schedule. This project has an incredible benefit for the entire community and entire region.”
— Tim Geller, executive director, Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire
The romantic vision of closer-to-nature of log homes turned into a toxic nightmare for Great Barrington where the town and the Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire had to deal with the demise of New England Log Homes that processed timber on an 8-acre site on Bridge Street.