Demolition bids to go out for collapsing mill

  • The green wooden section of the old Ramage paper mill, directly above the Deerfield River. RECORDER PHOTO/DIANE BRONCACCIO

Recorder Staff
Published: 12/8/2016 11:11:33 PM

MONROE — Now that Monroe residents have unanimously voted in a special town meeting to place the land beneath a crumbling wooden mill under permanent conservation restriction, a bid request is being drafted for the demolition of the Ramage mill’s green building.

According to Peggy Sloan, director of planning and development for the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, Tighe & Bond Engineering is preparing a request for bids for the demolition and hazardous waste removal.

Last month, the state awarded $520,000 for both the demolition of the old building and its replacement with a park under permanent conservation. The town vote met the state’s condition for the conservation protection, so now bid specifications are being drafted for taking down the building without polluting the river next to it.

The condition of this old, vacant section of the mill has sparked concerns that it could collapse into the river, polluting it and affecting both the river ecology and outdoor recreation businesses downstream that rely on the river for kayaking, rafting, fishing and camping. Planners hope to take the building down as soon as possible.

Paper manufacturing began on the site in 1887 and continued until 1996. Since then, the green wooden building has deteriorated. A recent assessment has found hazardous building materials there, including asbestos. Adjacent to the mill is Monroe Bridge and the TransCanada No. 5 Station Dam. In the summer, the hydroelectric dam has scheduled releases of water for recreational and habitat protection purposes.

In 1996, the building was sold to a private landowner, who has not paid property taxes since 1999. The property, including a larger brick building, was condemned in 2015. The land containing the green wooden building was taken by the town after the owner failed to respond to an order to demolish the building, this summer.

The town also received a $100,000 Brownfields Clean-up Subgrant from the FRCOG Regional Brownfields Program for the clean-up and related eligible costs, along with a $30,000 community investment grant from TransCanada to support efforts to address concerns over of the wood structure. TransCanada owns hydro-electric power dams along the river.


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