Wiscasset tries again for Mason Station cleanup grant
Wiscasset held a public hearing Nov. 9 to discuss the proposal for a grant to clean up the ash ponds on town-owned land adjacent to Mason Station. It is the second time a grant has been sought toward cleanup at the site. Last year, the town did not win one but was encouraged to make some changes and try again.
This time, the focus will be solely on the ash ponds. Their cleanup was part of the Mason Station decommissioning process that has never been completed. When the town acquired that part of Mason Station, it took over the responsibility to decommission the ash ponds.
According to Town Manager Marian Anderson, developers are interested in that area because that part of the peninsula has access to deep water. There were about three options for dealing with the ash ponds.
The first was to do nothing; however, since the town had to close the ash ponds as part of the decommissioning process, the town was obligated to take some action. The second choice was to cap the ponds, but that limited the options for the site’s redevelopment. The third choice was to remove all the contaminated soils, take them to a special landfill, and replace them with clean fill. This is the option Ransom Engineering, which is helping the town with the grant applications, recommended. No decision has been made on who would get the work.
The town is asking for two grants of $200,000 each to cover six parcels of the Point East properties. The town would have to supply a 20 percent match, which could be cash, materials, an in-kind match of services, or a combination of those. The vast majority of the match would likely be in-kind, Anderson said.
The town will learn if it has won the grant in April or May. The funds would be disbursed in October.