NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 30, 2012

Lower Millyard cleanup on tap

State's selection aimed at redeveloping prime downtown site

AMESBURY — The Lower Millyard redevelopment effort got a huge boost yesterday after the state announced that Amesbury would be among five communities designated to receive assistance through the Brownfields Support Team initiative.

The initiative aims to spur cleanup of the state’s most challenging and contaminated sites and prepare them for economic and community redevelopment. Since its inception in 2008, the Brownfields Support Team has worked with communities to identify and clean up complex sites that could be valuable if redeveloped.

Lt. Gov. Tim Murray yesterday described Amesbury’s Lower Millyard as a prime example of a difficult project that could bring huge benefits for the local community if properly addressed.

“It’s a sizeable site; you have 40 acres and a desirable community in a region that has a lot of momentum, so the size of the site is unique, and it’s always a challenging site given some of the past use there,” Murray said. “We think this is a prime site for the BST concept.”

Local officials praised the state’s decision, saying the assistance will go a long way toward making a redeveloped Lower Millyard a reality in Amesbury, which has been a longtime goal of officials.

“We are excited about the ongoing partnership we have with the Patrick-Murray administration to continue the revitalization of the Lower Millyard in downtown Amesbury,” Mayor Thatcher Kezer said. “With the support of the Brownfields Support Team, we will transform the Lower Millyard into an economic engine for the future of Amesbury.”

Brownfields are abandoned or underused commercial/industrial facilities that are available for re-use but present a challenge to redevelopers due to the pollution left behind by the previous occupant.

The Lower Millyard is included in what is the BST’s third round of projects. In addition to Amesbury, sites in Hyde Park in Boston, Ludlow, Fitchburg and New Bedford were chosen for assistance. In each case, the selected sites will require a certain degree of environmental cleanup.

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