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Cleanup of Plymouth Rubber site estimated to cost $7 million

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  April 10, 2013 11:01 AM

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Cleaning up the contaminated site of the former Plymouth Rubber plant will cost about $7 million, or $2 million more than the original estimate, the site's developer said Tuesday.

The figures were part of a long-awaited consultant's report on the effects of a 348-unit development proposed for the site.

During a meeting at the Canton Public Library Tuesday, Attorney Mark Bobrowski of Concord introduced his consulting team to members of the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, and School Committee, as well as about 50 members of the public.

The report focused on traffic, the project’s feasibility, fiscal effects on the town, and environmental concerns related to the development.

Canton Holdings LLC of Westmont, Ill., plans to clean up the contaminated site as a part of the building process, which would take several years.

According to site developer Bernard Plante, the cleanup cost includes removing decrepit structures that contain asbestos, soil remediation, and $700,000 of work on a diversion channel constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The development would include three components – 204 rental apartment units in six buildings, 64 townhouse units for sale in 15 buildings, and 80 age-restricted units in two buildings. The owner also owns a former parking lot across the street from the Plymouth Rubber site that could be turned into 48 units of assisted living, according to Plante.

Thomas C. Houston of Professional Services Corp. told selectmen Tuesday that the development would have some traffic effects, but not significant ones.

According to Housing, the one problematic intersection is already operating at an unacceptable level of service, that of Chapman, Everett, and Spaulding streets. Houston recommended installation of a traffic signal.

Michael H. Jacobs of MHJ Associates said he found that two-thirds of the project was economically feasible. He said that the most feasible part was the apartment units, followed by the townhouse units. The age-restricted units he had concerns about based on the market and the size of the units compared with their cost.

Judi Barrett, director of planning at Communities Opportunity Group, Inc., compared the tax revenue of the new buildings with the costs of added police and fire coverage as well as additional school children that move into town as part of the development. She said that the number of school children was particularly difficult to predict.

In her analysis, she found that the best-case scenario of a fiscal effect on the town was a $31,000 net gain, while the worst-case scenario was a $277,000 loss.

Selectmen Chairman Robert Burr said residents would most likely be voting on the zoning change that would allow the development at a Special Town Meeting in the fall.

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