I was very pleased to host U.S. Representative Niki Tsongas as she formally delivered a federal grant that will allow us to clean and redevelop the Appleyard site in our downtown. This site, adjacent to a residential neighborhood and in the middle of our downtown, will be converted to a park with fabulous river access that will provide additional parking to our downtown.
This site once housed an oil terminal, and more recently served as a storage site for school buses. We began the community involvement process several years ago with direct funding from the E.P.A. With the help of additional E.P.A. funding administered by the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, we’ve utilized $172,000 to date in assessment of the soil and sediment along the Spicket River.
We are now coordinating the remediation and redevelopment effort with the Licensed Site Professional. TRC of Lowell. and our Design Consultant, Nitsch Engineering of Boston. Together, they are currently collaborating on an integrated clean up and construction plan for review by the Department of Environmental Protection and the E.P.A. We will go out for bid and start in earnest as soon as we receive approval, aiming for completion in mid 2010.
My sincere thanks to Congresswoman Tsongas, who has worked diligently to bring this money to Methuen. Our legislative delegation has been superb, and a special thank you to Dennis DiZoglio, who has provided funding through the Merrimack Valley Planning Agency to keep this project moving forward. It is a real big step forward for downtown Methuen.