continued The current project looks to embrace that history, as well as build on the town’s 27 miles of waterfront.
“We really haven’t made good use of that prime territory,” Bray said. “It just seemed like a wonderful natural asset that we should be urging more activity to develop there, and happily it is.”
The town began acquiring the land in 1993 or 1994 when Cibro Petroleum Products went bankrupt.
“The town inherited, so to speak, their land for $2, 60-some acres. That was the catalyst,” Bray said. “It was, ‘Okay, now we can begin to get our feet into this vision that we have for the waterfront areas.’ From the Cibro acquisition, we began to look at the point, which was the cherry on the whole project, because it is so beautiful there.”
The town then began the process of acquiring the surrounding land, which now totals roughly 85 acres from the point east to Bennett Road, on which were two former asphalt plants and the crumbling but historic Three Rivers Motel. The motel, which Bray called “a real eyesore,” came down in 2004, but the former asphalt plants’ land was a brownfield and needed to be mitigated before any development could begin. So the town contracted with Plumley Engineering in nearby Lysander to take on that aspect of the project.
“A brownfield is a property that’s got some kind of environmental issues which hinder its redevelopment,” said Dale Vollmer of Plumley Engineering. “This site has two former asphalt plants that are there. One has been demolished and it’s just an open field now, but it’s got soil and groundwater contamination. The town owns that one. The other one is owned by [Sunoco]. They don’t use it. It’s been closed for many years. We’re working with them and the Department of Environmental Conservation to bring that along to a new use where it’s probably demolished and some investigation is done to see what issues there are.”