June 2, 2013

Owner renews effort to demolish Forster Mill building in Wilton

The project was halted in July 2011 when workers alerted federal officials to asbestos concerns.

By KAITLIN SCHROEDER Morning Sentinel

WILTON - The imprisoned property owner of the former Forster Mill building has renewed his efforts to raze the vacant building by hiring a new representative to act on his behalf.

Owner Adam Mack recently hired Dale Holman to act as a middleman, and over the past few weeks Holman renewed talks with town officials and engineering companies about restarting demolition.

Mack, who is a former Republican state representative for Standish, is serving a six-month federal sentence after he pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Portland in October to misusing federal money.

Demolition of the mill was halted in July 2011 when workers alerted federal officials to what was described by one official as the worst case of asbestos in the state in 30 years.

The company was cited for violating federal regulations while improperly removing pipes with asbestos.

Since then, Code Enforcement Officer Paul Montague said the town has been eager to be rid of the hazard-ridden building.

Montague said Holman's next step would be to apply for a site plan review, which would entail meeting with the Planning Board to discuss its plans and provide documentation from the Department of Environmental Protection.

He said the owner was previously granted permission to demolish the building, but that was two years ago and federal regulations were violated during the improper asbestos removal. He said the company will need to appear before the board and get renewed permission if it is to continue demolishing the building.

Montague said the town was hoping Holman would be meeting with the planners at the Thursday meeting, but he has not asked to be placed on the agenda. The next board meeting after that is June 20.

Holman said he has been asked by Mack to research whether he is required to apply for permission again after they were previously approved by the board. More than three-fourths of the demolition work still needs to be done, Holman said. He said plans are not complete, but the owner has spoken with him about eventually turning the land into housing lots.

The boiler room still contains asbestos, and Holman said he would need to get DEP permission to quarantine that part of the building to start construction elsewhere while finding qualified personnel to handle the boiler room cleanup.

The asbestos was removed safely in September from the rest of the site.

Holman estimates the cost of completing the demolition could be as high as $500,000.

 

Kaitlin Schroeder can be contacted at 861-9252 or at:

kschroeder@mainetoday.com

 

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