TOPSHAM

Selectmen will hear an update tonight on the status of the transfer of land in the former Topsham Navy Annex, known as the “Triangle,” from the Navy to the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority.

That update includes news that environmental concerns could stall civilian reuse of the property for as much as a year.

According to a memo to the Board of Selectmen from Town Manager Cornell Knight, the Navy has issued a Finding of Suitability to Transfer (FOST) report, as is done once it determines properties are environmentally suitable for deed transfer to MRRA, and will accept comments on the report until June 15.

The FOST report addresses 12.58 acres and nine buildings in the Triangle, as well as several properties on the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.

Knight notes MRRA can’t market the properties for either sale or lease until they own them. The deed will include covenants, restrictions and notices of substances (such as lead paint, asbestos, PCBs in light fixtures) according to Knight.

An additional memo from John Shattuck, Topsham’s economic and community development director who serves on the MRRA board, contains a May 9 correspondence from MRRA executive director Steve Levesque to Knight stating that environmental clearances and a subsequent conveyance of the Triangle to MRRA might not occur for at least a year.

MRRA had expected the property to be included in the FOST for this summer, Levesque wrote, and in light of this information, “we have suspended all active marketing efforts of those properties until we have a solid timeline as to when we will have control.”

Levesque’s memo also states that MRRA believes the Maine Department of Environmental Protection has requested additional investigation in the area of the former Commissary and Marine compound.

Knight notes in his memo to selectmen that Claudia Biden Sait, project manager for the Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management at the DEP, plans to attend tonight’s meeting to talk about concerns with some areas of the Triangle property that could delay the transfer from the Navy to MRRA.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. at the municipal building, 100 Main St.



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