State, town to work on defunct school

From the Amherst Bulletin
Friday, December 11, 2009
By Stephen C. Hill

MassDevelopment and the town’s Economic Development and Industrial Corp. will begin working on a memorandum of agreement to have the agency provide assistance in obtaining grants for the demolition of buildings and cleaning of hazardous materials at the former Belchertown State School.

Sample contracts with Springfield and Chicopee will be forwarded to the EDIC, said Richard Henderson, executive vice president for real estate for MassDevelopment, the commercial development arm of the state that helped redevelop the former Northampton State Hospital, Friday at a meeting with town officials, state legislators and MassDevelopment officers.

Grants for the state school cleanup could be a more readily available source of funding than the $10 million earmarked by the state Legislature for the task. That money would come from a state environmental bond for which $1.4 billion was available and $4.5 billion sought this fiscal year, and with the state’s fiscal situation bleak, other financing sources should be explored, said Anne Marie Dowd, vice president for legislative affairs for MassDevelopment.

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