By HEATHER NELLIS
Recorder News Staff
TOWN OF AMSTERDAM -- Save for some grass, formalized paperwork and maintenance proposals, the town's rehabilitation of the contaminated site of the former Rural Hosiery Mill is complete.
Now officials are hoping for some feedback from local residents on potential recreational ideas for the Pioneer Street site, and what the town should consider naming it.
State Department of Environmental Conservation Engineer Larry Adler presented the project's progress to date at the town's regular monthly meeting Wednesday.
He said the final remedial action was completed in October 2012, and included two rounds of removing contaminated soil and sediment that was "capped" by two feet of clean-fill.
Other than that, no further action is being proposed, Adler said.
The site will need some grass, said Adler, and the agency has to approve a formalized decision and a maintenance proposal. The town will also have to approve easements for land use and water use restrictions.
Previously, Adler said the agency conducted remedial investigations, including test pit excavations, well installation and groundwater monitoring, and took sediment and soil samples.
As of March 2009, the town completed reports addressing the closure of three underground storage tanks containing more than 4,000 gallons of petroleum product, removal and disposal of 4.8 tons of hazardous materials left inside the building in 55-gallon drums and other containers. The hazardous materials included solvents, paints, adhesives, compressed cylinders and florescent light ballasts.
Asbestos abatement could not be safely accomplished prior to demolition due to the instability of the structure, so after it was taken down in December 2008, about 2,930 tons of asbestos contaminated demolition debris and 59 tons of hazardous waste due to lead-based paint were disposed of off-site.
Ninety percent of the rehabilitation project was funded by the state's Environmental Restoration Project for municipally-owned brownfields.
The mill was built by William Pawling in 1871, according to historical accounts. It was purchased by Lewis E. Harrower about 1880, and produced knit shirts and underwear. The dam near the mill provided waterpower from what's known as Harrowers Pond.
It's been nearly a decade since the town acquired the severely-deteriorated mill from its former tax delinquent owner, and officials said Wednesday they're looking forward to putting the land to good use.
"Too often these projects never get completed," said Deputy Supervisor Bart Tessiero. "We took the proactive approach, and it seems the residents are happy with it."
Tucked away on a dead end in a residential section of the town, the site is flanked by the Chuctanunda Creek, located just north of the city of Amsterdam and its Shuttleworth Park.
"I'd love to see a bike path there," said Councilman Alex Kuchis. He said a trolley line used to run from the factory to Hagaman, and a bike path could be erected along that route.
Tessiero would also like to see a bridge built over the creek to connect the site to the Shuttleworth Park, and it's hoped people will take advantage of the new access the creek to fish.
Kuchis said the council members would like to receive input from the residents. Their numbers are listed on the town's website at www.townofamsterdam.org.