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Stafford Brownfields Initiative

Stafford Brownfields Initiative


The Town of Stafford' Brownfields Program is designed to help transform currently blighted areas into clean public spaces that the whole community can take pride in. Here, you will find information about program guidelines, activities and accomplishments. We encourage you to check back regularly to keep informed about Stafford's latest brownfields projects and upcoming milestones. The program, funded by grants received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and successful grant implementation has yielded repeat awards.

What is a Brownfields?
The EPA defines a brownfield site as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contamination.” Why is this of interest to property owners and developers? Brownfields are also development and revitalization opportunities. Common contaminants include asbestos, lead paint, hydrocarbon spillages, solvents, and pesticides. If the land is properly cleaned up and the contamination is remediated, the site can safely be used for other purposes. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties increases local tax bases, facilitates job growth, utilizes existing infrastructure, takes development pressures off of undeveloped, open land, and both improves and protects the environment.

Former Earl M. Witt School - Cleanup Grant
The Town of Stafford received a $650,000 FY19 EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grant with a cost-share of $130,000 and is currently facilitating the grant, Period of Performance: 7/1/2022 – 9/30/2025 with pre-award. Through work completed under the Town-Wide Assessment funding program, remediation and redevelopment of the Earl M Witt School was identified as top priority. The Site is in Stafford’s 157-acre Hyde Park, behind Main Street and Connecticut Route 32 and Route 190. The Site was initially the mansion and property of successful industrialist, Julius Converse, and was later purchased by Isaac P. Hyde who bequeathed his legacy in perpetuity to the townspeople as "Hyde Park" in the 1911. In 1939, a portion of Hyde Park was transferred to the Board of Education for the construction of a new high school and the 20,000 square-foot, brick, slab-on-grade structure was constructed. in 2007, the property was decommissioned by the Board of Education and ownership was transferred back to the Town of Stafford. The presence of hazardous building materials – such as lead and PCBs – have complicated redevelopment and the property has been vacant since that time. The parcel where the Witt School is located is a beautiful park and is a venue for recreation, community activities, organized sports, and other outdoor pursuits. It’s close to Main Street attractions and activities, and the Site is adjacent to a CT-designated EJ community and five other significant Brownfields sites and potentially contaminated properties. The Witt School was selected by the community as the highest priority due to its centralized location, easy public access, and its potential to close community need gaps and transform the surrounding neighborhood.

The Town of Stafford is actively pursuing the redevelopment of the former Witt School with reuses to bridge local housing gaps, improve food desert conditions as identified by the USDA, and promote economic development. The Town and community stakeholders have been highly invested in the cleanup and revitalization of this site, especially given its cultural value as a former community school. The Town of Stafford has a working conceptual plan to redevelop Witt School as a mixed-use space, including a recreational and community hub areas on the first floor and a mix of housing on the second floor. 

Public Hearing Documents:

Additional Resources:

Community-Wide Assessment Funding
The Town of Stafford received a $300,000 FY19 EPA Brownfields Community-wide Assessment Grant and is currently facilitating the grant, Period of Performance: 10/1/2019 - 9/30/2023. Funds have allowed the Town to hire a qualified/licensed environmental professional (Weston & Sampson) develop a prioritized inventory of brownfield properties, establish a brownfield steering committee, prioritize needs and sites, conduct community engagement activities, and identify and quantify contaminants that exist within specific brownfield sites. Detailed outputs include: site inventory of over eleven priority Brownfields sites in the Target Areas, four Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, one Hazardous Building Material Assessment, one Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, one Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives, and two Quality Assurance Project Plan. We also conducted Cleanup and Reuse Planning Activities, attended regional and national Brownfields conferences, and published a series of public outreach surveys and materials.

Town-Wides Assessments & Reports

Hydeville Mill - 108 Hydeville Road
Phase I Environmental Assessment
Phase II Environmental Assessment
Preliminary Cost Estimate
Structural Assessment

American Woolen - 21 Furnace Avenue
Phase I Environmental Assessment

Stafford Cleaners - 27 East Street
Phase II Environmental Assessment & HBM Survey

Additional Resources:
Assessment Workplan
Priority Ranking Criteria
Public Presentation - March 2020

Visit the Town of Stafford main Stafford Brownfields Initiative webpage

Questions or comments?
Amber Wakley, Director of Grants & Community Development, 860-851-8102