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Buck: CGA may have new cleanup contractor

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Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012 11:56 am | Updated: 9:54 am, Wed Oct 10, 2012.

SANFORD – A stalled cleanup project on what is known as the CGA property on New Dam Road may be back on track, if the town can seal a deal with a new contractor, according to Town Manager Steven Buck.

The property was once used by the Country Gates Arts Co., but that company has been out of business since 1991. Buck said the site used to be a place where valuable metals such as gold were stripped off old circuit boards and sold.

But the remaining fiberglass boards, along with copper grafted onto them, were left behind, and chemicals from the stripping process had seeped into the topsoil. While no major threat to the environment, the mess made it tough to sell the property, which the town now owns after seizing it for unpaid taxes years ago.

For two decades, nothing has been done, but now the town has a $200,000 brownfield grant, enough money to remove the contaminated topsoil. But, Buck said, before the town can do that, someone needs to remove the circuit boards.

Less than two months ago, Buck said, a solution seemed to finally be at hand, with a Woburn, Mass.-based company, Green Network Exchange, planning to remove the boards and strip off the copper to sell.

But on Sept. 4, Buck announced that the company had backed out at the last minute, leaving the town again looking for a company to help with the cleanup.

Buck said he and representatives of a new company toured the property on Sept. 20 to assess cleanup costs and possible benefits in sold copper. Buck declined to name the company this week, saying he would rather wait until a deal had been signed first.

Buck only said of the firm, “They have a very strong Maine presence.”

The initial plan, Buck said, was to let Green Mountain Exchange recoup as much of the board removal costs as possible by selling the copper, and any remaining costs would be rolled into a credit toward buying the property, which Green Mountain wanted to do.

It was not clear what the terms of any new contract would be, Buck said, but he expects to hear back from the new cleanup firm next week.

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