WILTON — The imprisoned property owner of the former Forster Mill building has renewed his efforts to raze the vacant building by hiring a new representative to act on his behalf.

Dale Holman, who represented owner Adam Mack, renewed talks with town officials and engineering companies about restarting demolition.

Mack, who is a former Republican state representative for Standish, is serving a six-month federal sentence after he pleaded guilty in U.S District Court in Portland in October to misusing federal money.

Demolition of the mill was halted in July 2011 when workers alerted federal officials to what was described by one official as the worst case of asbestos in the state in 30 years.

The company was cited for violating federal regulations while improperly removing pipes with asbestos.

Since then, Code Enforcement Officer Paul Montague said the town has been eager to be rid of the hazardous building.

Montague said the next step Holman will need to take would be to apply for a site plan review, which would entail meeting with the town planning board to discuss their plans and provide documentation from the Department of Environmental Protection.

He said the owner was previously granted permission to demolish the building, but that was two years ago and federal regulations were violated during the improper asbestos removal. He said the company will need to appear before the board and get renewed permission if it is going to continue to demolish the building.

Montague said the town was hoping Holman would be meeting with the planning board at the June 6 meeting, but he has not asked to be placed on the agenda. The next planning board meeting after that is June 20.

Holman said he has been asked by Mack to research whether he is required to apply for permission again after they were previously approved by the planning board. Over three-fourths of the demolition work still needs to be done, Holman said. He said plans are not complete, but the owner has spoken with him about eventually turning the land into housing plots.

The boiler room still contains asbestos, and Holman said they would need to get DEP permission to quarantine that part of the building so they could start construction elsewhere while finding qualified personnel to handle the boiler room cleanup.

The asbestos was removed safely in September from the rest of the site.

The next phase of the project, Holman said, would likely involve tearing down the remaining two free-standing walls and removing debris from the building that was previously being demolished before construction was halted.

Holman estimates the cost of the project could be as high as $500,000. He said he hopes to offset that cost by selling some of the building material like steel and copper.

Kaitlin Schroeder – 861-9252
[email protected]

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