The potential redevelopment of the blighted former T.W. Dick Co. properties near Cobbosseecontee Stream in Gardiner will be discussed Wednesday by the City Council.

The city is interested in finding developers who could revitalize the steel-fabrication company’s former properties, which have become an eyesore, City Manager Scott Morelli said.

“They are one of the first things people see when they come into town, and it’s a great location,” he said. “You can’t get much better than right on the stream and right downtown.”

The city also is seeking federal grant funding to pay for the cleanup of contaminants identified on the site by an assessment completed last year. The evaluation of the site was funded by $400,000 in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency brownfields grants awarded to the city in 2013 for the purpose of evaluating propertiy for possible contaminants.

The assessment, by Ransom Consulting Inc., of Portland, found elevated levels of contaminants, including arsenic and petroleum products, in the site’s soil, groundwater, pore water and soil vapor. The report said the concentrations would pose an exposure risk to future tenants and construction workers if remedial work or mitigation measures aren’t done.

Councilors will discuss issuing a request for qualifications from developers during an executive session at the end of Wednesday’s City Council meeting and would vote in public session if they come to an agreement, Morelli said. The meeting, which also will include a presentation from the consultant that reviewed the city’s major services, is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall.


The city acquired the four T.W. Dick Co. properties and three buildings near the corner of Summer and Bridge streets within the last year for unpaid taxes or sewer bills, Morelli said. He estimated they haven’t been used for around a year.

The buildings, which include a 12,000-square-foot warehouse on Summer Street and an office building on the corner of Bridge Street, are part of the Cobbossee Corridor, an area along the stream that is home to several aging industrial buildings and has been targeted by the city for redevelopment for more than 15 years. The city adopted a master plan for the area in 2005 that called for the development of commercial and residential buildings and recreational space, including a walking trail, and a 1999 downtown revitalization plan by the city set the development of the Summer Street properties as a long-term goal.

The city attempted to renew support for the development of the Cobbossee Corridor and the creation of the trail with a series of public meetings and workshops about the topic last year, buoyed by the federal brownfields grants.

Cobbosseecontee Stream fueled the early settlement and development of Gardiner and the surrounding region, thanks to the strong current that powered lumber and grist mills in the 18th century and paper mills and other manufacturers in the subsequent centuries. But the mills have long stopped operating or have been demolished.

Morelli said the city hopes to receive additional federal funds to pay for the cleanup of the former T.W. Dick Co. site because it would make the properties more attractive to developers. Private developers would be eligible for loans to do the cleanup work, but the additional cost would affect what a developer would spend or build on the property, he said.

Morelli said a timetable for when the city would begin looking for potential developers of the site may be known after Wednesday’s council meeting.


“We’re extremely confident that there is interest out there for such properties,” he said.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @pdkoenig

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