State Representative James Arciero announced this week that the Massachusetts House of Representatives has passed an omnibus environmental funding bill that will include funding the rehabilitate a property in Westford.
The wide ranging bill included a variety of different environmental initiatives, including the $1.5 million grant for the former Abbot Worsted Mill on the corner of North Main Street and Broadway Street in Graniteville.
A total of $150 million was appropriated in the portion of the bill that included Westford, including improvements for bike trails, beaches and other conservation improvements across the state.
The plant, dating back to the 1800s and used as an anodizing plant in the 1970s, has partially collapsed and created various safety and environmental concerns.
“I am very pleased that the language I offered will provide $1.5 million to the town so that Westford can remedy the pollution, public safety and drinking water safety issues associated with this historic building,” said Arciero in a released statement. “This will be the first step in a process to stabilize and cleanup the property, in order that it may be brought back into productive use, either for business or residential purposes.”
The town of Westford is currently in the process of determining whether it will repossess the property, which currently has $42,000 in unpaid taxes and had no bidders during a June 2012 lien auction.
While the potential use of the lot remains unclear, the Westford Affordable Housing Committee has expressed interest in the property for housing rehabilitation, comparable to the Abbot Mill complex in Forge Village and the Brookside Mill in Nabnasset.