NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city will be contributing less than $34,000 to the cleanup of the former City Yard on Ashland Street.
Cumberland Farms purchased the property just over a year ago for $575,000 with the caveat that the city would share 50 percent of any cleanup costs up to $287,500, or half the purchase price. The costs incurred for the testing were entirely borne by Cumberland Farms.
The City Council last week approved the transfer of $33,925.04 from the city's Sale of Land account to reimburse Cumberland Farms. Mayor Thomas Bernard said the cleanup came in less than $68,000.
"The city is going to clear $541,074 and 96 cents, or $541,075, for a net above our call it our-worst case scenario of $253,000," he said. "We received the full purchase price, last year with the understanding that when the final cleanup was settled, that we would reimburse Cumberland farms for the city share."
There had not been an estimate of the cost for cleanup up the 50,000-square foot parcel, which had housed the City Yard for more than a century. Potential pollutants had been thought to be oils and fluids related to the operation of machinery and motor vehicles.
Cumberland Farms did not close on the property for nearly two years after first submitting a bid in October 2017. Plans were approved in September 2018 and changed some months later to reduce the size of the store.
The council also approved a continuing appropriation of $3,644,911. The city has been doing 1/12th budgets because the state had not yet passed a budget for fiscal 2021. Last week, the Legislature passed a $16.5 billion interim budget to fund the government through October.
Mayor Thomas Bernard told the council that municipalities were getting "really clear indications" that Chapter 70 education funds and unrestricted local aid would be funded at the fiscal 2020 levels.
The state's fiscal 2021 funding commitment also includes an additional $107 million education aid for increases in enrollment and inflation. Plus, federal funding of $450 million is being made available to support educating students during the pandemic.
The FY21 funding commitment also includes Chapter 70 increases for inflation and enrollment that will keep all school districts at foundation, under the law as it existed for FY20, providing an additional $107 million in aid over FY20. This increase comes in addition to approximately $450 million in new federal supports for K-12 schools to assist with educating students during the pandemic.
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