Update on 254 Benmont Avenue

Burned out building at 254 Benmont Avenue

What’s up with the burned-out CTC building on Benmont?

In May of 2021, a fire destroyed the vacant CTC Corporation building at 254 Benmont Avenue. The CTC Corporation is defunct, and was in arrears in paying taxes to the tune of well over $100,000 prior to the fire. The CTC corporation was formed in 1969 and dissolved in 2014. 
Not having a property owner to take responsibility has created a big problem for the community. The town hired a consultant in September 2021 to determine if “chemicals of concern” such as heavy metals polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were present at levels where Environmental Protection Agency and/or Vermont Agency of Natural Resources would conduct a removal action of the materials.  The consultant, Paul Miller, submitted the sample results to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency, it was determined an immediate removal action was not required.
The town then hired Catamount Environmental in April 2022 to complete asbestos sample testing in order to get a rough idea of the magnitude of costs required to demolish the building.  The samples confirmed that asbestos was not present.
The cost for the demolition was estimated to be around $120,000. As there is no viable property owner, the demolition will only occur if the cost is borne by the Town.  

The town hired a lawyer to assist with proceedings related to the demolition, including negotiating an agreement with the State shielding the Town from liability for environmental issues, before proceeding with the demolition and cleanup. Finalization of the agreement with the State has been delayed due to staff shortages at the State level.
A meeting with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has been scheduled for March 6 to discuss the agreement protecting he Town from environmental liability. Hopefully, this meeting will jump start the process and of obtaining the agreement with the State so that the Town may move forward with a demolition of the property soon.
It’s very frustrating to see the slow pace of this work and we share the concerns of many who want to see the issue resolved quickly. We will continue to push this process along.