It’s been four years since an iconic mill burned down in Somers, and since then it has been a constant eyesore for the hundreds who live near it and drive by it each day.
The old Somersville Mill site looks like rusted, twisted metal and a broken down façade. Not a lot has changed in the last four years since a fire ravaged the site, but that’s about to change.
“It was a huge fire, I heard the sirens. I live on Hall Hill Road,” said Alvin Pierog-Somers.
Pierog-Somers can still remember walking from his home four years ago and seeing what was left of the Somersville Mill.
“I came down the next day and the place was smoking and I couldn't believe it,” Pierog-Somers said.
Instead of the icon it once was, the site has turned into a conversation piece.
“People ask me about it all the time. I don't have the answers,” Pierog-Somers said.
The last four years, not many know why it still remains a maze of twisted beams and broken bricks.
“We realized that it will stay like this unless the town got involved. It’s not worth anything to a developer in its current state,” Somers First Selectwoman Lisa Pellegrini said.
So last year, the town decided to bite the bullet and purchase the property.
“I never thought I’d really want to own a brownfield, but it's smack dab in a beautiful community and it needs to get done and this is what government does. It cleans up bad sites,” Pellegrini said.
But the small town needed $1.8 million to tear it down and clear it up. They got it all in the form of a government grant.
So with the money secured, they can finally start taking bids for demolition.
Somers will officially own the property on Oct. 27 and the town has big plans, for stores, homes, trails...anything and everything is on the table.
“It could be anything. What we definitely want it to be is cleared, clean and safe,” Pellegrini said.
There will be some upcoming roadblocks.
There will be a stringent permitting process for the demolition because it's just feet away from the Scantic River...it could take six to nine months to get those permits, so demolition could begin in the spring maybe summer.
Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.