Remediation of Former Somersville Mill Begins

It’s the first week of demolition and construction of the old Somersville Mill on Maple Street in Somers after it caught fire in 2012.

The textile plant was there for about 130 years until it closed in 1969, then sat vacant until the fire left only a metal skeleton of where the building once stood.

First Selectman Bud Knorr said that is when the town realized it needed to take over the property to start remediation efforts.

"The first month will be basically taking down the steel garters, washing them, taking any contaminated material out, which we have an environmental consultant …. helping us with that," said Knorr. "And then the second phase over the next month will take care of the moving and the balance of the fill," Knorr said.

The process will cost about $2.5 million, which is covered by state grants.

Clearing out the property includes moving about 3,500 tons of material, which means several trucks to carry debris and possibly extra traffic outside of Jessica Cannon-Pinney’s home.

"It’s, you know, kind of concerning because it might cause some traffic, but it’s already pretty busy around here so I don’t know how much of a difference it would make you know? As long as I don’t have cars backing up to my driveway," Cannon-Pinney said.

The town’s concern is whether construction will impact schools, which will begin on Aug. 30 in Somers.

The answer to that question is unclear for now, but any potential road delays and closures will be posted on the town’s website.

As the remediation of the old mill kicks off, some said they will miss looking at it, but have hope for the future.

"It’s almost artistic but, you know, it’s probably definitely time that it goes and I think it’ll probably be a bittersweet memory that we will remember what it was and hope that they put something there in the future that is beautiful," Lynn Killenbeck, of Somers, said.

Town officials said they will make every effort possible to salvage historical items from the mill and they will be stored at the Department of Public Works.

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