Health

EPA offers land financial institution $500Ok for Monticello Manor cleanup – Instances Herald-Report

Heather Yakin
 |  hyakin@th-record.com

MONTICELLO – The Sullivan County Land Bank will receive $500,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up petroleum and other contaminants at the former Monticello Manor in the Village of Monticello, U.S. Rep. Anthony Delgado announced.

Jill Weyer, executive director of the Sullivan County Land Bank, said the non-profit public authority acquired the property from the county through foreclosure, and is looking to renovate and sell the property or work with a developer to renovate it.

The Land Bank put out a request for expression of intent last year, and got an offer from a developer hoping to rehab the property for affordable/mixed-income housing using the existing structure.

The Land Bank had structural assessment done on the building, Weyer said, and while it will need substantial work, and likely contains asbestos and lead paint due to its age, “it definitely seems to have pretty good bones.”

The 5.6 acre site at 15 High St. was the Monticello Hospital from 1923-1977, and served as an adult home after that.

The adult home, Monticello Manor, was dogged by numerous violations of Department of Health regulations over the years. That home ultimately closed in early June 2008 at the Health Department’s orders, based on multiple building and health code violations and deteriorated conditions, including severe leaks in the failing roof, partial ceiling collapses in six rooms, mold and bedbugs. The premises have been vacant since then.

Delgado’s office said petroleum leaked from above-ground and underground storage tanks, inorganic compounds and heavy metals contaminate the site.

The grant from the EPA Brownfields Program is meant to help remedy those contaminants and to develop a community relations plan.

The property is in a Qualified Opportunity Zone, meaning it’s in an economically distressed community, and that investors in certain certified funds that make loans to businesses in the zone would be eligible for tax benefits.
Weyer said the Land Bank is already working on a reuse and remediation plan, so they’ll be ready to go when the funds are released.

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