Grant Will Fund Demolition of Abandoned Mill and Parkland Conversion

BOSTON – November 21, 2016 – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $520,000
to the Town of Monroe to demolish part of the former Ramage Paper Mill and create a
new public park in its place. As a condition of the grant, the Town of Monroe will
place the future park property under the care of the Monroe Conservation Commission,
permanently conserving the space under Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution.

“For over a century, Massachusetts has led the nation in providing its residents
with exceptional access to the state’s environmental resources through various
conservation efforts,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew
Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration continues to prioritize outdoor
recreational opportunities, and the creation of a new park within the Town of Monroe
is a great example of many stakeholders working together to accomplish a common goal
that will truly benefit the community and the region.”

The wood portion of the former Rampage Paper Mill has deteriorated significantly in
recent years and is being demolished to avoid collapse into the Deerfield River. In
addition to the funding provided by EEA through the Environmental Bond Bill, grants
of $30,000 by TransCanada and $100,000 by the Franklin Regional Council of
Governments will assist in the clean-up and abatement of onsite hazardous materials,
demolition of the wood structure, securing of the site for the winter, and creation
of a new public park.

EEA has contracted the landscape architecture firm of Brown, Richardson, and Rowe
and the engineering firm Stantec to design a public park for Monroe. The public
process to create the design will begin as soon as the demolition of the mill is
complete, with the intention of having construction of the park begin in the summer
of 2017.

“I am thankful to the Baker Administration for making the transformation of this
site possible,” said State Senator Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield). “Turning a
dilapidated mill into a public park is smart and effective use of taxpayer

“Monroe is one of the smallest towns in Massachusetts and it would be impossible for
them to undertake this project without help from the state,” said State
Representative Paul Mark (D-Peru). “I am thankful to Secretary Beaton for
recognizing the need of this very small town and the importance of completing this
project in a timely manner. Congratulations to the people of Monroe and FRCOG on
this grant award.”

“The recreational tourism industry is an important economic driver in western
Franklin County and a healthy and accessible Deerfield River is critical to support
this business sector. This effort to remediate the wood structure of hazardous
materials and clear the parcel ensures the watershed is protected from potential
building debris contamination and creates a new asset along the Deerfield River,”
said Peggy Sloan, Director of Planning & Development for the Franklin Regional
Council of Governments. “Through EOEEA resources, the wood structure parcel will
become a small public park and scenic overlook to enjoy the beautiful Deerfield
River. The FRCOG appreciates the commitment of the Town of Monroe to forward this
project, and the support of state and federal agencies including EOEEA, MassDEP,
MassDevelopment, and the EPA.”

“The Town of Monroe has been working for years to find funding to assist in the
remediation of this structure as we know its collapse would have a devastating
environmental and economic impact to the Deerfield River and our neighboring towns.
We are grateful that the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has
stepped in to not only assist in funding the demolition project, but will also fund
the construction of a park on the site,” said Monroe Town Clerk Marcella
Stafford-Gore. “We also greatly appreciate the tireless efforts of the Franklin
Regional Council of Governments to help us address the site. We are looking forward
to being rid of this blight in our community and giving townspeople and visitors a
space they will enjoy for many years.”