Two former Norwich mills to be demolished

Norwich - The City Council voted unanimously Monday to spend up to $500,000 to demolish two former mill buildings on Chestnut and Shipping streets, hoping to make the properties more marketable for sale.

The blighted two-building mill complex at 77 Chestnut St. has been the center of city attention for the past few years. The city took the decaying building for back taxes two years ago, and city police, fire and building officials have expressed concern about it being a fire and safety hazard.

Not only are the brick and concrete buildings partially collapsed, but the grounds surrounding them are overgrown with weeds and trees. Litter and other debris are strewn throughout the property as well.

The city received six bids ranging from $249,711 to $834,800 to clean and demolish the two buildings.

The low bidder for the demolition of 77 Chestnut St. was submitted by a neighbor in the block between Chestnut and Franklin streets, Wiese Construction Inc. at 282 Franklin St.

Bids are due at 3 p.m. Thursday to demolish the smaller building at 26 Shipping St. in the former industrial district along the Thames River south of downtown.

The city conducted a partial cleanup of the 15,287-square-foot Shipping Street building several years ago using a federal brownfields grant. At the time, it was anticipated the building could be marketed for reuse.

City Manager Alan Bergren told the council Monday that the building has become a safety concern and city officials recommended it be demolished.

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