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Concord agrees to $150,000 for asbestos removal from downtown DES building 

  • The former Department of Employment Security building on S. Main Street.

Monitor staff
Published: 9/14/2021 6:44:22 PM

The Concord City Council unanimously approved a change to the purchase and sale agreement on the former Employment Security building with the John J. Flatley Company to include the cost of removing asbestos discovered this spring.

Director of Redevelopment Matt Walsh said the extra $150,000 for remediation for the downtown property will come from third-party non-city sources. Walsh said that Flatley told the city that the company would not proceed with development if it was responsible for the cost of dealing with the additional asbestos.

Although an earlier draft of a resolution suggested drawing on economic development reserve funds, in the resolution approved Monday by the city council, $75,000 of that money will come from USA Beazley, Inc. and $75,000 will come from Nobis Engineering.

Nobis Engineering Senior Project Manager Tim Andrews said that Nobis identified additional hazardous materials containing asbestos in the course of its work for the city at the south Main Street building.

“In order to ensure that the redevelopment of the project was able to move forward as planned, Nobis made a contribution to the City to cover the additional cost to remediate the site,” Andrews said.

The Department of Environmental Services Brownfields Program will also contribute an additional $27,500 to the city for abatement.

City Councilor Byron Champlin said that the development, which will include a six-story apartment building, will bring much-needed market-rate housing to downtown Concord.

“We need to recognize that market-rate housing provides housing, but it also often frees up lower-income housing as people move up the ladder,” he said. “I also think this particular motion highlights the city staff’s skill at seeking out other sources of funding.”

The council also voted unanimously to renew City Manager Tom Aspell’s contract, awarding him a 2.75% raise. His base salary will increase to $191,832, up from $186,698 last year.

In 2020, Aspell did not get a raise but the city’s contribution into one of his retirement accounts increased. After his contract is signed, it will be available to the public at City Hall and on the city’s website.

Cassidy Jensen bio photo

Cassidy Jensen has been a reporter at the Monitor, covering the city of Concord and criminal justice, since July 2021. Previously, she was a fellow at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University, where she earned a master's degree. Her work has been published in Documented, THE CITY, Washington City Paper and Street Sense Media. When she's not at City Council meetings, you can find her hiking in the White Mountains.

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