WOONSOCKET, R.I.: Building on a long and successful history of seeking and acquiring grant funding to
clean up brownfield sites, the City of Woonsocket was awarded an additional $300,000 US EPA
brownfields grant in late 2019 to support the assessment, cleanup and redevelopment of underutilized
land and buildings impacted by contamination. Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt is pleased to announce that
these funds are being utilized to continue the City’s mission of revitalization and economic development
to better position several properties in the industrial and commercial sectors of the City for productive
reuse. As stated by Mayor Baldelli-Hunt, “it is critically important that the City leverage State and Federal
monies to assess and alleviate environmental constraints, which are negatively impacting the investment
and redevelopment potential for critical properties. Unless environmental problems are assessed and
alleviated, potential investors and businesses will look elsewhere.”
Brownfield properties refers to properties that were previously used and have become vacant, derelict, or
contaminated, as explained by Scott A. Gibbs, Director for Planning and Development. As explained by
Gibbs, the EPA grant focuses on properties that may have some level of contamination due to previous
uses and construction materials. Properties included in the program to date consist of the abandoned
Dorado Mill at 719 River Street, the former CNC building at 20 Privilege Street, the former Hospital Trust
Bank building at 162 Main Street, and the former Bonin Spinning Co. at 1265 Mendon Road. Additionally,
revitalization and redevelopment visioning work is being conducted within the Riverfront Redevelopment
District, a strip of land located along the Blackstone River and the River Street corridor, and roughly
centered on the Dorado property at 719 River Street and the former Seville Dyeing facility on First
These redevelopment efforts, led by Mayor Baldelli-Hunt and her team, will aid in the transformation of
these underutilized properties to foster development interest and remove financial and environmental
impediments to attract private investment and facilitate additional state and federal funding. The
Mayor’s Administration is targeting these properties for the possible uses of light industrial, commercial
and retail development, renewable energy, and enhanced public amenities. While economic recovery,
stability, and growth have always been top priorities for the Mayor’s administration, this grant will
provide a valuable catalyst to enhance these efforts.
The City has teamed with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the US
Environmental Protection Agency, individual property owners, and the local brownfield engineering and
development team at Fuss & O’Neill, Inc. to implement the program.