DEEP: DEEP and Town of Hamden Schedule Public Meeting to Discuss Plans for Rochford Field and Mill Rock Park in Newhall Neighborhood

April 5, 2013
 
DEEP and Town of Hamden Schedule Public Meeting to Discuss Plans for Rochford Field and Mill Rock Park in Newhall Neighborhood
Cleanup and restoration of parks will be aired at April 15 session 
 
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Town of Hamden will hold a public information meeting Monday, April 15 to discuss plans for the cleanup, restoration, and improvement of Rochford Field and Mill Rock Park, both located in Hamden’s Newhall neighborhood.
 
The meeting will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Miller Library’s Thornton Wilder Hall, 2901 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden.
 
At the meeting, representatives of DEEP and the Town of Hamden will outline plans to address soil contamination at the two parks.  They will also discuss improvements planned once the soil issues are addressed – which includes the rebuilding of the softball and baseball fields at Rochford Field and new tennis courts, basketball courts, children’s playground, and outdoor stage at Mill Rock Park.
 
The plans that will be presented at the meeting call for the DEEP and the Town of Hamden to share the estimated $9 million cost for the cleanup of the two parks.  The plans call for using specially designed plastic and fabric barriers – known as an “engineered cap” - to prevent people from having contact with existing contaminated soils at the two sites.  The barriers will be placed on the ground and then covered with clean soil, sand, and grass or asphalt.
 
The schedule for the projects allows the parks to remain open this year.  In 2014, however, Mill Rock Park will be closed until construction is completed in late summer or fall and Rochford Field will be closed all year.
 
The Newhall neighborhood had historically consisted of wetlands and low-lying areas that were filled with industrial and household wastes from the late 1800s through the mid- 1900s. Many homes and other buildings – as well as Rochford Field and Mill Rock Park - were built on top of soil containing this waste fill.
 
The focus on the cleanup of the two parks follows completion of the cleanup of residential properties in the Newhall neighborhood.  In January, DEEP and the town announced that work had been finished to remove and replace 131,700 cubic yards of soil containing waste fill from 240 mostly residential properties.  That project also involved the restoration of all pre-existing features on the residential properties – sidewalks, driveways, fences, decks, and trees.  Work on the cleanup of these properties was started in late summer 2010.
 
For more information on plans for Rochford Field and Mill Rock Parks, contact Dale Kroop, Town of Hamden, at (203) 287-7033 (email: dkroop@hamden.com) or Ray Frigon, DEEP, at (860) 424-3797 (email: Raymond.Frigon@ct.gov)