With a huge shove from a $1.3 million loan from the State of Connecticut, one of the most intriguing stretches of the Naugatuck River in Waterbury, is now destined to become spectacular. The money, which was approved by the State Bonding Commission, is coming from the Regional Brownfield Redevelopment Loan Fund, and will be used to demolish the Anamet Factory in the South End of Waterbury.

   The demolition will open up 17 acres for redevelopment, and a portion of the loan will assist in building the Naugatuck River Greenway as it passes through the property

   Representative David Aldarondo (D-Waterbury) and Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury, Naugatuck, Prospect) are pleased to announce the expected State Bond Commission approval at the Friday, April 27th meeting of $1,311,000 for brownfield remediation at the long-dormant Anamet manufacturing site on South Main Street in Waterbury.

   State Representative Jeff Berger was thrilled with the news. “Every grant and every loan is one step forward to Waterbury being free and clear of contaminated eyesores,” Berger said. “I am pleased to see progress on the ultimate goal of putting these properties back to use and putting people back to work.”

   State Senator Joan Hartley was upbeat at the good news. “While Waterbury’s legacy as the former Brass Center of the World is a rich and moving story, today’s reality is that the city is saddled with numerous Brownfield sites.,” Hartley said. “But with the support the State’s Brownfield program we are making definitive progress to recapture valuable urban sites such as the long dormant South End Anamet property.”

   Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary talked about the project while touring the Unipharm Inc. facility Thursday afternoon on Progress Lane. O’Leary, the former police chief in Waterbury, and one of the top detectives in city history, spent most of his career viewing the Naugatuck River as a crime scene. To watch O’Leary enthusiastically talk about the beauty of the river, to hear him loudly exclaim that “the Naugatuck River is back”, bodes well for continued political will to open the watershed to the citizens of greater Waterbury.

The wide sweep of the Naugatuck River as it flows directly at the Anamet site, and then cuts south.

   State Rep. David Aldarando was also positive about the opportunity to transform a slice of the South End district he has represented in Hartford for the past eights years. The other major beneficiary of the the demolition of Anamet is the Loyola Development Corporation, which has been targeting the area for neighborhood revitalization.

   These funds are requested to finance various projects under the Regional Brownfield Redevelopment Loan Fund and will be used to provide low-interest loans to eligible applicants for the remediation of contaminated brownfield sites to bring them back to productive use.

   Brownfields are contaminated and often long-abandoned properties that can be remediated and turned into productive sites for economic development, open space or other public uses. Rep. Berger has been working to bring state and federal dollars to Waterbury as many properties lay contaminated and dormant due to its industrial history.