Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Contamination concerns  plague Lunt Silversmith sale

— It may be summer before the town takes ownership of the former Lunt Silversmith property, if at all.

The purchase and sale agreement between the town and the owner of Lunt expired on March 29, and at about the same time, groundwater contamination was found in areas surrounding the former factory — a threat to the sale town officials thought they had cleared.

Until now, the town’s consultant had found very little off-site contamination.

Robert Pyers, the town’s economic development director, said the state attorney general wants the town to take 90 days to complete off-site testing before entering into another buy-sell agreement.

So far, the town has spent $130,000 on a two-year lease-to-own agreement with Lunt, $75,000 on a down payment, which Pyers expects will be returned to the town, and Town Council has approved $1.5 million to purchase the property.

The town has also used several grants to start the cleanup of the property.

Pyers said whether the town ends up buying the property, it will still have to make sure it is cleaned up.

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