CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Mayor John Vieau has announced that the Chicopee Department of Planning and Development is collecting public input in an online survey regarding future expansion under the Willimansett Brownfield area-wide plan. Willimansett is a historic “industrial” village in Chicopee.

For many years during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Williamansett village served as both a city and region’s economic engine, but environmental impacts decreased sustainability.  There are properties known as brownfields that are contaminated with hazardous substances, pollutant, or contamination that could make it difficult to expand, redevelop, or reuse them.

The Brownfields area-wide plan will identify former industrial properties and sites that can be assessed and cleaned up to become redevelopment opportunities for Chicopee.  Former industrial properties and sites will be identified and cleaned up as Brownfields Area-wide plan possibilities for redevelopment in Chicopee. According to a news release from Chicopee’s Planning & Development Department, several benefits will accrue from new developments, including more jobs, an expanded tax base, improved quality of life, and natural resource preservation.   

Planning Director Lee Pouliot noted that the focus on Brownfields in Willimansett, “ensures that the city provides equitable attention and investment on Brownfields in Willimansett following significant advancements in Chicopee Falls and Chicopee Center.  The city’s strong partnership with the U.S. EPA and state agencies like the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will provide a strong foundation to ensure Brownfields in Willimansett are addressed and redeveloped to meet current needs.”

The city of Chicopee has secured a grant that will comply with any of Brownfields redevelopment opportunities in Williamansett.

“Chicopee has a strong and successful history of planning, assessing and advancing cleanup of Brownfields sites across the city.  Work on properties in Chicopee Center, and Chicopee Falls have resulted in significant redevelopment projects including the City’s RiverMills Senior Center, RiverMills Assisted Living, and the recently permitted mixed-use redevelopment of the former Baskin Parcel at Facemate.  Bringing this same level of investment and focus to Willimansett will ensure this industrial neighborhood prepares for its future through the redevelopment of these often challenging and underutilized properties.”

Mayor John Vieau

The following are a few questions from the survey:

What do you want to see in Williamansett? Please choose your top 3 options below.

Answer choices include Grocery store, Teen hangout space, Classes, Downtown Beautification, Inter-generational Community Center, Bikeways and Recreational Amenities, Restaurants, Arts and Cultural Spaces, Playgrounds, Offices and Businesses, Retail and Shopping, New Housing, and Existing hosing updates.

What public co-benefits are most important when considering redevelopment options?

Answer choices include Revitalize the housing stock, revitalize commercial areas, reuse vacant areas, and develop tourism assets to support revitalization.

To view all of the questions from the Williamansett Brownfields area-wide plan survey click here.

The survey will remain active until June 30th.