A five-alarm fire destroyed the historic Stenton Mill buildings in Sanford in June of last year. Credit: Shawn St. Hilaire | York County Coast Star

SANFORD, Maine — The northern mill of the Stenton Trust complex on River Street is slated to be demolished this summer.

The mill was destroyed in a blaze last June and has existed on the site as a dilapidated, hollowed-out shell ever since.

In a recent report, City Manager Steven Buck stated that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator John McKeown has confirmed that the EPA in Washington, D.C., has approved the plan for demolishing the mill as a Time Critical Remediation Action. Catherine Young, an on-scene coordinator with the EPA, is assuming responsibility for the project, which is expected to be a part of the 2018 summer construction season, according to Buck.

City administrators were to meet with EPA officials at the site for an orientation and scoping meeting last week.

If all goes according to plan, the EPA will remove and dispose of all mixed and contaminated materials at the site, and the city will implement a plan to remove and dispose of the structural steel, concrete and brick that are taken down, according to Buck.

The city has applied for an EPA Brownfield Area Wide Assessment Grant worth $200,000 and a Hazardous Substances and Petroleum Assessment in the amount of $100,000. The funds would be used to develop and implement a remediation plan with regard to the contamination at the site, in order to make the historic mill property in proper condition for redevelopment one day.

The June 23 inferno was one for the history books — certainly the biggest and most destructive blaze seen in Sanford in decades. To battle the blaze, more than 150 firefighters from Maine and New Hampshire needed more than 30 pieces of firefighting apparatus and drew from four hydrants and nearby Number One Pond to blast seven million gallons of water at the inferno. Flames so engulfed the 300,000 square-foot mill that firefighters had no choice but to attack it from the exterior only.

Three local boys, who were 12 and 13 years old at the time, were arrested and charged with arson in the incident. In October, two of the boys pleaded guilty to reduced charges of misdemeanor criminal mischief and were sentenced to a year of probation. The third boy pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal mischief in November.

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