What to do About Marra Property Options?

Wrentham selectmen discuss options for the Marra property on South Street.


The Wrentham selectmen discussed the options they may take later for the Marra Property on 775 South Street, now owned by the town, Tuesday night.

The property, more than 18 acres, was contaminated by Dieldrin, which is a chlorinated hydrocarbon originally produced in 1948 by J. Hyman & Co, Denver, as an insecticide.

Despite cleanup efforts in the past, the property remains contaminated at some level, which as a residential zoning, limits the town’s options for what to do. Selectmen agreed that the residential zoning, while not necessarily permanent, has two current drawbacks.

Selectmen said that they could “gravel,” the property and sell the gravel. Most recent estimates puts the sale of the gravel at about $1 million, but selectmen agreed that the value of the large amount of gravel may have decreased since the last estimate was taken.

But the gravel estimates currently outweigh the residential assessment at $300,000.

Selectman Michael Carroll said that the land could be saved for later use by the town in the next couple of decades.

“Would the town need the land for another school or another fire station? We don’t know,” he said.

Another idea for the property was thought of renting it for the use of a cell phone tower. Carroll said that the estimated rent paid to the town would be $50,000.

Town administer William Kectham said that the town would need a engineer for such a project, which he recommended leaving at least $60,000 to design the site.

Selectman Charles Kennedy said regardless of what the town plans to do, the property should be cleaned again.

“We should have a clean bill,” he said. “It’s very hard in residential [property] to sell that if it’s ever been contaminated. [In the future]  it will only cost more to fix, and someone’s going to have to do it at some point.”


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