Somerset County Economic Development Commission
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BrightSpot LLC renews option for Carvel Hall
April 3, 2019
BrightSpot LLC renews option for Carvel Hall

Property cleanup, tenants and financing may be in place by early next year

By Richard Crumbacker

Crisfield-Somerset County Times


CRISFIELD — BrightSpot Energy LLC, the successor to Spangler Strategic Advisors, was again granted a one-year option to purchase the former Carvel Hall property from the city.


The arrangement is unchanged from what was agreed to in March 2017, that is, BrightSpot will pay $200,000 should it purchase the 23 acre property which includes the 70,000 sq. ft. formerly cutlery manufacturing plant, offices and gift shop located on Crisfield Highway.


The City Council’s vote last Wednesday was unanimous with Councilwoman Gail Lankford absent.


According to Dr. Kristi Shaw, a senior scientist with the Easton engineering firm Rauch Inc., Spangler and now BrightSpot anticipate having environmental work, tenant commitments and financing opportunities in place by the middle of this year or early 2020.


Dr. Shaw said already some $50,000 has been invested on primarily engineering and environmental efforts. Two environmental studies have been completed and the limited liability company is committed to a Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) through the Maryland Department of the Environment.


BrightSpot, controlled by the same interests at Spangler Strategic Advisors, is continuing the original commitment to remediate the heavy metals and environmental hazards at the site — a process that could cost

more than $1.5 million.


One area of special concern is a pond on the property. It needs to be drained, sediment extracted and covered. “The sediment in the pond had chromium contamination high enough that it needs to be remediated,” Dr. Shaw said. “And that is not a simple process.”


Depending on the disposal requirements that could add another $400,000.

“Hazardous waste material would have to go to a hazardous waste facility,” and the work would be in partnership with MDE. Then the plan is to fill the hole entirely so it is available for a solar array on the ground.



As for future uses of the property, Dr. Shaw said the investment group is identifying potential tenants, to include food processing and distribution, specialty agriculture processing, design shops or specialty light manufacturing. It could be one large employer, or four smaller operations.


“Not chicken litter,” she said, referring to the city planning commission in January 2018 voting against a controversial zoning change that would allow chicken litter to be used to produce methane and then electricity with fertilizer as a byproduct.


During Mayor P.J. Purnell’s admin-istration food uses were considered from olive oil to cakes to specialty tomato products but with the site being a brownfield he moved away from those ideas as it might give the perception that the foods were not prepared in a clean environment.


Dr. Shaw was not at liberty to say what companies have been approached.


City Manager Rick Pollitt said there are no other parties interested in the property, and the current plan while progressing slowly “is progressing none the less.” And City Solicitor Michael Sullivan said at $1.5 million BrightSpot is serious about environmental remediation and “it’s not about an exercise in landscaping.” Thebuilding is now environmentally

sound but the concern is disturbances on the land around it.


“We don’t have anybody else knocking on the door,” Mr. Pollitt said of BrightSpot’s interest. “This is the game we’re playing right now trying to get somebody in that’s going to give us a quality job for our community and add to our tax base.”


The City Council in December approved replacing Spangler with BrightSpot, but it is also owned and controlled by Thomas M. Spangler III.

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