PORTLAND — Good news travels fast.

An official of the state Department of Economic and Community Development emailed congratulations to First Selectwoman Susan S. Bransfield shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday.

That was less than 12 hours after residents overwhelmingly approved the purchase of a 5.28-acre property that fronts on the Connecticut River.

The vote was 329 to 70.

The phone call from DECD is significant because the state is providing the town with a $750,000 to clean up the property, removing oil and asphalt contamination from what is the site of the former Connecticut Tar & Asphalt Co.

Th town will pay the owner $385,000 for the property, which contains three separate parcels of land.

But before they do that, the town will enroll in a Brownfields Liability Relief Program.

There is more than one of the relief programs, which are administered by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

“They’re the best programs available to protect the town,” Economic Development Coordinator Mary D. Dickerson said.

Choosing which program to use should take “a few weeks,” Dickerson said.

“DOCD and DEEP have been working with the town throughout this process,” Dickerson added.

In the interim, the town will establish a remediation committee to oversee the clean-up of the site.

The committee will then embark on an effort to determine the best uses for the property: to have the town retain ownership of all three parcels, or to lease one or more of them.

The committee also will determine what businesses would best serve the needs of the town, such as perhaps including a riverfront restaurant.

Town officialswere relieved and happy about the outcome of the vote and stunned by the turnout.

“It’s great to see 400 people come out and vote on this issue, Selectman Michael Pelton said after the votes were tallied.

“I think it’s fantastic for the town.”

Selectman James K. Tripp served as moderator of the Town Meeting that was held in the auditorium of the Brownstone Intermediate School.

The turnout and the manner of voting created long lines.

Residents were voting by paper ballot, which meant they had to have their names checked against the voter rolls as they entered the south entry to the school.

The line snaked out the door, down the steps across the front of the school on Main Street and down into the parking lot that runs along the south side of the school.

Even as residents were waiting for their chance to enter the school, Tripp and Town Clerk Ryan J. Curley decided it was only fair to begin a rolling vote.

As they entered the auditorium, residents crossed to the south side of the room and filed along until they came to a table set up in the shadow of the stage, where Curley supervised the ballots - marked Yes or No in bold black letters on a light purple background being dropped in the ballot box.

The decision eased congestion in the auditorium, which is not air-conditioned but instead relied on fans blowing air on the resident from nearly every different direction.

The meeting was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., but didn’t begin until 7:45.

The voting itself began at 7:55 and continued until 8:38 p.m.

Tripp read out the tally at 9 p.m.

There were whoops of glee from among the 30 or so residents and officials who had waited in muggy auditorium for the result.

Tripp said he was “very happy to see how many people came out; there was a lot of citizen engagement on this issue.”

“It’s a great opportunity for us to clean up a part of town.”

Bransfield, too, was stunned by the size of the turn-out and she thanked all those who did come out to vote regardless of which side they were on.

However, “I’m glad it was a decisive result,” she said, pointing to the 82 percent of the residents who voted in favor of the plan.

“I’m impressed with the people of Portland; they showed up and they supported this town,” she added.