WINDSOR — A paving plant is expected to open soon despite requests from a number of residents Tuesday that it be delayed.

Ray Bates, chairman of the board of selectmen, told attendees at Tuesday night’s board meeting that the town does not have a comprehensive plan and the related zoning ordinances that could have come into play to delay opening of the RC & Sons Paving plant on Route 105.

Bates said residents refused to adopt a comprehensive plan 15 years ago, railing against it.

“Zoning, unfortunately is the only way I know of to prevent something like this from coming to town,” he said. “We couldn’t say no to RC Paving unless we went to a moratorium for everyone.”

He said the town’s attorney said the moratorum would have to be for a year and would prevent any business from opening, and selectmen did not feel that was the right thing to do.

The paving company was forced to move a plant from a gravel pit in northwest Augusta after the city changed zoning in that area.

The Lewiston-based firm negotiated a lease with Pete Kelly to relocate to one of his pits off Route 105, South Belfast Avenue, in Windsor.

Both Kelly and one of the paving company’s owners, Mike Cloutier, attended planning board and selectmen meetings in January to tell them about the move and to secure any local permits. None were needed.

On Tuesday, Bruce Verfaillie, whose land abuts the pit, said he and other abutters should have been notified about the plant’s arrival.

He talked about his concerns with health and odor issues as well as the effect on his real estate value.

In particular, he sought a delay and possibly a moratorium. “I don’t think it’s been thoroughly discussed,” he said.

He also told selectmen, “You should be protecting us.”

Another neighbor, Tanya McCarty Barrett, said she lives within a mile of the plant and is worried about the effects on people with asthma and allergies.

“I just think we should look into it more,” she said. “The people in the area closest to it should have known about it.”

Kelly, the pit owner, apologized to the more than 30 people at Tuesday’s meeting, saying he should have told the neighbors.

Cloutier, who also attended Tuesday’s meeting, said the trees around the pit should help buffer the noise and that company employees closely monitor emissions from the stack to ensure they comply with regulations set by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

“Believe it or not, we want to be good neighbors and don’t want to cause trouble,” he said.

Cloutier said problems with the Augusta site preceded his plant’s operations there.

He said there were no complaints from anyone across the Kennebec River from the plant, and never any complaints on Saturdays. He also said he prefers not to work too many Saturdays.

“We’re not trying to be sneaky,” Kelly said. He said residents with concerns about the asphalt plant could talk to him.

 


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