AUGUSTA — A new application to use explosives in a proposed quarrying operation in a West River Road pit, and a proposal to more than double the number of children allowed at a Civic Center Drive daycare center, go to the Planning Board Tuesday.

Harold Warren Construction, in seeking to renew an existing mineral extraction license for its pit between West River Road and the Kennebec River near the third bridge, wants to add the ability to blast rock at the site up to 10 times a year.

Currently, there are only two licensed quarry operators in Augusta authorized, by their mineral extraction licenses, to use blasting to free up rock, McGee Construction and Quirion Construction, both of which are also located on West River Road.

McGee Construction’s quarry site has been controversial, with residents of the nearby Grandview neighborhood saying for several years they believe blasting in the pit is damaging their homes and disrupting their lives. However, McGee’s quarry license was renewed by the Planning Board in October.

The pit where Harold Warren Construction proposes to blast is adjacent to, and was once part of the same property as, McGee’s pit. It is farther away from the Grandview neighborhood, on the opposite side of McGee’s pit. The 50-acre parcel, only a small portion of which is actively mined, is currently only used occasionally as a source of gravel and fill material, according to application materials filed with the city.

The pit was first licensed for mineral extraction in 2007 and renewed in 2013, though neither of those licenses included the ability to blast.

Blasting would take place within a one-acre area of the property.

Stephen Roberge, an engineer who submitted the application to the city for the construction company, wrote in the application the potential rock quarrying operation within the pit would be meant to generate several thousand cubic yards of rock per year. It would be utilized on construction projects that require large rocks or for those that need to be crushed by an onsite rock crusher into smaller pieces of rock and crushed stone.

“They wish to continue providing construction soil and rock products to fulfill the need of the construction industry,” Roberge wrote in the application.

The Planning Board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers at Augusta City Center.

The board is also scheduled to hold a public hearing and consider a proposal from Peggy Davis to increase her previously approved daycare center, at 608 and 612 Civic Center Drive, from 38 children to 96 children. The proposal would include remodeling an existing 4,600 square foot garage building at the business, known as Precious Little Ones Child Care Center, to accommodate the additional 58 children on the 2.5 acre site.

Davis said in her application she’d like to add four more child care rooms — a room for eight infants, a room for 10 toddlers, a room for 14 children between 30 months and three years old, and a room for 26 school-age children.

The business’ hours are Monday to Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Davis noted the school-age children during the school year would only be there from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The site is in the Rural Village District, where a day care center is a conditional use.

Board members are also scheduled to:

• Consider an application from the state Department of Transportation to put in an additional driveway entrance to its 66 Industrial Drive vehicle maintenance facility and;

• Consider a mineral extraction renewal for another Harold Warren Construction pit, at 71 Sanford Road, which would not include blasting.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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