The entrance to the site of MTN Sand & Gravel’s quarry pit at 778 Middle Road in Dresden. An appeal by neighbors of the town-issued permit for the operation succeeded Thursday. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

DRESDEN — A local couple have won their appeal of a town decision approving a controversial quarry pit, which immediately halts blasting operations at the Middle Road location.

The Dresden Board of Appeals on Thursday voted 3-1 in favor of Barbara and Mike Fraumeni’s appeal of the town’s Planning Board decision, effectively reversing the conditional use permit for MTN Sand & Gravel’s quarry pit. The Fraumenis, who live down the road from the quarry pit, argued the Planning Board had erred in approving the operation at 778 Middle Road, in the rural living district of the town.

The decision puts their lawsuit in Lincoln County Superior Court on hold unless Nate Tribbet, owner of MTN Sand & Gravel, appeals the town’s decision within 45 days. The lawsuit alleges the Department of Environmental Protection granted a license to MTN Sand & Gravel without properly verifying that the company completed its application.

“It’s been since January 2023 to get to this point,” Barbara Fraumeni said following the decision. “It’s not over, but we are in better shape.” 

The appeals board — comprised of members Jeff Bickford, Paul Tunkle, Lorna Mackinnon and Jon Madore — used a Thursday night hearing to deliberate the matter after hearing arguments last week from the Fraumeni’s lawyer, Russel Pierce, and MTN Sand & Gravel’s lawyer, Ben Smith. There were also a few public comments opposed to the quarry operating in the rural living  district.

Dresden’s Land Use and Developmental Ordinance establishes the rural living guidelines as “a place intended for rural residential, limited low-intensity commercial, agriculture, timber harvesting, recreational and other natural resource dependent uses that would be compatible with and not impair the existing uses and resources.” 


The town has several sand pits which are regulated under different rules because of the effect of rock blasting at a quarry operation.

The four appeals board members deliberated for about an hour and received frequent input from Dresden’s town attorney, Mary Costigan. The appeals board ultimately concluded that the Planning Board did not take the rural living neighborhood into consideration when they approved MTN Sand & Gravel’s application for conditional use. 

In other words, the Planning Board “did not address the impact on the project’s next-door neighbors,” Tunkle said. 

The entrance to the site of the MTN Sand & Gravel quarry pit at 778 Middle Road in Dresden. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Before the conditional use permit for the quarry was revoked, Smith, on behalf of MTN Sand & Gravel, spoke last week on the issues raised by the Fraumenis. He said the owner, Tribbet, would comply with the standards set by the Department of Environmental Protection.

The town has a public hearing scheduled on Wednesday, May 29 for a citizen petition proposing a moratorium on quarries and mining.

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