By Pattie Pacella, Neighb News Correspondent
The Acushnet Selectboard had their first meeting of the new year on January 7, 2020 when they heard from Fire Chief Kevin Gallagher who recommended scheduling a public hearing regarding the P.J. Keating project.
Chief Gallagher told the board the public hearing would be to discuss PJ Keating’s land use license. He said the State Fire Marshall was still reviewing the the project in accordance with the project, and it would ultimately be back in front of the Selectboard to issue the land use license.
The company is proposing two 20,000 gallon tanks and one 30,000 gallon tank with combustible liquid to be moved to the southeast corner front lot on South Main Street. He said the newly erected silos in the front portion of the land would hold the solid asphalt.
State law allows the Selectboard to hold a public hearing with the company to hear from neighbors and answer questions. The board is being asked to issue the land use license.
Chief Gallagher said there is most definitely a process, but the Selectboard had a right to condition the license, and one of the conditions could be to put a nuisance abatement plan in place and make sure any conditions that the company agrees to are enforced.
Chief Gallagher stated that he has been working closely with Board of Health Agent Joe Correia regarding a part-time position of a board of health agent that would be the “boots on the ground’ to enforce any conditions once the license is issued, and asked for the Selectboard’s support to create that position.
Selectboard Chairperson Roger Cabral said he wanted the public notified and to be able to speak about their concerns at the public hearing.
Mr. Correia said the Soil Board Committee receives and reviews the application, but it is up to the Selectboard to issue the license or not.
Residents who attended the meeting asked why the silos were being moved closer to South Main Street to begin with.
Mr. Gallagher stated that they wanted to increase the quarry portion of the property.
The residents complained of dust everywhere, not being able to open windows in the summer and were deeply concerned of what will happen in their neighborhoods if the project moves forward.
Selectboard member Kevin Gaspar encouraged all residents to come out in force to complain about their neighborhood so that P.J. Keating understands their frustrations.
The Selectboard agreed to February 11, for the Public Hearing at 6:00 p.m., at the Council of Aging building. Chief Gallagher stated they would use reverse 9-1-1 to call residents informing them of the meeting; and would also put the information on the Town website.
In other business, the Selectboard heard from Edward Issac of the Golf Committee to review a wage classification for the second assistant superintendent. He said the Golf Committee had a rough time in the past year finding someone to fill the position at $15.00/hour. In reviewing the wage classification schedule, they found they would be underpaying someone, therefore they increased it to a Step 5 at $17.00 per hour and they were able to find someone to fill the position.
Mr. Issac was asking for the Selectboard’s support in increasing the wage from Step 4 to Step 5 to make it a viable position. The board approved the increase.
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