By Pattie Pacella
Neighb News Correspondence
The Acushnet Soil Board met on 3/4/20 with PJ Keating representatives, Doug Vigneau, Robert Robinson and Andrew Brewer. The soil board members include Chairperson Robert Medeiros, Conservation Commission representative Merilee Kelly, Selectboard representative Roger Cabral, Fire Chief Kevin Gallagher, Department of Public Works Representative Kathy Silva, Planning Board member Marc Cenerizio, and Town Administrator Julie Hebert.
Chief Gallagher stated that he was finalizing the nuisance complaint form with PJ Keating members as well as the Selectboard. He said it was to address complaints and collect data from the complaints and hopefully get them resolved in a timely manner. He stated he had been in touch with PJ Keating and they are both working together to get the framework of the complaint form addressed so that it can be posted on the Acushnet website.
PJK’s Doug Vigneau stated that he had informed the town that they would be willing to pay one to two individuals to attend the EPA Method 9 training that is coming up .
Mr. Cabral stated they had received a letter from their consultant, Woodard and Curran advising a $1 million bond was sufficient. Mr. Cabral said he did not agree with the consultants’ review, that it should be more.
Mr. Cabral also stated that the Town was waiting for a written fire suppression plan from PJ Keating. Mr. Vineau stated they should have that done within the week.
Mr. Medeiros asked PJK representatives about their decommissioning plan. He specifically asked if they had a figure on the value if the quarry should close.
Mr. Vineau stated they were not entirely clear what the board was looking for.
Mr. Cabral stated a decommissioning plan should be coming from the company, that it should be a written narrative. Even if it does not happen for 80 years, it should be paperwork that is filed with the town so generations to come know exactly what the plan is. Chief Gallagher agreed, stating that the town should be aware of what the decommission plan looks like in the future.
“We owe it to our future generations,” Chief Gallagher said.
Mr. Cabral held up the decommission plan that PJK submitted, which was a picture of a soccer field.
“Don’t show us a picture of a soccer field, if you’re not going to build the soccer field,” Mr. Cabral said. “There’s not even a narrative on here.”
Mr. Vineau said they had put together a “concept” for the board.
“As a community, we want more than a concept,” Mr. Cabral stated.
Mr. Cabral asked if all three representatives were at the most recently Public Hearing.
Mr. Vineau stated they were there and heard a “select few” concerns.
Mr. Cabral said that it was an open public hearing and most of PJ Keating’s neighbors attended to voice with complaints, and they are not happy. He said his take from everything was that the biggest concern is the noise.
Mr. Cabral stated that two and a half years ago they spoke to PJ Keating’s representatives and they agreed to work with the town on the sound, and the late night trucks.
“I’m disappointed we are having this same conversation, two and a half years later,” Mr. Cabral said. “It’s very disappointing.”
Mr. Brewer stated that with the operation up front at the quarry that there would be less truck hours going through the sight.
“That’ll be a good thing for the town,” he said.
Mr. Vineau stated that there were hundreds upon hundreds of people employed because of the quarry and that is a plus.
Mr. Cabral said his concern was the residents of Acushnet.
“We have to be sensitive to the people of Acushnet,” he said. “And Fairhaven.”
He discussed the North Fairhaven Improvement Association meeting that recently took place.
“I guess Fairhaven residents are getting tired of the truck traffic too,” he said.
Mr. Vineau stated they have offered to work together with the NFIA to put up signs along Main Street and Alden Road. He also stated they will have a night manager on site now to help truckers obey the rules.
“You’ve lost credibility with me,” Mr. Cabral stated.
Mr. Vineau stated they are trying to be good neighbors and cannot make up for past mistakes.
“I’ll give you last year’s taxes back if you close up and leave,” Mr. Cabral said. “I think you’re hurting us more than you’re helping.”
Mr. Cabral said he would like to see them try and be a better neighbor, rather than hurting the neighborhood. He said he did not really mean the statement about the taxes, but that they are not being as good a neighbor as they claim to be.
Mr. Robinson state they were putting things in place to be a good neighbor.
“At the end of the day, we are still going to be here,” he said. “We want to be a good neighbor.”
“We need your A game, not your C game,” Mr. Cabral said.
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