DUMMERSTON -- A hearing is scheduled Wednesday for consideration of a new gravel pit that would serve the towns of Dummerston and Putney for decades.
The 7 p.m. Dummerston Development Review Board meeting will be held at Dummerston Church community meeting room, 1535 Middle Road.
The proposal has been controversial, but there may not be any opposition at Wednesday’s meeting: Officials have been working with nearby residents in recent days to iron out any remaining issues.
"Our hope is that will put the noise issue to rest," Dummerston Selectboard member Tom Bodett said Monday.
Bodett has said the need for a new gravel pit is critical because the current site is running low and will be exhausted either later this year or next.
So officials last year signed a deal with Vernon-based Renaud Brothers Inc. to create a new pit just south of the current site. The land, owned by Renaud, is near Hidden Acres Campground between Route 5 and Interstate 91.
But it’s also near the Poplar Commons housing development. And that has resulted in long-term negotiations between town officials and residents concerned about noise and other issues.
In June, Bodett noted that project proposals "have changed shape several times in the course of finding ways to minimize the intrusion this project might represent."
On Thursday, there was another meeting "in which the parties were able to resolve their final concerns
That study was scheduled for late Monday afternoon. A Poplar Commons representative could not be reached for comment Monday.
At this point, the proposal before the development review board includes new activity at both the proposed and current gravel pits.
At the current site, owned by SB Lands Partnership, excavation would continue southward for about five more years to the southern property boundary with the Renaud land. SB Lands is applying for a permit amendment to allow that.
Documents filed with the town say that, after those five years, "the SB Lands operation will stop and the gravel pit on the SB Lands property will be reclaimed."
The new, Renaud-owned pit would continue operating for the next 25 to 30 years. Permitting papers show the pit is expected to produce 30,000 cubic yards of material annually, with 15,000 for Renaud’s commercial use and 15,000 to be divided between Dummerston and Putney.
Documents list other highlights of the Renaud pit:
-- Standard operating hours are listed as 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
-- Crushing and screening operations will happen 45 days per year and not on Saturdays.
-- Drilling and blasting would occur six weeks per year. Blasting will be scheduled between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and permitting applications set forth notification and monitoring requirements for nearby properties.
-- The applicants say continued excavation at the SB Lands-owned pit will not increase truck traffic on Winter Bell Drive and Dummerston Station Road.
-- At the new pit, an average of 20 trucks will make daily round trips using an existing commercial road at ABF Trucking. That connects directly with Route 5, officials said.
-- There also is adequate parking at ABF for the few pit employees who require parking, documents say.
The proposed projects require conditional-use permits, setback variances and site plan review approvals.
Wednesday’s development review board hearing includes two other, unrelated projects. Site visits are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.
Mike Faher can be reached at email@example.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.