DUMMERSTON -- Deliberations regarding a controversial gravel-pit proposal are set to continue Tuesday.
And that evening’s Dummerston Development Review Board hearing won’t mark the end of what has been a lengthy process. A final decision may come in October.
Herb Rest, review board chairman, said officials have been gathering more information and asking additional questions in a complex case that involves two towns and two property owners.
"It’s a little bit more complicated than usual," Rest said.
At issue is a proposed new gravel pit that would serve both Dummerston and Putney for decades. Officials have said gravel supplies at the towns’ current pit in Dummerston soon will run out.
Town leaders want to dig a new pit on land owned by Renaud Brothers Inc. off Route 5 near Hidden Acres Campground. Officials have inked a deal with Vernon-based Renaud, which will share in the gravel.
The plan also calls for the current pit, which is adjacent to the new site and is owned by SB Lands Partnership, to expand southward and continue operating for about five years.
The review board is considering permits and variances for both pit properties and took testimony during a hearing last month.
Tuesday’s session, which includes two unrelated matters and is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Dummerston town office, is a continuance of that hearing.
Dummerston Selectboard member Tom Bodett
Also, there have been additional questions posed by concerned residents of Poplar Commons, a nearby housing development. Officials have conducted lengthy negotiations with those residents regarding noise, blasting and other issues.
Rest said Tuesday is the deadline for submitting written information to the review board.
So the hearing "mostly is going to be clarification of what’s been submitted," Rest said. "There is a potential for more oral testimony."
After the public hearing, "we’ll go into deliberative session, which is a closed session," Rest said.
A final decision will follow, but it may not happen quickly.
"We have a 45-day window from the time we close deliberations to the time we have to issue a written decision," Rest said. "And if we don’t do that, it’s automatically approved."
Even if the review board rules in favor of the applicants, the process is not over. The towns and landowners also must seek Act 250 clearances from the state.
Mike Faher can be reached at email@example.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.