DUMMERSTON -- With a second local approval now in place, officials in Dummerston and Putney are hoping for a relatively quick state review of plans to construct a new gravel pit and expand the towns' current gravel operation.
But Dummerston Selectman Tom Bodett also said the two towns are not in danger of running out of gravel if the permitting or construction process is extended a bit.
"There is no concern for an interruption of the gravel supply," Bodett said.
"The towns have stockpiled their gravel for the spring at the town garages and, if more is needed before the new pit can be opened, the Carpenter Pit is not completely spent and we can literally 'scrape by' for awhile."
Dummerston Development Review Board this week approved an expansion of the current pit that supplies both towns with road gravel. The pit is owned by SB Lands Partnership.
The decision came just a few days after the review board granted a 20-year permit with a 10-year option for a new gravel pit on adjacent land owned by Renaud Gravel Inc. off Route 5 near Hidden Acres Campground.
Vernon-based Renaud also owns the campground and nearby ABF Trucking, through which trucks will access the new pit.
"Each (pit) development's approval is contingent on the other, and the other's proceeding as approved," board members wrote in the SB Lands decision. "If for any reason the Renaud Gravel project does not proceed as approved, this decision will
Officials added that "any future amendment to either project will necessitate DRB consideration of both."
It's expected that the new pit will produce 30,000 cubic yards of gravel annually. The towns will split 15,000 cubic yards, with Renaud taking the other half.
Excavation at the SB Lands pit would continue southward toward the Renaud pit for several years.
The review board on Monday approved a setback variance and a conditional-use permit/site-plan review for the SB property with several conditions, including:
- Blasting "shall be done in a manner to minimize impact on surrounding properties" including coordination with Renaud-pit blasting.
- The review board retains jurisdiction and will review the permit at the one-year and two-year marks, then every five years after that.
- A final reclamation plan for the site is due no later than 2017.
"Reclamation shall not be deemed complete until the zoning administrator has certified that all work has been completed and is in conformance with this permit," board members wrote.
The board also said all necessary state permits must be in place before moving forward with either pit. So town officials now will go through the state's Act 250 review process for both sites.
"The SB Lands pit extension will require an amendment to their existing Act 250 permit," Bodett said. "We are applying for that amendment simultaneously with the Renaud permit, which is also an amendment of the Act 250 currently held by the (Hidden Acres) campground."
The length of the Act 250 process will determine how quickly the Renaud project can proceed to construction.
"We expect to have a hearing date soon and anticipate a four- to six-week turnaround on the decision," Bodett said. "Beginning the access road before Dec. 1 would be something of a miracle. Weather conditions will dictate if it gets done this year at all, I suppose."
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.