Halifax board still looking into quarry


HALIFAX -- The Selectboard had a few questions about the proposed quarry project and how it can be addressed moving forward.

Residents previously raised concerns about not being able to make it to a hearing if it was scheduled for a time when most people are at work.

"We're going to let them know we'd like to have the Act 250 hearing scheduled on an evening or the weekend," said Halifax Selectboard Chairman Lewis Sumner.

The board was given some information on the morning of June 23, when Windham Regional Commission Senior Planner John Bennett visited the Town Offices to discuss the potential project. He regularly meets with the Planning Commission to update zoning bylaws, providing the assistance through a municipal planning grant secured by the town.

His knowledge regarding Act 250 permits was requested for the proposed schist quarry. The application was filed but not processed as some items were incomplete upon review. Five items needed further clarification or more information.

"The Selectboard is trying to be as prepared as possible for dealing with that for when it comes to be," said Bennett. "The Planning Commission is also interested in what's going on with the quarry but there has been no local permit application."

Residents attending a recent Planning Commission meeting were concerned they would miss the initial site visit and Act 250 hearing if it were scheduled at a time when employed people would not be able to attend. Bennett spoke with a representative of the Department of Environmental Conservation and was told that it was entirely possible that the site visit and hearing could be scheduled in the late afternoon if requested.

The potential traffic impact of the proposed quarry was another topic that Bennett addressed.

"Their concerns included dust, noise and the conditions of the roads," he said. "The Selectboard was interested in a possibility of having some sort of traffic study done but usually what traffic studies involve is the volume of traffic and the speed of traffic and to a certain extent, the breakdown of what type of traffic."

Bennett told the Reformer that a standard traffic study would not be geared towards the town's concerns. As a result, he was going to see if any consultants could address potential impacts related to road conditions.

The Windham Regional Commission likely will provide the town with a map showing the route that vehicles would be taking to get to the proposed site. The map also would include the class of roads and locations of culverts.

Bennett gave the Selectboard papers showing criteria reviewed during an Act 250 hearing.

"We got a lot of reading to look over," concluded Sumner.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.


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