A Notice of Intent filed by the Town of Marion, c/o Department of Public Works, to rehabilitate River Road in order to improve roadway infrastructure and roadway safety, brought four residents of the road in for comments at the Wednesday evening meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission.
Shawn Sida and Magdalin Lotsteolt of CDM Smith presented a proposal of what and how River Road looks now and how it will look after the repaving. At issue are the continual flooding of the road during heavy rainstorms and snow piles from plows sitting over a catch basin, thus blocking its use.
The proposal has River Road staying at the same elevation and width, but straightened out in certain places. The entire road will be replaced, a 12-inch pipe will run underground beneath it, and two filtered catch basins will be installed with catch hoods to collect any oil and grease. No berms will be installed. The Department of Public Works will maintain the drainage swales and basins.
After the presentation, several residents weighed in on the proposal. “While we are happy and excited to have this work done, we question why the road can’t be elevated,” said Chris Collings of 13 River Road. “I find it hard to believe that not elevating the road will change this situation with constant flooding,” said Collings.
Paul Hyde of 39 River Road said that his home sits on the river side and water that comes down the road is now running between his home and his neighbor’s home. “I’m in the low spot,” he said, “the road tarmac is wearing away in front of my house.”
Hyde said he thought about putting in a berm, but that would only drive the water onto his neighbor’s lot.
“It’s called River Road for a reason,” said Jim Colageo of 41 River Road. “The bottom line is that if the lower portion of the road doesn’t come up, it’ll flood again.”
The board told the crowd that if a road is in a flood plain, it cannot be elevated. Syde agreed to meet with DPW Chief Rob Zora. The board asked the residents to provide any photos of the flooding so the issue can be discussed further. The hearing was continued until April 23 at 7:40 pm.
A discussion followed regarding a Request for Determination of Applicability to install a gunite in-ground swimming pool and a patio at 52 Water Street for applicant Maryellen S. Shachoy. The property is in a flood plain and the pool would be located approximately 150 feet from a wetland area.
Two employees from Dartmouth Pools represented the client and answered questions from the board. “The impact on the site will be minimal and all soil will be taken off site,” said Norry Alves, of Dartmouth Pools.
The board asked about any potential discharge of pool water. “There will be no discharge. The discharge line will be blocked and there will be no pumping of water into the wetlands. A filter will be used,” said Alves.
A full Certificate of Compliance was issued to Henry and Judy DeJesus for razing the existing house at 12 Hartley Lane and constructing a new dwelling, stone patio and gravel driveway.
Another Full Certificate of Compliance was issued to James and Marie T. Davidian of 21 East Avenue, Planting Island for reconstructing a licensed concrete boat ramp.
Last, the board discussed the replication of wetlands at 154 Spring Street. The applicants, William and Karen Curley, were represented by David Davignon of N. Douglas Schneider & Associates, Inc. The Curleys were seeking a Full Certificate of Compliance for razing the existing dwelling and constructing a new dwelling with an attached garage, replicating wetlands and landscaping. William Curley spoke and said that he planted red cedar trees and rushes.
A question remained regarding the success of the replication of the wetland. The board explained that it was common practice to have a non-partial professional – whether a botanist or other certified professional – make a determination on the success of the replication. The Order of Conditions for the applicant included wetland replication monitoring and an annual progress report, which was not done.
“We’d like a report by a qualified professional that says the replication was successful,” said board member Jeffrey Doubrava.
By Joan Hartnett-Barry