In a Zoom meeting held on April 6, the Rochester Conservation Commission continued a discussion related to extending a previously issued Order of Conditions for the construction of a bituminous concrete (asphalt) processing facility along King’s Highway.
Stephen Meltzer of Edgewood Development Company, LLC, representing the project, explained that he conducted a successful site visit with Rochester Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon, and the commission to provide an update on the site and refresh the memories of the involved parties.
The site itself totals roughly 5 acres in size with numerous access roads in order to allow trucks to transport raw materials into the facility. Commission members were generally concerned with drainage on the site, as the materials transported to the facility could pose a risk to the surrounding wetlands if they were to spill.
Bill Madden of G.A.F. Engineering, the principal engineer and designer of the plans, explained that the site itself includes numerous components to limit negative impact as a result of spilled material. These primarily include numerous basins around the facility designed to catch runoff before it could spill into a vegetated wetland area. In addition, Madden explained that the pumping system running throughout the site employs a gate system so that, in the case of a spill, damaged pipe could be isolated to prevent further leaks.
Gerry Lorusso joined Madden in the presentation to explain the types of materials used on the site. Mainly, sand and crushed stone are transported to the site and then mixed with liquid asphalt. Lorusso explained that one of the benefits of this material is that it is washed upon arrival, meaning harmful substances are removed from the material before it reaches the site. Further, the liquid asphalt could not reach a wetlands area because it needs to be heated in order to be in a liquid state. Therefore, by the time any material would leak, it would already be in a solid form.
Ultimately, Madden explained that the site goes above and beyond normal prevention measures related to drainage due to the desire to protect nearby water sources used by cranberry bogs. The Conservation Commission thanked Madden for providing an updated overview of the plans and voted to grant Meltzer a three-year extension to the Order of Conditions.
David Davignon of Schneider, Davignon, & Leone, Inc. came before the commission to discuss a public hearing relating to a Notice of Intent filing for the construction of a new home on Clapp Road. Davignon explained that he had been working alongside Farinon to come up with a plan that will satisfy the commission’s concerns before the public hearing takes place.
The proposed construction includes drainage features along a paved driveway, runoff areas on the roof, and the placement of stone boulders along the portion of the site that would border the wetlands area. Davignon told commission members that the placement of these boulders would provide a natural boundary to prevent work from taking place in protected areas.
Farinon advised Davignon to review the site for large trees that might be hazardous, as they could be added to the proposal and removed from the site as part of the Notice of Intent filing. Davignon agreed to include that part of the work on his proposal and requested a continuance until the next Conservation Commission meeting.
Prior to the conclusion of the meeting, ConCom Chairman Michael Conway took a moment to publicly thank Farinon for her continued work in helping the commission and for everything she had down for the Town of Rochester. This came after Farinon announced she would be leaving the role through the submission of a letter of resignation to the town.
Farinon has worked as Rochester’s conservation agent for the last 27 years. She has spent much of that time advocating for the purchase of more open space areas throughout the town, as well as working closely with the town members to facilitate the speedy execution of their projects. Commission members echoed Conway’s sentiment and thanked Farinon for her commitment to the town. “It has been truly a pleasure to serve all of you and everyone in this town,” Farinon told commission members.
Farinon will continue to work with the commission members as they transition and hire a new agent prior to her eventual departure from the role at the end of June.
The next Rochester Conservation Commission meeting is set to be held via Zoom on Tuesday, April 20, at 7:00 pm.
Rochester Conservation Commission
By Matthew Donato