Gravel pit application moves forward

ELLSWORTH — Planning Board members have unanimously found complete a preliminary application submitted on behalf of E. Skip Grindle & Sons Inc. to dig a gravel pit on North Street. Consultant Steve Salsbury of Herrick & Salsbury of Ellsworth presented plans on April 7 for a 10-acre pit at the site where a much smaller pit now exists.

“The scope [for this meeting] is to determine if this is a complete application or not,” Chairman John Fink reminded the board, following discussion on noise, access and the site’s proximity to KidsPeace.

Salsbury had initially presented a sketch plan of the proposed project to the board on March 4, where board members raised those issues. The preliminary application includes a letter from KidsPeace Operations Supervisor Dale Cook stating no objections to the proposed site. It also outlined the equipment, noise levels and hours of operation: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. All falls within the city’s Noise Ordinance, which was recently updated to be compliant with OSHA standards.

Neighbor Paul Marino brought up two issues, the access road currently under construction on North Street and, again, KidsPeace.

“The national [headquarters] seemed unaware of this project and that concerned me,” Marino said. “I think we need to hear from them.”

In addition, Marino said he spoke with Craig Kosobud of the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT), raising questions as to whether the MODT permit was for the proposed new pit and not the small, existing one and nearby blueberry fields.

Salsbury said the next permit level is for 100 trips an hour, and that MDOT “knew exactly what was going in there and approved the permit.”

“The issue’s been raised, so I think it’s incumbent on us to check with MDOT to make sure they’re approving an entrance for what’s going to take place,” board Vice President John DeLeo said.

The American was unable to reach Kosobud for comment by press time.

The board will review a final site plan application at a future meeting.

Anne Berleant

Anne Berleant

Reporter at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Anne Berleant covers news and features in Ellsworth, Mariaville, Otis, Amherst, Aurora, Great Pond and Osborn. When not reporting, find her hiking local trails, reading or watching professional tennis. Email her at [email protected]

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