EDDINGTON, Maine — A Hampden-based earthwork contractor is trying for the second time to have a proposal for a ledge quarry on Fox Hill approved by town planners. A public hearing on the project is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.Thursday at the municipal building.
The original public hearing on the proposed quarry, scheduled for January, was postponed until February to give Hughes Bros. Inc. additional time, Town Manager Russell Smith said at the time.
The earthwork contractor’s first application, for a 10-acre quarry, was denied by the Eddington Planning Board in October, after a two-hour review.
Janet Hughes, the company’s environmental engineer, said Tuesday that Hughes Bros. engineers have addressed many of the issues brought forward at the October meeting.
“We’ve relocated the access point to the quarry, [removing it] from Fox Lane,” she said. “We’ve increased the buffer distance between residences and the quarry area. We’ve coordinated additional studies on water wells of adjacent residents and sound levels in the neighborhood.”
The planned entryway is now located on Dusty Lane, a short dead-end road located off Route 9 about 1,000 feet before Fox Lane.
During the October deliberations, board members noted that while the application itself was complete, individual sections did not adequately address concerns about potential adverse effects to the groundwater, to scenic, historical and archeological resources and wildlife and animal habitats.
Hughes Bros., also a construction material supplier that has been in business for 80 years, said at the hearing that they planned to use explosives to extract the rock, which then would be hauled from the site. The second quarry plan application is similar in scope to the first application but includes a new entrance, Smith said.
Local resident Frank Arisimeek was given a permit in June to harvest rock from up to one acre of his five acres of land, in partnership with Sargent Corp. However, Sargent backed out of the project, and Arisimeek sold his land to Hughes Bros.
The plan Hughes Bros. submitted generated some controversy in the community, especially from those who live on nearby Fox Lane and Coffey Hill Way.
According to the planning board agenda item on the town’s website, the quarry would initially be 5-10 acres with future growth of up to 20 acres. The item does not mention a proposed 180-day moratorium on quarry applications in the works by town officials, which Hughes said she is aware of.
“All citizens are invited to attend and give testimony for or against said application,” the town’s website states.