AAA finds new site for its fleet service center
AAA Northeast has found a new location in Milford for its fleet service center and is ending efforts to buy property and build a facility on Rowe Avenue, where neighbors opposed the plan.
AAA officials aren’t saying yet where the new location is.
Milford’s aldermen were scheduled to resume talk about abandoning city-owned land on William Street at its July 1 Board of Aldermen’s meeting, a move that would have paved the way for the new AAA facility on Rowe Avenue.
However, AAA asked that the matter be removed from the agenda due to the change in plans.
Last month the aldermen voted to table the matter until neighbors and AAA Northeast could come to an agreement about a buffer zone between the Rowe Avenue property where the automobile association hoped to build the service center and the nearby residential homes. Neighbors said they feared noise, lights and traffic from the service center, and said their area is already busy with commercial activity.
But this week attorney Barry Knott, representing AAA, said a different site came to the company’s attention and it’s too good a deal to pass up.
He said the new property already has a building, so AAA will not have to build one. The location is also near I-95, which is an important factor for the automobile association.
“It will have no impact on a residential neighborhood, so I don’t think there will be any objections,” Knott said.
AAA had prepared an alternate site plan for the Rowe Avenue property to appease neighbors, and Knott said he thinks they may have been able to work something out. He said he was getting ready to meet with Aldermen Bryan Anderson and Nick Veccharelli and the neighbors when the new site location came up.
“We just think [the new site] would be better for everyone,” Knott said.
Next, AAA will go before the Planning and Zoning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals to get the permits it needs to locate its fleet service center in Milford.
The plans for Rowe Avenue had called for an 11,340-square-foot facility including four service bays and a warehouse area for spare parts, tires and batteries. There would also have been an office area that includes a dispatch and operations center for its truck fleet.
Knott said during an earlier presentation that AAA has been looking for five years for a suitable location for this facility. He said it currently operates one facility in North Haven and another in Bridgeport, and wants to consolidate those operations to the Milford location. He said this would be the only AAA fleet service facility in the state.
Alderman Veccharelli said he believes neighbors who opposed the Rowe Avenue location will be happy with the change in plans, though he told neighbors earlier that AAA might have been better than another company looking to buy the site. “You know, in the long run that property will be developed,” Veccharelli said. “Let’s hope it isn’t a company that will make more noise in the neighborhood.”