City to build storage area next to transfer station

Devastating hurricanes resulting in widespread destruction to buildings and trees underscores the need behind the city’s plans to create a bulk storage area, adjacent to the 2.5-acre transfer station property at 755 Oronoque Road.

The Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) voted unanimously at its Sept. 19 meeting on an 8-24 review of the city purchase of an adjacent 10-acre parcel, which is a portion of the 75.5-acre property at 1125 Oronoque Rd., supporting the recommendation for the city to buy the property. Both parcels are located in the Housatonic Design District (HDD).

The 8-24 law requires the board to act in an advisory capacity to the Board of Aldermen on matters involving property the city owns or plans to purchase. At an upcoming meeting, the aldermen will vote on the proposal.

Public Works Director Christopher Saley told the board that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) require the city to have a bulk storage area to be used temporarily after a major event. Saley said white goods, trees, and bulky waste could be stored there.

“It’s a great spot,” said Saley.

He said DEEP is not allowing the city to use Eisenhower Park for this purpose, as it did following Tropical Storms Irene and Sandy.

The land would also be used for temporary storage of pond dredgings, said Saley. He expects that the city would eventually erect a building to be used for recycling.

Saley said he is working with the Inland-Wetlands Agency for necessary approvals. The property abuts a pond that connects to the Housatonic River through a narrow opening, and a small portion of the land directly abuts the river. This portion is a mixture of open land and woods.

The full property has been used as a gravel processing facility by Beard Sand and Concrete. The business is owned and operated by Suzio-York Hill, but according to city records, the property is owned by Davis Holding Company of 127 Boston Post Road, Milford, which lists James R. Beard as president. The assessor values the full property at $2.5 million.