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Local News

February 8, 2013

Route 1 project remains shut down

(Continued)

The remaining ditch was 3 feet deep. “When we were presented with the rain event,” Keilty said, “the trench mechanism was too shallow.”

Keilty said that in the future measures would be taken to reduce the elevation of the property — which had been raised via filled land — and to direct water to storm drains. A toxic “plume,” he conceded, could probably be traced to degreasers used by an auto body or machine shop that previously existed on the Route 1 property.

“I’m very sympathetic with all the neighbors,” responded board member Joseph Gagnon. “You were harmed immensely. I’m emotional about it. ...And I’m very disappointed that Mr. Marchese is not here today. ... That really bothers me.”

Gagnon criticized Marchese for digging trenches with no engineering plan. “This is absurd,” he said. “This is the worst active subdivision I’ve ever seen.”

Working with the residents, city solicitor Michael Smerczynski suggested amending Marchese’s permit, requiring him first to pay for an independent engineer to “peer review” the project and second to refrain from continuing the work until a plan acceptable to the engineer and the city can be presented.

The Planning Board adopted the suggestion, while worrying that the developer’s responsibilities be spelled out and followed. “I want to make sure I see everything in writing,” said Gagnon.

But along with this was a concern that — with a massive snowstorm predicted — problems are swiftly resolved. “This needs to be done with the greatest possible haste,” said member Peter Arvanites. “One more flood is too many floods.”

Also attending the meeting in support of the residents was City Councilor Anne Manning-Martin.

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