WINDSOR — A paving plant that angered its neighbors in Augusta and was exiled by city officials has relocated to Windsor.

The R.C. & Sons Paving plant, which operated out of a pit owned by McGee Construction of West River Road in Augusta is now in a gravel pit owned by Pete Kelly off Route 105.

Mike Cloutier, a vice president of the family-run business, said their goal is to have the Windsor plant up and running by the end of April. The business also has a plant in Lewiston.

“We’re all set,” said Cloutier, adding that the plant has the permits it needs from the state and company officials met with the Planning Board and selectmen to discuss the new plant location. “They gave us their blessing and here we are.”

He said moving the plant cost the company about $100,000.

Staying at its previous location was not an option. Last year, Augusta city councilors approved a zoning change that banned asphalt plants in pits in that area following nearly three years of complaints from residents of the nearby Grandview neighborhood. Some neighbors complained about the odor of asphalt, saying it often made it impossible for them to enjoy their backyards or leave windows open.

“The neighborhood is looking forward to a nicer summer after three years of smelling asphalt,” said Lou Craig, a Grandview resident. “I hope in Windsor it works out for them. It sure didn’t work out in Augusta.”

Windsor Town Manager Theresa Haskell said R.C. & Sons officials did indeed meet with planners and selectmen in town, but she stopped short of saying town officials gave the project their “blessing.”

“We’ve got no ordinance against it so, unfortunately, we can’t stop it,” Haskell said.

Selectmen, according to their meeting minutes, considered calling a special town meeting to propose enacting a moratorium ordinance to give the town time to consider regulating paving plants. However, they declined to do so after they were given information on how the state Department of Environmental Protection has regulations in place to regulate such plants, and other information about the plant’s operation.

The plant’s new home is a pit about three-quarters of a mile from the intersection of routes 32 and 105, near Barton Road.

Haskell and Cloutier said the site does have some residential neighbors. Haskell said no neighbors expressed concerns about the plant to the town.

Cloutier said the plant, similar to what it did in Augusta with McGee Construction, will lease the site, and also buy raw materials, from Kelly, the owner of the pit.

About 20 people will be employed either at the plant or on crews supplied by it, not counting independent, hired truck drivers, which can number up to 15, Cloutier said. Those numbers were the same in Augusta.

He said the plant will serve the same central Maine market it served from Augusta.

The benefits to Windsor will include taxes, more competitive bidding for area paving projects both public and private, and local stores benefiting from fuel and food purchases by workers, Cloutier said.

Cloutier said that while the company hopes to “turn the page and move on,” he is still disappointed Augusta officials listened “to a small minority of people instead of looking at the greater good, and pushed a business out of town.”

However, Craig said the city bent over backwards to try to make it work, but the company did not take action to address the problem and get rid of the odor it created.

“As a neighborhood, we’re very thankful for the decision the city of Augusta made,” Craig said. “At the end of the day, not everyone is going to be happy.”

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

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