CUMBERLAND — Officials are considering whether to create a new compost and brush facility, with sand and salt sheds, on town-owned land off Greely Road.

The Town Council last Monday unanimously scheduled a public hearing for March 25. The panel could then send the matter to the Planning Board for consideration next month.

The operations are now housed at Cumberland’s cramped Drowne Road Public Works facility, which sits next to the newer Village Green residential development. To make space, the town is already thinking about moving the School Administrative District 51 fleet of nearly 30 buses to the North Yarmouth Public Works garage, if that facility is expanded in the next few years.

In the near term, however, Cumberland is proposing to move the sand and salt sheds, compost pad and brush storage area, which neighbors have said are eyesores.

The operations would sit about 400 feet back from Greely Road on unused land at Twin Brook Recreation Area, near Mustang Lane.

Review and approval of the project by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection could occur by fall, followed by construction of the compost pad and brush area. The potential $2 million sand and salt shed construction project would depend on a council vote and bonding in spring 2020, with opening of the new buildings that summer.

The sand shed would be 9,600 square feet, about twice the size of the salt shed.

Restoration of the vacated Drowne Road areas with topsoil and tree plantings would occur in fall 2020.

“This was one of the sites that we had originally looked to move the entire town garage complex to, probably two to three years ago,” Town Manager Bill Shane told the council. With plans to move the entire facility having fallen through, the town has explored ways to move components, such as the bus fleet and sand and salt buildings.

Times of operation would include daytime stacking of sand and salt and storm preparation, Shane said; recent storm events requiring sand and salt ranged from 43 in 2014 to 21 in 2016, with 28 this year. The sheds would have lighting.

The brush facility would be open Saturdays and Tuesdays from April through November, and compost loading available only on Saturdays.

Alex Lear can be contacted at 780-9085 or at:

[email protected]

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