Cumberland officials propose to locate the town’s sand and salt shed to a space already planned for its compost and brush pad operations. The facilities would sit on town-owned land next to the Town Forest, about 2,000 feet back from Tuttle Road.

CUMBERLAND — Two months after the Town Council voted to move the town’s sand and salt sheds to a single building off Middle Road, the town has now has decided to move those operations to a town-owned parcel next to the Town Forest.

The structure would be tucked between the Town Forest and the town’s compost and brush pads, which the council voted in June to move to a vacant parcel off Tuttle Road. The sand/salt and compost and brush operations are all at the Public Works garage on Drowne Road, and have elicited complaints from residents of neighboring Village Green development.

A meeting of abutters to the 34-acre town property was scheduled at Town Hall at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14. A community meeting on the new proposed location of the sand and salt structure, which includes a site walk at the location, will be held Aug 21 at the same place and time.

The Town Council is expected to vote Aug. 26 on whether to move the facility there, rather than to the previously approved 1.5-acre site to the rear of Storey Brothers, about 1,000 feet back from 215 Middle Road. The town was to acquire the land in a swap for an 8-acre gravel pit on Goose Pond Road.

Assistant Town Manager Chris Bolduc recently suggested placing all the operations at the same location, taking up fewer than 4 acres of the total 34, Town Manager Bill Shane said in an interview Aug. 9.

“To keep the operations on two sites, instead of three, was attractive,” Shane said, referring to both the town parcel and Public Works garage, where some operations will remain. “But also the distance and proximity to the center of town.”

Assuming the council approves on Aug. 26, the town could bring the Planning Board its application to place the sand, salt, compost and brush operations at the now-vacant town parcel next month, Shane said.

Meanwhile, the town and Storey Brothers are working on a revised agreement. The town would acquire no land from Storey Brothers, but the company would still buy the gravel pit, at a cost of about $525,000, the manager explained.

In this version of the plan, the town operations would sit back about 2,000 feet from Tuttle Road, instead of the original 1,500. The closest abutter would now be about 1,300 feet away, as opposed to the 500-foot distance in the previous plan. A landscaped berm would be created between the town uses and the few Tuttle Road homes that sit next to the town property.

A 10-acre piece of the town-owned property, formerly owned by the Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association and the original planned site for the operations, would remain vacant as the result of the new proposal, and consequently available for some manner of development in the future.

The project will be funded as part of a bond of up to $7 million the council approved last month. About $500,000 of the bond would go toward building the new sand and salt shed, while another $275,000 would fund the new compost pad, as well as $75,000 for a landscaped berm. Proceeds totaling $225,000, expected from the sale of land on Greely Road to Jeff Storey, would help offset those expenses, along with the $525,000 from Storey Brothers.

Construction of a road into the site from Tuttle Road could cost about $250,000, which would come from the town’s tax increment financing funds.

Operating costs for the shed would be reduced in the new plan, due to the closer proximity to the center of town compared with Middle Road, Shane said.

The new operations could be up and running by next summer.

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