December 2, 2021

Seekonk Bans Asphalt Plants

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Voters at Monday’s Town Meeting approved a zoning bylaw amendment which prohibits asphalt plants from operating in the town of Seekonk. The tally was 131 residents in favor, with 35 opposed. There were 5 abstentions.

The meeting was the first to feature the use of hand-held electronic devices to tabulate voting.

Last January, the Planning Board voted to allow International Paving Corporation to redevelop a warehouse/garage site at 45 Industrial Court for the project. The plant, which would be located in an Industrial Zoning District just a few hundred feet from a residential neighborhood, has drawn concerns over the potential health impact from emissions.

On April 21, the Board of Health said the plant would be “noisome trade” and therefore, hazardous to public safety. The plant, which would be located in an Industrial Zoning District just a few hundred feet from a residential neighborhood, had drawn concerns over the potential health impact from emissions.

The bylaw change also prohibits:

  • asbestos and asbestos product manufacturing
  • extraction of underground water resources for wholesale, bottling, and/or retail distribution purposes
  • Nuclear industries and explosives
  • Petroleum/LNG products (bulk storage for wholesale distribution) – bulk storage or petroleum products, propane storage; bulk storage of liquified petroleum gas, liquified nitrogen gas for wholesale distribution purposes are not permitted:
  • Tobacco processing
  • Power plant, incinerator and waste facility – steam or electricity gathering facility powered by natural gas or oil; power plant powered by solid wastes, or other power generating incinerator

Also approved was the appropriation of $220,000 for the engineering, septic design, and replacement of the failed system at Seekonk Town Hall.

Voters rejected an article calling for the appropriation of $93,000 from the Special Education Stabilization Fund to support the construction expense of the school department’s Age 18 to 22 Transition program.

“We’re not asking for additional money,” explained School Superintendent Rich Drolet. “This is money that was a surplus about 10 years ago and that’s in the Special Education Stabilization account to be used for something just like this.”

Residents who voiced their opposition to the article stated the school department should use the money they have already been given from the town instead of drawing from the Special Education Stabilization account.

“If the school committee is planning an influx of students to utilize the 18 to 22 age program, we may need that $93,000 for transportation or other capital needs for the young adults we’re planning to serve,” said Doreen Taylor. “As of this date and this request for more money, we don’t even have a confirmed enrollment in that program.”

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