By Mina Coruz
PEPPERELL -- The Board of Selectmen will seek answers about the status of a potential plan to install a gravel pit in town.
A group called Terra Environmental wrote to Town Administrator Mark Andrews in February about the project, which would reclaim and develop a 50-acre quarry on Nashua Road. About 4 million yards of soil from excavation and construction would come to Pepperell from around Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Selectmen said at their Monday meeting this is the first they have heard about a plan. Chairman Roland Nutter said there isn't a formal project and there hasn't been a letter of support from the town for it to move forward.
Town Counsel Ned Richardson said the land hasn't been used for more than two years and there haven't been permit applications submitted to the Building Department to develop it.
Although the land where the material would go is under local control, members of the board and the audience questioned whether the proposal could go around the town and get it approved on the state level.
"We have to be prepared that if the state does something behind the scenes, we have a plan of action," Selectmen Bill Greathead said.
As a next step, the Board will direct town counsel to reach out to the state Department of Environmental Protection -- the body that sets policy about soil and reclamation projects -- to see what information it has about the plan and for the Planning Board to review zoning to address the issue.
The board also discussed a compensation and classification study done for town employees.
The study, which surveyed town employees and looked at some salaries in other towns, was most recently used to suggest a raise for the town administrator's base salary.
As part of the budget, the town administrator salary increased to $126,000 starting July 1.
Members of the Board of Selectmen and department heads at the meeting asked why compensation changes were made before Town Meeting.
In other business, selectmen appointed members to the Town Administrator Search Committee and added members to the Master Plan Committee.
Selectman Lisa Ferolito, three department heads including Police Chief David Scott, and three at-large members were appointed to the search committee.
Seven were added to the Master Plan Committee, bringing the total of members to 21. The board added seven women after residents urged it to make the committee more reflective of the town's population.
Follow Mina on Twitter @mlcorpuz