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Planners updated on orchard plan; interested in barn?


SHIRLEY — Orchard Estates project manager Joseph Cataldo provided progress updates on development at the site of the old orchard at the Planning Board’s most recent meeting.

Soil remediation at the site was delayed for weeks because of a stop work order issued previously by the Board of Health (BOH).

Planning Board Chairman Charles Colburn said at an informal meeting with the BOH it was agreed that Cataldo would attend one Planning Board meeting a month in order to provide planners with a manager’s report containing information on GFI Partners’ progress at the site.

Because of confusion surrounding the cease-and-desist order issued by the BOH in late October, Cataldo suggested that a binder containing all correspondence between GFI Partners and town departments be made available at the town offices. Planning Board assistant Sue Snyder informed the Planning Board that the binder is now available.

GFI Partners met with the BOH twice before the stop work order was lifted in its entirety.

“I feel as though we made a lot of progress when we discussed the two modifications,” Cataldo said, referring to the most recent meeting between GFI Partners and the BOH.

At the time, both modifications were approved by the BOH. One was to forego the installation of pavement at the area of access, and the other was to stockpile a small amount of contaminated soil at a different location than originally planned.

Two hot spots, one in an area near the barn and one near the pond, have been remediated according to the plan modifications allowed by the BOH, and soil has been moved and stockpiled for removal, Cataldo said. He said some of the contaminated soil will be sent to Canada for incineration.

Phase II of the project to ship contaminated soil from site locations to containment cells on Parcel K is in its early stages, and Cataldo said the developers have begun to clear trees to prepare for soil remediation.

Colburn mentioned that the BOH was concerned about monitoring well levels due to recent rain.

“So far there is no indication of any interference with the ground water,” Cataldo said, explaining that levels should not become a problem. He said the plans include the installation of ground water piping as work progresses, which should move ahead of any possible issues.

Cataldo gave the GFI Partners current focus points of development, which include laying 300 feet of stone on the cart path to be used to move soil around the site, and 12 inches of stone to be installed at two access points as discussed at the BOH meeting. The purpose of the stone is to aide in removing soil and mud from the tires of vehicles entering and exiting different areas within the confines of the site.

Mainly, developers will be working to remove contaminated soil from Phase I. Cataldo said GFI Partners will not be able to begin building until the removal of soil is complete, and the area tests clean.

Planning Board member J. Timothy Bresnahan asked Cataldo about the status of the 1900s barn located at the site, because it will need to be moved or taken away in accordance with open space designations.

Approval to leave the barn where it now stands would have to be granted, according to Cataldo.

Board member John Rounds said the legal process to change the designation would be too difficult to pursue.

Estimates obtained by Cataldo showed that the dismantling and tagging of the barn would cost nearly $40,000. Cataldo said last Thursday that GFI Partners has been considering selling the barn for parts, or as a whole, if any interested parties stepped forward.

“It’s a shame for it to be torn down and thrown away,” Cataldo said. He told members that the barn is in exceptionally good shape for its age, and the tin roof shows no signs of significant leaking. Cataldo also noted that parts of the old structure are made with Chestnut wood.

The Planning Board requested that anyone with interest in purchasing the barn contact GFI Partners or the building inspector.