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Holly Hill Renovations Move Forward in Greenwich

GREENWICH, Conn. — Despite concerns and claims of pollution from Greenwich environmentalists, renovations to the town’s recycling facilities at Holly Hill have been given the go-ahead from the Board of Selectmen.

“We know Holly Hill is a critical facility for the town and one that has evolved over time,” First Selectman Peter Tesei said at Thursday’s meeting. “We’ve seen remarkable improvements in the last several years with the limited resources that have been available, but it is time to implement the master plan.”

The project should not go forward until public hearings are held, Michael Finkbeiner, senior environmental analyst for the Byram River Park System, said at the last meeting of the Board of Selectmen. In a letter to the selectmen, Finkbeiner said three soil samples at the onsite detention pond found that metal and pesticide contaminants exceeded regulatory amounts. The town plans to dredge 1,560 square yards of material from excess sedimentation.

However, according to a Nov. 2 memo from senior project manager Cynthia Baumann to Public Works Commissioner Amy Siebert, soil tests Oct. 6 refuted Finkbeiner’s claim. “The sediment within the detention basis is nonhazardous.”

“There’s nothing that calls out that this facility is polluting the water or providing any additional contaminants,” Baumann said.

Selectman Drew Marzullo asked Siebert whether the project must be approved now. She said it does because the Highway Division needs to be moved. Sewer system construction is pending as part of the Byram Master Plan.

“Highway is out there in hurricanes, snowstorms, windstorms, flooding – they’re out there 24/7 … responding as emergency responders, and they need some place to operate out of,” said Siebert. “It’s been pushed to the curb for so many years."

The residential drop-off area at Holly Hill also needs to be separated from the commercial area, Baumann said.

The Department of Public Works is requesting funds for the first three phases of a six-phase project for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

In the first phase, two truck scales would be added and a new trailer for highway employees would replace the trailer currently used by transfer station employees. The second phase would include a water quality basin, sewer improvements, landscape improvements at the adjacent baseball field, roadway expansion and reduction of Grass Island. The third phase would construct a temporary drop-off area as well as commercial and residential drop-off areas.

Phases four to six would include constructing a transfer station office building, dredging Tom’s Brook detention basin and building a highway.

The project would be done in phases. Most projects can be implemented independent of one another, depending on when the town can pay for each. He estimated the entire project would cost $10 million to $12 million.

The Inlands Wetlands and Watercourses Agency must approve the proposal, which is on the agenda for the Dec. 12 meeting. It is scheduled to reach the Planning and Zoning Commission in January.

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