ST. ALBANS TOWN — The Franklin County Industrial Development Corporation proposed two developments in the industrial park to the town development review board (DRB) Thursday evening.
The DRB approved one of those proposals in 2003, a 50,000-square-foot warehouse on a roughly 10-acre lot.
But the FCIDC wants to amend the previously approved proposal, expanding the proposed warehouse size to nearly 62,000 square feet with 12 loading docks and 31 parking spaces.
The FCIDC’s second proposal is to construct a 32,000-square-foot production facility on a roughly 11-acre lot in the park.
The FCIDC proposed building that facility in two phases, 16,000 square feet now and 16,000 for future expansion.
That proposal includes room for five loading docks and two acres of paved outdoor storage.
The FCIDC’s estimated cost for the proposal is about $1.9 million.
Tim Smith, the FCIDC’s executive director, and Peter Garceau, the vice president of St. Albans’ Cross Consulting Engineers, discussed the proposal with the DRB during Thursday’s meeting.
Smith said the FCIDC is in the midst of discussions with a potential occupant for that 61,700-square-foot warehouse building.
“A lot of it depends on what it will cost to build the building, and how much they can lease it [for],” Smith said.
But he also said that if those discussions fall through, the FCIDC won’t build the warehouse on spec.
As for the 32,000-square-foot production facility, Smith said the interested company is a startup, transforming crushed recycled glass into paving material, a method pioneered in Europe.
Smith said the project takes recycled glass, pulverizes the crushed glass into a powder and then heats it.
The ultimate product is a charcoal brickette used for sub-base on roads.
Smith said the company will be the second of its kind in the U.S. He said a company performing a similar process opened in Philadelphia in 2018.
The product will be stored in totes or piles on the proposed two acres of outdoor storage.
Smith said the company expects to hire 12-15 people during the project’s first phase.
Brent Brigham, the DRB’s chair, asked if the brickette production will be a “dusty process.” Smith said he wasn’t sure, but Garceau pointed out the company will need an air emissions permit from the state.
Becky Perron, the town zoning administrator, asked if the company’s outdoor storage will be dusty. Smith said no.
He told the board the FCIDC spoke with the Central Vermont Railway about the possibility of transporting materials, and that railway officials were enthusiastic about the idea.
Smith told the board FCIDC would own the building for 20 years.
The first phase of site work would be completed between summer 2019 and summer 2020, according to the FCIDC’s DRB application.
The application states any noise associated with the project won’t increase the park’s existing noise levels.
As for stormwater runoff, Garceau said a ditch will carry the stormwater to roadside catch basins, which will then carry it to the industrial park’s pond.
The board had few questions about the applications.
Regarding the first proposal, Brigham asked Smith to clarify the proposed building would still be “just a warehouse-type structure,” even with the proposed amendments.
Smith said yes.
“A few offices, a few bathrooms and that’s about it,” he said.
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