Friday January 25, 2013

NEAL P. GOSWAMI

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- The town has issued local permits for a composting facility on a former landfill site owned by the town off of Houghton Lane.

TAM Inc. and its owner, Trevor Mance, first approached the town last spring about the composting site. The Select Board gave town employees approval to move forward with a lease agreement in April.

Bennington Planning Director Daniel Monks said Mance received approval from the town’s Development Review Board after a final hearing on Tuesday. There is now a 30-day appeal period, he said.

"Certainly we don’t expect an appeal, but there’s always that possibility," Monks said.

All town approval is now in place, according to Monks. "There’s nothing left for the town to do except for a minor building application," he said.

Also pursuing state permits

However, Mance must also secure a solid waste permit from the state Agency of Natural Resources. He said that permit has been finalized and should be issued next week.

"I’m kind of at the same point with the state that I am with the town," Mance said. "They’re going to issue the certification."

The compost facility must also go through the state’s Act 250 land use process. The application has been submitted, according to Mance.

The regional coordinator is now reviewing the application to determine whether hearings must be held, he said.

Work could begin soon if the application is considered to be minor. "I would be hopeful that within 30 days we can start at the site," Mance said.

Mance told the Select Board last year that the operation will likely use exposed windrows to compost organic materials into usable top soil and organic compost for local residents.

The site will initially gather food waste from larger institutes like schools, restaurants and the local hospital, Mance said.

Contact Neal Goswami at ngoswami@benningtonbanner.com; follow him on Twitter @NealGoswami