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Neighbors bitter about proposed salt pile

Micale got his wish for input, as residents rose in numbers to speak.

With one exception, all of residents railed against the company's request to move adjacent to their neighborhood.

Starting off the fireworks was Fern Avenue resident Bob Massaroni, who made an impassioned plea to commissioners to reject the salt company's application.

He noted that the 200,000 tons of salt that Ricelli representatives have estimated will fill the 60-foot high pile covering more than 4 acres might not sound like much, unless the tons are converted into pounds. Massaroni said that 200,000 tons of salt works out to 400 million pounds of salt, which is an awful lot of salt.

The Fern Avenue resident worried aloud that salt would migrate from the industrial park location and damage houses, pools and perhaps the health of children in the neighborhood.

Massaroni said he also worries that a large salt pile across from the field where more than 200 children play Pop Warner football could have an adverse effect on the young players' health.

Also, he said he believes that salt will leach into the aquifer and contaminate drinking water, especially for people who still draw their water from private wells.

In addition to health issues, Massaroni expressed concern about salt damaging his lawn and the aluminum siding of his house.

Later in the meeting, an expert hired by Ricelli repeated his belief that salt dust was too heavy to be carried far enough by wind to cause problems for neighbors. Another noted that the company was taking a number of mitigation measures, including having a street sweeper regularly clean the streets.

Massaroni argued that the street sweeping is a tacit company admission that salt dust would become airborne and travel throughout the neighborhood.

"That means they know there's going to be dust drifting from there," Massaroni said.

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