ROTTERDAM: Public queries food supplier

At a Tuesday, May 1, public hearing to discuss a proposal to build a large food distribution warehouse off Feuz Road, residents expressed concerns about potential noise, traffic and quality-of-life issues.

Town officials required an environmental impact statement for the project, and Tuesday's Rotterdam Planning Commission hearing was a chance for people to comment on the draft EIS.

Marianna Lawler of Meghan Boulevard said the project would upset the visual character of her neighborhood. She said the trees, which are supposed to hide the warehouse, would take years to reach their full potential.

We need to preserve the area's visual character and make it suitable for families, she said. "We need to make sure we have green space and we aren't impacted by a very large warehouse."

McLane Foodservice Inc. is seeking to build a 168,500- square-foot warehouse distribution center with a 12,800- square-foot truck maintenance and wash facility on a 27.42-acre parcel of lane located south of Route 7 off Becker Drive. About 15 acres of the development would be in the town of Rotterdam and about 12 acres would be in Princetown.

Joel Biancini, the project's engineer, said the actual warehouse would be in Rotterdam and the maintenance facility would be in Princetown. He said water would be pumped from Rotterdam and looped around the entire project. Currently, there aren't any sewer lines in the area, so two large septic systems would be installed.

Marcus Mastracco of County Walk Road was one of the residents concerned about sewers. He didn't trust that it would be safe to operate using septic systems, especially if the maintenance building will include a truck washing facility.

"We've been hoping for 20 years for sewers in our area. I wouldn't even break ground unless you have the sewers in place," he said.

Supervisor Steven Tommasone said the town is negotiating with Joseph Lucarelli, who is planning to build a large condominium complex in the area, to get a sewer line down Burdeck Street. Tommasone said if the projects move forward to the site plan review stage, the town could ask McLane Foodservices to contribute monetarily to a sewer line.

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