Selectmen Call Home Market Foods Situation 'Unacceptable'
The Board of Selectmen met with representatives from Home Market Foods Inc. at Tuesday night's meeting to discuss the in the neighborhoods surrounding the Norwood factory.
President of the company Wesley Atamian said that a new plan to control emissions has been submitted to the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection, and that the company will meet with them on Sept. 21. With the MassDEP's approval, they can begin work on the project, the first phase of which he predicted would be finished in May 2013.
This is not the first plan to clean the emissions coming from Home Market Foods, but Atamian said the first plan would have required large quantities of both water and electricity.
"Solving one environmental problem by creating two others, we didn't think was a great solution," he said to the Board.
Sigalle Reiss, Director of the Norwood Board of Health, asked that the company give a more definite timeline, given that the original plan was discussed a year ago and should have had a solution in place by the end of this month.
Selectmen Helen Abdallah Donohue said that the situation is unacceptable.
"A year has gone by and the only thing that has happened is that the residents of Norwood have suffered more," she said.
Atamian told the Board that phase one this proposed project would take care of 70% the emissions from the factory.
"If it were an easy solution we certainly wouldn't be sitting here," he said. "We'd have solved it by now."
"What are we supposed to do as the Board of Selectmen," Selectman Paul Bishop said. "What are we supposed to tell the neighborhoods?"
Reiss noted that the Board of Health has heard several redesigns and extension requests on this issue.
"We've heard this too many times," she said. "You've used all your chances."
The Board voted to get more information on the punitive measures in their jurisdiction, and what options the nearby residents have before the completion of the company's project.
Raising Parking Ticket Fees?
The Board received information from the Town Manager on parking ticket fees in Norwood and how they compare with surrounding communities.
Selectman Allan Howard noted that Norwood is in the "center of the pack" on fees, and floated the idea of slightly higher fees for certain infractions including blocking firelanes and blocking snow removal.
Selectman Bishop said that with the current economic situation he couldn't agree with that plan.
"With all due respect to my colleague I don't think this is the right time," he said.
The Board filed the information on the parking ticket fees without any further action.
National Grid to Replace Gas Main on Nahatan
The Board unanimously approved a request from National Grid to replace an approximately 250 foot gas main under Nahatan St.
The reason for the construction is reenforcing the system now that the St. Catherine's School is coverting to gas. Road work times will be coordinated with the Department of Public Works.