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GELD Revises Building Plan for Conservation Committee

Groton Electric Light Department plans to re-file their Notice of Intent with the Conservation Commission this week for their new site on Station Ave. according to GELD Manager Kevin Kelly. Although the project passed muster under state wetlands bylaws, the ConCom rejected the original filing for the proposed construction of a new administration building and garage using criteria from Groton bylaws.

Following the ConCom's original denial of the GELD application, Selectmen, GELD and the ConCom met in early April to try to try to determine how to move forward for the town's best interests. At the end of the three-hour meeting, some members of the ConCom indicated that they were open to GELD's re-filing a Notice of Intent, but indicated that they wanted "something more" out of the municipal light company. They were looking for a clearer summary, more land as mitigation for encroachment into the 50-foot buffer, and a management plan that addressed invasive species and habitat restoration.

As a result of that meeting, GELD's proposal will offer the ConCom an additional acre of land and a substantial amount of landscaping to create a habitat for the wildlife on Station Ave., and include much more shrubbery than was originally planned, according to GELD Manager Kevin Kelly.

One of the issues for Selectmen was a clear definition of 'public good' that was one of the determinants used by the ConCom in applying Groton wetlands bylaw. As a direct result of the ConCom denial, Selectmen approved formation of a seven-member Wetlands Bylaw Review Committee to look at the town's wetlands bylaws and their implementation history and make recommendations on any potential changes.

Once the ConCom received the re-filed application, they have 21 days to schedule a public hearing, and if there are no open questions, another 21 days to render their decision. Following that, there is a 10-day appeal period before the decision is set.

The new GELD buildings will be located north of land and structures that they currently occupy on Station Ave. When they vacate that area, GELD will declare it as surplus space and Selectmen can then put it up for sale or lease to begin development of Station Ave.

Groton Herald

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