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Gravel Pit Owners Looking to Sell Business

It was announced at a December 3 Board of Selectmen meeting that the owners of the South St. Realty Trust will likely begin taking steps to sell their business. The announcement comes after months of back and forth negotiations between the owners and the Board concerning the reissuance of the business earth removal permit.

For months, the Board and owners of South St. Realty Trust had been working to come to an agreement regarding various restrictions for a gravel removal permit. Local residents had been complaining to town officials over safety and school bus traffic concerns, which they felt the business was responsible for. For a while, it appeared negotiations were going well, however, during a November 12 meeting, the Board voted unanimously to suspend the gravel pit operations when it was discovered the terms of the current permit were violated when operations took place during two recent holidays.

"I have been discussing this with the trustees who are in the audience tonight," said Town Manager Blythe Robinson. "They have approached myself and asked me to discuss with you the possibility of leaving the no hauling order in place for a further two weeks, and the possibility at your next meeting, of awarding a permit with some more changes that we all agree should happen, that would continue to suspend hauling while they are interested in putting the property up for sale."

Robinson said the owners would like to resolve the issues with hauling on holidays and the issues with the school bus interaction, "but at the same time, they would like to move on from possibly owning this property. "What they're suggesting is to come to a resolution on a permit that is reasonable to both sides and put a date in the future, possibly six months out, where there would be no hauling while they went through a process of attempting to sell it," she explained.

If the owners are able to find a perspective buyer who would either continue the business as is or as a different operation, that individual would need to come to an agreement on the terms of the permit with the Board.

The Board unanimously agreed to continue the suspension of hauling operations until their next meeting scheduled for December 17. Robinson said she will continue to work on the permit issues with the owners and determine how long they'd like to see the suspension in place and report back to the Board.

"Who knows what the sale process will bring," said Robinson. "Maybe some wants to operate it as a gravel pit or somebody wants to do something different."


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