Ridge Road project returns on larger scale

By RACHEL COLEMAN
Posted 9/23/20

A local hydro excavating business is hoping to combine their two locations into a single site on Ridge Road in Montgomery. Spread over 74 acres on both sides of Ridge Road, the project includes …

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Ridge Road project returns on larger scale

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A local hydro excavating business is hoping to combine their two locations into a single site on Ridge Road in Montgomery. Spread over 74 acres on both sides of Ridge Road, the project includes several buildings and a caretaker apartment.

“We have one shop on Lattintown Road in Marlboro and one shop on Route 300 in Wallkill and we’d like to get everybody back under one roof,” said Ira Conklin, owner of Hydrovac, during a presentation before the Town of Montgomery Planning Board last week.

Hydrovac works with various municipalities and utilities including Central Hudson, Orange & Rockland and Con Edison. The company uses hydro excavation to safely expose underground infrastructure.

Two years ago the project came before the town’s planning board as Jeslin Orange, looking to develop only one side of the road with a 15,000 square foot building dedicated to equipment and storage, with 3,000 square feet of office space.

The applicant’s engineer, Eric Rogge of Hudson Land Design, stated that the new plan adds a couple small buildings and creates an “almost mirror image” of the project on the other side of Ridge Road. The headquarters of the business will now be on the west side and the proposed development on the east side will be leased space for contractors with offices and shops.

The applicant plans to dry their excavation debris on the west side and once it has dried, truck it over to the east side to be used for fill. This will create the pad for the proposed structures on the east side. The west side project would be constructed immediately for Hydrovac, with the east side constructed once the fill is completed, within five years of approval.

Planning Board member Cheri Zahakos had questions regarding the project, including testing for contamination of the debris and zoning restrictions.

“I do hold a concern based on the code where it does state that…it doesn’t allow for that type of waste debris,” said Zahakos.

“I don’t consider it debris. I consider it spoils from the work we do,” countered Conklin.

Conklin explained that it is dirt excavated during a dig around high pressure gas or high voltage electric and “once it’s dry you couldn’t tell the difference between it and dirt, because that’s what it is.”

Essentially the process is similar to a wet vac. The soil is agitated with pressurized water to create a mud or slurry, which is then extracted by a large and powerful vacuum. The company does not work with contaminated soil and Conklin said they have never had any contamination since the business opened in 2003.

The applicants do not anticipate a large amount of traffic and all trucks and materials will be stored indoors, with the exception of the fill. Their anticipated hours of operation are 7-3:30 p.m. The property owner, Ira Conklin, will reside in the 3-bedroom caretaker apartment over the business. The apartment cannot be rented.

The planning board’s consultants will provide the applicant with comments on their proposed plans.

The board also held a public hearing on Russin Factory Finishing, a project proposed for two parcels on the eastern end of Bracken Road near Cintas.

The project is on about 12.6 acres and proposes a 20,000 square foot building and a lot line change to “create a better building parcel.”

The business was previously located at 160 Bracken Road before it consolidated into a smaller space in Maybrook in 2008. The prior location is currently leased and the applicant is looking to create a new building for their finishing operation of siding, trim and finished lumber. Their hours of operation would be 7-4:40 p.m. on weekdays. They expect to generate very little traffic and will relocate 5-7 employees from their Maybrook location. They anticipate 1-2 delivery trucks each day with a couple local deliveries of paint or office supplies each week. Administration will remain at their main site on Leonards Drive.

No outside storage of materials is proposed, however they will have a covered area outside for shelter of deliveries in inclement weather. A pond maintained and operated by the town as part of their fire protection system is located partially on the property.

The board and their consultants will review the revised plans from the applicant and provide comments prior to the continuation of the public hearing on Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m.

The public hearing for Zachary Pond, LLC was adjourned at the request of the applicants after a determination that the farmhouse cannot be subdivided off the parcel and still used as a residential structure because the use is not allowed in the zone. The applicants may amend their application or go to the ZBA. The public hearing is currently set for Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m.

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