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October 14. 2013 9:01PM

Salem selectmen want to hear from abutters on sewer extension

SALEM — The Key Auto Group will be able to begin work soon on a 20,000-square-foot collision center on Hampshire Road, but the Board of Selectmen still wants to hear from abutters about a municipal sewer tie-in for the project.

The Planning Board recently approved a conditional site plan for the project that will allow the auto group to begin site and foundation work on the project.

The board had previously asked the applicant to attempt to extend public sewer lines down Hampshire Road as part of the project.

The plans were revised to reflect that request, and the project went before selectmen for approval of the sewer extension.

However, at a meeting of the selectmen last week, the board tabled the decision on the extension until the board heard from three abutters who will be affected by the sewer extension.

“The board (of selectmen) have taken no official vote on the sewer line,” said Selectman Michael Lyons. “We want to hear from the people who will be affected by the sewer line passing by their property.”

If the sewer line extension is approved, abutters will have to pay betterment fees to tie into the public sewer line.

Selectmen are scheduled to notify the abutters of a public hearing it will hold on the issue at its Monday, Oct. 21, meeting.

Ross Moldoff, town planning director, said the Planning Board was able to grant conditional approval of the project because the sewer issue is beyond its scope.

“I think we should move on the plan,” he said. “The sewer connection is not in our hands. That is up to the applicant and the town.”

Moldoff said the applicant is spending a lot of money to extend the sewer line down Hampshire Road.

“Extending the sewer line will benefit the town of Salem, and I think we ought to encourage that,” Moldoff said.Planning Board member Phyllis O’Grady said she believes sewer extension will benefit the town but added that she also understands the concerns of abutters who may not want to pay betterment fees and tie into the sewer lines.

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