SOUTHINGTON - The Southington Town Council heard from opponents of the Tilcon proposal at Mondayâ€™s meeting.
Paul Zagorsky, a member of the â€śProtect Our Watersheds CTâ€ť group, addressed the council with concerns about the proposal. Members Bill Ostrapchuk and John Sokolowski also attended the meeting.
Council Chair Chris Palmieri said that a representative of Tilcon was invited to the meeting but they did not attend it.
Tilcon hopes to relocate quarry operations onto aquifer land belonging to the New Britain Water Department. The plan includes creating a forested buffer around the new site and quarrying for 40 years before remediating the site and creating a reservoir. In exchange, Tilcon would provide 157 acres of open space to Plainville, 95 to New Britain and 75 to Southington.
Opponents of the plan have argued that if Tilcon moves their operations onto protected land, it would be destructive to the environment and to the animals that live there. They have also argued that approving the plan would lead to the development of other previously protected areas.
â€śThe state water planning council has received 300 comments from the public and the council on environmental quality has received 200,â€ť said Zagorsky. â€śThe majority are against it.â€ť
Zagorsky said that class one and class two watershed land is the â€śmost valuable and protected land in the state.â€ť
Zagorsky argued that quarrying this land would destroy streams that feed into the Shuttle Meadow reservoir, which provides drinking water in New Britain.
â€śA quarry is a nuclear option,â€ť he said. â€śIt would expose hundreds of thousands of acres of watershed across the state. This would cause direct mortality to all species and total habitat loss including six amphibian and reptile species of great concern.â€ť
He also said it would â€śclearly impactâ€ť hiking and the water supply in Crescent Lake.
The previous town manager, Gary Brumback, wrote a letter endorsing the plan, but the council later voted to withdraw that endorsement.
Palmieri, Councilor John Barry and Councilor Victoria Triano thanked Zagorsky for coming.
â€śThank you for giving us an opportunity to hear and understand the true impact of this project,â€ť Triano said.
Earlier in the meeting, John DeMello along with State Rep. John Fusco, State Rep. Liz Linehan and Palmieri presented the â€śAmbassadorâ€™s Medal of Peaceâ€ť on behalf of the ambassador of South Korea to two Korean War veterans. Three others were awarded posthumously and medals were accepted by members of their families.
Councilor Chris Poulos also recognized Carole Milano, who founded the Southington Arts Council in 1982, with a proclamation. He said she had achieved her goal in raising awareness of the arts and weaving the arts into the fabric of the community.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.