Stancor Pumps Inc. designs and manufactures electric submersible pumps and controls in its facility at 515 Fan Hill Road in Monroe. It is rapidly expanding and now plans to construct a 6,400-square-foot storage facility.
However, an easement on town property is needed for a driveway to access the building. Stancor's property borders the town-owned Garter Road Landfill.
"Stancor wants to proceed with this building and build it in the summer," said Bill Carboni of Spath Bjorklund Associates, an engineer hired by Stancor.
Carboni came before the Town Council last week because the Planning & Zoning Commission wants to know if the council is willing to entertain providing an easement to Stancor, before the P&Z proceeds with its hearing on a site plan application.
P&Z Chairman Richard Zini attended the council's meeting and told members that only the Town Council has the authority to allow use of town owned land.
Carboni said a small portion of the property Stancor wants to use is wetlands, adding the storage facility would have no utilities or bathrooms. Richard Mellinger, a partner with Stancor, called it cold storage. Only small vehicles such as a pick up truck and forklift would use the driveway, according to Carboni.
First Selectman Steve Vavrek spoke in support of Stancor.
"They're a viable taxpayer in this community," Vavrek said. "Inland Wetlands has approved it. There will never be any 18-wheeler trucks and it will never touch the landfill, even if we expand it, because it's at the bottom of the hill. I think this is the biggest no-brainer to keep a business in town that we've ever had."
Town Councilwoman Dee Dee Martin asked if there would be a "hold harmless" for the town should it grant the easement. Carboni said yes.
J.P. Sredzinski asked if Stancor ever approached the town to purchase the property it needs.
Carboni said the company approached the town about a "land swap", giving the town some wetlands it could protect in exchange for the land at the bottom of the hill, in the 1980s, but that the town was not interested.
Carboni said the mechanism and details for how Stancor would be allowed to use the portion of the town's property could be worked out. "You could approve the concept," he said of action the council could take that night.
Mellinger said, "We've been here for 25 years. We feel we've been good citizens and good taxpayers. Time is of the essence. We do need more space and fairly quickly."
If the town does not grant the easement, Mellinger said Stancor will rent storage space in Prospect.
Vavrek said, "We want them to stay in town and be able to expand. I ask that you vote tonight."
The Town Council voted 9-0 to refer to the Planning & Zoning Commission its intent to provide an accessway to Stancor to use abutting municipal property in the application process.