Thursday, 03 August 2017 22:18

Twenty Asphalt Jobs Coming to Ballston

A satellite image of the Dolomite asphalt plant site (in red) in the Curtis Industrial Park. A satellite image of the Dolomite asphalt plant site (in red) in the Curtis Industrial Park. Photo provided by David Toolan.

BALLSTON -- Late last month, state Supreme Court Judge Robert Chauvin most likely ended a six-year legal dispute that has prevented the Dolomite Products Company from building an asphalt plant in the Curtis Industrial Park.

David Toolan, an attorney representing Dolomite, said in an email that the plant “will have cutting-edge recycling technology and be one of the most environmentally friendly asphalt plants in New York.” It will bring nearly two-dozen jobs to the area, he said.

Still, several residents living near the industrial park had opposed the project and sued Dolomite and the Town of Ballston Planning Board to halt construction.

Wesley Chella, Melissa Lescault and Steven Therrien are listed as “petitioners” along with I.M. Landscape Associates, a company run by Brookside Nursery owner Ian Murray.

Chauvin dismissed their case in a ruling dated July 24.

The judge cited a Ballston Planning Board vote to approve the site plan by Dolomite in May of last year, and prior attempts by town officials to change the industrial park’s zoning classification after Dolomite’s original application had been filed in 2011.

“Specifically it is alleged that the [May 2016] approval was contrary to the amended zoning ordinances as a prohibited use; that the approval was contrary to the provisions in the town’s zoning ordinances concerning noise levels; and that the approval was contrary to the provisions in the zoning ordinances concerning emissions,” Chauvin wrote.

He added, “the Town of Ballston Planning Board has submitted the affidavit of a physical engineer and professional geologist, both retained by the town, who indicate that the proposed project is, in regard to noise and emissions, compliant with the applicable zoning ordinances.”

“In the present proceeding the court has previously ruled that the amended zoning ordinances are not applicable to the underlying proposed project and, as such, petitioners’ contention that it involves a prohibited use is without merit,” Chauvin concluded.

Ballston Town Attorney Debra Kaelin did not return a request for comment; nor did Claudia Braymer, an attorney listed in Chauvin’s ruling as a party appearing on behalf of the petitioners.

Toolan, who is based in Dolomite corporate offices in Georgia, indicated that construction would start on the new Ballston plant later this year. The opponents, he added, are not likely to appeal Chauvin’s decision.

“I’m not sure where they think they could go with an appeal,” Toolan said. “I can’t imagine they’d be successful.”

“The plant is located in an industrial park next to several other industrial businesses so the objections to locating the asphalt plant in the industrial park for environmental reasons was completely baseless,” he said.

“Dolomite expects to complete the asphalt plant by May 2018 at the latest,” Toolan said, noting how the company “expects to hire approximately 20 employees in order to staff the plant and the paving crews associated with the plant.”

“Dolomite’s plant,” he added, “will also create new jobs for the local suppliers, contractors, and subcontractors that provide services and materials related to the asphalt paving industry.”

Toolan went on to assert that “a competitor was directing the opposition in order to keep a new asphalt competitor out of this market.” 

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