Tearing down Christmas trees and turning a farm into a natural gas station is a proposal that is being made in Andover.
The farm is the only one in Andover, and locals have been going to it for years, but the owners are now willing to sell it and turn it into an intricate natural gas delivery station.
Signs dot many homes on Route 6 saying “No natural gas infusion station.”
The controversy started last month when the group Global CNG Holdings applied to convert the farm into a first of its kind delivery station.
It means that trucks full of pressurized natural gas would go to the station.
Looking at the blueprints, they’d decompress the gas at the stations and infuse it in gas lines, powering more homes in the region, and netting the town more than $100,000 in annual property taxes.
“They need an area where it's adjacent to the pipeline system,” said Andover First Selectman Robert Burbank.
The application has been met with stiff opposition from many locals.
Barbara Hallisey and Dave Pannorfi have signs against the proposal in front of their homes.
“We have concerns about noise pollution, light pollution...potential for an explosion,” Hallisey said.
Town officials said the trucks will be loaded with the gas in Pennsylvania, and they will take I-84 to I-384 before exiting at Route 6.
Officials estimate 10 trucks an hour will come and go, 24 hours a day, during six peak months of the year, typically around winter.
“The transportation of these trucks and gases on our highways, it's just not a risk I want to see,” Hallisey said.
Years ago, Route 6 earned the nickname “Suicide 6” because of the dangerous curves, but Eyewitness News had the Department of Transportation examine the areas the trucks would travel.
It’s a specific 10 mile stretch between Bolton and Andover.
The latest stats show during a three-year period, there were 188 crashes, 12 of them resulting in moderate injuries and one ended in death.
The state said it does not consider it to be extra dangerous, but nobody will deny the very nature of the business can prove deadly if something goes wrong.
Neighbors said they just don’t want it happening in their town.
“If there was a catastrophe, what's the plan? We're a small town of over 3,000 people. How do you set a safety plan in place for a facility of that size,” Pannorfi said.
The company, or an affiliate of it, is also shopping around other areas.
Rocky Hill has already denied an application, but they are considering Cromwell and Enfield.
A public hearing is scheduled for next month.
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