Business growth sparks concerns


MAXWELL — After nearly 40 Maxwell residents signed a petition expressing concern about a $15 million business expansion expected to increase truck traffic on a county road, local officials are mulling ways to improve road conditions in the area.

County Materials Corp., a concrete manufacturing company with more than 40 sites across six states, said it wants to expand its Maxwell facility by constructing a 100,000-square-foot facility, an effort that could create 10 to 20 jobs. It’s already asked the county for a tax break, which is scheduled to be voted on later this month, and the board of zoning appeals granted several exceptions to local zoning rules to allow the expansion to move forward.

But neighbors have been vocal about the semitrailer traffic traveling to and from the facility, saying it creates a lot of noise in the area and tears up the roads.

This week, Scott Evans, who lives near the facility at 5 Junction St., asked the county commissioners to look into whether road improvements can be made to make the road safer before there’s an increase in the traffic flow.

Scott Boma, regional manager for the corporation, told the board of zoning appeals last month the facility has 30 to 35 semis coming in and out daily, usually during the plant’s operational hours, between about 6 a.m. and 4 p.m., with few exceptions.

The expansion would add 15 to 20 trucks daily, he said.

Evans spent the weekend collecting signatures from residents living on County Road 500N, which intersects with Junction Street. The petition he circulated asks the commissioners to consider road improvements before moving the project forward.

“I’m not opposing what they’re doing,” Evans said. “We’re concerned about the road and the amount of traffic coming down the road.”

“The safety issues on the road is concerning to us,” he said, adding that many residents have set up rocks as a barrier to keep semis off their properties.

The commissioners agreed it was a worthy concern and asked county highway engineer Gary Pool to talk to business leaders to see if they would be interested in working to improve the road together.

The commissioners admit there will be challenges. The road likely needs to be widened to better accommodate the truck traffic, but the county would have to gain permission to expand the road from land owners in the area.

The road will receive scheduled maintenance in coming years, including paving, Pool said.

Commissioner Tom Stevens said partnering with the company to discuss improvements would be a good way to try to satisfy all parties.

“I think improvements to that roadway from their drive out to (State Road) 9 is a benefit to them,” he said.

The county council is expected to consider approving the tax abatement at its meeting next week.