The Westerly Town Council is considering buying a quarry that has been a source of complaints and lawsuits over the course of more than five years. As a first step, the Westerly Town Council votes Monday night on whether they will move forward hiring an appraiser to assess the quarry's property value.
The former quarry operator, Connecticut-based Armetta LLC, formerly known as Copar Quarries, filed for bankruptcy last summer. But now a different company is operating the quarry.
Town councilor Louis Sposato Jr. said he is confident the new quarry operator will comply with the terms of a new settlement agreement reached by the owners of the quarry, the town and several residents.
“The issue is the quarrying will still be going on on [the] site," said Sposato. "And the neighbors are still going to be affected by the dust, the explosions, the potential impact to their water supplies for those who have wells."
It's why Sposato suggested purchasing the quarry. "There will be no quarrying there in the future if we do that," he said.
Sposato said the idea of purchasing the quarry is still at an early stage. If the town decides to move forward with the purchase, they will need to hire appraisers in order to assess the value of the property and then figure out how to pay for it.
The decision may include asking voters to approve a bond measure and the town of Charlestown to chip in money for the purchase.
Tom Gentz, president of the Charlestown Town Council, said he would consider voting in favor of helping Westerly if such a proposal came before the council.
One of the owners of the quarry told The Westerly Sun his family would consider selling the quarry if the town makes a reasonable offer.