BETHLEHEM — Selectmen issued a road encroachment permit for Still Hill Road and listened to a request from Grillo LLC for an Earth Material Permit for a proposed organic composting facility at 331 and 351 Main St. South at their meeting on Tuesday, January 5.

The road encroachment permit issued to owner Mirjayd Mulla came with several conditions, including the installation of a paved asphalt apron 12 feet in length and 15 feet in width starting at the edge of the road. Water traveling down the driveway must be diverted to the waterway and not onto the road.

Michael Grillo, president of Grillo LLC, explained the company takes in trees, brush, leaves and demolition and separates the product for use. The company keeps any wood products and turns it into mulch and soil on-site. Other materials are exported out to appropriate processors.

Selectmen expressed concern that demolition material brought to the site might include tires, propane tanks and other undesirable materials which might then be brought to the town transfer station, but Mr. Grillo assured them that would not be the case.

He said the company has rules against such materials being included in loads of demolition, but if those rules are ignored, the materials would be sorted out and either returned to the source or trucked out to other processors the company does business with.

Mr. Grillo said he always has a credit card on file when accepting demolition and that would allow him to charge extra for these types of items. In fact, Mr. Grillo said, he has already removed “lots of tires” off the property since taking ownership and all of these were handled by trucking them to other processors and none were taken to the town for disposal.

Following a description of how the company processes wood products for mulch and how it adds dye to produce a uniformly colored mulch for landscaping purposes, First Selectman Leonard Assard requested additional information on the dyes used.

He said the town wants to be careful of any product that might enter the soil and potentially groundwater at the facility. Mr. Grillo assured him the product was absolutely safe, but agreed to send him the information for review before the selectmen’s next meeting on Tuesday, January 19. Mr. Assard said a decision on the Earth Material permit would likely be made then.

Under public participation, Harry Traver from the Open Space Committee, requested Mr. Assard contact the town attorney for further clarification on use of the town’s Open Space Fund and Ruth Hogan inquired about the status of the cell tower.

Mr. Assard agreed to get further clarification on the rules regarding use of the fund and explained the location of the cell tower has changed. The town may not be able to use the new tower for the emergency services systems, he said.

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