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May 1, 2008
Cullion Concrete to begin dismantling half-built plant
CRANSTON -- Cullion Concrete Corp. will begin dismantling its controversial, half-built batching plant off Pontiac Avenue as soon as next week, a lawyer for the company said today.
The announcement came a day after the City Council gave final approval for a $1.9 million buyout of the Cullion land.
Mayor Michael T. Napolitano, who negotiated the buyout with Cullion, welcomed the developments. “I’m very, very happy that Cullion has been settled and solved for the people of Cranston,” he said.
And City Council member Emilio L. Navarro, who represents the area surrounding the plant, said he was glad the city had “protected the neighborhood.”
The plant stirred sharp opposition from neighbors concerned about the potential for traffic, noise and pollution.
And residents voiced relief today that the long fight against the project is finally over.
-- Journal staff writer David Scharfenberg
But not everyone is pleased with the resolution.
City Council President Aram G. Garabedian, who cast the lone vote against the deal Wednesday night, said he was upset that the city never got a chance to contest a disputed building permit for the project in a zoning board hearing or before a judge.
He also argued that $1.9 million is too much to pay for the 17.7-acre plot of land.
Some neighbors have raised concerns about plans to build affordable housing on a portion of the land, once it is in city hands.
John O. Mancini, the Cullion lawyer who announced plans to dismantle the plant, said owner Mark Cullion has “lukewarm” feelings about pulling out of Cranston.
“He wanted his plant,” Mancini said. “But unfortunately, life takes you in different directions.”
The city, under the terms of the deal, will put up $600,000 now and pay the balance by the end of the year.
The administration is working to secure grant and loan funds from the state and federal grant money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to pay off the final $1.3 million.
Mancini said Cullion has been looking for an alternative location for the plant somewhere outside Cranston.
Posted by Mike McKinney at 6:50 PM | Permalink
EMT | May 2, 2008 12:03 PM link
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