AMSTERDAM - A Rhode Island-based company's application for a permit to set up a plastic extrusion facility in the town has been referred to the Montgomery County Planning Board and the city of Amsterdam.
The town Planning board met Wednesday to consider the application filed by M.H. Stallman Co. to move its plastic foam operation from St. Johnsville to the former Hill & Markes building on Edson Street. Stallman currently is sharing space with Cellect Co. in St. Johnsville but wants to move to its own facility, which may have about 50 workers.
A special-use permit is needed because the building's purpose would change from distribution, which is what Hill & Markes did, to light manufacturing. Planning Board attorney Charles Schwartz said light manufacturing requires a special-use permit and a site-plan review, both of which must go before the county Planning Board.
A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for July 9. The city must be notified within at least 10 days of the public hearing because the building is within 500 feet of the city limits, Schwartz said.
At Wednesday's town Planning Board meeting, Jeremy Silverman, a project manager with Amsterdam-based Grants and Essential Management Services, talked about Stallman's operation.
"The company converts plastic pellets into sheets," Silverman said. "They take the plastic pellets, bake them in an oven and stretch them into sheets."
The sheets are used to manufacture products such as medical tape and bandages, Silverman said.
Town residents Stuart and Dorothy Quick, who live on Widow Susan Road, expressed concern about pollutants, truck traffic and noise. Silverman said there should be no concern.
"There will be no more than two trucks per day [entering and leaving the site]," Silverman said. "The pellets are stored on site. The oven is fueled by natural gas and it has a vent."
The operation would produce no odors or noxious fumes, Silverman said.
"You're not burning [the plastic]; you're melting it," he said. "Smell won't be a problem."
The only change the company would make to the site is to upgrade the electrical service, Silverman said.
Planning Board member Nick Bartosik asked Silverman if the operation presented any special concerns for firefighters, such as the presence of chemicals.
"A sprinkler system is already in place," Silverman said. "We've never had an issue with fire before. I'd have to do some research."
Silverman said noise shouldn't be a concern, either.
"It's all inside," he said.
Schwartz asked Silverman if Stallman was in compliance with state Department of Environmental Conservation standards in the existing facility in St. Johnsville. Silverman said yes.
"They're working with the Department of Environmental Conservation to assure that they're in compliance," he said. "They're working out the emission data with DEC."
After the meeting, Dorothy Quick said her concerns were not addressed. She said she and her husband went to St. Johnsville to check out Stallman's operation, and she wondered if any town officials had done that.
"I'd like to know if anyone has ever been to St. Johnsville," she said.