The Islip Town planning board is expected to give its recommendation Thursday night on plans for a scrap metal facility in Brentwood, but residents worry it will bring hazards into the neighborhood.
The site at 80 Emjay Blvd. had been a solid waste transfer station where "several" fires have broken out, Islip Planning Commissioner Richard Zapolski said at a recent planning board meeting. The latest fire was in 2013 and it "destroyed" the facility, he said. The site is now vacant. Town and local fire officials forced the removal of the station's structure.
Area residents gathered near the site on an industrial stretch of road last summer to protest a garbage transfer facility at nearby 50 Emjay Blvd. that had been taking in refuse from the East End.
The attorney representing the scrap metal proposal said it would be a better use for the site than what had been there.
"We thought this [the scrap metal operation] is an improved use with less impact for this particular industrial zone based on what the prior use was," the attorney, Amy Burbott, who represents the property owner, Kings & Queens Transload LLC of Brentwood, told the board.
Burbott has asked town officials for a zone change as well as a special permit to allow for a "scrap metal processing and railway freight facility," according to the application received by the town Jan. 15.
A flier placed in residents' mailboxes by a neighborhood watch group recently urged those concerned to call town board members and voice their opposition to the proposal, saying: "No more dumping on Brentwood!"
"We don't want increased truck and railroad traffic, noise pollution and another health hazard in our neighborhood!" the unsigned note reads.
Burbott, from Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, said Kings & Queens recently purchased the 3.61-acre site and, if approved by both the planning board and town board, the firm would build a 10,000-square-foot structure for equipment maintenance and storage of processed metals before shipment.
Trucks would be used to cart in the various metals to the facility, where they would be sorted, cut, bundled and sent out by rail, Zapolski said. Burbott assured the board that significantly less tonnage of materials would be brought through the facility compared with its last use, and that no materials would become airborne in the process.
Burbott said the company hopes to have the facility open for deliveries six days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Freight schedules would be controlled by the New York & Atlantic, which uses the Long Island Rail Road tracks, she said.
Burbott declined a request for additional information about the project.
The board reserved decision at that meeting and will address it again at Thursday night's 7:30 meeting. The application is scheduled for a public hearing before the town board on March 26.