FAIRFIELD — What was once a view of trucks trucking in construction spoils is now a vista of green.
In 2016, residents of Fairfield Beach Road and Pine Creek began to complain to the town about the noise and the view of the fill pile at the Public Works Yard. The fill pile had been maintained by the town for decades, though in recent years it had begun to grow in height, despite efforts to reduce the size.
The complaints led to meetings, the discovery of some contaminated material, and a lawsuit and countersuit involving Julian Development, LLC, the company that had been charged with managing the fill pile. The court suits are still pending, with a pre-trial hearing slated for Oct. 4, and a trial on Nov. 15.
With the contaminated materials removed, the town began to build a berm to shield neighbors from the pile. The berm has been built to an elevation of 45 feet and planted and hydroseeded. From Fairfield Beach Road, now one just sees greenery.
First Selectman Mike Tetreau said he took a ride this week down Fairfield Beach Road to see the berm and was pleased with the result. He said comments from neighbors have been positive.
An access trail around the base of the berm will be built this summer.
Public Works Director Joseph Michelangelo said the berm construction was substantially completed by June 30, but they have not yet tallied up the final costs.
“The berm has given the residents to the south a shield from our operations,” Michelangelo said, adding that the fill pile has not been removed from the site. “We still have much material that we will use for future construction projects. The berm will allow us to reuse the material in the future without affecting our neighbors.”
Even with Julian no longer bringing in material to mix with what was already there, in order to sell it as fill, the town will still be producing about 6,000 tons of construction debris and road spoils during the year. To dispose of that material elsewhere would cost the town an estimated $100,000 to $160,000 a year.