Whately selectmen support Bayer’s request
WHATELY — The Board of Selectmen supports Bayer MaterialScience’s request for road access through the Deerfield Industrial Park to Route 116.
“We’ve always wanted road access,” Town Administrator Lynn Sibley said. “We thought it would be important for trucks to drive through the park rather than a residential neighborhood.”
Bayer, a producer of high performance plastics with a factory in the Whately Industrial Park recently asked the Deerfield Board of Selectmen to hook up to that town’s sewer system and to create an access road between the two towns’ industrial parks.
Bayer’s request is part of the company’s expansion plans.
In December, Bayer bought 11 acres abutting its current facility from Alan Sanderson of Whately to expand its operations. Anticipating an increase in truck traffic, Bayer asked Deerfield to allow a connecting road between the two parks across a parcel of grass and brush owned by the Deerfield Economic Development Industrial Corp., a quasi-municipal nonprofit that owns the park. The parcel connects Fairview Way in Whately to Industrial Drive in Deerfield and leads out to Route 116.
Currently, trucks bound for the Whately Industrial Park from Route 116 turn onto Pine Street and then turn onto Long Plain Road — two residential neighborhood roads.
Though in prior years, the Whately Selectmen and Bayer, which was formerly Deerfield Urethane, lobbied for road access together, this time Bayer is making the request on its own. In the past, Deerfield repeatedly denied the request.
Sibley said “We would prefer the road be open to the public, but we will go with whatever keeps trucks out of the residential area. It takes some of the truck traffic off of Long Plain Road and Pine Street.”
Whately Selectmen did not discuss Bayer’s request for a sewer hookup in South Deerfield. Whately has no municipal sewage treatment plant, so Bayer would like to tie an expanded factory into the South Deerfield sewage treatment plant rather than expand its private septic system at the industrial park.
Sibley said Bayer first approached Whately with its expansion plans to see if a proposed regional paramedic ambulance among Deerfield, Whately and Sunderland would be centered at the Western Massachusetts Regional Library in the Whately Industrial Park. If so, Bayer wanted to include the regional service in its argument to make a road connection.
The towns, however, are still exploring site locations for the proposed service, which needs townspeople’s approval.
The Whately Selectmen discussed Bayer’s proposal last week. No vote was taken, but the selectmen did agree to pursue conversations with the manufacturer. Sibley said the town wants to see Bayer’s design plans.
You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.