Deerfield railyard eyed for salt storage facility

  • A site plan for a proposed salt storage facility by Salt City Inc. in East Deerfield. Recorder Staff/ANDY CASTILLO

Recorder Staff
Published: 2/13/2017 2:20:30 PM

DEERFIELD — A proposed 30,578-square-foot salt storage facility in East Deerfield is making its way through the town government’s permit approval process.

The project’s applicant is Salt City Inc., which owns a separate storage facility in Westfield.

If approved, the Deerfield facility would be built on about 104 acres of commercially zoned land at 100 Railroad Yard Road owned by Pan Am Southern LLC, near the Connecticut River and McClelland Farm Road.

According to preliminary designs prepared by R Levesque Associates, the storage facility is outlined to be 47 feet high — 12 feet higher than zoning limits of 35 feet — requiring a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Structurally, it’s a clear-span, canvas-sided facility with a galvanized steel frame underneath.

Inside, designs call for salt to be stored in piles on a large paved lot, which has a gravel buffer around it. An existing concrete loading dock would be destroyed, with a much larger dock created next to railroad tracks that runs through the property, providing access to freight cars.

As far as operations go, a bucket loader would load the salt into 35-ton capacity tractor-trailers and 120-ton capacity train cars — to be transported to cities, towns and other public or private organizations throughout the region.

At a recent Planning Board meeting, Michael Gaugh, owner of Salt City Inc., said the company is looking to “expand into the region.” Right now, everything is run out of Westfield.

Gaugh predicted between 30,000 and 35,000 tons of salt could move through the facility each year, with a limit of 25,000 tons the first year.

“We would load in the general consensus of 10 to 11 trucks per day,” Gaugh continued, addressing the board. “During snowstorm season, some towns can hold enough for a season, others would need to be filled. We’re looking to add storage space.”

Salt City Inc.’s site plan presentation was met with questions by residents who live near the railyard, who voiced concerns about smell, noise and potential safety hazards.

In the end, the board decided to have the plans peer-reviewed, to be accomplished through a Request for Quotes. The hearing will be continued on April 3.

You can reach Andy Castillo


or 413-772-0261, ext. 263

On Twitter: @AndyCCastillo


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