August 4, 2015
Putnam voters authorized the mayor and Board of Selectmen to execute an amended ground lease with Wheelabrator Putnam, Inc. on July 29. The lease would extend and modify the terms and conditions of the current lease. The agreement would also allow for an expansion of the ash landfill between the Quinebaug River and River Road.
Voters voiced concerns about taxes Wheelabrator would pay, the possibility of 24/7 operations, the Department of Energy and Environmental permitting process, and zoning regulation changes.
The new lease would allow Wheelabrator to build a metal reclamation facility on site. There is a temporary metal reclamation facility currently permitted by Connecticut DEEP as a demonstration permit with an expiration date of one and a half years. Wheelabrator plans to have a permanent, enclosed facility built within that time frame.
The temporary facility sits atop a hill on the current parcel of land. The permanent facility would be built below the tree line. Wheelabrator General Manager Donald Musial said the proposal calls for a 24/7 metal reclamation operation. The landfill hours would not change. Truck traffic would not be permitted outside the current hours, he said.