By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
NORTHBOROUGH – A utility contractor that installs natural gas lines wants to open a support yard at 200 Bartlett St. in Northborough.
The company, R.J. Devereaux, appeared before the Zoning Board of Appeals on Sept. 28.
Devereaux installs natural gas lines for National Grid and Eversource.
“This facility will basically be a support yard for all the crews,” said project manager Rick Gates.
He estimated that they had 24 crews in the area. All the equipment they use needs to be maintained periodically, which would be taken care of on this site.
Company seeks variance to open site in Groundwater district
R.J. Devereaux sought a variance. Attorney Paula Devereaux said it’s for automotive repair, which is a prohibited use in the groundwater district.
The site is in both the Groundwater 1 and 3 Districts.
“This is a property that has been vacant for many years,” Devereaux said. “We believe that the work that we’re going to be doing at the property will actually be much better for Groundwater District because, currently, right now, there’s not a whole lot that gets treated on the property.”
Lamy Automotive is on the site and would continue to operate with Devereaux as a neighbor.
Devereaux said the company has a purchase and sale agreement with the landowners, which is conditioned on receiving the needed approvals the company needs to operate its business on site.
“We’re going to do this right because we’re going to be here a long time,” Gates said.
‘They don’t do heavy maintenance’
Devereaux plans to use all of the existing buildings on the site. The company will upgrade two of the buildings to use as their administrative and maintenance buildings. A small storage building on the site will be demolished.
R.J. Devereaux would only maintain their own fleet, which Project Architect Dario DiMare estimated at 27 vehicles.
“They don’t do heavy maintenance,” DiMare noted. “They’re not changing transmissions or engines.”
He estimated that, at any point, there may be around a half dozen people total on site.
“If these guys are on site, it means they aren’t working, and if they’re not working, the Devereauxes aren’t making money,” DiMare said.
The administrative building would be used for training, such as showing Devereaux workers new techniques in welding and digging.
“For the most part, it would be greener today than it is today once they move in because you’d actually have people looking at the monitoring wells and people paying attention to Lamy’s …” said DiMare.
Board member seeks more information on chemicals
Board member Suzanne Ciselica asked who would check up on chemical usage once business starts, if the list of chemicals is approved. The town’s inspector of buildings and zoning enforcement office would do that work, town staff said.