DERRY — Zoning officials gave the OK for a car repair business to operate in the town’s groundwater conservation area. In a joint meeting Nov. 1 with Conservation Commission and Planning Board members, officials granted a special exception to Larry Ouellette and garage to operate a 10,000-square-foot facility at 8 Tinkham Ave.
The exception was needed as the building is located in the Groundwater Resource Conservation District.
With 18 years of experience in the business, Ouellette said he would continue his work as a mechanic for fleet maintenance for Federal Express, but also hopes to expand his business. Ouellette told officials all work would be done inside the building and all materials would be stored according to all safety standards. No vehicles would be stored long term at the facility and no repairs would be done outside. Containing any spills would also be a front and center concern as the new garage opens, that includes having no discharge of waste water on site to protect the area’s groundwater.
“We have to have some form of containment in case of any spills on the property,” Ouellette said. “Oil would be contained.”
To safeguard against any spills the garage would use special absorbent mat kits to ensure any potential spills were soaked up properly.
The mats will take oil off the floor, but would leave the water alone, only absorbing a petroleum product. Conservation Commission member Richard Tripp asked if there were any floor drains at the site that might cause problems. He said officials should not approve the plan if that’s the case.
“I think this is something that should be delivered before you approve the exception,” Tripp said.
Local Realtor Ralph Valentine represents the building’s owner and said he never saw floor drains at the facility.
Code Enforcement officer Robert Mackey said there would be inspections of the building before Ouellette could start his business, that include making sure there are no floor drains on site.