Published January 25. 2014 4:00AM
Montville - The Thomas G. Faria Corp., an Uncasville gauge manufacturer that recently acquired Beede Instruments in New Hampshire, has filed an application with the town for redevelopment and expansion of its Route 32 property. The expansion would include the construction of a 72,000-square-foot manufacturing building.
Part of the redevelopment work would be covered by a $3.5 million loan Faria received from the state in 2012, but CEO David Hickey said construction of the new manufacturing building is conditional on the approval of additional state funding.
The loan covered the acquisition of Beede Instruments, a New Hampshire company that made gauges for commercial and industrial purposes, and the relocation of Beede's manufacturing to Connecticut. It also provided funding for the purchase of new machinery and salaries of new employees.
The proposed energy-efficient, two-story building would be constructed on the southern part of Faria's property, which borders Route 32, Pink Row and Depot Road. Faria's current parking lot would be removed and the land would be raised 15 feet before construction, causing the building to be raised above the level of the other nearby development.
A new parking lot would be built elsewhere on the property. Other parts of the expansion plan include building a hiking trail and deck on the property. Hickey said the deck, which would be attached to a historic mill to allow viewing of the Oxoboxo Brook, was designed by University of Connecticut engineering students to use wood from the trees cut down at the site to make room for other parts of the redevelopment.
Town Planner Marcia Vlaun said Faria's current manufacturing building is a "typical old New England"-style manufacturing building and that the new manufacturing facility would be more "modern" and "clean."
Hickey said the building would retain the character of the older buildings but be more modern and "beautify the area," making Montville a more attractive location for other industries. The older buildings would continue to be used, he said, but the new building would provide additional space and make the company's operations more energy efficient.
Hickey said he expects the proposed expansion of Faria to create additional jobs, although he declined to discuss the specific type or number of jobs that would be created.
A series of public hearings on the company's plans began at the Jan. 16 Inland Wetlands Commission meeting and are set to continue at the Feb. 20 meeting. The commission has ruled that the activities are likely to have a "significant impact" on the wetlands, said Colleen Bezanson, the town's wetlands agent.
She said no one from the public attended the Jan. 16 hearing.
The application that Faria and the environmental consulting firm Advanced Environmental Interface Inc. filed with the Inland Wetlands Commission says the work will result in a cleaner property and describes six regulated activities in the wetlands.
Those actions include filling approximately 1,600 square feet of wetlands for the new parking lot, as well as creating wetlands, filling a buffer area, remediating impacted soil, improving drainage and clearing debris and undergrowth.