By DAVE McMILLION
11:15 PM EST, February 11, 2013
Williamsport Town Council members Monday night moved forward on changing the land classification at a treatment facility on Lockwood Road where a private company is processing used oil and converted it to fuel.
Under a lease agreement with the county, Spirit Services has the capability to obtain the Nicodemous Treatment Facility on Lockwood Road, which is inside town limits.
Richard Grimm, the town’s zoning administrator, has said the property is zoned suburban residential and Spirit Services has asked for an employment center zone.
Oil recycling is not permitted in a suburban residential zone, Grimm has said.
Town council members Monday night agreed to introduce an amendment to the town’s zoning ordinance that allows for the zoning change.
Assistant Mayor Anthony “Tony” Drury abstained from voting because of his position as recycling coordinator for the Washington County Solid Waste Department. Drury said he sometimes deals with Spirit Services.
Council members are expected to vote on whether to approve the zoning ordinance amendment at the March 11 council meeting.
Council members moved ahead with the zoning change on the condition that Spirit Services either creates a secondary road to access the Lockwood Road property or makes improvements to Lockwood Road.
Attorney Jason M. Divelbiss, who is representing Spirit Services, said in a Jan. 3 letter to town officials that a new access road would require purchase of property from a third party. Divelbiss said conditions at the site appear to be a “significant challenge” in regards to a new access road but Divelbiss said he is optimistic a solution can be reached.
Mayor James G. McCleaf II said after Monday night’s meeting that he and council members are comfortable with the project as long as the town planning commission does not have any problems with it.
If the rezoning receives final approval from the council, Spirit Services must request an application for a zoning permit from the town.
Spirit Services also leases the county’s Conococheague Industrial Pretreatment Facility at 16232 Elliott Parkway in Williamsport and uses that facility to processes prequalified nonhazardous wastewaters, including oily wastes, heavy metals, leachate and liquid domestic waste. That facility is outside town limits.
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