Belchertown zoning board approves permit for underground propane - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Belchertown zoning board approves permit for underground propane

Sixty-thousand gallons of propane is one step closer to being placed underground in Belchertown.

Their zoning board approved Surner Heating's request tonight for a special permit to place two barrels of propane underground on Federal Street at the Diamond Gas Station on Route 9.

Bruce Klockars lives less than a mile from the proposed site.

"This is not though an issue of I don't want this in my backyard, this is it does not belong in anyone's backyard," he said.

Paul Kaplan lives right next door. He received a notice in the mail when Surner Heating first made construction plans.

"I was concerned that such a large facility would be nearby and I wasn't sure about safety, I wasn't sure about traffic and I wasn't sure about property values," he said, adding his concerns remain the same after the vote made tonight.

Town residents say they fear the propane could explode.

"Is it likely to occur? No, it isn't likely to occur, but what is the extent of the devastation if it does occur?" Klockars asked.

Surner Heating Co. declined an interview tonight, but told residents at the meeting that they would never put a dangerous facility in town. They said they have done traffic studies to ensure everyone that their company would not impact commuters, but some residents didn't buy it.

"This is in my opinion an industrial, a heavy industrial use of this land," Klockars said.

There are 20 days to appeal the issuance of this permit.

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