Frankford concerned about proposed pond at grain site


At their April meeting on Monday, the Frankford Town Council wrestled with a plan for a stormwater pond on the Mountaire Farms property in the middle of town.

“It just seems awfully large,” Council Treasurer Velicia Melson said. “I’m not comfortable,” she said, shaking her head, adding that she was particularly concerned about the lack of a fence around the pond, which is planned to be 8 feet deep and more than 200 feet long.

The council on April 1 discussed the plans with project manager Tim Huddleston of McCrone Engineering, representing Mountaire, as well as Tanya Rogers-Vickers, director of environmental compliance for Mountaire.

Both had also been present at the Planning & Zoning Commission meeting March 6, at which the commission agreed to recommend approval of Mountaire’s renovation plans for the grain operation, with conditions relating to inflow and outflow from parking lots on the site. However, the pond was not addressed at that planning commission meeting. It is in the second phase of the project, while the March 6 discussion was limited to items in the first phase.

Council Vice President Greg Welch on Monday expressed concern about runoff from the site, which could conceivably contain oil from trucks on the site, as well as by-products from chicken feed, entering the groundwater after being directed to what Huddleston called a “small pocket pond.”

Huddleston said that any sediment that would accumulate in the pond “will be cleaned out when it reaches a certain level. They will be required to haul that away,” he said.

Welch said he remains concerned because the proposed pond is located “overtop of our wells, in a wellhead protection area.”

Huddleston said that the state Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control will monitor the pond, to which Welch responded, “DNREC doesn’t have the best record for us,” referring to ongoing disputes regarding Mountaire’s construction of its own well, which led to cessation of its use of Town water, impacting the finances of the Town’s water department.

The council opted to wait until its next meeting to vote on the proposed Mountaire project.

Also on April 1, the council addressed noise complaints from several residents, involving homes that play loud music, particularly on weekends and holidays. Residents Jerry Smith and Wesley Hayes Jr. referenced one property in particular.

“I see the problem getting worse,” Smith said. “I think it’s a problem.”

Smith pointed out that, since Frankford doesn’t have its own noise ordinance, the Delaware State Police troopers who currently provide police coverage for the Town don’t have anything to enforce when complaints are made.

Town Council President Joanne Bacon agreed to look into what other towns have on the books regarding noise violations.

 

By Kerin Magill

Staff Reporter