Saugus selectmen are considering proposals for truck storage on Central Street
SAUGUS — On Tuesday, the Board of Selectmen is scheduled to visit 344 Central St. As part of an ongoing review of applications from two companies seeking to park their trucks at the site. The board will likely vote on both requests later that day, with a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m
Gill Oil Company and MassJunk are seeking board approval to park on the Central Street property. The property is owned by Arthur Sordello, who runs Dynasty Auto Tops & Upholstery on site. While both companies are seeking approval for the same thing, they may face different outcomes when the board finally votes on their S-2 permit applications.
Gill Oil Company’s proposal to store a truck and trailer on the property — as it has done since 2018 — received little negative feedback from board members, especially when company owner Kevin Gill explained that he does not store more than 30-50 gallons of oil in trucks overnight. . According to Jill, the truck departs from Saugus in the morning — usually around 8:30 a.m. — and returns by 4 p.m.
When the companies appeared before the board last month, then-Board Chairman Anthony Cogliano read a letter submitted by area residents expressing concerns about the company and its operations at the site. In the letter, residents claimed the truck had stopped working at the site, creating fumes, and said they were concerned about the use of the trailer and what it might transport.
Gill credited Sordello with cleaning up the area and removing the landscaping company that both men blamed for many of the previous problems at the site. He also tried to avoid concerns about flooding, noting that the truck is parked 8 to 10 feet from the flooded area and that the massive vehicle wouldn’t have much trouble getting through any areas with large pools of water.
Selectman Jeff Cicolini said he doesn’t see much difference between a truck parked on site while Dynasty is working on it and a truck with a parking permit.
“The property owner is a Saugus resident,” Cicolini said. “He will not intentionally cause harm to the community.”
Lauren Green, who lives on Webb Place directly adjacent to the property, spoke in opposition to the proposal during the hearing, giving voice to many of the concerns expressed in the letter. Cicolini noted that neither the fire department nor the conservation officer offered any objection to Gill’s proposal.
However, MassJunk’s owner, Francis William Nevitt, faced stiffer opposition from the board of directors—and from Cicolini in particular.
Nevit explained that his company primarily transports furniture and household items, transporting them from a residence to a landfill. But he said landfills across the state often fill up and close early, leaving the company having to store materials in trucks overnight. Although the trucks are covered, Cicolini cited objections from both the fire department and the city’s talking agent. Neavitt applied to park six trucks at 344 Central St.
As a result of objections from city departments, Ciccolini said he could not support the proposal.
“Having the trucks come back loaded with waste is a deal breaker for me,” he said.
Green again spoke in opposition during the second hearing, claiming the company was doing work in the parking lot “going from truck to truck with trash.”
“They’re there all the time,” she said.
For her part, Nevitt seemed puzzled by her concerns. He said his company has not parked any trucks at the site since receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the city.
“We can’t park there, we can’t park our cars there,” he said.
It remains to be seen whether the site visit, which council members have invited both the Department of Conservation and the Fire Department to attend, may allay concerns about the proposals. But, without Cicolini’s vote, MassJunk will need support from all four remaining selectmen to secure S-2 clearance.
The council continued its two hearings and will resume Tuesday evening.