Warren boat builder gets town hearing Monday

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Workers well the steel structure of a ferry boat being built at Blount Boats on the Water Street waterfront. The firm wants to expand its Warren operation.

Workers well the steel structure of a ferry boat being built at Blount Boats on the Water Street waterfront. The firm wants to expand its Warren operation.

Blount Boats’ expansion plans will get a long-awaited public review Monday night.

The Warren Planning Board will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. to discuss Blount’s request to build a large retractable tent structure along the Warren River. The shipbuilder needs a host of variances to build the structure, which could be as tall as 45 feet and officials say is needed to help complete and outfit boats prior to launch. An earlier component of the plan, to build a new pre-fab “hangar” building on the property’s Water Street frontage, has been dropped.

More than a dozen residents had hoped to hear plans by Blount when representatives last appeared before the board in December. But only four board members showed up, one shy of a quorum, so the meeting was postponed. At an earlier meeting the retractable metal tent concerned some neighbors, who have questioned its aesthetic impact on the waterfront.

Blount Boats still needs zoning approval for its plans, and the planning board review is essential as town laws require a recommendation from the board before it goes to zoning.

Also due to be discussed Monday is a request to allow day care centers or pre-schools to operate in a commercial industrial zone, as a permitted use with the granting of a Special Use permit; the request comes from a resident who wants to open a day care center in a vacant office building near the Warren Industrial Park.

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2 Comments

  1. John Tats said:

    While I understand the past controversy of exceeding the zoning requirement, this is an opportunity for a Warren Business to gain more employment opportunity for Warren people….with the closing of the Pro-met Marine facility in Providence, Blount would stand a chance of obtaining their work. and hopefully being able to hire more local labor.
    This might be a good thing in the big picture of things for Warren.

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