Businesses bullish on Westport's $35M Route 6 project

Property owners say they’ll develop if project is funded

By Ted Hayes
Posted 4/2/24


Front page







A truck speeds down Route 6. There could be a lot more development in the north end if a $35 …

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Businesses bullish on Westport's $35M Route 6 project

Property owners say they’ll develop if project is funded


Businesses and property owners across the Route 6 corridor are anxiously awaiting the results of next week’s special election, as the town looks to move ahead with a $35 million sewer and water project they say could transform the north end.

The project, which would also require appropriation approval at next month’s Town Meeting, has been in the planning stages for years, and proponents believe improved infrastructure along the corridor will make Route 6 more desirable — and developable.

In recent months, many of those who would be affected by the project’s passage have reached out to the town, offering their support.

“As a landowner in Westport’s North End, we are very excited about the proposed water and sewer project,” wrote John A. MacIntyre II, of Applied Plastics Technologies (APT) in Bristol, RI. “We expect this will offer tremendous economic opportunities for Westport ... and the State of Massachusetts.”

APT owns approximately 73 acres of land on Forge Road, 45 of which front State and Forge roads. MacIntyre wrote that developers who have expressed interest in developing the company’s land in the past have ultimately been stymied by the lack of adequate water and sewer — “most recently in 2021 both properties were under purchase and sales agreement(s) (but) this agreement terminated due to lack of water and sewer access.”

In addition, he said, APT’s facilities in Bristol and Warren, RI, are too small for their 30-plus employees, and MacIntyre wrote that the firm’s Westport land “would be an ideal location.”

“Unfortunately, the lack of both sewer and water along this corridor prohibits a family investment because both are required to operate our company.”

The town’s initiative, if successful, would “open many doors for economic development in North Westport.”

Other companies are watching and waiting as well.

Meatworks, a high volume, state of the art facility at 287 State Road, was built in 2017-18 by the Livestock Institute of Southern New England, and for years has been tremendously successful, serving more than 800 farms and regional producers. The company, which recently closed in part due to the costs associated with trucking animal wastewater offsite (see page x), hopes to re-open soon.

In a letter to the town, chairman Andrew P. Burnes said that unfortunately, the area’s infrastructure holds the company back.

“The extension of the sewer on Route 6 is a critical piece of both the financial stabilization of current operations at TLI/Meatworks and our expansion in the future,” he wrote in a letter to the Westport Planning Board.

“Since opening, we have incurred significant costs to truck our animal waste water to the local treatment plants. Connecting to a sewer system would eliminate that cost.”

Just as important, he said, is the future of the company itself — “we see demand building and strongly believe that, with the sewer expansion and our connection, TLI/Meatworks will be able to increase the benefits to the town and the region both by expanding our facility, thus supporting agricultural production in our region and job growth at our facility.”

Other landowners say they are ready to move ahead with development plans when and if the project passes.

David Oliveira, whose Divine Enterprises owns about seven acres on State Road, said he is anxiously awaiting developments.

“When the sewer comes down State Road ... I will be looking to redevelop this property,” he wrote. “Residential units/ retail seems like the best option currently.”

Another would-be residential developer hopes for the same.

Robert Carrigg, of Bristol Pacific Homes, Inc., said his firm hopes “to lay out a plan for roughly 50 apartments and commercial office space. Our biggest obstacle has been the lack of sewage at the site.”

When the firm purchased the property in 2017, the town was studying an earlier version of the current proposed project, and hope for that project played a large part in BPH’s purchase.

“We had expected the sewer project to be completed by now,” he wrote. “It appears now to be back on track, so we will do whatever we can to help out. We expect with a project of that size, to create 60-75 construction jobs during the build and about another 20 permanent jobs from the office component for a cost of about $15 million.”

“We feel the new sewer line along Route 6 will help stimulate projects like ours and others that are on hold and will benefit the town financially.”

Environmental benefits

The calls of support aren’t just coming from the for profit sector. The project’s environmental benefits are real, several area non-profits believe, and will have significant positive impacts on the health of the Westport River.

Officials from both the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Westport River Watershed Alliance have publicly supported the project in recent months — and at a meeting earlier this year, Deborah Weaver, of the WRWA, said she is ready to head to the polls and mark ‘Yes.’

“We see this as the beginning of the long history of what needs to be done to improve water quality for residents, for the river and for the whole town,” she said. “And so, bravo!”










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