To the editor,

The Claremont Planning Board is about to vote yes or no on a major project that will affect Claremonters and Claremont’s image as an up-and-comer.

An entrepreneur thinks he could make money by trucking a lot of construction and demolition waste (think demolished buildings) into Claremont, have people sort through the waste material looking for something of value to him, and then hope to ship what he doesn’t want out of town. It can’t be done without planning board permits.

As a Claremont native (Stevens High School ’59), I have witnessed the ups and downs the city has experienced. Claremont has a lot to offer its citizens, and I believe its direction is upward. Respectable, concerned citizens have already organized to oppose this waste project. They are serious and not about to give up. It is obvious that a steady stream of unpleasant “waste in Claremont” headlines in local papers will follow a “yes” vote by the Claremont Planning Board as residents work through the courts to protect their property values and Claremont’s environment.

Another danger associated with permitting a pollution business is that the permit itself becomes valuable and can be sold to a much larger waste company with lawyers enough to overpower Claremont citizens and even the city government in a court of law.

There are far too many people with cancer and other serious health problems in Claremont already. The last thing Claremont needs is a prolonged hazardous waste controversy on the front pages of the newspapers. Claremonters deserve better. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care in this case.

A public hearing will be held on Monday, July 22 at 7 p.m. at the Claremont Savings Bank Community Center, 152 South St. Interested parties may review the applications at the Planning and Development Department, in the Visitors Center on North Street during normal business hours. Comments may be submitted in person at the hearing, or in writing at 14 North Street, Claremont, N.H. 03743, or by email at cityplanner@claremontnh.com The sooner the planning board acts to end this controversy the better.

William “Bill” Gallagher

Cornish

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