FEATURES Salem Times Register

Scrap business request rescheduled to April

SALEM – “We’ll be back.” That was the overall sentiment from the 40 neighbors in the Kesler Mill Road area who turned out for Monday night’s advertised public hearing about a proposed indoor recycling business they believe would be “a junk yard.”

They didn’t get to speak, though. The hearing was continued until the April 14 Salem City Council meeting.

Opposing sides Green Gearheads business owner Jay Brenner, left, explains his ideas to Kesler Mill Road neighborhood resident Chuck Garfield after Salem City Council's meeting Monday night when the indoor scrap yard request was continued until April 14. – Photo by Meg Hibbert
Opposing sides
Green Gearheads business owner Jay Brenner, left, explains his ideas to Kesler Mill Road neighborhood resident Chuck Garfield after Salem City Council’s meeting Monday night when the indoor scrap yard request was continued until April 14. – Photo by Meg Hibbert

Green Gearheads owner Jay Brenner asked for the continuation because, he said, he wants more time to meet with and explain his ideas to businesses next to him and the neighbors.

Salem City Council members have questions for the city’s planning staff, too, they said, but did not go into details as to what they are.

“I don’t think we can get all the questions answered in two weeks,” said Council Member Bill Jones, when staff was suggesting the continuation be March 11.

“This is not something we want to rush,” added Council Member Jane Johnson.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Brenner and one of the more outspoken residents from the Planning Commission Meeting a week ago, Chuck Garfield, stayed in the emptying council chambers across the aisle from each other, talking.

Brenner invited Garfield to come to the business to see what he is already doing in shredding and recycling paper and plastic inside an 11,000-square foot steel building.

Brenner told the Salem Planning Commission at its public hearing a week ago that he intends to manufacture more efficient recycling equipment to compact metals and eventually, automobiles.

The building, which has two other businesses in it, is actually located at 1435 Lakeside Circle, off Kesler Mill Road in a manufacturing area.

At the Salem Planning Commission meeting a week ago, Garfield was one of 10 residents who voiced their concerns. Those ranged from noise, vibrations, traffic, trash and a threat of increased crime that could spill over into the residential area, by people looking to steal copper.

The Salem Planning Commission voted 3-2 to recommend approval by council.

One of the neighbors who wasn’t at the Feb. 17 meeting was Russ West, but Monday night, he vowed to be at the April 14 meeting.

“I have a whole list of questions and objections,” said West.

The April 14 Salem City Council meeting will start at 7:30 p.m.

 

About the author

Meg Hibbert

Meg Hibbert held the position of editor of the Salem Times-Register and The New Castle Record from July 1999 - July 2014. She won more than two dozen awards from the Virginia Press Association for feature writing, columns, business articles, health and environmental writing and education coverage. She and her husband, Bill, live in Salem and are avid University of Georgia Bulldogs.

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