Matt Kobluck just wants people to hear him out.
of Kobyluck Brothers LLC offered a site tour to who wanted to see exactly what . who last year hired an environmental scientist to testify against Kobyluck, only one , Patch, agreed to go on the walk.
“I just want people to judge the proposal on the merits of the application,” Kobyluck said. “And then, if they have issues, all right. But at least get all the information.”
The Exact Proposal
Kobyluck owns 37 acres at 28 Industrial Drive, a piece of property that Jordan Brook runs through on one side and power lines run through on the other. He proposes to build a $5 million stone manufacturing plant between those two barriers.
His goal is to excavate a mostly flat, seven-acre pad for three fully enclosed rock crushers that would process stone he would sell. To have the pad be level, Kobyluck needs to excavate the seven acres up to 56 feet down through bedrock. His company will process all the stone taken out on site with temporary, unenclosed processors. The excavation will take up to five years, he said.
When it is complete, it will essentially be a square pit in the ground with bedrock walls up to 56 feet high surrounding three sides, with the highest building on the pad 40-feet tall. If you were looking at it from a flat piece of ground, you wouldn’t even see the plant, Kobyluck said.
Aside from blocking the view, the 50-foot stone walls will serve as a noise barrier for the rock crushers, he said. The noise will be also be reduced because the crushers will be enclosed in buildings, something that is not required but Kobyluck said is better for him and better for the neighbors.
All dust will be contained within the enclosed buildings, he said. The nearest home is about 1,000 feet away from the actual processing facility, and the only real negative will be some noise mostly during regular working hours, he said.
Kobyluck has hired person after person to build a system to address all environmental concerns, and provided more information about the project than any of the engineers have ever seen. The project will have no impact on Jordan Brook, and actually improve the problems that are already there, he said.
The reason for the massive excavation is to pitch the entire site slightly downward to the north end of the property, on the opposite side of the wetlands. There all the storm water will be collected, and go into a primary retention basin with a water liner and through a system that will clean the water of all containments and sediment, he said.
Then the storm water, will go into one large retention basin. If that fills up, water will overflow into two smaller retention basins. The idea is to have no water flow off the site, but instead infiltrate through the ground, he said.
If multiple 100-year storms hit, a rare occurrence, there is a chance some water would run into the wetlands at the south end of the property. However, that water will still be remediated and not ruin the habitat, he said.
Currently the property is in much worse condition, and grows worse every day, Kobyluck said. The town allows all storm water runoff from Industrial Drive to discharge completely unremediated into Jordan Brook, which brings sediment into the water and ruins the habitat, he said. If a private company did that, they would be fined heavily, Kobyluck said.
Kobyluck is proposing two new systems, one that will remediate the storm water from Industrial Drive and another remediating the storm water from the driveway to his plant. Then the water will run into Jordan Brook. (A waterway needs a rocky, natural bottom to allow fish and other wildlife to live in it, and sediment destroys that habitat.)
The town will pay to fix the runoff off of the road, Kobyluck said.
Secondly, in the 1960s and 1970s the property disturbed by developers. That was before any of the regulations; so much of the property was left with no vegetation, Kobyluck said.
Kobyluck will alleviate that problem somewhat by grading some of the areas and then replanting them with trees and other vegetation.
Kobyluck also said he would remove some of the asphalt and stone that was dumped into Jordan Brook by developers years ago. Overall, the project will have no environmental impact to Jordan Brook, and actually improve what is there already, Kobyluck said.
Kobyluck discussed in great detail the problems he had in Salem and Montville. He also pointed out many of his successes in business as well, particularly when working in Waterford.
In Montville, the regulations changed and Kobyluck, at that time fairly new to running the company, didn’t keep up. What happened was then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal “wanted to make an example out of somebody,” and hit him with a $100,000 fine, he said.
"I learned from my mistake," Kobyluck said.
In Salem, it was more complicated. He alleged the town issued a permit to do certain things, and when people began to complain, the town reneged on what was in the permit. Kobyluck agreed to pay $125,000 to the town for various fines with the understanding that his permit on Rattlesnake Ledge would be approved. It was approved, but with such tight restrictions that it made it impossible to make money at the property, he said.
In both instances in Montville and Salem, the permit was issued to another builder and then Kobyluck bought the property. In all instances where he secured a permit, there have not been issues, he said.
Five Feet From Jordan Brook
Meanwhile, Kobyluck has for years owned a Ready-Mix concrete plant on Industrial Drive that sits just five feet away from Jordan Brook (his new proposal is at least 100 feet away from the waterway). In that time, independent inspectors have found no contamination to the waterway, Kobyluck said.
Kobyluck also pointed out his company's record on doing site work at the new and . Those two projects had no issues with the site work, while the three Kobyluck didn’t work on, the renovations of , and , all had problems, he said.
Kobyluck is aware of the negative reception he received in both public hearings and on news websites like . But one the goals of this project is to “be a model,” and create a business that he can pass on proudly to his son.
“I live (in Waterford), I love it here, I love the community, I love the school system,” he said. “My only regret is I didn’t move here sooner. The last thing I want to do is build something that is not responsible.”
Again, he asked anybody who had an issue to go on a site walk with him, so he could clearly mark out his plan. Just give him the opportunity, he said.
Kobyluck also volunteers coaching sports in town, and has donated time and equipment building youth fields in Waterford and Montville. A Babe Ruth baseball field at Mohegan Elementary School in Montville is named after Kobyluck’s late brother, Dan Kobyluck, Jr.
“I’m not a bad guy,” Kobyluck said. “I’m really not."