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Kobyluck Tells His Side

The Man Who Wants To Put A Stone Processing Plant At 28 Industrial Drive Discusses His History, His Intent And Why He Says His Project Will Actually Improve The Environment

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.

Environmental Concerns

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.

Current State

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.

History

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.

The Man

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."

fred jacobini January 19, 2012 at 11:45 AM
where's all the big mouth who say they know what they are talking about now !!!!!! just people who want there house's built and pools in there yard and never think about how they get there
fred jacobini January 19, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Also this family has done plenty for community and this is how you thank them why don't all you nay sayers mind your own buissnes !!!!!!!
Sarah orr January 19, 2012 at 12:08 PM
I don't see why the town won't allow him to do his work. Wouldnt it bring in more taxes because instead of it being just land there will be building and such? It all sounds safe and no harm to me.
Property Owner January 19, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Fred, it would be "mouths" not "mouth", "their" not "there" and "buisness" is "business". BTW, I don't have a pool. Anyway, I still have an issue with this. Noise, as Kobyluck admitted will still be evident. While volunteering and coaching are great, it has nothing to do with the application, or the history the company has in other towns. I'm confused as to why is Kobyluck suing the town from blocking a quarry if he has no intent of operating one in town? Please explain.
Kevin Girard January 19, 2012 at 12:13 PM
I have nothing against the man personally, and would enjoy going out to the site and hearing more about his plans. I'm also generally pro business, and do see how some improvement to the conditions at site will occur. I also applaud anyone's contributions to their town. This article, however, paints a skewed view of how "nice" such a facility will be. For example, I don't think it's accurate, to say that the 50' stone wall will abate the noise - I think it will echo it. Would love to see the science that describes the abatement. More critical, to me, however, is significant "excavation" (not once in the article does that say "blasting") that will have to occur. There is potential damage to the aquifers and artesian wells on site and foundations on adjacent properties that no one can predict the consequence of. Homeowners nearby have made an investment in their homes that will likely have negative return - try selling a property adjacent to a quarry in the current or future market. Since the quarry wasn't there when they purchased, it's hard to fault them for pouring their hard earned money and lives into their homes and seeing that altered significantly. Substantially increased truck traffic will bring more noise, damage to roads. Finally, I appreciate that Kobyluck has a side of the story regarding violations, but I wonder what snags are going to manifest at this facility and what it will cost to litigate those snags as happened in nearby towns.
fred jacobini January 19, 2012 at 12:23 PM
HEY PROPERTY OWNER WHY DON'T TO STICK TO TEACHING ENGLISH AND STAY OUT OF SAND AND GRAVEL REGULATIONS YOU SEEM TO BE BETTER AT IT
Joe S. January 19, 2012 at 12:41 PM
This is not a pesonal attach against Mr Kobyluck. I do have to ask when the invitation to walk the land was offered. It sounds nice to say that but I do not recall such as offer. This article paints a beautiful picture of the application, however like some pictures, this one paints a more "Surrealistic" picture then one of reality. Constant daily blasting for 5-10 years that will be heard miles away (remember those of you that can hear the speedbowl on select weekends in the summer will here this facility every day for 5-10 years). There are many expert opinions that feel this application has significant enviromental risks, and dont fool yourselves this will not result in increased taxes but will results in a loss of taxes. Do the math. All I can say is that people need to educate themselves on this applications, the applicants past history and the impacts this will have to our town. And when I say educate yourselves I mean do more then just read the patch articles. Do some research. Use the internet. Attend the town meetings. Become aware.
fred jacobini January 19, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Joe the last article he said anyone who wants to look can contact him
Property Owner January 19, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Sarah, the properties close to this will lose value, the roads will need repair sooner due to the heavy equipment on them daily, the oversight by the town for compliance are all things that will cost $$. It's better left somewhere else.
Paul Petrone (Editor) January 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Well, there appears to be some disagreement on who exactly disturbed the property, the state or the previous owner. So, I changed it in the article to the generic "developer." The bigger point is the property is indeed disturbed (feel free to look at the photos).
William Terry January 19, 2012 at 02:11 PM
From all I have seen the Koblucks always have run their business on a high level. They take pride in their plant and equipment. Their trucks are clean and look to be well maintained. From your story above they seem to have tried to cover all the objections that could arrise. They are taking steps to improve and protect the environment, This is an industrial park, not an office park. We need good paying jobs and respectable businesses in Waterford.
Property Owner January 19, 2012 at 02:16 PM
A high level? Not so much according to the articles I'm reading from their experiences in Montville and Salem. Sorry, but your past should come into play here. There are some serious concerns with this application. It's not all "roses" as this article says....
Concerned Resident January 19, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Perhaps people should go to the Public Hearing on January 26 at 7:00 and voice their concerns or support instead of writing rude comments here. And once again, even in an area zoned as an industrial park there are regulations as to what is acceptable.
Paul January 19, 2012 at 11:21 PM
I think Mr Petrone should note that when Senator Blumenthal was the attorney general it was his responsibility to sue companies who violate regulations that are in place to protect the publics interests. With that said, during attorney Blumenthal's term he sued a lot of companies who allegedly violated regulations. There are companies out there who counter sued the state of CT and won! If Mr Kobyluck thought he was wronged than why not counter sue the state. Maybe he did? He seems to not have a problem with suing the town of Waterford.
Joe S. April 11, 2012 at 12:33 AM
An invitation to walk the land sounds great. Great PR move. But no matter how much lipstick you put on the pig, its still a pig. I have been looking at revision after revision of the applicants site plans. I live in the area and know the land. So, except for a good PR speech, there is nothing to gain from such an invite. Where you get the impartial info needed to make a decision of this magnitude is by doing your own research - learn about other sites this company has worked. Did you know that the Salem town assessor's office decreased the property value of 'their' neighbors by 20%? Who can afford that? And,how many people are going to benefit from this application? The applicant stated at the meeting last night there will be 5-10 employees at the new operation. 5-10!! As opposed to how many will feel the detrimental effects of this operation - 100's. Seems a little one sided. And again, according to the Patch, its all about the 'much maligned' owner. How Salem and Montville were just big misunderstandings. Yea, that looks great until you see letters from the DEEP to the applicant sighting multiple violations - and no response for months. Misunderstanding? No, there is a blatant disregard for the permitting process within this company.. The only thing I can say is - again - do the research - if you are still for this application - great - show up at the meeting and state your case. But, if you come out with the opposing view, do the same.

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