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Auto repair business approved at Tinkham Avenue location

DERRY - In a joint meeting recently with the Conservation Commission and the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Adjustments unanimously approved a variance for the operation of an automotive service and repair business at 8 Tinkham Ave.

Although auto repair businesses are allowed in the Industrial 4 District on Tinkham Avenue, the variance and joint meeting were required because the business is in a groundwater resource conservation district.

Larry Ouellette, one of the business owners who will be leasing approximately 10,000 square feet of the 51,000 square-foot building, has been performing auto service and repairs for almost 20 years and is one of the only mechanics allowed to perform fleet maintenance inside the Federal Express ground sorting facility in Londonderry.

At the new facility, Ouellette said he expects much of his business will be for the Federal Express fleet, but added that he is looking to add outside business as well. ZBA member Lynn Perkins asked Ouellette if he could hear more about the containment system he will use if there are any gas or oil spills on the property.

"We have to have some form of containment in case of any spills on the property," said Ouellette.

The mat kits he said he will be using are a three step process that contain any potential spills, absorbent mats that soak up petroleum products but not water, and a plastic container to properly dispose of the mats.

"Those are the industry standard kits and they do exactly what he proposes that they do," said Planning Board member and firefighter Randy Chase.

Conservation Commission member Richard Tripp said he had questions about the site plan for the building and whether there were floor drains that could possibly lead to hazardous materials draining into the groundwater resource district.

Town code enforcement officer Robert Mackey said an inspection of the building would take place before the business opened and that floor drains would be an area of concern.

Ralph Valentine, representing the building owner, said he has walked the building many times and has never seen floor drains. "It's a big open space and the building is empty now," he said.

Ouellette also said there would be no repairs done outside nor would there be an long-term storage of vehicles on the property.

"All we do will be inside and 99 percent of what we do will be in and out on the same day," he said. The business expects to hire three or four new employees in its first year.

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Adam Swift may be reached at


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