Champlain Oil facility nears fruition (2/11/10)

Feb. 11, 2010

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

A new fleet fueling and office complex for the Champlain Oil Company Inc. took a step closer to reality Tuesday. The Development Review Board approved a discretionary permit for the company to begin its final plans toward construction.

The South Burlington-based company plans to move its main operations to Marshall Avenue near the junction with Shunpike Road. With the discretionary permit in hand, Champlain Oil will enter a stringent state permitting process before it can obtain final approval from the town.

If built, the eight-acre site will feature the company’s fleet fueling facility for its trucks, including gasoline pumps. The fueling facilities allow Champlain Oil trucks to fill their own gas tanks at wholesale costs, company spokesperson Paul Wamzganz said at a previous meeting.

Also on site will be a two-story office building, storage and maintenance buildings, and parking for office workers and fueling truck storage.

During Champlain Oil’s pre-application stage, the Development Review Board expressed concerns about the site’s proximity to a tributary of the Muddy Brook. With oil trucks fueling near an impaired waterway, the board asked for more details on how to curb possible leakages.

Plans call for curved pavement around the facility to ensure water flows into the company’s two stormwater retention ponds and not into wetlands or streams. On Tuesday night, project engineer Scott Homsted of Krebs & Lansing Consulting Engineers said Champlain Oil added further stormwater systems, including rain gardens. A tree-lined earthen berm will be built where the property lies closest to a tributary, as well.

Wamzganz also explained more details in regards to the project Tuesday. The second story of the office building may not be occupied right away, he said. Champlain Oil’s offices will likely remain on the first floor and the company intends to lease out the upstairs in the near future. Wamzganz said he did not know when the company would rent out the space.

“Honestly, it’s market driven,” he said.

The facility’s lighting also remained a concern for some board members. Since trucks will be able to access the fuel pumps on a 24-hour basis, Wamzganz said the lights would be on timers or on motion sensors during overnight hours. One pump, however, would always be lit, he said.

If Champlain Oil receives the appropriate permits from the state, the Development Review Board asked the company to return to present its final plans for approval.