SALISBURY — The blue oval Ford signs may still stand at its Route 1 entrance, but the former home of Wall Ford dealership is now the domain of Georgetown-based G. Mello Disposal Corp., its huge trash-collection vehicles lined up neatly in the parking lot.
The expansion into Salisbury appears to be a logical move, given the amount of business the family-owned company does in the area. Headquartered on Tenney Street in Georgetown, Mello is the contracted hauler for the cities of Newburyport and Amesbury, as well as the town of West Newbury, and it runs Newbury’s transfer station. Mello is also the private choice of scores of this area’s businesses and residents, including many in Salisbury.
The site, which is zoned for commercial use on the northern corridor of Salisbury’s Route 1, has dual access, from both Route 1 and Toll Road. Town Manager Neil Harrington said building inspector/code enforcement officer David Lovering determined the business could locate there without need for further hearings or town approvals, in accordance with Salisbury’s zoning ordinance.
However, Harrington and Selectmen Jerry Klima and Fred Knowles acknowledged they’ve already received complaints from those living nearby, who are concerned about Mello’s presence and potential problems.
“I got two calls this weekend,” Knowles said. “They came from abutters concerned about possible smells that could come from the (trash-hauling) trucks,” Knowles said.
Knowles said in the past when neighbors raised odor or noise issues, selectmen could address such problems as conditions of their business licenses. However, Knowles said, it appears that because Mello provides a service and does not sell a product, according to Salisbury’s regulations, it does not need a business license to set up shop in town. Only if Mello decides to sell or rent dumpsters from its site will it be required to get a business license, Knowles said.
Harrington has heard the complaints, saying the town will work to protect those nearby.
“The building inspector has assured me he’ll monitor the situation,” Harrington said. “If (odor) becomes an issue, we’ll take care of it. We do not want that to happen.”
Harrington said Mello has a good business reputation and the goal is for the company to “live in peace and harmony with neighbors.”
Harrington’s understanding is that Mello employees will arrive at work using the property’s Route 1 entrance, but Mello hauling vehicles will enter and exit the property from its Toll Road entrance. Trash hauling vehicles are not parked at the site overnight while full of potentially odor-offensive refuse, Harrington said; at the end of their runs, vehicles dump their loads at a transfer facility before returning to the business for the day.
A plus in having Mello and its expensive vehicles kept on Salisbury property is that the town will be getting what should be a considerable boost in its excise tax revenues. According to Selectman Donald Beaulieu, excise tax is paid to the community in which vehicles are kept or garaged overnight.
Jason Mello was called for comment, but did not return calls.