Proposed Marion propane storage draws concern from neighbors

Apr 21, 2021

MARION — Abutters to a proposed propane storage area for two 30,000 gallon tanks expressed concern Tuesday night about the site at a Selectmen’s public hearing.

Sean Brice griped that using the area on Luce Avenue near the Marion Indoor Tennis Club for storage would “significantly reduce” the value of his abutting property.

He also called into question the expertise of Dena and Mike Xifaras, the couple who are proposing the storage.

The pair would use the space to create a propane business, which would deliver propane locally.

“Part of the reason Mike came up with this idea,” Dena said, was because he wanted to create jobs in Marion and stop outsourcing propane delivery to faraway towns.

“And we are committed to doing it in a safe and collaborative way,” Dena said.

Tucker Burr, another abutter to the property, said he’s appreciative of the idea of bringing development to Marion’s industrial park, but is wary of the Xifaras’ ability to properly store propane on Luce Avenue, a private road with a heavy slope.

Both Selectman Norm Hills and Brice also noted the logistical difficulties of the storage idea.

Because the road is private, it’s maintained by its owners and not the town. Hills and Brice both noted that the poor condition of the road would make it difficult for the business to operate.

But the Xifaras’ didn’t come to the board looking for full approval. The pair were looking to gauge Selectmen’s reaction to the business, a license to sell propane from the town and permission to store propane in Marion’s aquifer protection district.

“The good news,” Dena said, “is that propane is not something that affects groundwater.”

Dena also noted that she and her husband hadn’t gotten far into in-depth planning for the site, as they wanted to gauge the town’s reaction to the business idea.

“Our role here is pretty narrow,” Selectman John Waterman said. “Do we want to have this in our water protection district?”

Ultimately, the Selectmen voted to continue the public hearing until May 4.