Neighbors organize to protest tannery sale to ambulance service
Camden — Residents of the Millville area of Camden are concerned about the idea of the local ambulance service purchasing the former Apollo Tannery site on Washington Street.
According to Tom Resek, who lives on Rawson Avenue, the largest concern is safety of children as well as the disruption to quality of life in the relatively quiet neighborhood just outside downtown. He said there was no notice given to neighbors about the possibility of the ambulance service moving into the area and he found out about the announcement through local media.
"It's basically trying to say to people 'this has been done,'" Resek said Aug. 12. "They [Select Board] need to slow down a little and give the neighborhood one last chance to put something together."
He said those opposed to the idea of North East Mobile Health Services relocating to the property plan to address selectmen as well as the Conservation Commission this week during regular meetings as well as writing letters to local papers.
"This is an opportunity to do something positive rather than fill a space," Resek said.
Suggestions from neighbors have focused on having a small commercial enterprise and leaving most of the nearly 4-acre parcel as green space, he said. Other options could include a park filled with wildflowers, a new home for the farmer's market, a summer festival site, a craft school, an environmental learning center or a sculpture park, he said.
"If [the town] is looking for money, it should invest in the neighborhood and tax values will rise," Resek said. "Nobody is going to say 'I'm going to move to Millville to be close to that ambulance service.' ... People who live here are trying to make this a great place."
Plans made public by the town indicate a driveway to the ambulance facility on Rawson Avenue as well as Washington Street.
"If there's a driveway on Rawson where there's an ambulance coming out, we're not going to want to live here," Resek said.
He said the neighbors are working to contact a lawyer to explore legal options as well as planning a community meeting.
"We're not going to sit on our hands and say this is fine," Resek said.
While the group is only loosely organized as this point — with only a few days under its belt — a number of people already have expressed an interest in becoming involved by phone and email, he said. Those with questions or who are interested in joining the community group may contact Resek by calling 612-599-8811.
Courier Publications Editor Stephanie Grinnell can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at email@example.com.