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Hume RV park proposal raises eyebrows in Monterey

hume new england sign in snow on street

Chestnut Hill Road in Monterey, home to Hume New England, is closed and unplowed for the season.

MONTEREY — Hume New England’s proposal for an RV park in town is raising some eyebrows.

Proposed plans show Hume’s RV park for a proposed family camp would be accessible by dirt and gravel Cronk Road and Chestnut Hill Road, with connections for volunteers to hook up their RVs to electricity, water and sewer.

Select Board member Susan Cooper said she worries about the toll the park and its associated activities could have on town infrastructure.

Namely, she thinks about wear and tear to the unpaved roadway that feeds into Hume New England. She notes that the organization doesn’t pay any local taxes to or make payments-in-lieu-of-taxes to the town, which some other tax exempt entities make to their host communities.

Sites for a dozen campers were in the plans the Planning Board denied and is on appeal, but court documents a draft master plan from Hume includes a potential 44 sites.

Cooper, specifying that she’s speaking as an individual and not representing the opinion of the Select Board as a whole, said Hume is a “drain on our resources.”

“I think this small town might end up having to pay to do a lot of work on that road,” she said. “They’re basically using our resources and not giving anything back, from my perspective.”

She said it isn’t fair that Hume should be permitted to build an RV park when other groups aren’t allowed to, saying she’s sure others would welcome opportunity to do so.

“I understand the idea of not discriminating against a religious organization, but I don’t believe that that should entitle them to the privilege of things that for anybody else would be prohibited,” Cooper said.

Thomas Sawyer, co-chair of the town Planning Board, said the board has a good working relationship with Hume. Asked to characterize the relationship between the town and Hume, Sawyer said, “It depends who you talk to.”

“From the Planning Board’s view, we’ve had a good relationship all along; I think some of the neighbors are not happy with the traffic,” he said, while some have previously complained about noise coming from the camp.

Amanda Burke can be reached at aburke@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6296.

Cops and Courts Reporter

Amanda Burke is Cops and Courts Reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. An Ithaca, New York native, she previously worked at The Herald News of Fall River and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise.

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