TURNER — You might say that all is well with the Hannaford development plan.
At a Planning Board meeting Wednesday night, board members and Hannaford representatives spent more than an hour discussing how the proposed project might affect wells at homes in the area.
The opinion of a geologist representing Hannaford: not at all.
"In short, our well will not have any impact on the dug wells in the area," said geologist Steve Kelly.
The meeting focused on the roughly one-dozen homes in the area near Route 4 and Snell Hill Road, where Hannaford plans to open a supermarket in 2010. At previous meetings, as many as 70 residents showed up to raise questions about the plan or to outright oppose it.
The Planning Board meeting was more sedate. But Michael Gotto of the Turner Village Preservation Committee was there representing those whose land abuts property on which the grocery store will be built. He said there are fears that construction might disrupt nearby wells.
"The neighbors are very concerned about their water supply," Gotto said. "I think those neighbors deserve protection."
Gotto and others suggested that the wells of homeowners in the area be surveyed before the beginning of construction. That way, if problems arise later, those homeowners may be able to assert that it was the Hannaford project that caused those problems.
Kelly and Hannaford engineer Doug Boyce expressed concerns that such a survey might lead to the assumption that any problems that arise with nearby wells might be automatically blamed on the development. But after lengthy discussion, it was agreed that the supermarket chain would conduct surveys on the wells of nearby neighbors who want one.
The survey is expected to seek sample water from taps and collect background information on each well's construction and history. It was described at the meeting as a limited survey.
"We are not at all interested in opening anyone's well," Boyce said.
The planned store will be 36,000 square feet, the construction of it covering nearly 8 acres. Town leaders have trumpeted the project as a boon, citing job creation and the addition to the tax base. Opponents have argued that the construction and subsequent buzz of activity around a store of that size will bring noise and other problems to the area and diminish the character of the town.
The project, announced in May, is said to be among the biggest ever taken on in Turner — the most extensive since development at the DeCoster egg farm in the 1980s.
Also discussed at the meeting Wednesday were issues of noise levels generated by the store operation, sewage and waste issues and the matter of how to buffer the site between Hannaford and abutting properties. Original plans called for Hannaford to build a 10-foot fence around a section of its lot, a matter which consumed the final half-hour of the meeting.
"The direct abutters," said Gotto, "aren't interested in looking at a 10-foot-high fence."
Town officials and those from Hannaford will explore alternatives that may include buffers composed of natural vegetation.