By Paul Tennant
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Pentucket Bank’s bid to build a branch office at Butcher Boy Plaza moved closer to approval last night.
The Conservation Commission voted to close the public hearing process and issue a decision on the project within 12 days.
A major stumbling block has been the proposed office’s close proximity to Lake Cochichewick, North Andover’s drinking water supply. Because part of the office would be within 400 feet of the lake, state environmental regulations restrict the amount of runoff that can flow from the site.
Richard Barthelmes and Michael Juliano, engineers hired by Angus Realty Trust, owner of Butcher Boy Plaza, said runoff from the site will be directed into an underground retention system or into a drain that will send it to the Merrimack River.
The underground retention system will substantially reduce pollution in the runoff, Juliano said.
Conservation Administrator Jennifer Hughes said Lisa Eggleston, an engineer who advises the town, is satisfied with the changes that have been made to the storm water management plan.
The Conservation Commission and Planning Board have spent many hours over the last few months reviewing the project.
“We’ve worked long and hard to satisfy everybody,” Barthelmes told The Eagle-Tribune.
The project still faces more review by the Planning Board, he said.
Pentucket Bank is based in Haverhill.
Last night, the Conservation Commission also reviewed the plan of Bake’N Joy Foods, 351 Willow St., to upgrade its wastewater system. The company, which supplies muffins and other baked goods to supermarkets, is expanding and federal regulations require Bake’N Joy to treat its wastewater before it goes into the local sewer system, commission members said.