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40-acre salmon farm proposed in Belfast

BELFAST (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- New business and new jobs usually makes the folks in Maine communities grateful.

But in Belfast--- some see something fishy about a plan to farm fish on land.

A company from Norway, Nordic AquaFarms, plans to open a new business in Belfast.

Nordic AquaFarms plans to put a 40-acre salmon farm in town. Officials are all for it, but some residents are not on board.

"Everything seemed to move very very quickly. There was not a lot of forum for public discussion. Almost none of us knew anything about land based fish farms." Ellie Daniels of Belfast said.

This process began last summer and the city informed the public in February.

Residents, like Daniels, feel they are moving too fast and want their voices to be heard.

But the city has already passed an amendment to change the zoning from residential two to industrial.

"We're suing the city. We basically found out that actually several really critical steps had been bypassed in the cities handling." Daniels said,

What many residents are most concerned about is the environment.

"I'm concerned about the environmental harms for sure, I'm concerned most about the bay and deep water wells." Daniels said.

Daniels and others are not happy about the proposed plans, but some members of the community see this as economic growth and good for the city.

"I think it's very exciting. I think it's something that is going to provide good jobs. It's going to provide a link with a future." Steve Ryan of the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce, said.

Wednesday concerned citizens will be holding a press conference outside Troy Howard Middle School before the planning board public hearing at 6 p.m. in hopes to slow the process down and let their voices be heard.

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