Selectmen last week approved a special permit to AL Prime Energy to construct a gas station and convenience store at 2083 Bridge St., the former site of Crackers Lounge.

Matt Hamor of LandPlex LLC, a land development services firm based in Lowell, presented the design for the service station and a detached 2600-square-foot convenience store. AL Prime will also provide a diesel-fueling station.

AL Prime will be required to meet conditions applied to the special permit, including a limit on hours of operation. The company said it "would like not to be restricted on this."

Selectmen, however, set hours from 5 a.m. to midnight. The company can come back if those need to be adjusted, Selectmen Chairman Jesse Forcier said.

Forcier said, "I am most interested in trash removal."

The town experienced problems in the past with trash-removal hours at the site. An AL Prime spokesman said his company will schedule trash removal to accommodate neighbors and the town.

"This is the most comprehensive and well-done of all proposals for this site," Dracut Development Director Elizabeth Ware said.

Selectmen also granted a license for one 30,000-gallon gasoline underground storage tank and one 6,000-gallon diesel underground tank.

In other news:

* Police Chief Peter Bartlett introduced three new police officers to selectmen. Bartlett then administered the oath of office to Officers Tony Ngeth, Brendan Mahoney and Andrew Gys.


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All have graduated from the Lowell Police Academy and completed field training under the supervision of Dracut police Sgt. Jon Gosselin.

* Selectmen voted to recognize Jan. 20-26 as School Choice Week.

-- ELIZABETH DOBBINS