Woolwich & Wellesley Township's Local Community Newspaper | Elmira, Ontario, Canada
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worries for foes of Jigs Hollow gravel pit

Woolwich residents opposed to housing recycling operations at a gravel pit planned for the Winterbourne valley aren’t likely to win over the township to their way of thinking. That didn’t stop them, however, from making their case June 12, as they called for plans to crush concrete and asphalt to be removed from the application.

Kuntz Topsoil, Sand and Gravel hopes to do just that at 125 Peel St., the 90-acre site that is said to house some 840,000 tonnes of gravel. The project has proved to be contentious, with residents from surrounding communities – Winterbourne, Conestogo and West Montrose – banding together in opposition.

The pit has been the subject of numerous presentations from residents. This week, the focus was on the recycling portion of the project, which is an active file at the Ontario Municipal Board. However, whereas neighbours fear the noise and dust, the township sees the recycling component as a valid extension of an aggregate operation.

That said, director of engineering and planning Dan Kennaley noted Woolwich has a long list of other concerns to be addressed at the OMB hearings initiated by the applicant, who accuses the township of dragging its feet.

On the recycling front, Winterbourne resident Jan Huissoon raised a red flag over the issue of berms on the site. The plan requires berms – mounds of earth – at various locations on the site to block sound and provide visual screening. In a presentation Tuesday night, he said Kuntz will need about 127,000 cubic metres of material to construct the required berms, including a 9.5-metre wall around the crushing machine to be used for recycling, but noted the entire area to be mined contains only about 111,000 cubic metres of cover.

In order to comply with the requirements, especially as half the cover material is supposed to remain in place until after the first phase of operations is complete, the company will have to import material or use gravel from the pit. The numbers alone are problematic, he argued.

For that reason, the township should proceed with caution, making sure it gets good answers to the outstanding questions, said Huissoon.

For West Montrose’s Lynn Hare, the unknowns surrounding the recycling are reason enough to separate it from the mix.

“It is time for this council to take a leadership role – remove recycling from this application completely.”

Not convinced, however, the township will look at controlling the recycling portion through a temporary-use bylaw, adding that to its list of outstanding issues.

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