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Wellesley approves hot-mix asphalt plant at Boomer Line gravel pit operation

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Preston Sand and Gravel’s plans to expand the range of operations at a Boomer Line site got the go-ahead from Wellesley councillors this week.

The addition of hot-mix asphalt and a ready-mix concrete plants at the company’s Wolfe Pit were met with concerns about increased traffic, however, as councillors met Tuesday night.

“I do have a concern about the additional truck traffic that this could create,” said Coun. Shelley Wagner, who objected to the request. “I think specifically going through Heidelberg. It’s going to affect Heidelberg, it’s going to affect going past Hawkesville – both of those locations now see a lot of truck traffic. We have very little policing on those roads to maintain speeds.

“I think this is going to generate a lot of traffic,” she added.

Coun. Carl Smit echoed Wagner’s concerns in addressing a representative of the company.

“You talk about traffic – it is a regional road, but they go through Heidelberg, and that’s all the complaints I get is trucks. I know it’s not just your plant, but it’s a big concern to the people of Heidelberg,” said Smit.

The planner for the company couldn’t speculate how the processing would affect traffic levels at the site, suggesting it would depend on the level of business. The planner pointed out the company was limited to extracting up to one million tonnes of gravel a year, putting a cap on the amount of product the pit could generate.

“The truck traffic will essentially be within the cap,” said the planner with the IBI Group representing Preston Sand and Gravel (PSG).

While a concern for local councillors, the Region of Waterloo, which maintains responsibility over regional roads, had no issues with traffic in its preliminary comments on PSG’s request.

“I did get an email today (Tuesday) with their preliminary comments, and they only commented on the groundwater, which is not an issue for them,” said township planner Geoff VanderBaaren.

Coun. Peter van der Maas questioned IBI on the safety measures dealing with hot-mix asphalt.

“The hot-mix asphalt liquid is a petroleum product, right?” van der Maas asked the IBI planner, who said she didn’t know.

“I’m pretty sure that it is,” he responded.“I’m just wondering  about safeguards because that is a natural filtering area.”

“So they are stored in double-walled tanks with safety measures in case of any spills, as well material would be handled in accordance with the TSSA guidelines,” said the planner.

Councillors ultimately voted to approve the request, with Wagner opposing. The plant will join similar operations on the neighbouring gravel pits, Steed and Evans and Kieswetter.

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