Puslinch councillor seeks more information on Aikensville pit

Puslinch councillor Matthew Bulmer wants to get more detailed drawings from Capital Paving before the county approves an official plan amendment for the proposed Aikensville gravel pit.
Upset with what he called the “whiney tone” of a letter  to the county from Peter Pick­field, who represents the Capital Paving, Bulmer told Puslinch council last week he wants to take advantage of the delay at the county level.
“I don’t want to go to the [Ontario Municipal Board] with our fly down,” Bulmer said, adding he still has several issues with Capital’s application.
Bulmer said the township should take the opportunity to try to get items the township is seeking included in the plans. He specifically mentioned “ex­traction contour” drawings.
“I think it’s a reasonable request,” he said.
He explained to council that he is “not completely comfortable” with four basic elevation parameters tied to seemingly random dates, and he wondered why there cannot be specific extraction elevations included in the drawings.
Bulmer also asked about setbacks, and expressed frustration that the township has no input about where on the site extraction and processing activities can take place.
Mayor Brad Whitcombe supported Bulmer’s idea, calling it “the Kissinger approach,” and said the township should ask its experts if the changes are possible.
“I think it warrants some ex­planation,” Whitcombe said.
The mayor said he had hoped mediation was possible, but it seems, “It’s all or nothing right now.” He added that residents do not trust Capital be­cause the company has, in the past, made changes to pit plans after mediation was completed.
Councillor Dick Visser said Bulmer’s idea may delay things even longer. He likened the process to “a bad tooth­ache,” and said, “Sooner or later this thing has to come to a head.”
Bulmer replied, “My interest isn’t to cause a longer delay,” but just to make the best use of the time the township has now.
  “I don’t want to have a gun to my head again,” by having to pass a zoning bylaw right after – and if – the county ap­proves the official plan amendment, Bulmer said.
Visser said he is in favour of Bulmer trying to negotiate more specific drawings, and the rest of council also agreed.
“I appreciate what you’re trying to accomplish and I hope the public realizes what you’re trying to achieve here,” Whitcombe said.
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The letter from Pickfield stated that the claim made by a member of the Cranberry Area Ratepayers and Residents Association (CARRA) – that the amount of aggregate on the site is actually closer to 500,000 tonnes than the 1.5 million tonnes Capital says is there – “is simply wrong.”
The member has “neither the technical expertise nor knowledge to provide such a calculation,” Pickfield said in the letter. In fact, he added, the 1.5 million tonne estimate is “conservatively low, taking into account the potential variations in the groundwater level.”
Pickfield called the letter from the CARRA Group “inappropriate” because it contains “misleading and inaccurate” information and serves no purpose other than to delay the process. That caused Bulmer to take issue with the “somewhat whiney tone” of the letter.
“They’re big boys,” he said of the proponents and their representatives. If they want to lobby the county and township, they should not be surprised if residents do the same, he added.
Whitcombe agreed.
“It’s all part of the deal,” the mayor said.