Quarry report expected in late summer

Guelph-Eramosa council told about 100 people in attendance at a June 1 meeting that it’s aiming to have a planning report for the Rockwood “hidden quarry” completed by September.

The regular council meeting was held at the Rockmosa Community Centre due to public interest and almost every seat was filled with people concerned about the quarry.

At the previous council meeting on May 19 the township was told James Dick Construction Ltd. (JDCL) had referred its Aggregate Resources Act application for the quarry on Highway 7 near the Sixth Line to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) because the township exceeded the two-year limit to make a decision.

 “The bottom line with the quarry is … now it’s council’s job to figure out what its position will be with regards to that application,” Mayor Chris White said at the beginning of the meeting.

He said the draft planning report is needed before a decision is made and it should be completed at the end of August or early September.

He added the township will arrange a public meeting for residents to give their input on the planning report and the quarry.

“Hopefully, if everything goes relatively smoothly, by the end of September council will make its decision on its position and then we will decide where we’re going from there,” White said.

There were three delegations at the meeting, one from the Concerned Residents Coalition (CRC) and two from Rockwood residents.

Perry Groskopf and Doug Tripp presented on behalf of the CRC, a group in opposition to the quarry since it was initially proposed in March 2013.

Groskopf asked council to look at the whole picture and how all of the various reports relate to one another rather than looking at the individual reports in isolation.

“We are sure that you appreciate the interconnections that exist among these issues such that a problem in any one area has many ramifications on other areas,” he told council.

Tripp continued the presentation and mentioned numerous documents he says the CRC and council have requested but haven’t received: a revision of the JDCL cultural heritage report, a more thorough visual impact study, an economic impact study, a response from the township regarding financial protections, additional studies of the wells upstream and downstream of the site, review of JDCL’s groundwater model, JDCL’s response and R.J. Burnside’s comments on the species at risk report, a full study on the fish habitat in Brydson Creek, a thorough review by township consultants of the hydrology report, completion of an archeology stage three assessment, and several peer reviews.

CAO Kim Wingrove said many of the issues will be addressed in the upcoming planning report.

The first resident to address council was Peter Kauss regarding his concerns about the potential decrease in quality of life and property values the quarry presents.

He said the decrease in value should be reflected in assessments of property value and municipal taxes levied.

Douglas Heuman, the third delegation to present to council, addressed discrepancies between what was said at the initial JDCL presentation to council in March 2013 and what was outlined in the traffic impact study.

“The study focused almost entirely on eastbound trips along Highway 7, only five per cent of the trips were noted as northward via Highway 7 and Sixth Line and none westward,” he said.

“That led me to believe that none of the traffic would be through Rockwood.”

However, he said northbound meant travel through Rockwood on Highway 7 so JDCL was inaccurate when it initially said there would be no traffic through Rockwood because Highway 7 is on the potential haul route.

Wingrove concluded the quarry discussion by explaining the township was working to complete:

– R.J. Burnside comments on the haul route study to be submitted to JDCL for response;

– the final comments from R.J. Burnside on hydrology;

– the completion of an economic impact study;

– the review of the agricultural impact study and comments to send to JDCL for response; and

– the Harden Environmental Services response to the Hunter report findings and R.J. Burnside’s comments.