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'I see no evidence of any of our input being considered'
to the editor,
In June of this year, almost a dozen residents (myself included) spoke
up at council against the proposed Nelson Aggregates draft agreement,
based on both the particulars of the agreement and the rush to push it
Tonight at the September council meeting, staff are trying to push
through an amended version of the draft agreement with the claim that
they have rewritten it "to reflect input received from council and
members of the public."
Well, in reading the revised agreement I see no evidence of any of our
input being considered. I see very little, if any improvement and in
the case of hours of truck operation there is an actual increase of
half an hour each weekday and an extra hour on Saturdays - starting at
6 am, six days a week.
They are still trying to push through the trail park issue - a trail
through a floodplain, adjoining a noisy, dusty pit - which will cost
the Township/taxpayers to maintain. Thanks but no thanks.
The six cents per tonne levy for road repairs for damages incurred by
the trucks is required by law, and other than that Nelson is under no
other obligations that aren't already required by the MNRF. I would
like to know what these "fees related to the extractive process and
other benefits" are because they are not set out in the revised draft
Township staff keep harping on the fact the legal implications are,
"Should council defer consideration of the Agreement until after the
OMB hearing, that avenue for resolution of oustanding concerns will be
lost." But planning report #2017-18 also states "the Township did not object to the Aggregate Resources Act
(ARA) application being processed, but would withhold final support
until an agreement with Nelson Aggregates related to the Township's
interests in the land use was completed." This is definitive, and
contradicts the "legal opinion" quite obviously.
So, why are staff in such a rush to push through this agreement? It is
a private agreement between Nelson and the Municipality, and therefore
is outside the Planning Act and the jurisdiction of the OMB. So why the
rush to push it through before the OMB hearing?
Surely, the Township would be in a stronger position to negotiate the
site plan agreement once the OMB decision was made. Or, would have been
stronger yet had they negotiated a beneficial agreement before granting
the zoning change in the first place.