By Bill Tremblay
Orangeville Mayor Rob Adams wants to see compensation from Olympia Sand and Gravel, the company looking to operate the Melville Pit.
At Dufferin County Council on Thursday (March 13), Adams tabled a motion asking staff to examine the potential costs associated with truck traffic from the pit using County Road 109.
“I’ve asked because I know there will be a cost and there will be an impact to local residents,” Adams said. “I want to give our staff an opportunity to do some work on it and bring back some good information.”
Olympia Sand and Gravel plans to use about 118 hectares of land at 20946 Willoughby Rd. in Caledon for the extraction of 1.2 million tonnes of gravel annually. The pit, located about 1 km outside of Orangeville would become Caledon’s third largest gravel operation. Its host municipality has approved the project despite Orangeville’s objection.
“Orangeville continues to consider and review its options. … I think we have a responsibility to do whatever we can,” Adams said. “Right now we’re still assessing the situation and what our options are.”
When operational, the pit would generate 460 truck trips along the designated haul route of Porterfield Road to County Road 109 and south on Highway 10. While Caledon would receive payment for its road use, Dufferin County, at this point, will not see compensation.
“Most gravel operations in a municipality pay a per diem per load,” Adams said. “We should have staff look into this and determine at the very least what are the impacts.”
Amaranth deputy mayor Walter Kolodziechuk said he had asked the county works department about the pit proposal, however, his inquiry was answered.
“Now we’re hear at the 11th hour dealing with the same thing,” Kolodziechuk said.
Public works director Scott Burns explain the county compiled a traffic impact study, examining the impact of an increase in truck traffic from the pit.
“It didn’t have anything to do with maintenance or wear and tear,” Burns said.
For Orangeville, water disruption is also a concern. The pit will require a weekly water flow of 78,554,880 litres with about 85 per cent of the water being reused in a closed loop series of ponds.
“I’m concerned. We need to get more answers. I don’t think it’s something we can take risks on,” Adams said. “Who exactly knows what the underwater aquifers are and how they connect? We think we know, but often we don’t.”