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The public speaks out about the Fowler Quarry expansion

The public speaks out about the Fowler Quarry expansion

Posted: 2022-09-06 07:00:01 By: thebay

The public had a chance to speak out about the Fowler Quarry Expansion at the Bracebridge Council meeting on August 31, 2022.

Bracebridge resident, Laura Pratt, said, “A mega quarry requires more public engagement, regarding blasting and the environment. Were first nations contacted?” She added, “2 million tonnes of aggregate is 10 times the volume increase… and 24 hours a day, 7 days a week of operations… Families travel during flying rocks during blasting. You need expert opinions on blasting.” She suggested the pit entrance be relocated.

Another resident of the town, Michael Opara said “580 acres of trees will be removed, 40 acres of wetland destroyed, 600 truck movements per day, and trips through town, silica dust and diesel soot that will permeate the town…” He added, “The official plan should include protection of the Town and natural attributes… Protect the environmental features, including water and wildlife habitation.”

According to Opara, there are sixty-two bird species on the land to be developed, including two that are endangered species, along with snakes and turtles.

Resident of the haul route Bonnie Lake Road, Gary Lachance said, “Young families - babies are on the road - with people walking.” He measured 8” grooves and 2-3” cracks currently in the road.

Mario Nicolette expressed concerns about the proposed setbacks and the blasting potentially “affecting the structure and integrity of our home and the home across from us.”

Nicolette’s wife, Ellen, added, “We’re not just a number of a study.”

Brian Zeman of HBC Planning and Urban Design and Planning, Fowler Construction, said, “Approval of the application doesn’t mean traffic will increase in the future – traffic conditions aren’t changing.” He added that the studies have been approved by the District, Ministry, First Nations and more.

Council discussed the limitations they face given the District approved the traffic study and recommendations, and that it’s their road.

Councillor Struthers said that comments he has heard from the community is that they want “communication, time, and the ability for input for the process.” He expressed concern about the quarry setbacks, adding, “Thirty metres isn’t far - a hundred feet. It’s about here to the parking lot. It’s not much to ask Fowler to move back about fifty metres for an existing buffer, and protects existing homeowners in the area.”

Council created a motion for Planning and Development to review the feasibility of increasing the setbacks on the quarry.