Plans for proposed asphalt plant on hold until hydrogeological study is complete
It appears the concerns of residents regarding the proposed asphalt plant have not fallen on deaf ears.
At a recent council meeting, Alfred-Plantagenet councillors passed a resolution stating that plans for the plant will not proceed until a complete independent hydrogeological study is carried out on the affected property.
"This study has to be completed so a clear decision can be made," said Mayor Jean-Yves Lalonde. "We need to make sure the water and land won't be affected if an asphalt plant is constructed."
The property being considered by P.B. Paving and Landscaping for the proposed plant is part of Lot 18, Concession 2 in the former Township of North Plantagenet.
The township is considering a zoning amendment to change the current zoning from rural - exception 25 to mineral aggregate resource, which would pave the way for the asphalt plant.
The United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) would have to make an amendment to its official plan to change the current zoning from rural - exception 25 to trade and industrial.
Use permitted under the rural - exception 25 designation includes low density residential, general agriculture use and industrial/commercial use such as a golf course of specialty workshop.
The mineral aggregate resource designation permits agricultural use, pits and quarries, as well as the construction of permanent asphalt and/or concrete plants subject to site plan control and special zoning.
The trade and industrial designation policy area would permit heavy industrial use provided all environmental concerns are addressed.
There is a watercourse that runs along the property, as well as two areas of scientific natural interest (ANSI). These are areas that are identified as having life science or earth science value.
The plant will be located in the Jessup's Falls area which is an ANSI identified by the united counties in 1999.
The two areas of interest located on the proposed site include an area of deciduous forest and a section of caves located in the area.
Opposition is mounting
Following a raucous public meeting in Alfred in July, during which 300 angry residents voiced their concerns and opinions on the matter, council agreed to host a second public meeting.
The date for that meeting has been set for Monday, September 10 in Wendover. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.
Opponents of the proposed plant have launched a website - www.nzap.ca - and held a community barbecue recently to make residents aware of the project and the potential risks associated with it.
Numerous signs are popping up on properties in Plantagenet with statements such as "Keep our water, forests and air clean - no asphalt plant" and "No mean no, Mr. Mayor." Many residents are tying red cloth on their mailboxes to indicate their opposition to the project.