Unfortunately, I was off sick when Troy Montour and his partner Daniel Carrasco (owner of REXLAR, an excavation & land rehabilitation company) came to Council regarding Montour’s plan to dump over 7000 truckloads of topsoil onto his and his family’s 40 acre property on 3rd Line.
Montour says the topsoil which will be excavated from various construction sites (that I expect will be from the Greater Toronto Area) will be used as fill. He plans to build an amusement park.
The one question that keeps cropping up in my mind is: Is Montour buying the 7000 truckloads of top soil? Or is Montour getting paid to dump the topsoil on his property? If Montour is getting paid I would say that changes the game, don’t you think?
My first concern is the topsoil. Montour and Carrasco claim there is no threat of contamination. But how can these two assure this when the topsoil will come from various excavation/construction sites? Montour says each truckload of topsoil will have papers certifying the soil is good quality. How does Council intend to monitor over 7000 truckloads of topsoil? Will Council have to set up a 24-hour check station on 3rd Line? Where is Council going to get the money to do this? So this project could end up costing the community a lot of money.
My next concern is the clear cutting of trees. But it sounds like Montour has already cut down the trees. Montour called Council hypocrites for being concerned about his clear cutting of trees when garbage at the community dump is piling up over the trees. Just so the readers know, Council reforested by planting hundreds of trees in the front acreage at the dump site. Is Montour going to reforest?
Thirdly, Montour said there are some four swamps on the property in question and that he will use the topsoil to fill in those swamps. This concerns me. What happens to the swamp habitat? Where do they go? I’m concerned too about flooding to neighboring properties. Doesn’t filling in swamps interfere with the natural flow of the water? The water has to go somewhere. If he hasn’t already, Montour needs to talk to his neighbors.
Fourthly, I’m concerned about our roads. Imagine the damage over 7000 truckloads of topsoil can do to our roads which are in many cases only tar & chip and already in need of repair? Yes we have trucks travelling our roads daily, but not this significant amount. The weight of the trucks will crumble our roads like crackers. People already complain about the potholes. Again this project is going to cost the community money.
My Fifth concern is the noise. Do we want hundreds of dump trucks roaring past our homes, our neighborhoods, down 3rd Line every day for two years? Does Montour have a time frame when these trucks will come to Six Nations? Will the trucks travel early morning hours or late at night? Will they run eight hours a day or 24 hours? At the very least Council should have insisted Montour provide some kind of transportation plan before approving the project.
This letter is about why I am strongly opposed to Montour’s project. I strongly believe my concerns are valid and had I been at this particular Council meeting I would have voted no. Before I could start my official duties as a District Councillor each term I had to promise allegiance to a Code of Conduct. One of the Codes is for the purpose of muzzling Councillors. Another Code says something like I must support Council’s decisions. I’m of the belief that as councillors we should be free to tell the people where we stood on this issue or any other issue.
I do accept Council’s decision to approve Montour’s project with conditions. I’m told Montour has to hold a community meeting and if the community isn’t supportive of what he wants to do, then Council’s decision will be rescinded. But I still believe Council shouldn’t be approving any kind of dumping in our territory without some kind of plan in place. Council did direct Dayle Bomberry, Senior Administrative Officer, to meet with Troy. They had two meetings but I wasn’t satisfied that my concerns were addressed – concerns that I had raised at the Council table and through email on three separate occasions.
I’m of the mind if I had been given more information and time to meet with the relevant directors to look at all the issues and if Council had sat down with Montour and his partner to find workable solutions I may have approved the project. .
Councillor Helen Miller