Dysart OKs rezoning for spreading field
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | June 7, 2018
Total Site Services has received Dysart council’s blessing to rezone its property to expand a septic spreading operation.
In March, the company made the municipality aware of its plans to enlarge its operation off Coaldale Drive from four to 10 hectares and install four sewage lagoons. Council approved the processing of a rezoning request application. During a public meeting last month, three residents provided their comments in-person and two letters were submitted. Those against the proposal cited concerns about odours, potential leaks and negative impact on property values.
One person spoke in favour of directing septage to the municipal sewage facility; however, its wastewater treatment plant can only handle a fraction of the population’s waste. In 2015 and 2016, Total Site Services pumped 2,424 and 3,250 cubic metres of septage, respectively. By creating the lagoons, they will be able to increase spreading capacity to 1,500 cubic metres per week. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change must approve the company’s application before it can proceed with the expansion. Several studies and documents were prepared by the company, including an environmental impact study.
All of the material has been peer reviewed, according to senior planner Sue Harrison. This review identified items the municipality wants further clarification on, mainly related to engineering, best management practices and site logistics. Staff and the municipality’s engineering consultant met with the company’s owner and consultant team to discuss the results of the review. “We agreed that the details raised in the review, need to be, and will be, addressed throughout the site plan approval process and will be specifically addressed in the site plan agreement,” said Harrison. Charlsey White, the county’s planning director, determined the proposal is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement.
This is a government document that outlines policies on land use planning. Deputy Mayor Andrea Roberts expressed her support for the expansion. “I would be in support of this because it’s definitely needed in this area,” said Roberts. Terry Clement, one of the respondents to the proposal, told council he still isn’t in favour of the expansion. Clement and his brother own a 100-acre property beside the site. It was originally purchased by their grandfather in the 1940s.
“It’s like … you’ve owned a house for three generations and they open a garbage dump beside you,” he said. “You’re probably going to fight that all you can, right?” Trace Laframboise, the company’s operations manager, said the field was used for spreading many years before they bought it five years ago. She added that owner Pat Casey will do everything possible to protect the environment.
“We are following all the stringent setbacks … we did all the studies and everything before we came up with the idea for the lagoon,” said Laframboise. The spreading process involves putting raw, untreated sewage from septic and holding tanks onto a field. Total Site Services operates one of two such fields in the county. The other, located in Algonquin Highlands, is run by Haliburton Septic Pumping. It was temporarily shut down by the ministry last fall but was reopened for another two years following a mediation process.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.