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News Article

Quarry plan angers Carlisle

Gravel pit would send 450 trucks down rural roads 12 hours a day
Stacy O'Brien
The Hamilton Spectator
August 3rd 2004

A landowner wants to open a gravel pit that would send hundreds of trucks rumbling down Carlisle roads daily.

Nearby residents who cherish the area for its rural character say they'll fight the plan that would send 30 trucks an hour rumbling past their homes.

David Lowndes wants to open an amabel dolostone quarry on his 153-hectare property north of 11th Concession Road East. Dolostone is used in concrete and asphalt.

Lowndes, owner of Lowndes Holdings Corp., said the quarry, operates 12 hours a day from 6 a.m., would create 75 jobs and produce three million metric tons of dolostone a year for the next 25 to 30 years.

"Based on 200 working days a year, there will be an average of 450 trucks a day *," Lowndes said. "Now that's truckloads. That's, say, 40 trucks hauling steady."

But when Graham Flint and his wife, Silke, bought their home on Timber Run Court, just off Mountsberg Road, six months ago, they made sure there were no industrial operations nearby.

Their home is one in a neighbourhood of houses worth more than $500,000 each. The proposed quarry rests less than 500 metres away through the woods behind their house.

"The idea of this loud, dirty, dusty blasting. It just breaks our hearts," Flint said. "It really just feels like someone is destroying the dream." Flint has taken time off work to devote his full attention to fighting the quarry. He wants to raise $100,000 to pay for a lawyer, environmental assessments in the area, and pamphlets.

Hamilton Mayor Larry Di Ianni said, "My feeling is that it's the wrong place for a quarry, but I say that without having seen one word on a formal application or any information at all."

He said any application would be assessed on its merits.

Flint has worked for Microsoft for the past 13 years and his wife has a home-based accounting firm. They used to bring their bikes to the area for the weekend and travel the country roads enjoying the scenery long before they thought of moving there.

Now Flint is the chair of FORCE (Friends of Rural Communities and the Environment), a group that formed to fight the quarry. The group began a lawn sign campaign two weeks ago and they've handed out around 350. They've set up a website at www.StoptheQuarry.ca. Organizers said they're halfway toward raising $100,000.

Flint feels the tranquillity of the area will be disrupted if a quarry opens. He worries about the affect on the environment and residents' wells. He said the proposed quarry overlaps wetlands, Bronte Creek and underground water supplies that feed wells in Carlisle, Freelton, Campbellville and Kilbride.

Lowndes plans to drill down 30 metres to get the dolostone, which is below the water table and lower than many wells in the area.

"If residents aren't happy and want to fight that, that is totally within their right," he said.

He is waiting for technical studies back before submitting his application for a mineral extraction permit to the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources. It would also go to the city for approval.

Lowndes said he's prepared to provide water to residents if wells run dry.

"If we run your well dry we will have an action plan to remedy that situation. That will entail trucking water into the well or bottled water or a combination of both. It could entail drilling somebody's well deeper," Lowndes said.

If approved, this would not be the only quarry in the area. But Flint said the difference is that the proposed quarry on 11th Concession Road East is surrounded on three sides by large residential subdivisions. "We can't see how any reasonable person would approve this."


* Note from FORCE - 450 trucks per day equals 900 truck trips per day.


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