Mono residents draw line against potential pit site

May 14, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By James Matthews – Mono residents are fixing to fight the possibility of another aggregate quarry development in the town.

A collective of concerned residents banded together under the Protect Mono moniker and held a public information session last Saturday at Mono Community Centre. About 100 people gathered to hear what the organizers had to say.

The group has been in existence for about three weeks, and the large number of people in attendance is testament to the level of concern in the community, said Leeanne Farrugia of Protect Mono.

The movement began after three parcels of land were bought, two protected by whatever anonymity can be provided by registering a company with only a number. Those numbered companies were traced through registries and it was discovered to be associated with Greenwood Construction of Orangeville.

A parcel of 67 acres was bought in September, followed by nearby parcels of 91 and 104 acres in November.

Greenwood  already operates a number of aggregate quarries in the province. While no applications have been filed with the municipality, it’s feared the land parcels will be converted from agricultural to aggregate.

Another aggregate operation in Mono would be a threat to the area’s natural beauty, said Ms. Farrugia. And it’s that natural beauty and a peacefulness that lured people to move to the area.

As such, Protect Mono hopes to capitalize on lessons learned from past efforts to fight quarry developments throughout Dufferin County “to protect what is simply not replaceable,” she said.

Letters of concern were sent to the municipal government and the proponent. The parcels are near land designated agricultural and directly adjacent to provincially significant wetlands and the Niagara Escarpment.

Ms. Farrugia said a response from Greenwood Construction was received. In the letter, Ms. Farrugia said it was confirmed the company intends to extract aggregates in Mono – something Greenwood Construction has been doing since 1929.

“Just because something has been done in the past, doesn’t justify its continuance,” she said.

Carl Cosack, chairperson of the Northern Dufferin Agricultural and Community Taskforce, said one of the lessons learned fighting the Melancthon mega-quarry is that such issues are less about aggregate and more about adequately and properly weighing pros and cons of such developments.

Citizen engagement is a fabulous way to shape a future, he said.

“We’re putting them (developers) on notice that this is an engaged community,” Mr. Cosack said. “An engaged community has a say in how developments are done in the community.”

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