EDITORIAL: Reconsidering compost

The Summerland council decision to reject the regional compost facility was a decisive 6-1 vote

The proposed regional compost facility, rejected by Summerland’s municipal council in October, will be back on the table at the Nov. 14 council meeting.

Mayor Peter Waterman will bring the matter back for discussion, using Section 131 of the Community Charter.

This is his prerogative as mayor, but there is no guarantee the final decision would change.

The council decision to reject the compost facility was a decisive 6-1 vote, with Waterman as the sole dissenting vote.

Waterman is concerned that the decision was made without adequate information, and for this reason, he will reopen the topic.

His point has merit. When a significant matter comes before municipal council — or any governing body for that matter — it is important to have sufficient information before making a decision. Without adequate and accurate information, there is no way to know if the final decision is the best choice.

However, there is another side which must also be considered. A significant number of Summerlanders had already spoken out against the proposed facility.

Many from the community, especially those living near the site or close to Prairie Valley Road, spoke out against the proposed facility, signing petitions, voicing their concerns before council and writing letters to the editor.

Their concerns were about the effects on the community’s water, odour and increased truck traffic on Prairie Valley Road.

When the vote was called on Oct. 23, the majority of council members voted against allowing the proposed compost facility in Summerland. The 6-1 vote was decisive and it showed the wish of the overwhelming majority of council members.

Will revisiting this issue change the outcome?

Could further studies by the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen serve to alleviate the concerns which had been raised?

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