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LETTER: Concerns raised over proposed asphalt plant in Summerland

Stakeholders should be involved in discussions of proposed facility
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Dear Editor:

We understand that the District intends to lease this Property, to MacKinley-Clark Paving Ltd. for a term beginning Nov. 1, 2023 and ending on Dec. 31, 2034 for an annual rent of $30,000

The short timeline from publication in the. Summerland Review to involvement date of Sept. 1 by MacKinley-Clark Paving, without any public input, is even more suspect.

This is a far cry from transparency as promised by this Mayor and Council at the beginning of their term.

Among our concerns:

• Constant heavy truck traffic day and into the night along Prairie Valley Road (and other residential areas) further deteriorating the worst road in Summerland.

• The unknown amount of pollution generated by the asphalt plant, and increased pollution from heavy trucks.

• The stench of asphalt being blown down Prairie Valley and into town, and the stink as these trucks and B-trains pass through residential areas.

• The potential dangers for any (catastrophic) accident waiting to happen as these vehicles pass through residential areas and past Giant’s Head Elementary School.

• Unknown level of noise from the asphalt plant operating 24 hours a day.

• Will a dirty business, like the asphalt plant, encourage residential and business growth?

• We anticipate lost revenue to the District of Summerland in excess of $82 a day (anticipated income from lease) when property values plummet along with its tax base.

• In addition to our noted concern (below) of fire potential from a highly volatile asphalt plant using petroleum products beside an interface zone, there is also the threat of combustible material from huge piles of dry white wood and yard waste adjacent to the proposed plant at the Summerland landfill. This factor alone should provide sober second thought to disallow such a plant, for the fire hazard it presents.

Our home ( with four-foot-deep concrete foundation) on Prairie Valley Road shakes whenever heavy trucks rumble by. Quite often engine brakes are illegally applied adding to noise pollution. Imagine the increased traffic volume with increased weight loads through town.

Can a permit to MacKinley-Clark Paving for the asphalt plant support Summerland’s stated commitment to go green as evidenced by ongoing installation of EV chargers, solar farm and support of an eco-village, among other initiatives?

Does the annual fee of $30,000 or $82 a day even come close to repairing the millions of dollars of damage caused by increased truck traffic, pollution, etc?

Given present climate change and that BC is at this moment experiencing its worst ever fire season and a still out-of-control fire in nearby West Kelowna, much thought and consideration need be given by all as to whether we need a volatile business like an asphalt plant operating so close to interface zones and residential areas.

We ask that mayor and council, in unison, immediately withdraw this Notice of Disposition of Property.

We request that all stakeholders that includes the District, MacKinley-Clark Paving, First Nations and local citizens be involved in any discussions prior to the notice being reposted.

Failure to prevent MacKinley-Clark Paving at this stage will have an unknown amount of different financial consequences to Summerland taxpayers in the years to come.

Bernie and Valerie Wright


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