New jobs not worth loss of farmland to many Plantagenet citizens
Published Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:13PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 16, 2012 6:58PM EDT
A rural community east of Ottawa is fighting a proposed asphalt plant, saying the economic benefits aren’t worth the loss of farmland.
PB Paving said it want to re-zone a section of rural land near Plantagenet for the plant, which could make them millions of dollars for the company and create around 30 jobs.
Area residents have put up signs near the area in protest, saying they want to keep the land for tourism and growing food.
“I don’t know why we’d have opposition,” said PB Paving’s owner Pierre Bernard. “There are asphalt plants all over the world.”
The plant would run 12 hours a day, with concerns from residents about the estimated 40 trucks an hour it would bring through its gates,
Suzanne Lavoie owns a farm down the road from the proposed plant and said she wants to keep it the way it is.
“We need industry, we like it . . . but this is not the spot for it,” she said. “This is an agricultural area.”
Roch Cyr said he’s experienced some strange incidents at his house since he spoke out against the plant at a recent public meeting.
“Our vehicles have been tampered with, someone came and delivered a large pile of human excrement in out driveway,” said Cyr, who lives across the road from the site.
“It’s not something that’s happened here before . . . it’s dividing the population on a sensitive manner.”
Cyr said he’s also worried about their water source being contaminated, a fear the township’s chief administrative officer said he’s aware of.
“I would be worried knowing an asphalt plant is coming next to my property, but the process we’re going through is set by the planning act,” said Marc Daigneault.
The opposition has pushed back PB Paving’s target opening of spring 2013, with another public meeting planned for Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Joanne Schnurr