Residents gain a second say on plant

Lavington residents packed Coldstream council chambers Monday night, many opposing the proposed pellet plant. - Jennifer Smith/Morning Star
Lavington residents packed Coldstream council chambers Monday night, many opposing the proposed pellet plant.
— image credit: Jennifer Smith/Morning Star

Coldstream council has found a legislative loophole in order to let the people be heard.

Lavington residents packed the municipal office Monday night, hoping to have their opinions heard on the proposed pellet plant, a joint venture between Tolko Industries and Pinnacle Renewable Energy. The majority of those in attendance were fuming over the proposal next to the existing Tolko mill on School Road.

But council could not entertain any comments regarding the plant due to the fact that a public hearing was already held in January and legislation prevents further public input.

“Why was it cut off before we were given adequate time to make an informed decision or not?” asked Stephanie Hoffman, a resident who has collected close to 300 signatures in opposition to the plant.

Park Lane resident Ruth Moore added, “Things have changed since January.”

So in order to give the public a chance to speak, council agreed to rescind third reading of the zoning bylaw, which would accommodate the pellet plant, in order to have another public hearing.

The earliest council can have a public hearing Aug. 11.

Coun. Peter McClean offered the public a chance to come share their opinions at the committee of the whole meeting Aug. 5 when the Ministry of Environment is expected to be in attendance.

“Council and any other member of the public will have the opportunity to provide input to the ministry,” said McClean.

Meanwhile, Coldstream politicians were invited to provide information about the plant to the Lavington Community Association.

“Why hasn’t anybody come to the Lavington Community Association meeting on this issue?” asked Sheri Austin, with the LCA, which meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.

For those opposed to the plant, some of the main issues include dust, emissions, noise and traffic.

The train traffic, which is expected to double, is a major concern, according to Ben Larose, a Hill Drive resident.

“Half of the people here are because of the trains blowing the horn.”

Larose is just hoping the issue of train noise can be addressed for residents in the area.

“We all know this (pellet plant) is likely coming.”


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