I am interested to see the present protest against gravel extraction planned for Brentwood Road.
The existence of a 655-name petition alone, rings alarm bells. Certainly there is nowhere near 655 people anywhere near Brentwood Road. People objecting to something before knowing anything at all about what is involved or proposed, probably having read the ongoing similar activities around Kelowna.
In the case put out about school children being in danger from gravel trucks, this fact is ongoing for the last 40 years in this area and I have never heard of any child involved in an accident, going to or from, the local school. My own children walked there when they were young. There were no sidewalks then either and no dust problem.
How many of the petitioners know that there have been several gravel operations in recent time on Silver Star and L&A roads? Add to that, two of those operations were Mertion-operated and successfully concluded, without a peep of protest for any reason. How many petitioners knew this before signing?
I do not personally know any of the Mertion people, but I saw how they operated on Silver Star Road. A desolate area was turned into a machinery park and will eventually be developed.
Large berms shield the public from noise and dust was abated by water truck as is common practice.
I also saw how Mertion developed the property across from Cools Pond, extracting gravel, rehabilitating the land into productive pasture for cattle, a yard for equipment and a pond system upstream in the gully feeding Cools Pond, which is turtle habitat that was in decline but now in recovery.
Having seen what Mertion has done already, I was prompted to enlighten people a bit to what will happen on Brentwood Road. I am sure that the restored land will be an asset to the area and as he stated, he only has two trucks so traffic is not an issue.
Silt in the creek is an absolute breech of provincial law with stiff fines and Mertion, or any other gravel operation, will take very stringent measures to make sure such would never happen.
I don’t think people realize how fortunate we are in the Okanagan with our deposits of glacial sand and gravel in close proximity to where it is to be used.
In Mertion’s case, his mention is Silver Star Mountain, where development is ongoing and he currently has to haul from Coldstream. For the environmental enthusiasts, this means fuel, traffic, time and expense added to any project.
Anyone wishing to discuss gravel operations further, feel free to contact me. I worked around operations such as La Farge, Cewe, Con Ag., Vernon Paving and Northern Construction at various times from 1967 until I retired in 1999.
To the regional district, may I remind it that there is a petition going around at present with the intent of examining the dismantling of Coldstream, RDNO and City of Vernon with a Greater Vernon council.
All of those people involved in the debacle at Okanagan Landing, roundabouts and turning the public library into council offices may find themselves out of business.
You too can be in that position if you try changing bylaws to quiet NIMBYS.