Wednesday, 17 May 2017 10:10

Gravel pit development in the R.M. of Swift Current not good for residents

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Editor:


Individuals in Saskatchewan believe we live in a democratic country where people’s rights and properties are respected. 
Certain developments in the R.M. of Swift Current over the last 16 months have shaken these beliefs to the core. 
The development of a new gravel pit  and now the establishment of an asphalt plant at the same location in very close proximity to acreages near the airport is threatening our health and very way of life.
Why has some of the most valuable farmland in the R.M. been turned into a gravel pit instead of producing food for the hungry? Gravel pit development in the same location was turned down on two different occasions over the past 10 years.
This use of valuable farmland for a gravel pit contravenes the Official Community Plan. Establishment of an asphalt plant in a zone deemed non-industrial also contravenes R.M. bylaws.
Since no permit has been approved for this plant, then why does the R.M. council not shut it down?
Residences in clear view of the pit have experienced increased dust and noise levels from gravel crushing and operation of heavy machinery, light glare, increased truck traffic by workers using the road, and by gravel trucks which continue to cause serious deterioration of roads. 
The pit operations often run 24 hours a day. This erosion of the country style of life that we value so highly had added emotional stress on us. Even farm animals and pets are showing signs of stress from increased noise and dust. Residents feel as if we are living on the edge of an industrial park.  
This new pit activity compounds the problems that already exist with the two older pits operating out of the R.M. of Coulee. 
The R.M. council has turned down every request of the community members to seek a resolution and have refused a public meeting to hear our concerns. 
A petition of 56 names was ignored, which in a small area around the airport is significant. 
Even requests to have the pit operation hours to be reduced to a reasonable working day have been denied. Are council members not elected to serve the members of the community? They have deemed the financial gain of one individual takes precedence over the quality of life of theresidents of this area.  
R.M. council of Swift Current continues to insist it has done nothing illegal.
The question that remains however; is this morally and ethically the correct decision.
Greg and Marcia McLean
(On behalf of the concerned residents surrounding SE 25-15-13)

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