May 10, 2012, Burford, Ont. – Some Brant County councillors think it's time the rubber
hit the road, in terms of striking a deal with Dufferin Aggregates to
upgrade Watts Pond Road. The company wants improvements so it can handle
the heavy trucks that will serve its controversial gravel pit.
For the past few months, Dufferin Aggregates Ltd. has been signaling
its interest in sitting down with Brant officials to finalize an
agreement on how the road will be upgraded, and how much the company and
the county will have to pay.
Dufferin has undertaken background technical work to get ready and has forwarded requests to talk.
The county has voiced concerns about the pit and has called for the
Ministry of Natural Resources to review a pit licence the company was
given in 1974. Council also has been saying it is waiting for a full
study about the road.
Meanwhile, the matter is stuck in a political and administrative limbo.
Coun. Brian Coleman, chairman of the public works committee, said in a
meeting Tuesday that he believes the county has an obligation to show
it is willing to work with Dufferin on the road – whatever its concerns
about the pit.
“Right now, we are sparring with each other and we need to sit down together, all put our cards on the talk and talk,” he said.
A major stretch of Watts Pond Road must be upgraded to handle the
pit. So far, Dufferin has committed to help pay for a part that runs
from what will be the pit entrance to Pinehurst Road (Highway 24A).
Some councillors believe that Dufferin should have to shoulder more
responsibility. But although they have concerns about the pit in
general, they don't want to create the impression that they are
procrastinating about the road just to hold the company from starting
After some discussion, the committee agreed to a suggestion from
Coun. Robert Chambers to designate Mayor Ron Eddy, CAO Paul Emerson and
top staff to meet with the company about the road, rather than set up a
formal process – and report back as needed.
“It's best to do it that way,” Coleman agreed. “It's a delicate situation,” Coleman agreed.