The annual fee for a smaller pit license is becoming too high.
It was I think, $200 a year and that was high enough for a pit that is essentially just being held for maybe possible future use and as such we only extract less than 100 tonnes in a year.
Now this fee has risen to (again on memory) about $375 per year. This is simply too much for our situation.
It was a neat trick of "lack of clarity of information" when this quarries act was applied to our area.
We were lead to believe that we had to have a license when we did not actually have to have one.
We were not told that in the absence of a license, MNR would come in an rehabilitate the old pit on our property for "free" but now that we have a license, and the associated yearly fee and the associated yearly cost to comply with the rules of the license, well now we also get to pay for this same rehabilitation at the end of the day. Neat trick! Do you actually think we would have entered into this arrangement if we had know this at the beginning?
Now if we elect to "drop out of the program" there is the "catch 22" situation so common with our government these days that in order to drop out we have to rehabilitate the pit at our cost.
Makes one wonder about the economics of this whole thing from the private owners point of view.
Remember a couple of other things.
1- We never built this pit in the first place. It was originally constructed by the municipality in order to build the local roads. We donated the aggregate at that time in order to have a road to our home. True this was a long time ago, but a little credit for what the history of the sit was/is would sure be nice.
2- the local municipality had a pits and quarries zoning prior to the time of the application of the pits and quarries act being applied to our area. This allowed us a small area of extraction, the same for our neighboring pit. I guess the neighbor had better inside information because his pit was zoned as a smaller area than ours in the municipal zoning originally but somehow it morphed from a "mom/pop dig dirt pit" like ours to a 200 acre, "clear, blast, crush, screen, dispose of trash" operation that runs nearly year round. THERE WAS NO ZONING AND PLANNING HEARING ABOUT THIS MASSIVE EXPANSION.
3- Similarly this larger pit utilizes a section of concession road that had never been "opened" by the municipality. They have taken over this route with no known agreement for all the pit traffic. Again with no studies, no hearings, no approval and no road use agreement on this public right of way. They have in effect claimed this public right of way as their own, signed it private and all that goes with it.
As a matter of fact I am not aware of there even being an entry permit for this concession to be used at all.
Seems a bit unfair if the intent is to protect business that preceded the pit/quarry by nearly 80 years and is sensitive to the noise of the current operation.
I mention all this as the municipality, since the aggregate act, has washed their hands of anything to do with all this. Claim that nothing is any of their business.
Similarly, the local MNR office is essentially "not there" when anything of this nature is mentioned.
Their policy seems to be to simply ignore anything that might require a decision, effort of work of any kind.
Again, not the best.
Submitted October 1, 2019 10:17 AM