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Rural dumping may get worse before better, council hears

With many fellow rural Grimsby residents in the gallery, Kemp Road resident Joe Majetic gave council an earfull Monday night regarding the ongoing dumping issue at 42 Kemp Road West.

Majetic said inaction by the Town, not just recently but going back several years when rural dumping issue first arose, have put the community in a spot where there is no controls in place.

“This is not clean fill,” said Majectic, handing out photos for council to peruse which appear to show metal, brick and cement among the rubble.

“This is zoned agriculture. Private land or not, that stuff should not be allowed on farm land,” he added, citing noise, dust and traffic all as serious concerns.

Majetic said he understands Mayor Bob Bentley’s point that no bylaw is being infringed on, but he said that is a major part of the issue today – not having a proper bylaw in place to protect the taxpayers.

“We need you to take this seriously and take immediate action. I have heard there may be as many as three more dumps starting up on Kemp. These people know we don’t have a bylaw,” said Majetic, adding if the dump site was closer to a town interest, like the cemetery or Southward Park more immediate action would have resulted.

In an email update last Friday, CAO Derik Brandt noted an overview of all the Town has done, and this was reiterated Monday night.

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and Ministry of the Environment have been called in. As well, Brandt said Town staff have attended the site regularly and declared the fill to be clean.

However, neighbour Dave French said not only does the fill contain bits of steel and concrete, he added that the fill has crept within about 15 feet of a watercourse without a topsoil cover – well beyond the 45m setback he was told it should be by Town officials. Again, French has photos which seem to support this.

Bentley noted that no regulations the Town has in place at this point would be able to stop the dumping on Kemp Road. He said Town officials are working on a bylaw which will be dealt with at the earliest possible opportunity, iikely September’s Planning Committee meeting, which “would control it”.

Ald. Joanne Johnston noted her shock that Greenbelt legislation would not protect land zoned agriculture from this sort of activity.

Ald. Michelle Seaborn said she was pleased the Town had a stronger bylaw in the works.

“It is long overdue,” she said.

**********

Dave French, whose property abuts 42 Kemp Road took these pictures from his property line which give some idea of the heigh of rubble dumped to date.

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