| Jun 08, 2006

Feature Article - June 8, 2006

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Feature Article - June 8, 2006

Hartington car wash saga continues

by Jeff Green

A report by South Frontenac Planning Co-ordinator Lindsay Mills placed the onus back on council to decide whether to approve a zoning bylaw amendment that would allow Scott Asselstine to put in a car wash on Road 38 just south of Hartington.

At their previous meeting on May 16, after hearing sustained concerns from Asselstine’s neighbours about the potential impact the water taking and run offs may have on their properties, council had asked Mills to look into the matter before bringing the bylaw back for final approval.

Scott Asselstine provided Mills with the results of a pump test record he had commissioned and Mills forwarded those results to Bob Putzlocher, a hydrogeologist with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for comment.

The pump test results showed that the water in the new well Asselstine had drilled on the site draws down from 8 feet to a 121 foot depth when pumped out continually and that a water rate of 12 gallons per minute is then maintained over a six hour period.


In a letter to Lindsay Mills, Bob Putzlocher noted that during the pump test 20,000 litres were taken, whereas the proposed flow for the car wash is less than 10,000 litres per day.

“Still, Putzlocher wrote, “if there are other private wells that are very close or if there are strong concerns to be addressed, then it may be appropriate to collect more data. A test could be done where the subject well is pumped at a rate equal to or somewhat more than that proposed. Pumping should be done until the water in the well stabilizes and water levels at one or two nearby wells are monitored. While I would not expect adverse impacts, conducting this test would be beneficial for the proponent in providing further support and for responding to future claims of impact.”

Council had to decide whether to order Scott Asselstine to undertake this new study.

Councillors split into two equal camps on the issue. Councillor Davison said Scott Asselstine had prepared a good solid business plan and should be allowed to proceed. Councillor Vandewal said he found Putzlocher’s letter contradictory in that it said there was easily enough water in the well and then talked about a second test. Councillors Robinson and Smith also didn’t want to order the new test.

On the other hand Councillors Stowe, Hahne, Barr, and Roos all supported ordering the new test.

For his part, Scott Asselstine said he was willing to do the extra test, but that he thought it was unnecessary because his operation would not be using a lot of water and he had already more than met the requirements with the first pump test, which cost him $2,500. He said that the new test would be up to three times as expensive.

Asselstine’s concerned neighbours were in attendance at the meeting, and they were given leave to address council.

While they continues to express a series of concerns about several issues, such as salt run off, Mayor Lake eventually asked them if they would be satisfied by the second water test that was being proposed. He received grudging agreement from them.

“If the neighbours agree to accept the results, and if Scott Asselstine is willing to pay, I can support ordering the second test,” Lake said in breaking the tie and voting for the second pump test.

If the test proves successful from Scott Asselstine’s point of view, Lindsay Mills will prepare a site plan agreement for him to enter into with the township. The agreement will specify the kinds of activities Scott Asselstine may engage in under the zoning amendment and council will then give final approval to the zoning bylaw.

A car wash may indeed be coming to Hartington after all.

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