| May 31, 2007

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Feature Article - 31, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Denbigh Waste Management Site


Closing the Denbigh Waste Management Site will: - cause the entire population of the most densely populated section of the northern half of the township to drive further, consuming fuel and producing greenhouse gases, for waste disposal; - cause waste that would have gone into the most environmentally safe site in the township to go to less desirable sites. Whatever is going on? Could the township council request that Mr. Morish come to a council meeting and explain how closing the Denbigh site benefits the environment? Surely the Ministry of the Environment exists to protect the environment and, surely, Mr. Morish's directions to the township council are informed by the imperative to protect the environment. I, unfortunately, cannot fathom the subtleties of protecting the environment by causing an entire section of the township to drive more. The Denbigh Waste Management Site has hills on three sides and no through water course. Surface runoff is minimal because the amount of land drained is also minimal. Furthermore, containing the runoff is not difficult because all the runoff occurs at a single point. As I understand it, these are the very reasons that the township council, wisely in my opinion but apparently not Mr. Morish's, is considering expanding the site. The Certificate of Approval for the site is at least 14 years old (I was on the township council in 1994 and the site was operational then) and probably older. The site is, therefore, "over capacity" based solely on an old, probably arbitrarily established, Certificate of Approval, not on any actual physical limitations. Well before amalgamation, this small rural municipality and its residents were active, and successful, recyclers. The waste sites have been superbly maintained for at least the last 15 years. Have we been wasting our time? Perhaps Mr. Morish could consult with his superiors to confirm that his actions are in keeping with the goals of the Ministry of the Environment. Frankly, I think that an "update" from Mr. Morish to the township council is much more in order than the other way round. Personally, at this point I can only conclude that the township council is behaving much more responsibly with respect to the environment than Mr. Morish and, by extension, the Ministry of the Environment. It is my contention that the Denbigh Waste site is the most environmentally and ecologically sound option available: - it is naturally able to contain the waste and leachate; - it has ample volume to accept current and future waste; - it is the closest site to the majority of the populace. Mr. Morish, what are you and your superiors thinking? What are your goals? What are you trying to accomplish? I would certainly like to know. At the moment I see nothing more that an arbitrary, unjustifiably punitive bureaucratic diktatimposed without reason or compromise on a small rural municipality and its people. Given the apparent urgency you attach to the issue, I am sure you will agree that it is also reasonable for us to "want an update" from you and/or your superiors "on the site within a week or two". Paul Isaacs

Re: “No joy in Sharbot Lake for young ballplayers”

I read this article in your May 24 paper and was disheartened to read the comments from our Mayor “Janet Gutowski”. There were several comments from the mayor in the article concerning the state of the Sharbot Lake ballpark’s bleachers and benches.

“I came to look at the park a few weeks ago” and “You can’t bring children into this kind of hazard” Then why weren’t the repairs made or at least a plan put in place to have the necessary repairs done? Why - because the mayor “thought there were no teams playing here this year” and she “didn’t realize how urgent the situation was.” What about the local schools and families that use the ballpark? Do they not deserve the right to use a safe facility?

Then towards the end of the article Mayor Gutowski says, “Recreation facilities are township assets”, “and they are a “township responsibility”. “One way or another, we need to make sure they are safe.” One way to make the Sharbot Lake ballpark safe would have been to accept the proposal made by James Webster.

If the proposal had been accepted, the benches and bleachers would be safe and games/ practices wouldn’t have to be cancelled. The proposal would have seen all the work done by volunteers, donations, and with materials paid by funds Mr. Webster has raised. But instead the Sharbot Lake ballpark sits, not as an asset to the township, but indeed a very dangerous liability and somewhat of an eye sore for those who spend summers and visit families in Sharbot Lake. Oliver Scott would be ashamed to see the condition the ballpark is in. Mr. Scott, as most any ball player can recall, is the founder of the field and an admired volunteer who dedicated many hours to make this ball field a place for all to enjoy.

Perhaps the mayor and council should look at regularly scheduled safety checks/maintenance of all recreation facility/equipment throughout the township.

If you want to bring visitors to the village and you have a fully maintained baseball field, you are then able to host tournaments and organize them on a field that is not a hazard. A baseball tournament can raise money for your recreation committees and many patrons will visit the area businesses.

As a baseball player, a coach and a parent I hope that our council means what they say when they want recreation to thrive, and keep our kids active. You can’t do either under these conditions at the Sharbot Lake ballpark.

Adam Peters

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