This letter was sent to The Globe and Mail in response to the following article:
On June 16th at Port Carling, Mr. Frank Lippa, applied to the council of the Township of Muskoka Lakes for permission to open a rock/gravel quarry and pit on Butler Mill Road. This operation would take 200 000 tonnes of material out of the pit annually. This application was unanimously turned down in an open vote by the council of the Township of Muskoka Lakes. Mr. Lippa has applied to go to the Ontario Municipal Board to request that his application for the pit and quarry be accepted as is. If this application is accepted by the OMB, that would mean more than 100 heavy gravel trucks a day would travel on Aspdin Road, (one every 4 1/2 minutes). Some of them would be going east to Huntsville, some would be going west to Rosseau.
There are so many reasons why this application should be turned down.
1. A major concern is for the safety of vehicles, pedestrian and bicyclers on the roads. Heavy gravel trucks are not able to stop on a dime. School buses that are stopped on the road would not have a chance if a gravel truck came around a corner and was not able to stop. There are already a huge number of heavy trucks using this road on a daily basis, such as logging trucks, Muskoka Containerized Services trucks, Panolam trucks, Hutcheson Sand and and Gravel pit trucks, to name a few that use this road. Aspdin Road is not a provincial road and was not built for such heavy traffic. An extra 100 trucks a day would wreak havoc with the road, with visitors, with residents and with the wild life. Not acceptable.
2. Residents, through their taxes, would have to foot the bill for repairs to the road and would have to live with the dangers of living on a road with such heavy truck traffic. Not acceptable.
3. Another major concern is that this pit will be operating below the water table. The water and the pollution from that operation will flow into Skeleton Lake and then on to Lakes Rosseau, Muskoka and Joe. This is simply not acceptable.
4. It is the belief of the directors of the Rosseau Farmers’ Market that this amount of heavy truck traffic will pose a serious risk to pedestrians in the village of Rosseau. The major economic engine in Muskoka is tourism. Rosseau Farmers’ Market draws an average of 3000 visitors on market days. The market is located on Highway 141, which is one of the roads that those huge gravel trucks would use. As it is, Rosseau has very heavy traffic congestion on market days. It is our belief that additional heavy truck traffic would result in accidents and deaths. We very strongly urge the Ontario Municipal Board lakes to deny this application.
Lynnis Royea, Founder of the Rosseau Market
The directors of the Rosseau Farmers’ Market.