Dexter Truck Traffic: An open letter to Victoria County Council
I would like Victoria County Council to know that heavy truck traffic roaring through the villages of Sugar Loaf, Aspy Bay, Cape North, Dingwall and South Harbour, five days a week, from 5.00 am to 8.00 pm, is adversely affecting our community. Heavy trucks – mainly involved in moving crushed rock from two local quarries operated by Dexter Construction Company - are causing noise and air pollution, dangerous road conditions and an adverse impact on our tourism industry.
I recognize that road repairs are of great importance and crushed rock is needed for such repairs. However, while good roads benefit everyone, our small villages are paying a heavy price. I believe our community should be compensated accordingly.
With Council approval, Dexter Construction was recently given permission by the Province to extract up to 50,000 tonnes of crushed rock each year, for 40 years, from its Money Point quarry. Additional gravel is being removed from Dexter’s quarry in Grey’s Hollow. This translates into 4000 to 6000 heavy trucks rolling through our community each year during the spring, summer and fall. Dozens of trucks each day. This is a disruptive, industrial scale mining and trucking activity totally inappropriate for our small community and its roads: we can potentially look forward to this disruption for the next 40 years.
This heavy truck traffic with its large engines and engine braking is very noisy and the exhaust, on these hot summer days, is sickening. Moreover, fast moving, heavy truck traffic, on the narrow, winding and hilly road through our community, is dangerous for children playing on property by the road, for pedestrians, for cyclists, and for local and tourist traffic. A serious accident is just waiting to happen.
Much of our local economy is based on tourism. Tourists are drawn to our area because of its unspoiled natural beauty. This heavy truck traffic and unsightly mining undermines our reputation as a world class tourist destination.
In April, when this industrial scale activity was approved for 40 years, I asked Council to seek compensation for the community from Dexter for the adverse impacts caused by their trucking and suggested compensation of $1 to $5 per ton of gravel trucked through our community. I proposed that this compensation be invested in local social and economic development projects and that a not-for-profit economic development organization should be created and managed by representatives from our affected villages who would be responsible for providing development grants to local organizations. Council has never responded to this suggestion and the massive Dexter trucks continue to roar through our community.
I have two questions to Council: Did Council approach Dexter seeking compensation? If not, why not? In any event, it is not too late to seek compensation from Dexter Construction for its adverse impacts on our community.
County Council, it’s time to stand up to Dexter on behalf of your constituents!
Rob Macdonald Sugar Loaf, NS