Approval granted for sea cucumber facility in Tusket
Residents remain concerned about potential problems
In what some council members said was a very tough decision, the Municipality of Argyle voted to support a development agreement for a sea cucumber pharmaceutical processing facility in the Tusket business park.
The result was tight – five council members in favour, four against.
Residents living near the project site have worried about the project’s environmental impact. A good number of them turned out for a special Argyle council meeting where the project was discussed.
e biggest issue seemed to be potential for a foul odour.
ose who oppose the project have said they are not against business or economic development, but they feel this type of operation should be in another location.
The Tusket business park is near a residential park that was developed around 2009. ere are seven family homes in the residential park. e project’s developer, Jules Leblanc, president of Ocean Pride Fisheries in Wedgeport, has said he’s con dent the Tusket facility would not be a nuisance.
He said he chose the Tusket site for several reasons, including the availability of water and sewer services, its proximity to a major highway and the various amenities in the Tusket area. He also wanted the new business to be as close to home as possible.
e project is expected to create eight to 10 jobs initially, with another eight to 10 in the second phase, according to an assessment of the proposal prepared recently for Argyle council. Jobs would include mechanical and lab technicians, engineers and support sta , the report said.
For those against the proposal, there are too many uncertainties.
A letter that was read from Matthew and Krista O’connell, owners of one of the lots in the Tusket park, indicated they feel the risks of the project “far outweigh the benefits.” Among other things, they expressed concern about how the development could diminish property values.
On the other side, proponents say much effort has gone into mitigating any issues associated with the project and the development agreement is solid. An odour problem could result in the operation being shut down.