Duncan blasts Cornwall Gravel: ‘They just don’t get it’

North Dundas Mayor and County Coun. Eric Duncan listens to a staff member during a county council meeting on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018. Duncan is fed up with Cornwall Gravel in how it handles it aggregate affairs, saying it ends up costing taxpayer's money. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

SD&G – North Dundas Mayor and SD&G Coun. Eric Duncan isn’t mincing words about working with a Cornwall aggregate company, saying the company is ultimately wasting taxpayer’s money through the way it conducts business.

“I don’t know who’s advising them…but their process is absolutely brutal and they need to take a fundamental look at how they do aggregate in my opinion,” Duncan said about Cornwall Gravel on Monday during a county council meeting.

“We waste so much time with this business. They do road work for us (and) we have no problem with them on road work,” the North Dundas mayor said.

County council was dealing with an application to expand the company’s MacLeod Quarry on South Branch Road in South Stormont, by reclassifying two pieces of land to allow a licenced pit and quarry. The land area is a total of 193 acres (78 hectares).

Cornwall Gravel operates a stationary and portable stone crushing plant at the site as well as an aggregate production setup, according to the company website. It was the company’s first quarry.

“Overall, the site is appropriately designated and zoned. Although they did have all the technical studies required, they had a lot of outstanding issues and a lot of unresolved issues with the Ministry (of Natural Resources), the conservation authority and the Township (of South Stormont),” County Planner Alison McDonald told council.

Based on a 180-day turnaround on the application, council had to make a decision today. It was unanimously denied.

Duncan explained that the company’s knows multiple organizations have serious concerns with their application but proceeding anyway is “totally unprofessional.”

Staff also explained that part of the property was clear cut before the quarry application, but Duncan lauded the Ministry of Natural Resources for “calling a spade a spade” and having the land assessed as if the forest was still there.

Duncan said the practice was “totally cheating” and was giving the aggregate industry a bad name. “I spoke to a Cornwall Gravel representative and they just…don’t…get it. I’m repeat the same thing, sick and tired of this routine. They’re wasting their money and they’re wasting taxpayers money by the process they think they’re doing in this.”

McDonald said the company representative was “100 per cent aware” of the negative report to council. “Even though it’s an unfavourable report we’re all kind of on the same page with this one.”

McDonald later indicated to Cornwall Newswatch that Cornwall Gravel told the county to proceed with its denial of the Official Plan amendment, with the intent of appealing the case to the Ontario Municipal Board.

The move will end up costing the county money in legal fees to mount a defence.

A call to Cornwall Gravel representative Travis Mitchell was not returned.