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Re: Public meeting for proposed Freymond Quarry on June 25

June 30, 2015

To the Editor,

We would like to begin by thanking everyone who was able to attend the information session regarding the proposed gravel quarry this past Thursday, June 25 at the Bancroft Fish and Game Club. The attendance was extraordinary and we were encouraged by the support from the community. It was an excellent opportunity for the public to make inquiries into the proposal and we are very appreciative of the comments submitted to our project team. We intend to take all public comments under advisement as we move forward with the planning process.
Freymond Lumber Ltd has been in business for 69 years with its headquarters located at the Bay Lake Road yard since 1956. Freymond Lumber has always endeavored to operate in a sustainable manner and we take great pride in our involvement in the Bancroft community. Freymond Lumber is a family operation and we believe we have an enormous responsibility to the more than 145 families that depend on our operations. It is our intention to continue to operate as we always have, striving to uphold the values that have guided the company for decades, even during the extreme market downturn in which we restructured to retain our employees. And we look forward to many more years as a member of and friend of the community.
At present there is a licensed and operating gravel pit located at the Bay Lake Road property. This pit has been in operation for over 40 years. Logging activities require stone and gravel for use on access roads, bridge crossings and water system protection efforts as mandated and monitored by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Currently Freymond Logging is the only market for aggregate materials provided by this gravel pit though some material is donated to local charitable organizations. It is the goal of the proposed quarry to augment the capacity of the current pit and contribute to Freymond Lumber’s self-sustainability in response to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry specifications. We expect that the new quarry will also provide a source of construction materials for future projects in the Bancroft area.
Drafting of the quarry proposal required that we enlist the assistance of qualified professional consultants who provided the following data:
· Level 1 and 2 Hydrogeological Investigation by MTE Engineering
· Stage 1 Archaeological Study by Kinickinick Heritage Consulting
· Environmental Impact Study by Robin Craig, Certified Biologist
· Planning Justification Report by EcoVue Consulting Services
· Traffic Impact Study by Tranplan Associates
· Acoustic Assessment Report by Hugh Williamson and Associates
· Blast Impact Analysis by Explotech
We are very pleased by the thoroughness and professionalism of the assembled project team and believe that their efforts will contribute to the creation of a well-designed and responsibly operated quarry.
The proposal submitted to Hastings County covers an 86-acre site. The proposal is currently in the planning stage and is being reviewed by the County. The public meeting allowed for the community to provide feedback to us and create a better understanding of where modifications or additions within the proposal may be warranted or required. We foresee producing less than 100,000 tonnes of aggregate per year, normally requiring only three to five blasts per year. A portable rock crusher would be in operation less than 3 months annually. Extraction would never proceed below the elevation of the current truck garage located in the Bay Lake Road yard. It is not our intention to create an open-pit mine and the quarry will be surrounded by a natural barrier to retain a pleasing ascetic. The quarry operations would be limited to the same business hours as the mill yard, between 7:00 am and 5:30 p.m.. There will be no operations on weekends or statutory holidays.
Based on the information provided by the proposal and accompanying studies, we believe that the noise levels will not negatively impact the adjacent landowners and we intend to implement mitigation measures which should ensure noise levels are no greater than the mills current operations. The traffic impact study concluded that any resulting traffic would not be significant enough to warrant changes to the existing road system. Due to increased efficiencies, truck traffic from our existing operations are approximately 30 per cent lower now than during periods of severely depressed lumber market conditions which further minimizes our traffic footprint. Additional traffic from the proposed quarry would translate into approximately 2 dump truck loads (tri-axle) per hour. It is important to note that the quarry site has a natural barrier for both sound and particulate. These aspects were of significant importance to many attendees of the information session and will continue to factor highly as the planning process continues.
This is a general overview of the proposed quarry. Significantly more information is contained within the proposal and the accompanying studies. We encourage members of the community to refer to that material to ensure they are fully informed regarding our intentions. If you have additional comments or questions or if you would like to tour the proposed quarry site please contact Freymond Lumber Ltd and we will be happy to oblige.
Dan and Lou Freymond




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