Oops, whose fault were the delays in the Freele Tract waste project?
Simcoe County’s solicitor Marshall Green
Letter to Springwater News from R.W. Wagner, Springwater
I note some misleading comments in the “County Council Highlights” which were presented by the County to Springwater News in its edition dated April 30. In those comments, County Staff state:
“…The current path for obtaining approvals is likely to take another two years or more without a Ministerial Zoning Order and has already cost the taxpayer more than $1.5 million.”
Let’s explore the reality behind those comments.
If the County is concerned about the timeline, why not simply press for an earlier resolution through the existing LPAT process? The only delay in that process so far, was the result of the County’s Staff solicitor changing his mind about the County’s preferred approach. The LPAT board rejected the County’s change in direction.
Oops, whose fault was that?
If the County is concerned about costs incurred to date, why then did the County’s Mr. McCullough flatly refuse, in writing, to contact an industrial site representative whose name, phone number and e-mail address were provided? That existing industrial site may be more cost effective to develop, rather than starting from scratch in the middle of a forest.
It might be more cost effective to operate, given that it is closer to the point where 26% of the County’s garbage is generated, and on route to the end destination for the sorted/processed product.
If Mr. McCullough had performed the due diligence required of any employee in the private sector, is it possible that the garbage depot could be in operation right now? Is County Council content to rely upon guidance provided by County Staff, who (in this case) refused to simply pick up the phone or send an e-mail?
At a recent County “Meeting of the Whole”, one of the Councillors asked whether any of the County Staff had contacted the City of Barrie with regard to jointly developing a site.
Presumably, since Barrie produces approximately 26% of the garbage in the entire County, there might be a saving in the development cost (e.g. if Barrie were to provide the industrial site and the County were to construct the facility), and the operational costs might be lower (since transportation costs would be reduced by processing 26% of the garbage near its source, rather than shipping it 15 km north into the heart of an ecologically sensitive forest, and then shipping it back that same 15 km on route to its end destination).
The answer to the Councillor’s question, as offered by the County’s Ms. Korolnek (on the public record): “Well, the supposition is that the City of Barrie will want to handle its own waste management”.
This is a multi-million dollar project, and yet not one of the Councillors challenged that superficial response to an approach which might save the taxpayer more than the costs incurred to date. Again, the question arises as to why County Councillors are unwilling to challenge the lack of due diligence by their own staff.
If there is genuine concern for the taxpayer, as suggested in the “County Council Highlights”, why then the reluctance to explore options which could well be less expensive, and faster to bring on line?
Why the continued failure by County Council to acknowledge the petition presented by 1,200 County residents who are opposed to placing the garbage depot in any of our forests?
Why the continued failure by County Council to acknowledge the opposition to a forest site, by 76% of participants in the initial series of public meetings, as was stated in the resultant report provided by the County’s own consultant? Has there been any other public survey conducted, which specifically asks for the public’s preference as to an industrial site or a forest?
Why the continued failure by County Council to take their own Staff to task for visible failures in due diligence? Is this the same Staff who were responsible for the $12nmillion of taxpayers’ funds wasted on Site 41?
What in the world is going on?