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wpd seeks exemption to reduced load limit for cement delivery

UPDATE: Council has asked County staff to provide a report on load restriction issues to cover all bases should a legal wrangling follow.

Two people from the Committee of the Whole audience spoke to the issue, joining most councillors who spoke out against allowing an exemption to the reduced load bylaw.

“There’s a reason for the load restriction or it would not have been imposed,” said Anne Dumbrille. “Many County roads are already failing; fixing them is a major expense and use tax dollars to the detriment to almost all County citizens,” she said, adding she felt the Road Users Agreement “would only cover costs to repair a small part, of perhaps, one damaged road and that is if it could be proven that the wpd’s trucks caused the damage.”

She, and councillors stated it is not reasonable, or justifiable, to favor one request over others.

“Either the restriction is in place or it is not,” she said. “None of this should have been a surpise to the corporation. Load restrictions happen every year.”

Garth Manning agreed, telling councillors “It is neither your fault, nor your problem that its construction is behind its own schedule ” he said. “I put it to you that enough is enough… engage the OPP and your own inspectors to ensure that the loads comply with your bylaw. In the vernacular, tell wpd and its lawyers to ‘get stuffed'”, he said to applause from more than a dozen people in the gallery, “and let the chips fall where they may.”

Councillor Steve Ferguson and Mayor Robert Quaiff suggested a report come from staff.

Councillor Bill Roberts suggested staff should also looking into how the County can better serve its farmers over the same issue.

“It is hard to understand why we would be making a wpd full load exemption a priority when we’re in a situation where importing chicken feed into the County is allowed to be full load and exempt, but our farmers, can’t get their perishable human food out. They’re not exempted from the restriction,” said Roberts. “With wpd we’re looking several thousand trucks and movements in the County on roads that are under stress and our farmers are trying to truck out perishable human food in the hundreds – not thousands.”

There are exemptions in place for the trucking of other necessary items including water and furnace fuel.

Several noted telephone calls and emails seeking exemptions from contractors, and other businesses whose trucks are inconvienced, costing them time, money and labour.

County CAO James Hepburn noted changes to the reduced load limits bylaw would unlikely be in time for this season, but could be examined for next year.

Feb 27 – wpd Canada’s legal representative is seeking council’s approval for an exemption to the reduced load limits on roads bylaw so it doesn’t have to use quadruple the number of truck movements to deliver cement for the nine industrial turbine project near Milford.

Andrew Faith, of Polley Faith LLP, of Toronto, told the County’s solicitor in a letter that their client seeks “an urgent exemption” to allow it to operate trucks up to 7,000kg per axle.

Without an exemption, the bylaw load restrictions would be inoperative to the extent they would frustrate wpd’s provincial Renewable Energy Authorization allowing construction of the project, the letter states.

“Assuming wpd could meet its schedule while operating with reduced 5,000kg per axle loads – an assumption that, in wpd’s view, does not reflect the real world limits such as the availability of trucks – it would not be reasonable to do so in light of the exceptional increase in the number of truck movements and the resultant impact the concrete trucks have on the roads and environment,” the letter states.

The exemption, they reason, will minimize damage to the roads and environment by reducing the number of truck movements, stating the reduced load restriction will require an increase of truck movements by approximately 350-450 per cent – or 3,600-4,800 movements as compared to fully-loaded trucks. With an exemption granted, approximately 1,600 total movements would be required.

The concrete trucks being used weigh more than 15,000kg when empty (up to 1,000kg more for fuel and water). A fully loaded concrete truck can carry about 9 cubic metres of concrete. By comparison, under the reduced load, can carry just one cubic metre.

wpd, the letter states, is prepared to assume liability for damage caused by its contractor’s continued use of the roads. It also states wpd will conduct road inspections following each concrete pour. Crews are to be mobilized within 48 hours for emergency repairs.

Council meets March 1 at Shire Hall.

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  1. wevil says:

    they will not post cr 49 because that would affect cement shipment

  2. Fred says:

    Today Loyalist Township has issued a stop work order for the Amherst Island turbine project. You guessed it, significant road damage due to trucks and heavy equipment.

  3. Chuck says:

    Hockeynan; probably not near the cost we are paying foreign developers for energy we do not require.

  4. Gary Mooney says:

    I have seen a list of roads posted for reduced loads, and it includes CR 49.

  5. hockeynan says:

    What a ridiculous statement. Do you know what that would cost.

  6. Chuck says:

    PC leadership candidate Tanya Granic Allen says if elected she will rip the turbines right out of the ground!

  7. hockeynan says:

    No load restrictions on 49.

  8. Paul says:

    Make a deal…… it’s ok if WPD repairs highway 49!!!!

  9. Julian says:

    @Doug, I have seen a lot of other contractors around the county ignoring this bylaw. Perhaps PEC should focus on them as well and not just WPD.

    @ Mark, a helicopter is not a viable option. Any idea how many trips it would take?

    @Snowman, the county started the half load season on January 24, a full 7 days before their bylaw was to officially start, and they actually boxed in the project area first before erecting the signs across the county.

    This will bite PEC in the butt sooner or later. Perhaps they need a reminder of what Kawartha Lakes went through. It looks like to me that WPD is trying to do the right thing by asking first in order to help PEC save their roads from damage and if they did get ruined they will pay to fix them. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

  10. doug says:

    What about all the other contractors obeying the law

  11. Mark says:

    WPD have the option of a helicopter concrete pour instead of jeopardizing our roads. Failing that, wait like everyone else. It’s not like we need the energy to dump to the US at a loss.

  12. hockeynan says:

    I believe wpd has to repair the roads as in the road users agreement. Don’t blame wpd for the holdup.

  13. Argyle says:

    Why would you accommodate this request when WPD has ignored and proceeded to clear vegetation as they please, with little regard for the environment. How could council say ok, no problem.

  14. Susan says:

    The County is not a willing host. Why would we be willing to have roads destroyed particularly when we can’t keep up with road maintenance now.

  15. Paula Peel says:

    The County is on a slippery slope if it grants WPD an exemption. It’s only a matter of time before another developer or shipping company or whatever comes along asking for one, on the basis that it should be a level playing field for everybody.

    If WPD is behind in meeting construction schedules it’s their problem not anyone elses’. After all, WPD was as responsible as anyone for the Environmental Review Tribunal hearing dragging on for as many years as it did!

  16. Chuck says:

    County Road 10 from Picton to Cherry Valley is starting to break up now. I don’t see how allowing this is wise.

  17. Dave says:

    Hope their using county concrete(fennels)

  18. Gary Mooney says:

    Starting with 1600 movements, an increase of 100% (i.e. 1600 more) would result in 3200 movements, and an increase of 200% would result in 4800 movements.

    Roads are damaged mostly by heavy trucks, not by cars. One might think increasing the load on an axle to 7,000 lbs from 5,000 lbs would result in damage to the road of 1.4x. In fact, the damage is subject to the fourth power law — i.e. 1.4^4 = 4x.

  19. Snowman says:

    It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission.Is this a big surprise that half load season starts in March?
    I think they should pay big$$$$ for the privilige. Tear up all those secondary roads for what ? $4k per turbine in taxes? Otherwise wait 60 days like everybody else! It’s not like water or furnace oil delivery. not essential or life threatening.

  20. Fred says:

    This must have been addressed in the road users agreement.

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