Mayor says asphalt plant won’t be moved June 1 

Consultant’s report will be released next council meeting; open house scheduled soon

The asphalt plant near Cheakamus Crossing probably will not be moved by June 1, Mayor Ken Melamed said Tuesday.

His comments came on the heels of a closed-door council meeting Tuesday morning where Whistler's seven council members and their consultants discussed how the municipality can deal with the blacktop operation next to the new residential area.

At the meeting, the consultants showed mayor and council a report they have been developing since December outlining seven different options on moving the Alpine Paving plant.

"This was the first time council saw the report and they raised a number of issues and questions," said Melamed. "Council is still deliberating on the options presented to it and hasn't made any firm decisions yet or commitments to date."

The mayor and councillors also decided to release the report to the public at their next council meeting. A community open house will be scheduled to coincide with the release of the report.

"Council might be interested potentially in getting the input from the community based on the report because there are a number of implications within the report for the community at large as well as residents at Cheakamus Crossing," said Melamed.

The biggest issues are how much it will cost to move the plant and how the plant impacts air quality, said the mayor.

Council first decided to relocate the long-running Alpine Paving asphalt plant late last year, after 100 angry homeowners attended a council meeting in November with concerns about the asphalt plant.

The Cheakmus Crossing homeowners all signed disclosure statements when they bought homes but many didn't realize the proximity of the industrial operation to the new neighbourhood.

The operator of the plant, Burnaby-based Frank Silveri, said at the time that council's June 1 timeline for moving the facility was unrealistic. He also said he was not going to pay to move his business.

Silveri did not return phone calls this week.

Melamed agreed this week that three months no longer looks like it will be enough time to move the asphalt plant.

"The report suggests that the June 1 deadline is not realistic and people will be able to determine that on review of the report," he said.

The site was used by the military between Dec. 15 and March 15, as part of the Olympic and Paralympic security operations.

The mayor didn't elaborate further on how much it will likely cost to move the plant or who will foot the bill. The community can find those answers for themselves in the report, he said.

"As per council's direction, the report is fairly comprehensive and looks at all the option and provides cost estimates for consideration," said Melamed.

Cheakamus Crossing homeowner Sebastien Fremont and his wife were present at Tuesday's public council meeting. Later that night, he posted an update on the homeowner Facebook group "Cheakmus Crossing."

"To me, this sounds like the battle is far from being done, but I do believe that council is working with us on this matter," he wrote to the group. "We need to rally and work together on this one regardless of your view to ensure a future great neighbourhood... If you know anyone that has bought in this area and has not yet informed themselves on the nature of living next to an asphalt plant, this is this time to do so."

The consultant's report will also be posted on Whistler.ca and hard copies will be available at the front desk of municipal hall. Municipal staff will review the report to make sure it is appropriate to be released to the public, said the mayor.

About 200 residents are hoping to move into Cheakamus Crossing this fall, after the neighbourhood is retrofitted from its previous use as the Olympic and Paralympic athletes' village.

 

 

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