CCAT hosts Family Fun Day at Somerville

March 23, 2016   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek
The newly formed group, CCAT, or Concerned Citizens of Adjala–Tosorontio Inc., held a Family Fun Day Fundraiser March 13, at Somerville Nurseries in Everett.
The event was open to the public with all proceeds to help protect the environment, water and quality of life in the local area.
The day’s activities included  a pancake brunch with local maple syrup and butter including hot chocolate coffee tea, BINGO and prizes, Kreate Kards station for Kuwait troops, face painting by local artists, bird feeder craft station, music and entertainers, craft table for children, as well as door prizes and a “mysterious treasure hunt.”
The event was organized by the “No Gravel Pit” committee, whose mission is to stop the proposed Alliston Sand & Gravel Pit in the former municipality of Tosorontio, just south of Everett.
“If that gravel pit goes in, we could lose our underground aquifer. Can you imagine what it will be like having no water in our wells, or having our water coming out of the tap contaminated by grease, oil or other contaminants?” said Robert Graham in an event day poster. “Those of you in local communities who receive your water by community wells, may not be exempt either. Your well could become contaminated or drained dry just like your country neighbours!”
Graham went on to say: “This gravel pit will destroy a precious habitat for the bobolink, it will create major noise and dust pollution and the constant heavy truck traffic will increase the hazards on our roads as well as destroy the road surface and the small bridges that are not designed for such constant and heavy loads.
“Another serious consequence is the rising temperature in the Boyne River because of the pit. As a result of high water temperatures, the salmon may refuse to come up the river to spawn. This will eliminate the Boyne as a valuable spawning stream. That would be a tragedy!”
According to its established mandate, CCAT Inc. is dedicated to:
• Supporting and nurturing the interests of the community.
• Promoting a safe and healthy environment through accountability, responsibility, and informed decision making.
• Specific issues would include water, land, wildlife, farms and people.
• Liaising with municipal council and other community organizations in the vicinity with similar interests.
The group is led by spokesperson, Janet Budgell, and governed by a volunteer board of directors. The Alliston Sand and Gravel Pit is popping-up right in the group’s backyard, thus the focus of its attention through events and video messaging.
According to the C.C. Tatham & Associates Ltd. Monitoring Protocol, Investigative Triggers and Mitigation Measures Summary prepared for Nelson Aggregate Co. in December, 2015:
“The pit is located northwest of the intersection of Simcoe County Road 13 and Tosorontio Sideroad 5, approximately 2.5 km south of Everett.
The subject properties current land use is agriculture and includes a single family residence and several out buildings consisting of barns and sheds. The site is bordered by agricultural lands to the east, forest and residential lands to the north, and former pits rehabilitated into pit lakes to the west and south. The Boyne River and Tosorontio Creek drain through the property from west to east. The site topography is flat with very little surface drainage expected to leave the site as overland flow. There is a very subtle topographical low through the middle of the property that drains to a culvert crossing Simcoe County Road 13 at the mid-point of the site and eventually feeds an off-site intermittent tributary of the Boyne River.
The proposed pit will extract fine and coarse grained aggregate for miscellaneous construction uses, primarily granular road base. The extraction operation will occur below the water table in wet conditions so no dewatering or off-site discharge is required. The extraction operation will occur in three phases with the first phase commencing south of Tosorontio Creek then progressing north in subsequent phases. Material processing operations will occur on-site with the equipment initially installed in the southeast corner of the site as part of Phase 1 and the operations will move with the excavation. In the post extraction condition a pit lake will form covering the extraction area in a manner similar to the adjacent rehabilitated pit sites. The proposed extraction operation is fully described on the Site Plans prepared in support of the ARA license application.”
Budgell compares the possibility for destruction of the environment at the Pit to that of the proposed Melancthon Mega Quarry.
“(This pit could) cause long-term environmental and ecological disturbances; reduce the quantity and quality of our drinking water; destroy animal and bird habitats through removal of vegetation and soil contaminate rivers and deplete fish stock alter drainage pattern; spew aggregate dust from the site affecting the air we breath; damage our roads with heavy trucks and diesel leakage; increase property taxes to pay for our roads; receive returned trucks loaded with possibly contaminated materials from other sites; create noise pollution from the site machinery, crushers and truck travel; will lower property values,” said Budgell, siting the C.C. Tatham & Associates Ltd.  Alliston Aggregates, Traffic Review  of 2014.
For now, CCAT can only wait and watch and spread awareness through events, such as the Family Fun Day.
For more information about CCAT Inc., contact Janet Budgell at or call 705-435-4355.

Fred Somerville speaks in a video presentation prepared by CCAT member, Annette Bays, that played on a loop during the awareness event.

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