Monday, February 27, 2017


Looking back over the years of paperwork and reports on the Jigs Hollow Gravel Pit it is clear that the proponents have been a little disingenuous shall we say. They have presented an ever moving target to citizens who have been involved with this proposal for about a decade. Initially the plan presented was for a strictly above the water table gravel pit. That was opposed for numerous reasons including the location very close to both Winterbourne and Conestogo. The problem if you will is the inherent beauty of the area combined with the natural view along and through the Winterbourne Valley as the Grand River winds its' way. Noise was also a concern and to be blunt the well off folks along Golf Course Road really didn't pay big bucks to have a gravel pit view and noise in their backyards.

The pit was approved in late 2010 by the lame duck, outgoing Woolwich Council. A Holding Provision was added to make sure that the gravel pit could not simply apply to the Ministry of Natural Resources for an amendment allowing them to go below the water table. They would have to come back to Woolwich Council for a zone change ie. removal of the Holding Provision.

Lo and behold Preston Sand and Gravel did so after they had started work on the site. They allegedly belatedly realized that the water table was too high along the Grand River to allow them to keep the floor of their pit 1.5 metres above the water table. Their plans were changed to permit them to excavate three to four metres below the water table. This was discussed in meetings with Woolwich Township, Region of Waterloo and the Grand River Conservation Authority as recently as January 2015.

Their last change (and expansion) was to decide that it was perfectly O.K. to chase the below water table gravel deeper. In fact they now want to excavate gravel fourteen metres below the water table. That is over fourty feet deep right beside the Grand River. In fact it is six metres or nearly twenty feet beneath the bottom of the Grand River. What the hell? That indeed is a bait and switch and a constantly moving target. Along with the noise and altered viewscapes there is the environmental concerns which include effects upon wildlife and threatened nearby drinking wells. Furthermore in the middle of the expanding proposals, recycled concrete and asphalt processing was added. Quite frankly if one can ignore the potential damage to both human beings and wildlife; one has to almost admire the chutzpah, brass and arrogance of the proponents.

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