Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cherrywood residents weren't slow off the mark on odour control facility issue

Cherrywood residents weren't slow off the mark on odour control facility issue

To the editor:

Re: 'Residents need to stay up to date on local issues', Karem Allen letter, News Advertiser, Jan. 7.

Karem Allen is mistaken in suggesting Cherrywood residents haven't stayed in touch with local issues, specifically the massive raw sewage vent pipe planned for their neighbourhood.

The facility will filter and release odour from millions of litres of untreated sewage - all from York Region - before it reaches the treatment plant in south Pickering. Area residents have every right to object and will continue to do so. Given the prevailing wind direction, the rest of Pickering and Ajax might also have concerns.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the consultants hired by York Region to inform the public and solicit comments have done an imperfect job. They sent meeting notices to residents in sealed, plain, un-addressed envelopes. Most were discarded unopened. Since the first few residents showed up at a meeting at Pine Ridge Secondary School and began asking questions, the information from those consultants has been somewhat vague and occasionally contradictory. A cynic might think they weren't really trying to engage the community in informed discussion.

Cherrywood residents have been quick and effective in raising awareness. That their efforts were only reported recently doesn't mean they've been disinterested or lazy. Mrs. Allen might take her own advice and become informed before she criticizes.

Don Harvey


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