Brooke-Alvinston doesn’t want biosolids stored on LaSalle Line

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Brooke-Alvinston Mayor David Ferguson wants to make it clear the municipality doesn’t want a local company to store biosolids on LaSalle Line.
Roger and David Buurma are trying to rezone a property to rural commercial. His plan, according to Ferguson, is to build a storage shed for equipment. The family already has two implement sheds next door to the property it is trying to rezone.
But neighbours on LaSalle Line are concerned that’s not all that might be coming in the future.
The Buurma’s own LaSalle Agri which has recently been embroiled in controversy over its commercial operation in Warwick Township. The company sells government-approved fertilizer made from human waste. Over the last two years, LaSalle Agri has been storing its product on a lot on the corner of Highway 402 and Nauvoo Road.
That didn’t sit well with Warwick Township officials who were fielding complaints about the smell of the product, particularly as the pile doubled in size this spring and reached almost to the road allowance.
Aug. 12, the company pled guilty to violating the townships zoning bylaws by operating a commercial business on agricultural land. (See story on Page ?)
So, when Roger Buurma went to Brooke-Alvinston council, neighbours voiced concerns the commercial operation would end up in Brooke-Alvinston.
Ferguson says Buurma has explained to council “what they really want is a drive shed for storage of equipment.”
But, Buurma did tell council he is considering a trial of indoor storage of the product – perhaps using something similar to a grain bin on the property.
“After watching what has been going on in Watford with biosolids, we’re being careful,” Ferguson told The Independent.
“We are not giving permission for open, outdoor storage of biosolids,” he adds. The municipality’s planner, has drawn up a bylaw which would allow the land to be zoned rural commercial, but would prohibit the storage of biosolids.
“while the applicant has expressed no intent to store biosolids on the property, the amendment will ensure that no such activity can occur,” wrote Rob Nesbitt in a letter to council.
Ferguson says if the Buurmas wanted to use the property for biosolids indoor storage, they will have to come to council for permission.
But Ferguson doesn’t seem sold on that idea either saying the product can spontaneously combust. “Councillor Armstrong asked if the grain bin caught fire, where would the plume go?”
And Ferguson adds, any sort of fire within a storage unit like a grain bin would be difficult to fight.
“It would be just like a hay fire in a barn, you have to get to the core of it, except in a grain bin, you can’t get to the core.”
Ferguson says for now, the municipality has not given approval for the rezoning; moving cautiously to make sure biosolid storage doesn’t become an issue.