Left to right: Jana Tennant

Left to right: Jana Tennant

Steelhead community fighting against proposed mine

Steelhead Community Association has started a Facebook page and online petition

A Mission community has until Friday to tell government they don’t want a gravel mine in their area.

The Steelhead Community Association (SCA) has been leading the fight against a proposed pit on Thomas Avenue, near Cardinal Street, and has created a Facebook group last week, as well as an online petition at change.org this week.

“We’re working as hard as we can to let the people in power know it’s the wrong place for a gravel pit,” opined SCA co-chair Cindy Diamond.

A letter-writing campaign has been ongoing since the small community in northern Mission found out about the proposal in late January after two development attempts on the same property were rejected by local residents and turned down by council.

Council suggested SCA and subject property owner, Dean Hodgson, negotiate a solution, but the SCA membership is not interested in entering any discussions.

Cindy Diamond, SCA co-chair, said the membership wants neither a high-density subdivision nor a gravel pit.

The proposed pit would be situated near a wetland behind the new community hall, which hasn’t yet officially opened its doors. The numerous gravel trucks going by would affect the community’s ability to rent out the hall and raise money to put back in the region.

There are five gravel mines within 12 kilometres of Steelhead, but none this centrally located. Residents worry about many things including dust particles, the noise, vibration, traffic and their well water quality, said Diamond.

“The needs of many must supersede the financial needs of one,” she added.

Mission council will voice its opposition to the mine, but the district cannot stop the application process through the Ministry of Mines.

Last month Mayor Ted Adlem predicted the mining permit would be approved, and the only thing the district can do is put a weight restriction on Thomas Road, which is less than 0.1 km long. That would stop the mine from proceeding unless H&H Contracting, which applied for the mining permit, rebuilds the road, said Coun. Larry Nundal earlier this year.

Hodgson is away until March 12 and attempts to contact him before The Record deadline have been unsuccessful.

Letters to the ministry can be e-mailed to Al Hoffman, the chief inspector for the province at southwestminesdivision@gov.bc.ca. More information is also available on the Steelhead Community Facebook page, or visit www.SteelheadCommunity.com.