Bio-mass boiler approval now in MoE’s hands

FORT FRANCES—After having approved an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) and corresponding zoning amendment back on March 1 for property to be used for a bio-mass boiler at the local mill, town council got an update Monday night about what still must be done before the province gives its final approval.
In a written report, municipal planner Faye Flatt explained that after the March 1 meeting, the two amendment applications were forwarded to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in Thunder Bay, from where they were circulated to the Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Natural Resources, and the Ministry of Environment for their input.
Flatt noted the MTO felt the boiler project does not appear to affect the Highway 11 connecting link. And as long as the existing truck routes (i.e., the municipal roadways currently used by large trucks to transport loads to the mill) are utilized, the MTO has no concerns with the OPA and zoning amendments.
Likewise, the MNR had no concerns with the proposed OPA.
However, prior to approving the OPA, the MoE will require several studies be done.
The first is a stormwater management report “to address drainage issues from the site and to demonstrate that the function and quality of existing watercourses, and quantity and quality of groundwater, will not be adversely affected by the construction and operation of the bio-mass boiler.”
The second is a land use compatibility report “supported by appropriate studies to determine potential noise impacts and propose appropriate mitigative measures.”
The MoE also is suggesting that both a dust suppression plan and a light pollution fire control management plan be prepared to address fire control (specifically, the spontaneous combustion of waste materials).
Flatt noted the requested potential noise impact study has been completed in draft form while the stormwater drainage report currently is being worked on.
The town’s zoning bylaw amendment will go into effect the day the OPA is approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
As previously reported, Abitibi-Consolidated is hoping to get the go-ahead from the province in time start building the foundation for the site in June.
The steel framework of the bio-mass boiler building then will get underway in September, in anticipation of the boiler parts arriving next March (there will be no winter construction on the site).
This will be followed by an intense period of construction of the boiler, with a completion date of October, 2008.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•approved a report to ensure Idylwild Drive, from Lake Road to School Road, will be surface treated with a double application this year;
•approved a revised dress code policy and drop-in child cancellation policy at the Fort Frances Children’s Complex;
•approved a report recommending the town erect signage and relocate concrete barriers parallel to the top edge of an embankment on the laneway behind the 200 block of Third Street West in order to protect vehicles from driving over the embankment (all property owners on 205-237 Third St. W. will be made aware of the decision);
•approved the new personal vehicle use for out-of-town travel waiver and directed that it be added as an amendment to the travel policy;
•approved a report to ensure the town would absorb 100 percent of the cost incurred for work performed by the town’s workforce on Jan. 29 to unplug the sanitary sewer service line at 1301 Mill Rd., and that New Beginnings Fellowship pay the costs for similar work done on Jan. 30;
•approved the Internet and e-mail acceptable use policy for the Town of Fort Frances; and
•approved a report to ensure a 50 percent mark-up above the town’s costs is used in establishing pump prices for 100 LL fuel at the Fort Frances Airport and 54 percent for Jet A-1 fuel (this equals $1.54 per litre for 100 LL and $1.28 per litre for Jet A-1, not including GST, effective April 10).