Report on youth jail completed Jan. 18 deadline for input

FORT FRANCES—The Ontario Realty Corp. and R.J. Burnside & Associates Ltd. have completed the category ‘B’ environmental assessment consultation and documentation (C&D) report regarding the proposed construction of a youth justice facility on Eighth Street here.
They now are allowing for public comment until Jan. 18 before moving on to the next phase.
Letters of notice were sent out Dec. 19 to area property owners who had asked the ORC for updates regarding the proposed facility. They were given 30 days to make comments.
A copy of the report is available for viewing at the Civic Centre, as well as on the ORC’s website (go to http://204.40.6.15/orcclassea/ and search for project #10003135).
The report basically outlines concerns about the impact of the proposed construction of a youth justice facility and addresses how these will be mitigated.
For example, the report noted a public information session in October was held in Fort Frances, and that three official responses from the public were logged.
“Of these, the majority raised issues that are program-related and beyond the scope of this [environmental assessment], (e.g. site selection, safety, and security, etc.),” the ORC noted.
“The overall socio-economic impacts of this project are not expected to be out of the ordinary for this type of project, nor will they cause significant long-term changes to the social structure or the demographic characteristics of the surrounding community,” it added.
Any comments relating to the program requirements and/or operation of the facility will be distributed to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services in the form of a public information centre summary report.
Construction noise, recreational use of the area, traffic, and aesthetics also were noted as concerns during the public information session, the ORC said in the report.
“The increase in traffic will be relatively minor once the facility is operational, with increases linked to staff arrivals/departures, deliveries, and transportation of youth to and from the facility.
“Traffic concerns relating to construction will be short-lived and subject to review by the municipality,” the report added.
Areas adjacent to this site do contain municipal walking trails, it noted, but these trails “will not be impacted by the work.”
The report also said “the undeveloped portion of the site will be re-vegetated following construction.”
“In particular, re-vegetation will occur along the perimeter, and Christie [Avenue] in particular, to provide a natural barrier between the facility and the surrounding community to minimize aesthetic and recreational impacts.
“The ORC will continue to work with the multi-stakeholder design team to address aesthetic and other issues.”
The report also stated: “Neighbours will be affected by the construction. Noise, dust, vibration, disruption of schedules, and general health and safety are all concerns for neighbours and contractors alike.
“Fuel storage and refueling are expected to occur on site, and spills may impact the natural environment.”
To mitigate this, the report stressed: “A consultant will be hired to prepare detailed specifications to appropriately address common and project-specific environmental impacts of the proposed undertaking.
“The specifications will ensure that appropriate legislation, regulations, and bylaws (e.g., noise) are referenced, and will also address issues such as health and safety, dust suppression, water/sediment management, noise and vibration management, spills protection and management, and waste management among others.
“All disturbed areas will be re-vegetated upon completion of construction activities,” the report pledged.
Those interested may provide written comment—by Jan. 18—to the Ontario Realty Corp., Corporate Relations, Attention: Environmental Assessments, 77 Wellesley St. W., 10th Floor, Ferguson Block, Toronto, Ont., M7A 2G3 or by fax at 1-416-327-1906.
A person may request that the minister of the environment make an order for the project to comply with Part II of the Environmental Assessment Act (referred to as a Part II Order), which addresses individual environmental assessments.
Requests must be received by the minister at 135 St. Clair Ave. W., 12th Floor, Toronto, Ont., M4V 1P5 prior to Jan. 18.
A copy of this request also must be sent to ORC at its address (previously listed above).
Subject to comments received during the review period and the receipt of necessary approvals, the ORC intends to proceed with the proposed undertaking.
If no request is received by Jan. 18, the proposed undertaking will proceed, as outlined in the C&D report.
Site plan approval will be required from the municipality prior to commencing work.
Once completed, the site will be prepared and construction of the building and related facilities (e.g., parking, access, and recreation), connection to site services, and landscaping will be undertaken.
As previously reported, the new facility, which will be located on Eighth Street at Christie Avenue, is being proposed in response to a new regulatory requirement to remove youth offenders from adult correctional facilities.
Construction of the facility, if approved, will begin this winter, with the facility operational in the spring of 2009.
The facility, which will house 10-12 youths aged 12-18, will be run by an aboriginal service provider that still has to be determined.
(Fort Frances Times)