South Okanagan composting site debate breaks down at regional district | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton News

South Okanagan composting site debate breaks down at regional district

Marron Valley property owner representative Elizabeth Bent addressed the regional district board of directors in an effort to get them to re-think their position on the property as a location for a composting facility at the regular board meeting today, Feb. 1, 2018.

PENTICTON - With a packed gallery of residents staring them down, regional directors decided against taking any chances with the controversial issue of where to site a composting facility yesterday.

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen directors voted against taking another look at two composting sites already turned down in the long running debate, one being the Summerland landfill, which was given the thumbs down by that district's council last year.

They also dismissed a rethink of their decision on the Marron Valley site, in spite of Penticton Indian Band locatee landowner representative Elizabeth Bent’s appeal to the board to take a second look at the location.

In her address to the board yesterday, Feb. 1, Bent noted the technology available, as exhibited by a visit to the Abbotsford composting facility, produced an almost odour free operation that was up to date and environmentally friendly.

Bent said there were natural buffers to the property, including a forested area and steep mountainside in the immediate area that would additionally mitigate undesirable issues associated with a compost facility, adding her family did not disagree with concerns raised by others, but believed they could be rectified.

She also issued a caution to those neighbouring residents present at the meeting her family planned to develop the land anyway, and would be able to do as they pleased in that regard.

“We know whatever decision you make won’t satisfy everyone. I hope you will take a second look at the site,” she told the board.

Area D director Tom Siddon, whose jurisdiction is nearest the Marron Valley site, asked what the position of the Penticton Indian Band was to the proposal.

Bent reminded those present of the “turbulence” the band had endured in the past year, adding she tried to get documentation and support for the project but was unable to.

“I can’t speak for them,” she said.

Summerland director Peter Waterman said it was his belief his fellow councillors neither wanted to take, nor give another region its compost materials, based on the decision made last year.

Penticton director Judy Sentes asked for the recommendation to be split so a resolution to revisit only the Marron Valley site could be made.

Directors ultimately declined to support Bent’s request to look at the Marron Valley proposal a second time.

They also declined to look at Summerland landfill again, leaving staff with no direction moving forward.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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