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Site plan for next phase of airfield work includes new protocols, security deposits

Posted April 4, 2016

New Tecumseth and the Tottenham Airfield Corporation (TAC) have reached agreement on a site plan and best management practices program that will guide Phase 2 of the runway expansion at 8128 Hwy 9.

TAC purchased the airfield in July 2012, which included taking over the fill operation that was well underway on site, adjacent to Tecumseth Pines.

According to the best management practices introduction, the airfield is being upgraded for general and recreational uses, to enhance its operation capacity and safety improvements.

"The existing runways were a challenge to land on because of the location of the overhead power transmission wires and large stands of trees. ... The improvements have required considerable soil to be imported to bring the runways up to the grade of the adjacent properties and the highway." Work also includes the additon of taxiways, and replacing existing hangars, and with demand, adding more and replacing the repair shop. Buttonville Airport has been slated for closure for several years, and it's anticipated, Tottenham Airfield could take some of the smaller air traffic once upgraded.

It's the soil importation that set off opposition among residents of the Tecumseth Pines retirement community, and the surrounding neighbours including those across the highway in King Township. In addition to the truck traffic and dust issues, the quality of fill, and its potential for contamination of ground water sources, has been the biggest bone of contention. Residents have been lobbying council for about five years to not only control, but end the operation which they believe is a front for a fill operation.

There are five "Objectives" of the new protocols, whose "overall philosophy" is to:
  • maintain confidence in the Town and its residents in the airfield improvements, including soil importation;
  • minimize disruption to the residents and general public both on and off-site;
  • ensure the importation and placement of the soil is managed in an environmentally responsible manner;
  • ensure the soil imported to the property is in compliance and meets all standards; and
  • limit the fill importation of the airfield improvement to the development of the runways and associated facilities.
There are new financial elements with this deal. TAC will reimburse New Tecumseth approximately $140,000 for incurred costs, prior to the fill permit. And, because there will be ongoing costs in terms of the various monitoring programs, TAC will pay New Tecumseth 50 cents per cubic metre for a 10 cubic metre tri-axle dump truck (minimum $5 per truck); and 50 cents per 18 cubic metre trailer dump truck (minimum $9 per truck). These rates are based on the current limit of 190 trucks per day, with a total limit of 1,140 per week. On average the number of trucks is 3,000 per month.

TAC has also agreed to file a $10,000 cash security deposit, and an irrevocable letter of credit worth $1 million to "cover the faithful performance of the obligations." Additionally, the Town wants to be included in TAC's "not less than" $5 million commercial general liability, and $5 million pollution liability insurance.

The site plan agreement also confirms hours of operation, noise control issues, haul routes, soil testing protocols, dust control, drainage, waste, and calls for "meetings from time to time.... in order to review any issues or concerns that may arise regarding the administration of the Agreement."

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All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri
Dr. Cam

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