Reader writes on Enerdu’s bylaw violations

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Open Letter to Council and Residents of Mississippi Mills

Enerdu has again requested an adjustment to the Mississippi Mills noise bylaw for their project. They have requested operating hours of 6 AM to 10 PM from Monday to Saturday and Sunday 9 AM to 7 PM.

At the last council meeting, a unanimous vote by Council instructed Enerdu to follow the noise bylaw and to consult with local residents. For the next week Enerdu refused to comply, working late at night (often well past 11 PM) and working early in the mornings (7 AM Sunday).

Enerdu did not meet with impacted residents as instructed by Council. Regardless of the potential for a very explosive meeting, Enerdu should have complied.

This is a very clear indication of Cavanaugh and Enerdu’s respect for residents of the community, Council, and the bylaws of the community. This is unlikely to change in the future.

Enerdu understands that they have alienated the local residents to the point that they have little or no chance of coming to an accommodation with these residents.

From the beginning of this project Enerdu knew they were building in the centre of a residential area and that the residents would expect that existing noise bylaws would be adhered to and enforced.

Enerdu should not ignore the concerns of the residents. Their current request for an exemption still asks for 16 hour days. Residents will still be bombarded with noise and lights from 6 AM to 10 PM.

Enerdu’s request to Council and the way it is worded is a very clear attempt by Enerdu to transfer their construction problems to Council and the community. If Enerdu can convince Council of negative impacts to refusing their request, they will have successfully made Council the owners of the problem. If Council approves the request, then Council becomes the “Bad Guy” with local residents and Enerdu can say “We have the permission and support of Council”.

Any large construction company has professional project managers and schedulers on staff. Project plans for this type of project do not schedule for 16 hour days. In fact, project plans normally include some extra time to take into account external factors such as weather, equipment problems, deliveries, etc. The request for 16 hour days clearly indicates that the project is not on schedule and that this request is an attempt by Enerdu to try to catch up.

Council should not accept ownership of Enerdu’s problem. Council has well thought out bylaws and they should be acting in a responsible manner by ensuring the bylaws are being followed.

Residents are the ones who are paying a price. People are unable to sleep at night, they are awakened very early, and they have lost use and quiet enjoyment of their property.

Enerdu is also paying a price. They are behind schedule, over budget (if you are behind schedule you are almost always over budget) and they are trying to keep their costs under control. As a private company, their planning, scheduling and construction problems should be theirs alone. Local residents should not be paying a price for Enerdu’s problem.

What happens if Enerdu gets extended hours and they still can’t complete the work? In their application, Enerdu admits that nature or other factors could interfere. Residents may still have to endure the noise in the summer but Enerdu and council will have set a precedent. Enerdu may very well want council to extend their working hours over the whole summer.

If this project was in Ottawa or some other larger centre, Enerdu would have been fined for noise and light violations long before now. Enerdu is using its local influence to push council and residents to accept a situation that they could never get away with elsewhere.

Why should it be acceptable in Mississippi Mills?

I respectfully request that all Council members read this information and reject the application by Enerdu.

Brian Young