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Penticton  

Compost plant killed again

The Summerland compost proposal was officially put to bed Tuesday night following a heated discussion by council.

Councillors shut down the idea for a second time after Mayor Peter Waterman used a rarely used section of the Community Charter to bring the topic back up for discussion despite a 6 - 1 vote against the plan.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen was seeking access to the Summerland landfill for feasibility testing for a regional compost and biosolids plant, but by denying the access, council effectively ended Summerland's involvement in the facility.

“Before council renders a decision on any topic or issue I feel strongly that the topic should come with a full staff report, plus other relevant information,” Mayor Peter Waterman said in his pitch to council.

Summerland residents voiced their frustrations loudly at the meeting.

While all of council — except Mayor Waterman — voted against the facility in October, Coun. Toni Boot had a change of heart and seconded a motion for further discussion.

“My motion is not to allow access to the site at this point, my motion is only because I have some questions that I would like to have answered,” Boot said. “The only group that can answer them is the RDOS, not our staff, not anybody here.”

The crowd of residents in the gallery booed when Boot spoke about needing further information from the RDOS before making a final decision.

Waterman and Boot aside, the rest of council felt the proposed compost site should be completely denied.

“I think in principle this is a bad idea and getting more information, clarification, consultation, will not make it a good idea, we will just have more information on a bad idea,” Coun. Doug Holmes said.

Everyone cheered as Holmes gave his input.

One community member that lives near the landfill expressed her concerns.

“I don’t agree with it and I feel that a vote is a vote. We won the vote and now we have to come back here,” said Pat Gibbons. “I live where the odour and the traffic will be and I can tell you, when it comes election time, he won’t be getting my vote.”

The crowd packed into the gallery — larger than the turnout for the original council vote — cheered when Waterman’s motion for reconsideration was eventually voted down.

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