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Fight against pole peeler wages on

Tracey Deller, far left, and several of her neighbours protest outside city hall Tuesday night, condeming the city for allowing the Duncan Bay Road pole plant to locate so close to residential homes. - Kristen Douglas
Tracey Deller, far left, and several of her neighbours protest outside city hall Tuesday night, condeming the city for allowing the Duncan Bay Road pole plant to locate so close to residential homes.
— image credit: Kristen Douglas

Duncan Bay Road residents were back at city hall Tuesday night to demonstrate against a pole peeler plant that has them seething.

“The pole peeler plant is still running and it’s unacceptable,” said a visibly upset Tracey Deller, who co-owns the Blue Spruce Home Park next door to the pole peeler at 5301 Duncan Bay Road.

Deller, along with husband Guy, were among a crowd of about 13 people who stood at the top of the steps to city hall, holding signs expressing their distress for councillors and the mayor to see as they entered the building.

It was the second time in two weeks residents protested prior to a council meeting.

Deller has several complaints with the plant that residents have said is located too close to a residential neighbourhood.

“The banging, the crashing of poles, the high-pitch shrill, the logging truck with 100 foot poles coming down on the wrong side of the road,” said Deller, who worries about safe passage on the 90 degree corner on Duncan Bay Road – the only route trucks can take to the pole plant.

Deller’s husband Guy said it’s so bad that sometimes drivers are forced to back up as trucks emerge from around the bend.

“That corner is an accident waiting to happen,” said Deller, who has called the Department of Transportation, the RCMP and ICBC. All parties have told her to talk to the city.

Deller said she’s called the city hundreds of times to complain - as have other neighbours.

City Clerk Peter Wipper confirmed city hall has fielded numerous complaints regarding the pole peeler. To try and mitigate the noise, the city requested the plant owner implement sound reduction modifications to the facility. Northern Pressure Treated Wood had until April 27 to submit a building permit application for the modifications. Wipper said the city received that application last Friday.

“Staff are currently reviewing the application with the intent of issuing the permit as soon as possible,” Wipper said. “This is a priority. We want to address this issue as soon as possible.

“Following the issue of the permit, the owner has indicated the plant is to be shut down and the contractor will come in to construct the modifications.”

The plant is expected to be shut down for two to three weeks while changes are underway.

The modifications, which include reducing the area of the in-and-out log feeds, enclosing the in-and-out feeds with insulated tunnels, and installing a series of flexible vinyl curtains along the tunnels, were recommended by a sound consultant who visited the plant in February, on a request from the city. Deller said after speaking with the consultant, she doesn’t have much faith the changes will make any difference.

“He told me the sound report was for the pole plant only – it was not measuring the impact on the surrounding community.”

The consultant, Eric de Santis of BKL Consultants, confirmed that in a report, which states, “while a significant reduction in peeler noise is achievable with the above recommendations, peeler noise may still be audible to those in the nearby community.”

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