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City: Pole peeler complies with nuisance bylaw

The controversial pole peeler plant on Duncan Bay Road no longer violates the city’s noise bylaw, according to the city clerk.

Nearly five months after neighbours’ noise complaints prompted the city to discover the plant to be in contravention of the city’s nuisance bylaw, abatement modifications recommended by a sound consultant, are complete. Modifications include tunnels in both in and out log feeds of the debarker and vinyl curtains around the building that encloses the machine.

“In addition to the BKL (sound consultant) recommendations, the owners reduced the number of ‘cutting heads’ on the de-barker resulting in a lower pitched sound,” said Wipper. “Based on BKL sound consultant’s report and comments from area residents and staff’s on-site observations, it is my view that the log-peeling plant at 5301 Duncan Bay Road no longer contravenes...the city’s Public Nuisance Bylaw.”

City staff have visited the pole peeler twice since the modifications. Wipper said while standing in Blue Spruce Home Park, next door to the peeler, staff could hear the engine of the loader working in the yard but could not hear the debarker, which has been the main source of complaints from residents living in the home park. BKL said in its report that noise measurement had dropped from 78 decibels to 63 – a drop of 15 decibels.

Guy Deller, who co-owns Blue Spruce Home Park with wife Tracey Deller, confirmed on July 10 – the day the sound abatement modifications were completed – that the noise had been reduced.

“It’s a lot better,” he said. “We can live with that.”

But residents on Gordon Bay Road and Duncan Bay Road still have complaints about dust, traffic, and the noise from logs being dropped from the loaders.

Nora Henry, who lives in Blue Spruce, said it feels “like mini earthquakes” and “bombs going off.”

Wipper confirmed the city has received complaints over the sound of logs hitting the ground while being unloaded from the logging trucks. He said the city has discussed this with the plant owner, who relayed it to the machine operator.

As for safety issues with logging trucks on Duncan Bay Road, Wipper said the plant owner has distributed information to its hauling contractors to ensure they are aware of city requirements with respect to oversize loads and routes.

In respect to the dust, Wipper said the plant owners installed a sprinkler system to reduce the amount of dust.

Tracey Deller also says the permit for the pole peeler was issued incorrectly and the city did not collect all the required information from the peeler owner. The city says all the information required to issue the permit was provided.

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