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Residents of Pilot Butte frustrated over compost facility

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Pilot Butte, Sask. -

The town of Pilot Butte is still at odds with the City of Regina after it was decided that a new compost facility would be built 1.6 kilometres away from the town.

A town meeting on Monday night gave attendees an opportunity to voice concerns over the plan to locate the City of Regina’s compost facility.

“I know there was a lot of opposition but we were hoping for maybe 60, 80 people to show up. We had 250 people here and close to 200 people online streaming,” said Allen Mullen, the Chief Administrator Officer of Pilot Butte.

However, those who expressed concerns at the meeting are still seeking answers.

“It was a little tense at the meeting. I felt like the RM and representative from the compost facility did not really answer any questions,” said town resident, Yvonne Hanna-Potter.

There were several points for concern raised, including the increased heavy traffic on highway 46, which already struggles with congestion, the rodent issues that come along with a compost site, the smell, the affect on property value, and the fact that the site is currently sitting on top of the town’s aquifer.

“We have the Condie and Zehner aquifer. So we draw from that aquifer and we provide water to Balgonie, as well as the village of Edenwold,” Mullen said. “It has created a lot of controversy on how did this even happen without the RM or the town even knowing about it?”

“Even if composting is a great business to be in, if it’s the city of Regina’s compost, it really belongs in the City of Regina.”

The pilot project for the compost bins took place over two years, and the compost was disposed of at the city dump in Regina.

Many Pilot Butte residents expressed concern that they were not notified of this decision until shovels were already in the ground.

The City of Regina spoke with CTV News last week addressing the issue.

“We believe EverGen’s technology will work to reduce the concerns about odour. Their Gore covers are 97 per cent effective. Odour concerns, pest concerns and management of nuisances like those and traffic considerations were things we looked at when we evaluated the proposals," Janet Aird, directory of environment for the City of Regina told CTV News on July 21.

Mullen explained that if the location is not reconsidered, the next step for the town is preparation to take legal action.

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