Last evening, Wednesday, July 7th, a well-attended public consultation meeting was held at Burton School and via Zoom for the public to hear information from Stella-Jones regarding the request for proposed 200 metre road access through the southeast upper corner of the 69 acre Burton School property, and to ask any questions. Dave Eddy and Pat McMechan of Stella-Jones attended the meeting, shared the proposed plan for road access and responded to questions.
Members of the public asked thoughtful questions throughout the meeting. Many thanks to moderator Paul Peterson assisted with fielding questions and managing the in person and online meeting.
Stella-Jones has provided a map of the proposed road access as below:
The Zoom recording of the July 7th Public Consultation meeting is available here: RECORDING PUBLIC CONSULTATION
Since the July 7th public meeting of the Board was about the road access request only, Stella-Jones indicated at the end of the meeting that they will hold a public meeting in early August to share more information about the entire proposed logging plan with the community of Burton and area.
Trustees of the Board began the July 7th Public Consultation meeting stating that:
- Stella-Jones has approached the school district to consider construction of a road adjoining Ruby Ridge Road which would run through the southeast section of the 69 acres (24 hectares) of Burton School property.
- The road access proposal was brought forward to the Board by Stella-Jones in order to access fir beetle-infested timber on their forest-tenured Crown land on Ruby Ridge.
It is important to clarify why the Board has engaged in public consultation:
- School district property is public property.
- Community interests regarding potential road access should be considered.
- Transparency in this matter was seen as important by the Board and a public consultation was decided by the Board at the May 18th Board meeting to be in the best interests of the school district.
- Under legislation, Boards of Education are required to consult with public when an agreement for lease of more than 10 years is considered on school district property.
- A record and documentation of that consultation must be available and provided to the Ministry if an agreement granting road access is approved by the Board.
- Finally, this engagement with public is part of the Board’s role as governors of the school district.
It is also important to clarify what is not on the table. The meeting and public consultation is about potential road access through school district property only.
- This is not a meeting about whether Stella-Jones should log in their tenured Crown land area or not.
- The Board of Education has no purview in that regard.
- Moderator, Paul Peterson will keep the meeting on track in this regard and ensure that the consultation this evening remains about road access.
- Though we anticipate that the public may have questions about the proposed logging plan, the scope of the Board consultation meeting this evening is to gather public input on whether or not the Board should consider granting road access through the Burton School property.
Further public comments on the proposed 200 metre road access across SD 10 property is invited from July 7th to July 15th at noon by sending written comments to email@example.com