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Zipline owner worries rock quarry approval would harm his business


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McGRATHS MOUNTAIN – A proposed rock quarry on McGraths Mountain has a local man concerned for the future of his business.

Dexter Construction, located in Bedford, has made an application to the Nova Scotia Environment Department to open a quarry located on McGraths Mountain Road, a half a kilometre from Tim Harrison’s business.

Harrison owns Anchors Above Zipline Adventures. He opened the business a year and a half ago after losing his job at TrentonWorks.

“I’m very concerned,” said Harrison. “I don’t know how it is going to interrupt my business.”

Harrison is concerned about extra traffic – trucks shipping rock – along McGraths Mountain Road.

“I have 2,700 people a year go across that road to go up to the top of the zipline, so it is going to affect my groups of people,” said Harrison.

As part of the application process, Dexter Construction must carry out a 30-day public consultation process. On June 1, they advertised in The News and this is how Harrison found about the quarry.

Gavin Isenor of Dexter Construction said the quarry, if approved, will be small scale, only used for when the company gets road work contracts within 40 kilometres of the site.

“It would be job-driven,” said Isenor. “We don’t have any immediate plans to open the quarry until there is a local job that requires it. It would be something in the immediate area that would warrant opening that quarry rather than hauling from our other sources.”

Harrison’s ziplines are 1,100 feet long, 240 feet above the ground, and 900 feet long, 190 feet above the ground. He said he is concerned that if there is blasting there will be rock showers.

Isenor said Dexter operates approximately 40 quarries in the province and anticipates the one proposed for McGraths Mountain will be used once a year for a duration of one to two months. He did confirm there will be blasting at the site but said the company will be working within environmental regulations.

“We make sure we met all those (regulations) before we even open a quarry,” said Isenor. “Those are in place to protect the public.”

He has received two responses from the public thus far but could not discuss the details.

Penny MacLeod, from the Department of Environment, said the comments Dexter or the department receives are taken under consideration before an approval is given.

“Basically the consultation is to get input from area residents and make a determination as to what the company can do to address the comments,” said MacLeod.

Harrison said he would be drafting a lettering of his concerns and submitting it to Dexter.

“I don’t know what other route I can take,” he said.

Public consultation ends June 30 on this quarry and anyone wishing to submit comments can contact Nova Scotia Environment or Gavin Isenor at 902-832-6389.

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