Neighbours feel pit decision less than golden – (Timmins Daily Press – November 13, 2012)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – The location of the Hollinger pit continues to polarize opinions regarding Goldcorp’s mining project on the site.

With no assurance in place to protect potential property devaluation or damage over the next decade of mining on the site, nearby residents and business owners are still fuming over city council’s decision to green-light the project on Monday.

“I think there were methods that could have been put in place to allow everyone to benefit,” said Lorne Feldman, owner of Feldman Timber and the industrial development it’s located in, off Algonquin Blvd. E. Businesses in the development include Shoppers Drug Mart, A&W and the Timmins Family Health Team clinics.

“That could have provided the protections necessary to adjacent land owners, and also allow this very worthwhile project to move forward.”

Rick Dubeau of the Hollinger Project Community Advisory Committee (HPCAC) and Bill Hughes, owner of Senator Place apartments, have been raising concerns for the past few weeks in city council, most recently in presentations prior to Monday’s decision.

Feldman said that he had no problem with Goldcorp looking to expand its operations as a business. As a fellow business owner, he said he understands that’s their prerogative. But Feldman added he felt that the city was making him and others coming forward with concerns seem like “anti-development pariahs”.

“We’re not talking about thousands or properties here, we’re talking about maybe dozens of properties,” said Feldman. “I would have been prepared, as would most reasonable people, to enter a form of agreement. I’m not upset if there’s damage, it’s an accident. I just want to be protected.

“They should have done enough studies to point out which properties will potentially be affected, post the times when blasting will occur in those areas, conduct baseline tests prior to the blasting, and conduct one afterwards. If (someone’s home) falls outside the boundaries, then tough luck, but if it falls within, then (Goldcorp) should do the right thing and repair it.”

Much has been said about the potential of properties surrounding the pit either being damaged by blasting or losing value over the course of the project.

Coun. Mike Doody said the project isn’t being rushed and that city council will ensure that all the bases are covered as the project moves along.

“Nobody can do anything until we see how it affects the assessment on their houses,” said Coun. Mike Doody. “When that happens, we’ll certainly find out and get reaction.”

Doody’s was one of the eight unanimous votes which approved the Hollinger project at Monday’s city council meeting. On Tuesday, he said that the socio-economic benefits, coupled with Goldcorp’s willingness to work with the community, made it imperative to move forward with the project.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Timmins Daily Press website: