By GREG McMILLAN
IT HAS become a familiar sight for those driving along Morrell Street over the past few weeks.
Earth-moving equipment at the former Harding Carpets brownfield site in Holmedale has been crunching, grinding, levelling and mounding materials, reducing them to rubble.
But what’s going to happen next and when?
Six months ago, city councillors backed the conversion of the site into a residential and commercial subdivision by local builder Multani Custom Homes Ltd. and King and Benton Redevelopment Corp. A public meeting was held and residents were told about plans to build a mixed-housing subdivision with 47 single-family homes and 36 street townhouses on the northern portion of the 10-acre site, accompanied by a medical clinic, offices and a neighbourhood commercial enterprise near an adjacent rail line.
But that was then. Now what?
For two weeks, Green Matters has been trying to get a response from Multani. Thus far, company spokesperson Ajay Kaushik has not provided answers to questions about future plans.
Lucy Hives, from the City of Brantford planning department, sent an e-mail about the issue to Mary Ellen Kaye, of the brownfields community advisory committee, and she passed it along.
“It is my understanding that the old foundations on the property are being ground into aggregate to be reused in the development, as well as other developments,” Hives wrote. “You should contact the developer of the site for more information.”
We’ve been trying.
AROUND THE GREEN HUB
Green Matters’ reader Joe Clark of Simcoe – no, not that Joe Clark – makes a thought-provoking point about clean energy options in The Green Hub.
He wonders why there is so much talk about solar and wind, but seldom do you hear anyone mentioning water energy in the same conversation.
“Water energy is a thousand times more powerful than wind energy,” he wrote in an e-mail. “It’s available 24/7 is very economical and can be used without controversy.
“I’m not talking about major river developments, rather the thousands of small rivers and streams we have.”
In fact, he says, a lot of these smaller waterways already have dams with water wheels/turbines to power the grinding of grain and other work. And, he claims, those could be modified to produce continuous hydroelectric power.
“There are also many dams where pipes could be installed, diverting almost all the water to turbines and generators.”
He cites local examples at Backus Mill and Otterville. “There are grist mills there that could easily be converted into mini hydroelectric sites.”
He says he has contacted Norfolk council about his proposal – “To no avail.”
For our part, Green Matters will follow up with input on this from Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation, two provincial commercial companies. Stay tuned …
Good to see that city council rubber stamped a committee recommendation to bring in a company from the Netherlands to take part in a pilot project cleanup of some contaminated soil at the Greenwich-Mohawk brownfield. One of the main boosters of the initiative, Ward 5 Coun. Marguerite Ceschi Smith, tells Green Matters that the next step will be further analysis of the soil to ensure it can be cleaned with the suggested technology, which is a ‘soil-washing’ technique that injects steam into the soil and then vacuums the liquid and contaminants for above-ground treatment. “Hopefully we’ll see some action within the next year,” she said.
Greg McMillan is a partner at TheGreenHub.ca – a green news and information web portal. Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any tips or suggestions for topics to be covered in the Green Matters column. That could mean green lifestyle, business or human-interest items, including any personal or school-related projects or initiatives. We’ll write about people who live in The Green Hub area, which includes Brantford, Six Nations, Brant, Norfolk and Haldimand counties. Also, follow us on Twitter / the_green_hub and TheHubMan or Facebook / thegreenhub