Spreading septage can start again after Minden council voted through a zoning change on Bobcaygeon Road.

Yesterday, during the regular council meeting, a zoning amendment was passed changing a lot’s designation of Rural Exception. Though it was passed, it was met with some contention, councillors Jean Neville, Jennifer Hughey and Pam Sayne voted no.

The reason for the zoning change was because Thomas Contracting owned the land and were using it as a spreading field last year, to full compliance with the Ministry of Environment’s standards, and the town learned that the lot was not zoned properly for what they were doing.

Leading up to the zoning change, the township held a public meeting, as required when zoning changes are requested, and Thomas Contracting held an open house on the site. During the open house, Thomas was faced a number of concerns, including the smell of the site, what happens if the river nearby washes out the field, what is the impact on the environment, and more.

Thomas explained that in terms of smell, there was no guarantee that it won’t smell when they are spreading but Keith Thomas noted that it shouldn’t be a concern. As for the river, Thomas felt that it would be near impossible for the river to affect the field based on the distance and height from that river, not to mention the berms built at the edge of the field. Speaking to the impact on the environment, Thomas reiterated that they are fully compliant with what the Ministry of Environment requires for a spreading field.

Although the bylaw is passed, spreading operations are not expected to start up again right away.