Acting Mayor Ron Aiken says Chris Pierce’s full-time job in Sackville’s public works department will not affect any decisions on his application to establish a small-scale slaughterhouse in the town’s industrial park.
“The application Mr. Pierce submitted was for him as a private individual, and not for him as an employee,” Aiken wrote in an e-mail Monday to The New Wark Times.
“The application is not connected to his employment status and would have no bearing on any decisions being made on the application,” he added.
Aiken was responding to questions e-mailed to him after CAO Jamie Burke confirmed that Pierce has been employed for 14 years in the town’s Department of Engineering and Public Works. He also raises cattle at his farm on Queens Road in the Frosty Hollow area.
Pierce’s proposal for an abattoir at 72 Crescent Street requires changes to the zoning bylaw and municipal plan that would permit slaughterhouses in a zone for intensive resource use within industrial areas.
In a 4-2 vote, town council gave first reading or preliminary approval to the changes last week with votes on second and third readings expected in January.
If the project is approved next month, Pierce would be required to sign a development agreement with the town that imposes conditions designed to address health, safety and environmental concerns.
When asked which town employees would supervise and enforce the development agreement, Aiken responded that enforcement would be the responsibility of the Southeast Regional Service Commission (SERSC).
“Senior [town] Staff will evaluate the project from an engineering and land use perspective prior to the issuance of a Building and Development Permit, but the enforcement of the agreement is the responsibility of SERSC,” the acting mayor wrote.
In response to a question about a potential conflict of interest with town employees supervising a project undertaken by another town employee, Aiken replied that SERSC, not town employees, would be responsible for compliance.
To read the full text of the questions and answers, click here.
Much remains unknown about the project including the numbers of animals to be killed in the slaughterhouse as well as the volume of trucks needed to transport them there and carry away wastes on a daily basis, but Acting Mayor Aiken said last week that the developer would work those details out after he gains approval from town council for the necessary zoning and municipal plan changes.
“All the questions you’re asking are ones that I don’t think we can know right now,” he added. “We’re just at the initial stages of this and I suspect more information will become available as it moves along.”
To read my report on opposition to the project, click here.