Dust-breathers not happy paying for truck wash

Dust follows a logging truck entering Youbou earlier this month. - courtesy John Waddington
Dust follows a logging truck entering Youbou earlier this month.
— image credit: courtesy John Waddington

Residents of Youbou are choking on dust, bureaucracy and having to pay $5,000 to help a private company keep their community clean.

Since 2006 they have been trying to get the Ministry of Transportation to do something about dust from logging trucks.

At a heated meeting of the CVRD Nature and Habitat Fund Advisory Committee, on June 13, residents again expressed their frustration at the lack of action.

The committee recommended kicking in $5,000 to TimberWest toward the construction of a truck wash, a decision that did not sit well with many in attendance.

“They don’t need our contributions, it’s their dust. They’re making all the money,” said Youbou resident, Wayne Hughes. “I don’t think the people want anything to do with ownership of a truck wash, we shouldn’t have to.”

“TimberWest is just spearheading this for all the companies, and highways is giving a portion in-kind to do with fixing the road,” said Youbou Director Pat Weaver, who chaired the meeting. “The committee’s made a decision and so we’ll go forward and see what happens with the board.”

Klaus Kuhn, former Youbou director, disputed Weaver’s claim that TimberWest had asked for a contribution from the community in the first place.

Others in the audience complained that they are not getting compensation for the money they must spend on things such as power washing the outside of their homes and cleaning carpets.

Others, such as Jeff Abbott, did not see why the CVRD is involved in the process in the first place.

“It should be highways...dealing with this,” said Abbott. “We’ve gone through four ministers of transportation. Is TimberWest just sitting back and kind of laughing, or what?”

George deLure, who sits on the committee, admitted the reason he has decided to vote for the $5,000 contribution, is because he feels that if no contribution is made nothing will get done.

“I don’t think we’re going to get the truck wash in the summer by the process that it’s going to go through the CVRD,” says deLure. “I care for this community and we’ve been at a stalemate for months, so I rolled over.”

Others had similar fears and wondered what would happen if a truck wash does not solve the problem.

In an email response to Don Beldessi, a Youbou resident, the previous Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Blair Lekstrom, stated that the ministry is doing all it can.

“I recognize this is an ongoing concern for you,” states the email. “Ministry staff have asked our local maintenance contractor, Mainroad South Island Contracting, to sweep the road, and ministry staff are also working with TimberWest to address this matter.”

The email goes on to state that Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement branch staff have recently carried out inspections of logging trucks and though they did not observe mud and debris as an issue, the ministry is committed to closely monitoring logging trucks in the area and working with TimberWest to ensure this matter is resolved.

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