Council notes

St. Mary’s consults residents about Cochrane Hill Gold Project

By Helen Murphy    

SHERBROOKE – As it continues to assess the benefits and risks of Atlantic Gold’s proposed Cochrane Hill Gold Project, the Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s consulted with residents in close proximity to the proposed open-pit mine site recently.

Council held two meetings with property owners within five kilometres of the proposed site. The meetings were held in Sherbrooke at the Lions Club on Thursday, Jan. 17 and Saturday, Jan. 19. The invitation-only meetings were not open to media and representatives of Atlantic Gold were not in attendance.

St. Mary’s CAO Marvin MacDonald told The Journal that close to 100 people attended in total. He said issues raised included concerns about potential environmental impacts, such as a possible lowering of the water table.

MacDonald said council is planning to hold additional meetings for residents and property owners. He told The Journal Tuesday that council has not yet taken a position for or against the proposed mine.

Meanwhile, Atlantic Gold is planning to open a community office in Sherbrooke, where residents can learn more about its plans for Cochrane Hill.

A federal environmental review process for the project is underway.

In other council news, at the regular monthly meeting on Jan. 14, a $40,000 contract was awarded for a Streetscapes Plan for Main Street in Sherbrooke to Uplands Studio and Design. This work is part of a beautification project with funding from all three levels of government. Council expects to have the plan completed by May 2019.

Also, a motion was approved to proceed with a request for proposals to undertake an economic impact analysis on the Cochrane Hill Gold Project proposal. The study will explore both positive and negative effects that may be expected from the mining operations. Council expects the study to be completed by late spring.