Graymont announced that agreements have concluded with three Canadian municipalities involved with the Bedford Heritage Project, "a crucial step in the realization of a unique initiative that will help ensure the continuing long-term operation of one of the largest employers in the region," the company said.
The Heritage Project offers an innovative long-term solution to the problem that faces Graymont in terms of disposing of unusable stone overburden from the Bedford quarry. The initiative basically involves stacking the unusable stone on site, then covering it with soil and plants to create a new regional park and green space.
The first phase of the project, expected to take four years to implement, involves construction of the first of the three hillocks, which will incorporate the park's basic infrastructure, a playground for children, an amphitheater, a chalet housing exhibit space and hiking trails.
"Conclusion of the agreements we are officially announcing – with the Town of Bedford, Bedford Township and the Municipality of Stanbridge Station in Quebec – is the result of extensive consultations with key stakeholders, including local and regional administrations, representatives of the agricultural industry, community groups and residents of the neighborhood," said Sébastien Villeneuve, director of operations for Eastern Canada at Graymont. "It shows that, with a collaborative approach based on mutual respect, we can find innovative solutions that are beneficial for all parties.”
Significant elements of the Heritage Project that will directly benefit the community include the establishment of a fund to cover the costs of the management, maintenance and security associated with the new recreational green space, along with several complementary initiatives – including $400,000 for maintenance and improvement of the local arena. Realization of the Heritage Project will also result in the creation of 30 new residential lots. Finally, a citizens’ forum will be set up to monitor the project.
The Heritage Project embodies the pillars of sustainably – economic, environmental and social – required to underpin a successful project. It is anticipated that the project will extend the operation of Graymont Bedford by more than 40 years, thus ensuring some 70 direct jobs plus 150 indirect jobs among local suppliers and communities – which together account for an estimated 15 percent share of economic activity in the region – while respecting world-class environmental standards and having minimal impact on adjacent farmland.
Graymont plans to file a formal application to Quebec‘s Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change early in the fourth quarter of 2016, and will also apply to municipal authorities for the required building permits. If approvals are obtained as expected, Graymont anticipates starting construction in the second quarter of 2017.
Graymont has a significant presence in Quebec. It serves major markets throughout the United States and Canada and has extended its reach into the Asia-Pacific region. Graymont also has a significant equity investment in Grupo Calidra, the largest lime producer in Mexico.