By Chris Pickup
Irate neighbours of the Hagersville quarries are fed up with people who break into the quarry grounds to swim, camp and party well into the night.
Residents living on Concession 12 and Sandusk, who have faced an ever-growing influx of trespassers throughout the summer, sent a delegation to Haldimand council in committee last Tuesday to ask for help.
“The former Dufferin Quarry properties have become a magnet for an ever increasing number of unruly people from outside the county to trespass, party, misbehave, loitering about, and many times camping and partying overnight,” their request said.
Nicholas O’Brien, who also spoke for Paul Snyder and two others who live across from the quarry, cited major safety issues on all roads around the quarry.
People park on both sides of concession 12 and ignore the no trespassing signs, he said. There have been several close calls with traffic driving down the road and they don’t seem to worry, he added.
O’Brien ran a video from the vantage point of a driver, showing an absolutely unbelievable number of parked vehicles and groups of people walking with or without children, oblivious to the dangers they presented.
“There are daily close calls with horns blaring, and profanities, a fatal accident just waiting to happen, on this major truck route from Waterford to Hagersville with a posted speed of 80km,” he said.
“Many of the drivers may be potentially intoxicated, judging by the large number of cans and bottles and drug paraphernalia littering the entire area.”
They have been advised by the OPP there is nothing they can do, at this time, about the vehicles parked legally on the shoulders of Concession 12 and Sandusk Road 18.
Residents therefore asked council for the installation of no parking signs along Concession 12 and Sandusk, “enforcement of which would significantly reduce the number of vehicles causing serious safety concerns and private property security issues.”
Council debate centred around how enforcement could be managed. People presently ignore the no trespassing signs and they would likely ignore no parking signs and take a chance of splitting a $30 or $40 fine, seeing it as the price of admission, it was suggested.
Dalimonte noted Concession 13 would need to be posted as well. In the past they couldn’t get hold of the owner for permission although petitions were brought forward. “There were horror stories of drivers intimidated to drive around trespassers playing ball in the road.”
“Knowing how youth like to find ways to enjoy themselves, is there anywhere else they could find to park?” asked Shirton. “Youth are resourceful.”
“It’s all about enforcement,” commented Craig Grice. “Until the property is better secured they’re going to find a way.” The county can’t rely on police, because the county is under-served already.
“Totally in support of doing something,” Dalimonte noted “the municipality can’t do it all,” and pointed out owner Nasser Dabirian needed to step up.
“There are so many holes in the fencing,“ he said. “Porter Street in Hagersville is another access and the railway corridor at the west end. The open field across from the O’Neil property is one place people could park but it won’t stop the partying. How many times would OPP come out and issue tickets?”
Former owner Dufferin policed the property when they owned it, he pointed out.
The owner was a no-show at the committee although he had promised to come. County is now looking for a meeting with him.