It’s another example of how slowly the wheels of the upper level of government can grind as the City continues a ten-year plus odyssey to get certificate from the Ministry of Environment clearing a piece of property in Townsite for use.
The site is on 4th Ave, and was formerly owned by Teck and used as a garage site. The City would like to clear the land for residential use, potentially as a site for a low-cost housing development.
However, getting the certificate is proving difficult. The City will apply for funding from the Provincial Brownfield Renewal Program to do another study on the property. The study, which is Phase II of recent work on the property, would cost the City approximately $11,000, as the province picks up 70 per cent of costs in this program.
Part of the lot has been deemed acceptable but there is apparently some sort of ground water issue which needs to be resolved.
The lengthy process is irking long-time Councillor, Albert Hoglund.
“There is a ground water issue but it’s about 40 feet down,” Hoglund said. “This has been going on since 2001. I can’t believe we have to do this. Teck took out all the soil years ago and replaced it. Then they did it again and replaced it, and now here we still are.”
“When does it end?” asked Coun. Darryl Oakley.
Hoglund said that there was no guarantee that the end would be in sight after the conclusion of this study either.
Coun. Don McCormick said that was true, but that at the end of this study it would be possible to make a decision on whether it was worthwhile to go any further.