THAT SINKING FEELING
Property owner to hire geotechnical engineer to assess situation
Sinkhole appears near Glace Bay apartment building.
Tenants of a four-building apartment complex on Dominion Street say the off-island owner needs a history lesson in Glace Bay sinkholes.
Jessie Bainbridge, a tenant at 73 Dominion St., a complex owned by Metcap Living, said tenants are concerned about sinkholes on the property.
Bainbridge believes the owner, a corporation with offices in Dartmouth and Ontario, doesn’t understand bootleg mining.
“They don’t understand that this could be much more than a sinkhole, it … could be a larger cavern.”
She said tenants are concerned for their safety.
“Twice already there have been incidents of people out walking around the building and almost falling in one.”
Bainbridge said the first hole — a metre in diameter — was discovered in late 2016. It was reported to the property manager and contractors filled the hole with loose dirt and rocks. However since then an additional hole opened beside the first one and another appeared more recently.
Bainbridge said she apologizes for going public with the issue but she has called Metcap Living several times and is not getting a response.
Cathy Crosby, who moved into a neighbouring building on the property in November 2016, was walking her dog three months ago when she encountered one of the sinkholes.
“Only for him stopping and backing up and starting to whimper (is what) probably saved me from going into the sinkhole,” she said.
“Three times this sinkhole now has opened up.”
She said every time it opens up and they report it to the property manager, a truck shows up and fills it in with dirt.
“We all know Glace Bay is full of bootleg pits and some can be connected to the old pit.
“Someone is going to lose a child or walk out there in the night and fall and disappear.”
Angie Craig, a property manager at Metcap’s Dartmouth office, said the original hole was quite minor and it was filled and compacted and it has been refilled a couple of times.
However she said now it has become more of a concern and as a result the company installed a steel security fence around the site in question.
“Just to have some peace of mind that if it is worse than we think no one is going to be at risk to walk in the area.”
She said the company’s next step will be to hire a geotechnical engineer to assess the area and provide a report.
“So we can see what is going on there and if any further steps are necessary,” she said.
“We wanted to put it in the hands of experts. Safety is of the utmost importance to Metcap.”
She hopes these steps will give residents of the buildings peace of mind.
“We’ll get the report and if they clear the area we’ll remove the fence and if not then we’ll do whatever next steps we need to do.”
Jessie Bainbridge, left, with her dog Spartacus, and Cathy Crosby, with her dog Bubba, stand near their apartment complex on Dominion Street, Glace Bay, where a sinkhole was filled in on Thursday morning. Bainbridge and Crosby said residents are worried about their safety. The complex is owned by Metcap Living which has an office in Dartmouth.
Seen here is the most recent sinkhole at the apartment complex on Dominion Street, Glace Bay. The hole was filled in on Thursday.