Cleanup bill at wharf likely com­ing back to Town of Bay Roberts

CAO says Quon­set hut owner doesn’t have the means to fix wind­storm dam­age

The Compass - - News - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

There are still some is­sues to sort through, but talk at a re­cent Bay Roberts coun­cil meet­ing seems to sug­gest the town will need to pay out of its own pocket to clear an area in front of the lo­cal gov­ern­ment wharf.

Dur­ing an in­tense storm Satur­day, March 11, wind ripped through a por­tion of a Quon­set hut. The large piece of metal over­turned and blocked ac­cess to where boats dock at the wharf, which is lo­cated across from where Wa­ter Street in­ter­sects Cross Road. The piece of metal also dam­aged a neigh­bour­ing pri­vate prop­erty. There were no re­ports of in­juries.

Dur­ing the March 14 coun­cil meet­ing, Deputy Mayor Wal­ter Yet­man asked what course of ac­tion the town should con­sider, in­di­cat­ing there could be a need to is­sue a de­mo­li­tion or­der for what re­mains of the prop­erty, which was re­port­edly left va­cant for quite some time.

Chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Nigel Black con­firmed the town spoke with the owner of the build­ing, where food dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany VIP Distrib­u­tors Ltd. used to op­er­ate. He later added the town failed in past at­tempts to find the build­ing’s owner and start a con­ver­sa­tion about hav­ing it removed. Fol­low­ing this month’s storm, the owner in ques­tion got in touch with the town him­self.

“It looks likely that he won’t have the means nec­es­sary or the in­sur­ance nec­es­sary to un­der­take the re­pairs, to make the prop­erty safe, and/or to clean it up,” Black said. “So it may be nec­es­sary for coun­cil to is­sue an or­der in terms of pub­lic safety and also nui­sance in health and safety.”

He sug­gested it would be in the town’s best in­ter­ests to is­sue a short com­pli­ance time- line with any or­der di­rected at the prop­erty to ex­pe­dite the cleanup process. Black noted the CAO and the town’s mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment of­fi­cer have the au­thor­ity to is­sue a de­mo­li­tion or­der prior to the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of coun­cil.

“If that be­comes nec­es­sary, which I think it likely will, we will is­sue the or­der and then have it fol­lowed up at the next coun­cil meet­ing.”

Af­ter Mayor Philip Wood asked about how the town would pro­ceed if cleanup costs were billed back to the owner, Black con­firmed the op­tion of claim­ing the prop­erty through taxes owed could be looked into down the road.

“The owner dodged a bul­let,” said the mayor, “be­cause if that had flown a lit­tle bit fur­ther, some­one could have been very se­ri­ously hurt.”

Last week, the town was mak­ing ar­range­ments to get con­tract- ors down to the wharf to as­sess the cost of re­moval and cleanup.

“Our most im­me­di­ate need is to make the prop­erty safe,” said Black. “Then it will be ac­cess, and then the sec­ond thing we’ll look at is the ac­tual nui­sance it cre­ates. Once it is se­cure, hope­fully we’ll deal with all of that through one or­der.”

PHIL SMITH/TWIT­TER

Strong winds over­turned a sec­tion of this Quon­set hut lo­cated at the gov­ern­ment wharf in Bay Roberts March 11.

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