City council caught up in formality of appealed development
CORNER BROOK – The contractor building the new Department of Fisheries and Land Resources building in Corner Brook may still have to pay fines levied against it by the city, despite the revocation of the stop-work order it’s accused of violating.
The city issued the stop-work order against Marine Contractors on March 29 because of an appeal filed with the West Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board regarding the development of the building and the subdivision of the property located at 200 Wheeler’s Rd.
That appeal was filed by Noton Enterprises Limited. In a recent letter sent to local media, Corner Brook lawyer Graham Watton, who is legal counsel for the company owned by his wife, said the contract to construct and lease back the building to the provincial government was issued in violation of provincial public procurement legislation.
Because the appeal had been filed, the City of Corner Brook was obligated under the Urban and Rural Planning Act to issue the stop-work order, pending the outcome of the appeal.
However, the West Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board has since deemed that the grounds for the appeal were outside of its jurisdiction.
During the May 8 public meeting of city council, the city voted to revoke the stop-work order as the order had been rescinded by the city’s Department of Community Development and Planning in light of the appeal board’s decision.
During the meeting, city staff informed council that the contractor had continued working on the building after the order had been issued and was being fined on a weekly basis.
Staff indicated the contractor could appeal to the West Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board to decide if the city was complaint in issuing the stopwork order in the first place. Should the board decide the stopwork order wasn’t issued properly, the city would have little choice but to rescind the fines.
Work has continued on the new Department of Fisheries and Land Resources building on Wheeler’s Road in Corner Brook, despite a stop-work order that has now been lifted.