Town considers ministry property recommendations

GORE BAY—It appears the town of Gore Bay is going to take the necessary steps under the provincial environmental protection act, to allow for the eventual sale of three properties that had been severed off by the town to be sold. As reported previously, the use of the lands had come into question by a resident on Lighthouse Road, who indicated the property had been used as a dump site and may be contaminated.

“We met with MOE (Ministry of Environment) representatives last week and are recommending to council that we have a phase two assessment carried out on the property, which will lead to the filing of a Public Record of Site Condition, which would then advance us to being able to sell the lots,” Gore Bay Mayor Ron Lane told the Recorder last week.

“Once this assessment is done, it will allow us to change the property current use to residential, which also means there will be no chance of liability (for the town) based on what the site had been used for previously,” said Mr. Lane. “If for instance, someone says in the future that the property was used as a dump, we will be able to inform them it has been determined there are no contaminants on the property. And it protects the town from future liability, we will have done everything we need to do under the environmental protection act.”

As reported in the June 15, 2012 edition of the Recorder, the town which had severed three vacant lots near its water treatment plant (on Lighthouse Road) to eventually be sold, will not be able to sell them until work required by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) is carried out. Phase one work, which has already been done 9included a site visit, record search and interview with the contractors and others in the area as part of the investigation, looking into the past and present use of the property.

Phase two work required by the MOE on the property will include soil sampling, Mr. Lane told the Recorder. “We probably won’t get the results back on the work to be carried out until closer to the end of the year,” said Mr. Lane, “as testing and soil samples need to be done as part of the assessment.”

“We know the land was used as a municipal waste disposal site but has not been used for that purpose for the past 54 years,” said Mr. Lane. “In our option the property is not contaminated and this assessment will confirm this.” He stressed however, “nothing is official at this point, this proposed assessment has to go the full council for its approval.”

Tom Sasvari