Terrace, B.C. council eyes pricey environmental program

Up to $300,000 contemplated to clean up former log yard on city's Southside

The city is gearing up to spend $300,000 over the next two years on the remediation of contaminated land on the Southside.

This was one of two updates at the regular meeting last night about several years of work on the part of the environmental engineering firm Golder & Associates.

The first update shows that getting a certificate of compliance from the provincial government should be possible for the old Co-op lands on Greig Ave. between George Little House and Staples where contamination from an old gas bar was found to be minimal.

The total cost of that investigation was approximately $138,000 but half was paid for by a Federation for Canadian Municipalities grant.

The study concluded that the contaminated land can be subdivided out from the total city property and the uncontaminated land finally sold to Calgary hotel developer Superior Lodging which has had an option to purchase since early 2013 when it proposed a 100-room hotel for the site.

“They are confident that they have found the line where they can delineate where the contamination is,” said economic development manager Danielle Myles of the Golder work. “They will be proceeding to the ministry of the environment to request a release so we can subdivide the property and complete the sale with Superior.”

But because the earth shifts and changes with the seasons, the city might have to pay more money to update the study in the spring, she cautioned. Though the amount is expected to be small compared to what has been spent so far.

The news of low contamination was greeted with optimism by councillor Brian Downie. “It’s good news,” he said.

Another initial study done by Golder & Associates came back with an estimate of a maximum $300,000 cost to clean up land which the city owns on the west side of Kenney St., between Keith Ave. and Highway 16, where a log yard used to be.

Councillor Stacey Tyers said that money from the sale of another piece of land on that strip – for which the city received $1 million – is being used to pay for this environmental work.

The clean up of this site will take a year once a company is found to investigate and clean it up, said Myles.

Homelessness task group

Council was also informed last night about the most recent homelessness task group meeting.

The first in a series of ‘actionables’ are being instituted now, after the third meeting since the group was struck late last year.

Councillor Michael Prevost said that one of the first initiatives being looked at is communication between the various institutions in town that help the homeless.

The second is to distribute publications with information about what resources are available to give out to the homeless, what is being called a homelessness survival guide.