A flatbed tow truck. (Sue Misao / File Photo)

District of Stewart trying to remove around 100 derelict vehicles from town

Initiative stalled due to price of scrap metal

The District of Stewart needs help moving around 100 derelict or abandoned vehicles from private residential property in the downtown core.

Based on 2016 census data, Stewart has 292 private dwellings. That means there is an estimated average of around one abandoned or derelict vehicle for every three dwellings.

“We have no place to take them and we have no towing company here to remove them so they’ve been accumulating over the years,” said Tammy McKeown, District of Stewart chief administrative officer.

On April 23, the District of Stewart put out a request for an accredited company to remove the vehicles using heavy equipment to a central location near its public works facility. Then the vehicles would be removed from the town site by a third-party to be recycled as scrap metal.

The district had planned for work to be done between May 25 and July 15, but it has not received a suitable response yet.

McKeown said that the district has been looking at removing the vehicles for two years. The district would find a company to do the work and Stewart residents would opt-in to the initiative and pay to have their derelict vehicles removed because it costs too much for residents to do it

But a drop in scrap metal prices has made it difficult to find a solution.

“Last year we had a been given a quote on getting them picked up and taken to be dealt with outside of town but since then the scrap metal price has gone down,” said McKeown.

“We are still looking at a way to do it that’s economical for all the people in town so they can afford to actually sign up for it.”

The vehicles in question are in various states of disrepair. The memorandum mentions that some may not have drive-trains or wheels and may or may not contain automotive fluids, or even be intact.

Businesses are asked to provide an average price per vehicle removed and must have liability insurance. Dealing with the derelict vehicles would be one of the district’s initiatives to clean up the town.

The District of Stewart is also focused on cleaning up untidy premises and encouraging residents to keep their yards and homes maintained, as well as removing some dangerous trees to clear lane-ways.

READ MORE: Replacement for the Barnachez Bridge could be coming to Stewart


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