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City council to find new use for abandonned property

The City of Prince Rupert is hoping to unlock some mysteries around one of its properties near Cow Bay.

Occupied most recently by Northern Industrial Sales, the site at 225/227 First Avenue East, consists .26 acres of land and has been owned by the City for several years. It’s in a prime location near the City’s waterfront and in full view of the pedestrian route for cruise ship

passengers.

Earlier last week, City Council passed a resolution for the City’s engineering department to pursue grant funding for a site investigation through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities program for brownfield site studies.

Brownfields are defined as abandoned, vacant, derelict or underutilized commercial or industrial properties where past actions have resulted in actual or perceived contamination and where there is an active potential for redevelopment.

More and more brownfield sites are being identified each year as cities look at revitalizing and B.C.’s Ministry of Environment estimates there are between 4,000 and 6,000 brownfield sites in the

province.

A grant of $25,000 from FCM would cover half the cost of an investigation and enable the City to better understand if and what are the issues with site and what costs might be involved with remediation.

In a report to council, the engineering department stated Leveleton Engineering Consultants conducted a stage one investigation on the site in April 2010 and determined the site was developed prior to 1920. Some of the past uses of the site included blacksmithing, welding and building construction.

There’s an above ground storage tank, approximately 1,000 US gallons in capacity, and associated reservoir with a pump, located in the basement of the building. It’s constructed of steel and could have possibly been used for storage of heating fuel in the

past.

“The storage tank is the big issue with the site and there could possibly be some leaking, but we don’t know that yet, so with the stage two investigation there will be some drilling and site assessment to see if there is anything in the ground,” engineering coordinator Richard Pucci told The Prince Rupert Northern View.

Investigation of the site will require drilling five boreholes for soil condition evaluation and four boreholes for groundwater monitoring

wells.

Hopefully the tank is robust and fine and the drilling reveals that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the site and the City can move forward, Pucci said.

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