Looking at the price of the Watson Island sale in Prince Rupert

On Wednesday morning details surrounding the possible sale of Watson Island came to the surface, and it certainly wasn’t what was expected.

On Wednesday morning details surrounding the possible sale of Watson Island came to the surface, and it certainly wasn’t what was expected.

Yes, we knew Colonial Coal and the Coast Tsimshian had an exclusivity agreement to look at purchasing the land so that wasn’t much of a surprise. What was a bit of a surprise was the low dollar figure associated with the sale. As mentioned in the Northern Connector on Friday, the $5 million the City will be getting is well below the $13 million it was looking for in the tax sale in 2009 and even below the $6.48 million Sun Wave owed in back taxes.

And while my first reaction to question why the City would be willing to let it go for such a cheap price, upon further reflection it makes complete sense.

First and foremost, anything that gets that property out of City hands and closer to being on the tax roll year after year is nothing but a good thing. It certainly isn’t helping at all being City property.

Secondly, I don’t think anyone really realized how bad things were out there in terms of the clean-up effort needed. Consider this from current court filings:

“The chemicals include 1.5 million gallons of black liquor resulting from kraft processes (in various forms and strengths); more than 500 tonnes of pulp left in various vessels; 10% and 50% caustic soda; 23 tonnes of sulphur currently stored in the warehouse, which is damaged and leaking; 30,000 bbls [barrels] bunker C fuel oil; 50,000 cubic metres of hog fuel, which requires a large volume of water to dilute the leachate; PCBs; 38 nuclear devices…There is asbestos throughout the lands, including siding lying on the ground.”

Cleaning that up isn’t going to be easy or cheap, and with that in mind the $5 million price tag seems like a good deal for an essentially contaminated site.

Just Posted

Bantam Seawolves rally in Kitimat

Prince Rupert battled back from an early 2-0 deficit to win 5-3 on the road

The Port of Prince Rupert welcomed the biggest container ship to dock in Canada

The 366-metre COSCO Himalayas was at the Fairview Terminal Nov. 14-19

AltaGas hires mostly local for construction of its propane terminal

More than 61 per cent of construction workforce for Ridley terminal is from North Coast contractors

UPDATE: Pedestrian hit at crosswalk released from hospital

A 49-year-old man was struck by a vehicle on Second Avenue West on Friday night

IIO decides that Prince Rupert officer did not use excessive force in arrest of drunk man

IIO found that the RCMP officer unintentionally broke a man’s arm while taking him into custody

CONTEST: Send us your Hammy photos to win a free T-shirt

Submit your best Hammy the deer photo by Nov. 30 to be entered to win

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Vigil held for woman whose remains were found on Shuswap farm

Family and friends remember Vernon resident Traci Genereaux and along with five other missing women

Brewers create anti-fascist ale

Not For Nazis Nut Brown Ale made in the Shuswap will be ready in time for Christmas

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

VIDEO: Government approves funding of $750,000 drug for B.C. woman

Approval comes one day after province announces funding for Soliris on a case-by-case basis

B.C. boy’s social media bid to get levidrome in the Oxford dictionary goes viral

‘It’s been five weeks and has totally blown up today.’

Most Read