An unbudgeted $799,950 will be spent on removing tanks two and three as voted by Prince Rupert City Council on July 20, 2029. Since the late 1970s, the city has been trying to decommission a number of Second World War storage tanks located in Moresby Park after purchasing the tanks and piping from the Department of National Defence. (file image)

$799,950 non-budgeted expense approved by City Council

Removal of fuel tanks two and three in the Moresby Park space has been approved

A decision to spend a non-budgeted $799,950.00, plus taxes, to remove left over second world war fuel tanks, in the Moresby Park space was made by Prince Rupert City Council on July 20.

The motion was unopposed, and passed without comment by councillors, at a regular City Council meeting on Monday night.

“This is a pretty historic event. These things have been around for over 70 years, with bunker fuel in them, and it’s an opportunity to remove all that liability in the park space,” Richard Pucci, director of operations for the city, said.

During the late 1970s, the city purchased the tanks in an ‘as is, where is’ condition from the Department of National Defence (DND). As previously reported in the Northern View, on January 8, 2020, one of the tanks caught fire as it was being worked on by contractors.

READ MORE: Fuel tank fire at Moresby

“We have over the years tried to get them (DND) to reclaim, repatriate and remediate. Unfortunately, they are unwilling to do that,” Pucci said.

The Moresby tank project, to remove two remaining tanks out of three, has been awarded to Tervita, a waste removal firm with head offices in Alberta. The tender was procured through BC Bids.

Corrine Bomben, chief financial officer for the City of Prince Rupert, questioned council where the unplanned expense would come from in the budget, however, she suggested that since the funding from the Northern Capital Grant came in after the budget was prepared, it would be appropriate to use that funding for this project.

“It would seem fitting to be able to use that money to take down these aged tanks,” Bomben said.

“That sounds good,” Lee Brain, Prince Rupert mayor said.

“This is just one of those projects that needs to get done. We need to finish it off. It’s been what – since World War Two. So, we are little behind schedule on that one, but it’s as we have been many times when council has been cleaning up our past. So, lets move it forward,” Brain said.

READ MORE: Moresby Tank Removal Project moves forward; Port Edward to receive more than $1M from Ridley Tax

K-J Millar | Journalist
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