The City of Castlegar and the owner of the former Crossroads Printing building are continuing in a back and forth process towards seeing the site of the building that was destroyed by fire on May 4 cleaned up. The most recent development gives the owner until Sept. 30 to complete the work.
According to City of Castlegar documents, during the mop up stages of the fire an engineering firm visually examined the structure from the exterior of the building. Based on the engineer’s observations, the building was determined to be damaged beyond repair. It was also concluded that the walls and roof structure were unstable and the building was not safe to enter.
On June 24, the city sent a letter to Michael Vecchio, the registered owner of 1013 Second St., requesting that a proposed time frame for cleaning up the site be provided.
On July 18, council passed a remedial action resolution requiring the owner to remove the rubble from the fire damaged building and to either demolish or remove the concrete building foundation or fill in the basement with back fill.
Reasons stated in the resolution include that the building foundation “is in and creates an unsafe condition and contravenes the Provincial Building Regulations and Bylaw No. 950, the Building Bylaw; and whereas the site, building foundation and rubble is a nuisance, and in the opinion of Council, is so dilapidated and unclean as to be offensive to the community; and whereas persons living in the vicinity of the site have complained about the appearance of the rubble and health hazard concerns related to asbestos fibres in the open piles of vermiculite.”
The resolution gave the owner 30 days from the date that a copy of the resolution was sent out to comply with the order. If compliance is not made, the resolution states the “City, or persons authorized by the City, may enter on the property and fulfill the requirements. In the event that the City takes action under paragraph 5 of this resolution, the City may recover the expense from the Owner, together with costs and interest.”
On July 25, McEwan & Co. Law Corporation, on behalf of Vecchio, requested that council reconsider the resolution and requested an extension to Sept. 30 to complete the remediation. The request gives the reason as, “We have been told that an environmental assessment is required before clean up can start. There are no available contractors who can do this with in 30 days.”
The reconsideration took place at a city council meeting held on Aug. 15. Connie Vecchio was present on behalf of Michael Vecchio and spoke to council. The extension was granted and the owners now have until Sept. 30 to complete the clean up.