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City has year to clean up Junction Creek creosote

BY KEITH LACEY klacey@northernlife.ca Taxpayers have been stuck with a $500,000 bill relating to the contamination of Junction Creek more than 50 years ago.
BY KEITH LACEY

Taxpayers have been stuck with a $500,000 bill relating to the contamination of Junction Creek more than 50 years ago.

The city has been served with an order by the Ministry of Environment to proceed with the remediation of creosote contamination along Junction Creek.

The project must be completed by Dec. 15, 2005. There is no funding in place for the city?s share, so staff are recommending funding be provided in the amount of $250,000 from the tax rate stabilization reserve, which has a current balance of $641,000, and $250,000 from the Capital Financing Reserve Fund, which has a current balance of $910,000.

In early 2003, city council approved a cost sharing agreement between the city, CPR and Domtar Inc. to undertake a study on creosote contamination in Junction Creek between the former LOEB Warehouse on Lorne Street and Copper Street.

The study was intended to identify sources of contamination, the geographic area of the contamination and a conceptual plan for remediation.

The study was completed in November 2003, and all three parties had protracted negotiations with the MOE to achieve consensus on the selected remediation plan.

At the end of a long process, the city, CPR and Domtar have agreed to split the costs and the city?s chunk is $500,000.

Even though the two businesses caused most of the damage, the city is responsible for one-third under provincial legislation as the official land owner of the property.