Letters to the Editor

Property purchase will prove costly

To the Editor,

Re: City purchases waterfront rail yard downtown, Dec. 15.

I was surprised to hear the city bought 10.8 hectares of one of the risky pieces of property in Nanaimo.

The environmental liability could cost the taxpayers of Nanaimo millions of dollars. That does not include repairing the aging trestle and all the encumbrances, right-of-ways and leases that come along with it.

This is the same city staff and council who had to build a new annex and has plans to destroy the Colliery dams over fears of liability if there was an earthquake.

The same city staff and council who inked an agreement to sell the old annex for $1 so they would not have any liability for that building in case of an earthquake.

It’s funny how the city will spend millions of taxpayers’ dollars to prevent liability for an earthquake that no one knows when, or if, it will happen and then spends millions to buy a liability.

There is no question that those 10.8 hectares could in time cost us far more that the Vancouver Island Conference Centre has.

All they bought was a coal slag dump next to the harbour that had industrial equipment leaking oils and other environmental wastes on the ground for 100 years.

Cleaning up dump sites is not cheap. That’s the reason old mill sites and service stations sit empty.

Terrance Wagstaff

Nanaimo

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