Council forwards $225k to DNBIA to fund environmental assessment

Discovering how polluted soil beneath Terminal Trench is will help determine future redevelopment opportunities.

The City of Nanaimo has agreed to forward more than $217,000 to the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association to assist it with completing an environmental study in the Terminal Trench.

In May, council endorsed the DNBIA’s application through the provincial brownfield revitalization program to conduct an environmental assessment of the properties located along Terminal Avenue between Comox Road and Nicol Street.

Though the DNBIA was successful in securing its total requested amount from the program in July, the province notified the DNBIA that the release of the money would not happen until the project is complete.

The DNBIA is waiting for the final signature from the province but said it has received preliminary approval and once the final approval is received it will begin with the project.

“Basically what the province has said is complete the work and we’ll release the funds,” said Ian Howat, the city’s director of strategic relationships. “But due to the size of the DNBIA’s operation they do not have the cash reserves available to carry the project for the length of time it will take to receive the grant funds.”

Council will advance an additional $8,000 to round off annual funding commitments for 2013 to the DNBIA.

“This means we’ve committed to funding DNBIA through 2013 which we believe council would intend to do anyway,” said Al Kenning, city manager.

With a required deadline of March 2013 to complete the work, Kenning said there is some urgency in forwarding the funds to allow the work to begin.

Coun. Jim Kipp said he felt “it was a bit much” to have the request put upon council at the last minute.

“I haven’t seen this before tonight (Monday),” said Kipp. “I’ve had some concerns with the DNBIA in the last little while through some of my correspondence. This coming at me with this urgency is a bit much.”

Kenning added that the Terminal Trench corridor is one of council’s priorities for brownfield site revitalization and that the grant is a good opportunity to have the first phase of work completed and paid for.

“From staff’s perspective we believe this is an important priority and an important thing to do and because the DNBIA is on such a tight cash flow they couldn’t do it without assistance,” he said.

Howat said the the environmental assessment on the properties along the corridor will allow the city to request relaxations on the clean up levels of the sites which will make it easier for the properties to be redeveloped in the future.

The DNBIA is expecting to have the assessment phase of the project completed by January.

The Terminal Trench was once a ravine running from the Pearson Bridge to Port Place Shopping Centre. It became a dumping ground in 1891 for not only debris from coal mines, but for garbage from the community, and was eventually filled in by the early 1920s. The likelihood of contaminated soil beneath the nearly 100 properties lining the street has been an impediment to redevelopment for several years.

Darren Moss, DNBIA planning, development and design committee chairman and project manager, told the Bulletin in July that discovering what is underneath the roads and buildings and how to deal with the contaminants that are likely there would be a daunting task for individual property owners which is why the DNBIA has agreed to take the project on.

Just Posted

The Nanaimo sign at Maffeo Sutton Park could be hazardous for children, says letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nanaimo sign will cause falls

Children can’t resist climbing on sign, says letter writer

John A. Read, who was inspired to leave his former career to become a professional astronomy by the purchase of a $13 telescope, will give beginning astronomers key pointers on how to set up and get the best performance from their instruments at Nanaimo Astronomy Society’s meeting June 24. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Read)
Astrophysicist will talk about getting the most out of a telescope at Nanaimo astronomy meeting

John Read’s purchase of a $13 telescope led to a degree in astrophysics and a career in astronomy

Nanaimo rapper Sirreal plays the Port Theatre on June 25. (Photo courtesy Alanna Morton)
Nanaimo rapper Sirreal and friends play the Port Theatre

Live-streamed concert the second in venue’s Discovery Series highlighting local artists

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above seasonal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above normal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Heat wave will see Nanaimo temperatures rise 5-10 degrees above normal

Sun with highs of 28 C forecast by Environment Canada for Harbour City on Sunday and Monday

According to a staff report, Regional District of Nanaimo has seen some $13.6 million in grant applications approved between Jan. 1 and May 15. (News Bulletin file)
Close to $14 million in money granted to RDN in first half of year

Successful grants include more than $4 million for transit service in Regional District of Nanaimo

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Full-day mountain bike fundraiser gives financial support for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding partnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Most Read