by Jack Danylchuk
EDGE YK online
September 26, 2012
In the end, all it took to clear the government dock of every car, truck, canoe, and floating home was a sheet of paper, legal-size, that two municipal enforcement officers tucked in or taped to any object that kept still for 10 minutes or more.
Drafted by the City’s legal advisors, it warned that any unauthorized property remaining on the dock after 3 p.m. on September 24, would be removed at the owners’ expense.
Except for canoes, bikes and a handful of vehicles, much of the midden hadn’t stirred in years, and most of it moved at the last possible minute. By sundown Sunday, everything was gone – except for a dredge that has blocked access to a public boat launch for the past four years.
The dredge will go too, Mayor Gordon Van Tighem said Monday, a few hours before city crews placed concrete barriers across all entrances, sealing the dock off from traffic and opening the way for a search for any contamination left by spilled fuel or chemicals.
“Any vessels that are still there have identified places they are moving to, but the mechanics are a bit complicated,” Van Tighem said. “They are working diligently.” However, one of the more permanent fixtures, an ancient crane owned by East Arm Freighting, has been granted permanent residence on the dock, Van Tighem said.
When the environmental probe is complete, the City will install canoe racks – for rent to houseboat residents for $200 a year, and picnic tables, but there will be none of the long-term parking that dominated the dock when the federal government abandoned management duties.
Once environmental issues are defined and resolved, the City intends to sign a 50-year lease on the dock, the centerpiece in its waterfront redevelopment and harbour management plan.
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