A Squamish wood-waste recycler is again getting ready to lock his doors and start looking for a new home for his business.
This week, Triack Resources Ltd. received some bad news from its landlord. While the District of Squamish tries to solve the mystery of leaking water pipes and a severed sewer line serving the 52-acre site east of the Mamquam Blind Channel, Sprott Resource Lending Corp. is washing its hands of the problem, Triack owner Dave McRae said.
“I got an email and it said I am not to accept any more wood waste,” he said. “I'm done. I'm out of business.”
The issue hit council's table last month, when McRae pleaded with the district to fix the water and sewer pipes to the former Waterfront Landing property. He needs the utilities to keep his lease.
In October 2012, municipal staff discovered the water main that runs under the Mamquam Blind Channel was leaking 350 cubic metres of water a day. The service was shut off partly over concerns about the chlorinated water spilling into the channel and affecting fish habitat, Squamish's manager of operations Bob Smith told council on Tuesday (Jan. 15).
Divers were brought in, but no leak was found. Municipal staff determined the service and right-of-way are the responsibility of landowner Squamish Ocean Point Holdings Inc. (Waterfront Landing), falling to Sprott, which holds the mortgage on the land.
The same goes for the sewer main. After a sewage leak caused a sink hole in February 2012, a Highway 99 maintenance team discovered 600 millimetres of a sewer pressure forcemain was missing. The line is private, Smith said, noting there were several attempts made to encourage the landowner, landlord or tenant to repair the broken pipe.
Overall, the district spent approximately $10,500 investigating the two situations, said Greig Garland, the district's director of capital projects.
McRae said he doesn't understand why the landowner or landlord would be responsible for fixing the break when the damage occurred during upgrades to Highway 99 before the 2010 Winter Olympics. He also questioned how a main that runs under a highway, off the property, belongs to the landowner.
The whole mess has left McRae jobless and in search of a new home, he said. It's a position McRae's been in before. In 2006, the wood recycling company took up a property lease with the district near the Squamish Airport in the Cheekye Fan. The agreement was for Triack to clean up a mess a logging contractor had left behind in exchange for leasing rights until 2012.
That was cut short two years later. At the time, several nearby Brackendale residents complained about high levels of noise from the worksite.
In 2012, Triack's application to move to Crown land up Garibaldi Park Road was turned down by the Ministry of Transportation (MOT). The lot was deemed worthy by the Ministry of Forests, but MOT officials were concerned the roadway wasn't appropriate for more industrial use.
All is not lost, McRae said. He's hoping that working with district staff, he'll be able to find a new site.
“Now we are getting to the point of new applications,” he said.