Friday, February 20, 2015

Wellcox Property Archaeological Findings Update

I asked the city if they intended to continue with any more work on the Wellcox Property site until the matter of the 'significant archaeological findings' was resolved. If this site turns into a major archaeological site, then whatever plans the city may have for it's use could be forever altered. It seems to just make sense to determine that before we spend more money on anything else related to the site.

Follows is the reply I received from Mr. Dale Lindsay, Director of Community Development, City of Nanaimo to my question about how the city is now proceeding with this site:

Although not listed on the Provincial Archaeological Register, the City was aware of the potential for archaeological remains at 190 Front Street prior to the issuance of the demolition permit for the former pallet building. As such, after contacting the Snuneymuxw First Nation, Millennia Research Limited was hired by the City to monitor the demolition and soil leveling work undertaken at the subject property and to ensure that there were no inadvertent impacts to unrecorded archaeological deposits. Field work was conducted in November and early December by Millennia and a representative of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. 

 During the monitoring process, a number of areas on the site tested positive for archaeological sediments, however none of the sites were disturbed as a result of the demolition or associated site grading. As a result of our investigative work on the site it has now been recorded on the Provincial Archaeological Register. 

 As specified by the Provincial Archaeology Branch, protected sites may not be altered whether by development or archaeological work without a permit issued under the Heritage Conservation Act. The next step would be to complete an archaeological impact assessment/inventory, in collaboration with the Snuneymuxw First Nation, for the subject site and surrounding City owned lands. This work would help inform any site planning proposals for the land.

I have asked Mr. Lindsay for an estimate of the cost and time involved to complete an archaeological impact assessment/inventory.


1 comment:

  1. If the city did not have an inkling of what may have been under this site before we bought it, I'm sure the city was smart enough to have an "out" clause or some kind of clause saying we (city) would not be responsible for the costs of any remediation work if the site is found to contain toxic waste and get our money back - Wouldn't they?

    Any private buyer of lands would definitely protect themselves from being on the hook for the costs of a hazardous multi-million dollar clean-up and private interests surely would not be left to hold onto a piece of property they cannot do a thing with and may have to hand it over to someone else if it is found to be a substantial archaeological site.

    Please tell me the city has some protection measures in place to protect our tax dollars in this land purchase?


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