Ladysmith Harbour study gets $86 K

  • Mar. 14, 2011 3:00 p.m.

The Town of Ladysmith has received a financial boost in its efforts to study and clean up Ladysmith Harbour.In an announcement released late last week, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities said the town and province would be given $86,686 towards a study of 92 acres of potentially contaminated waterfront land.The report, said Mayor Rob Hutchins, is around 18 months in the making. Testing is scheduled to be complete by the end of March.The report was scheduled to be out by the end of March, but further testing has been required, pushing back the release date.“It’s key in terms of building the foundation for moving forward,” said Hutchins.Back in 2006 when a call was sent out looking for companies interested in developing the waterfront went out, the shortlist of developers selected were concerned about any unknown costs associated with environmental cleanup as a result of Ladysmith’s mostly industrial past.Ruth Malli, city manager, said the study will help shed some light on the environmental state of waterfront and will allow council to move forward with a waterfront plan.Malli was quick to praise the FCM and provincial government with helping fund the study, noting it would have been impossible for the town to have tackled the project alone.The cost of the $173,000 study has been covered by grants with an in-kind contribution of staff time worth $15,000 and $24,000 from the town.In the release, Hans Cunningham, FCM president, said: “FCM’s Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically address the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments,” said Cunningham. “The financing and knowledge provided by the fund supports the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.”The B.C. Ministry of Natural Resource Operations, Stz’uminus First Nation and Natural Resources Canada, are also partners in the project.The lands being studied include 24 acres of town-owned land and 68 acres belonging to the province.Earlier investigations have uncovered waste from coal  and other contaminants which can pollute soil, water and groundwater and can inhibit developing the sites.