A derelict

No takers on bid to scrap abandoned barge in Masset harbour

A bid to have a contractor remove and scrap a derelict barge in the Masset harbour has closed without any takers.

A bid to have a contractor remove and scrap a derelict barge in the Masset harbour has closed without any takers.

Seized a year ago by B.C.’s natural resource ministry, the 38-metre steel barge is grounded on the opposite side of the causeway that leads to the Masset seaplane dock.

Its last owner was a Cory John Zeller of Campbell River.

On July 26, the ministry offered to pay a contractor to safely dismantle the barge, recycle the metal, and dispose of any residual fuel, wood waste, and plastic.

While the ministry did receive enquiries, the bid closed August 23 with no takers.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations said there is still a budget to dispose of the barge, but could not say when the ministry might try again to find a company to do it.

In addition to the barge, the successful contractor will be asked to remove some nearby debris, two abandoned boat trailers, and a 15-foot fibreglass boat hull.

In March, the ministry hired a hazardous materials consulting firm, Island EHS, to inspect the barge the company found two sections of roofing and flooring containing asbestos.

Other hazards on the barge include lead paint and mould, plus a pair of fuel tanks and some pumps that may contain residual fuel.

Island EHS recommended the demolition be done by a trained contractor, and that workers wear respirators and throwaway coveralls.

The ministry also recommends that booms be placed around the barge and surrounding foreshore during the demolition.

Councillors at the Village of Masset made the derelict barge a priority when they met with provincial officials at the Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting last fall.