A burned out shack on 2nd Ave in Queen Charlotte has attracted the attention of the community’s management committee.
The building burned in 2001, but it had been abandoned and vandalized before that, said office manager Debra Uliana at the committee’s June 1 meeting. She said she spoke to the owner in March 2004 to tell him that the Queen Charlotte volunteer fire department would like to use it for a demonstration burn. At that time owner Ray Skrepetz said he was trying to sell the property.
Since then nothing further has been done about cleaning up the sight, said Ms Uliana, and it would be difficult for the management committee to take any action because it doesn’t have any power to make bylaws or enforce them. At present the regional district would have to do the clean up. The fire department cannot go on the property to burn the shack down without the owner’s permission, said Ms Uliana. Committee member Eric Ross pointed out that even if the place were burned to the ground, there would still be debris like bed springs and appliances that would have to be disposed of.
Ms Uliana said she had researched how similar situations are handled in municipalities, and she said that the council usually had to pay for the clean up and then try to recover the costs from the owner. She also said it can be a very slow process.
Mr. Ross said something had to be done because the building is becoming a hazard. Committee member Ron McKee suggested sending another letter to the owner to remind him that the building is unsafe and needs to be dealt with. The other members agreed to send a letter for now and defer the matter to the new municipal council that will be elected in November.
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