The city is beefing up a remedial action order against Jackpine Forest Products Ltd. because slope failure continues to occur behind its abandoned site on Frizzi Road in Williams Lake.
In June city staff noticed a large tension crack behind the property, and since then several slides and movement of land have taken place, with the most recent incident taking place last weekend.
“A big chunk moved on the weekend and we anticipate it will fall with a corner piece of the building there,” the city’s manager of operations Geoff Goodall told mayor and council during a special council meeting held Tuesday.
An existing steel building at the site is built on a concrete foundation.
Goodall said the city does not want anybody excavating there and is not asking for any portion of the foundation to be removed.
“We’re asking that the steel frame, all the siding, and anything that happens to be inside the building in that area be removed,” he said.
Two weeks ago staff passed a motion requesting the property owners to ensure water was not building up on the site by erecting a berm, but now Goodall said that is not enough to remedy the situation.
“We’re taking a broader approach indicating that we want them to keep water away from the edge and to prevent water generating a pool because that’s what’s causing the failure,” Goodall said.
“Landslides are continuing every day,” he said.
“It moved considerably over the weekend and will probably involve a piece of the building next.”
In its latest remedial action order, the city is requesting the action be completed by the owner no later than July 17. If not the city will do the work and bill the owner.
In addition to the steel frame building removal the owners are asked to prevent any surface water from standing or pooling within 50 metres from the existing edge of the embankment and prevent any surface water from running or draining in any way over the edge of the embankment.
Goodall said the problem is being further complicated because the receiver is attempting to dissolve the Jackpine corporation.
When it is dissolved all the assets will revert to the Crown and that will further complicate the situation because the city isn’t sure what sort of action it will be able to take against the Crown.
“Right now the registered owner is Jackpine and the unregistered owner is the receiver,” Goodall explained.
Joining the meeting by phone, Coun. Sue Zacharias asked if the city had received an official engineer’s report and was told, not yet, but that an engineer has visited twice who concurred with the city’s assessment that surface water build up at the site has been causing the slope failure.