Demolition of former Easy Save closer to reality

Hazard assessment on Carbonear building received, town moving forward

Melissa Jenkins
Published on September 3, 2014
The former Easy Save Building in Carbonear has drawn much critism from residents and councillors in the past decade, and many are pushing for it to be torn down.
Photo by Melissa Jenkins

After years of calling for the removal of an old dilapidated building in a historic part of Carbonear, officials with the town say they have made some headway.

The next step to demolishing the Surprise Bag Co. building (former Easy Save) has been approved after a hazardous assessment was completed in July. Requests for proposals to continue the job, located at 234 Water Street, into the demolition phase will soon be accepted.

A demolition order was issued in 2008 to have the building torn down. But a lien on the property by the Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) has caused some delays with proceeding with the demolition.

A concern that the building would be a significant financial burden to tear down was discussed in several council meetings this year. But the answer to who would foot the bill — the former owner, CBDC or the town — was not clear.

The decision to have the hazard assessment done, inside the building and out, was approved unanimously by council in June. The assessment was done to help determine if there would be special requirements for demolishing the property because of hazardous materials, which would increase the cost.

The assessment took place in July, and results were made available to the town Thursday, Aug. 28.

In an email from town administrator Cynthia Davis, she confirmed hazards were present.

“… There were hazardous materials identified, such as lead in some of the paint on the walls, some asbestos in the floor tile and ceiling tile, as well as some (asbestos) siding under the existing siding,” she said. “But this is the non-friable type so not as dangerous as the friable.”

The town received a cheque from CBDC for $2,500 to help cover the bill for the hazard assessment. The assessment was initially quoted between $3,000 and $3,500.

Results were briefly discussed at the Tuesday, Sept. 2 council meeting, and a decision was made to continue on with the process to demolish the building.

The next step is putting out a request for proposals to allow companies to submit their plan and costs to remove the hazards and demolish the building. This step has been approved, and the town will begin accepting proposals soon.

These proposals will give the town an idea of costs associated with the project. At this time, Davis explained there is no way of determining those costs until these proposals are submitted.

When proposals are received, the council will meet again to discuss the next course of action — hazard removal and demolition — and if they will proceed.