City leases Esso ‘beach’ for one dollar

Alberni city councillors voted to lease beach front property from Imperial Oil at their June 23 meeting.

The city has added another public beach to the waterfront.

Port Alberni city councillors voted in favour of leasing beach front property with Imperial Oil at their June 23 meeting.

The city will lease the former Esso property—located between the Harbour Quay Marina and Harbour Quay, right next to the public boat launch—for five years, for which the city will pay the oil giant $1 per year, Parks and Recreation manager Scott Kenny said.

The lease has a clause in which each party has 30 days to opt out, he said.

City crews will begin light cleanup of the site as well as building a $2,500 staircase that will lead down to the beach.

The property is still classified as a brownfield site because of contamination from its former life as a fuel depot, a report noted. The city retains the option of renewing the agreement after five years, he added.

The company is still conducting a geo-technical survey of the site and has tubes sticking out of the ground as a result, Kenny said.

If the city wants to undertake more detailed work on the site then a company representative must be present to inspect what is being brought there, he added.

Kenny cautioned against long-term improvements to the property, but added that it has potential because the boat ramp could be improved and amenities could be added.

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