Port Alberni receives more brownfield funding

The City of Port Alberni has received another $19,000 to help remediate the former Alberni Plywood mill site.

Another step has been taken in the long process of reclaiming the former plywood mill site.

The province gave the city $19,000 in funding from the Brownfield Renewal Funding program.

The money is to be used as part of its remediation plan for the plywood site and the amount is based on cost estimates submitted by the city in its funding application.

According to city engineer Guy Cicon the city will work with the port authority,  Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Western Forest Products to develop the plan, Cicon said.

The most recent grant complements the $63,000 the city received from Brownfield for remediation purposes.

The journey is long, the funding process slow and initiatives are leaving port before the city can catch up.

“I’ve lost track of the number of opportunities that have floundered in our community because of Brownfield issues,” economic development manager Pat Deakin said.

“I believe it’s time for a different approach.”

Deakin said he would like to invest time in preparing an information package to the B.C. premier and the Union of B.C. Municipalities on the matter.

Brownfield is a messy issue that has cost the city and it could have broader implications as well.

“The port authority will run into Brownfield issues,” Mayor Ken McRae said.