SANDY COVE, N.L.
The stage is coming down.
The derelict wharf and plant in Sandy Cove has finally been slated for demolition; a tender call for the work was issued in December.
The scope of work will include the demolition of the wharf along with two buildings — the plant and storage facility — that have been abandoned since the plant’s closure in 2009.
The removal of the structures will be cost-shared by the federal and provincial governments; they are each paying half the cost.
The province owns the property.
In 2017 The Northern Pen reported that a hazardous assessment by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) revealed the urgency of tearing down the former plant and storage building.
The report revealed traces of asbestos in the roofing shingles and collapsed rubble, as well as possible traces of lead paint.
The exact quantities of these hazardous materials could not be identified, as the buildings were determined too unsafe to enter.
For nearly 10 years Harrison White, president of the Sandy Cove Harbour Authority, made it his mission to have the plant removed.
He’s glad to see it finally happening.
“We’ve come a long way and I’m pleased with it,” he told The Northern Pen.
He credited St. Barbe - L’Anse aux Meadows Christopher Mitchelmore and Long Range Mountains MP Gudie Hutchings for their assistance.
“(Mitchelmore) has played a great part in it and Gudie Hutchings has too,” he said.
The feelings were mutual for MHA Mitchelmore, who credited White for his tireless advocacy.
“Accolades and praise must be given to Harrison White for his tireless work on this file and ensuring that this job gets complete for the betterment of fishers, for safety of residents, for Sandy Cove and the region,” he wrote to The Northern Pen. “He is a true community champion and (I’m) so proud to have worked with him to see this advanced to tender!”
Mitchelmore believes the partnership between the federal and provincial government to remove the plant will lead to future investment and economic opportunities in Sandy Cove.
“The removal of these structures is necessary for safety (and) for any further development,” he said, explaining that once this old plant and wharf are removed the Small Crafts Harbours division of the federal government might be in a better position to invest money for other infrastructure for the area.
“The Harbour Authority continues to advocate for some infrastructure, such as a buying station or some other investments,” Mitchlemore noted.
The deadline for companies to submit bids for the work is Jan. 10. Once a contract is issued, work can begin.