Ten years after it closed down, the fish plant in Sandy Cove is finally gone.
It was a long time coming for Harrison White.
But after a decade of waiting, the president of the Sandy Cove Harbour Authority can now stand on the ground where the town’s derelict fish plant once stood.
The building was owned by 3Ts fish processing company, but ceased operation in 2009 after it failed to meet federal safety standards.
This March, the fish plant, cold storage facility and marginal wharf in Sandy Cove, left abandoned since the plant’s closure in 2009, were demolished with funding through Small Craft Harbours.
The $281,000 demolition contract was awarded to Pittman’s Enterprises, of St. Paul’s.
The project was 50-50 cost-shared between the federal government and the province.
The province owns the property.
In 2017 a Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) assessment cited an urgent need to have the building demolished.
The report said the building contained 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 because the buildings were determined unsafe to enter.
White said the building was an eyesore and its presence prevented opportunities for further development at the harbour.
He worked tirelessly to get it torn down.
“I made hundreds and thousands of phone calls,” he told The Northern Pen.
Now, he hopes someone will come and rebuild on the land.
Gudie Hutchings, Long Range Mountains MP, visited the site with White on Monday, March 25.
She was pleased with what she saw.
“Harrison was at this for a long time and I’m glad we were able to finally get it put away,” she told The Northern Pen. “Once we get tidied up, we got tons of opportunities open to the fishers and the local residents. It’s ready for any opportunity.”
White credited Hutchings as well as St. Barbe-L’Anse aux Meadows MHA Christopher Mitchelmore, who visited the site over the weekend, for their assistance.