Construction is going ahead on two calcium chloride tanks on the city's waterfront.
CORNWALL, Ontario - Construction has begun on new storage tanks along the St. Lawrence River that has left one champion of the city's waterfront seething in frustration.
Chuck Charlebois, president of Groupe Renaissance Group, was floored Thursday when he learned a former oil tank farm will be home to two calcium chloride tanks.
Charlebois said the fact local residents were not consulted on this plan, and that many have worked for years to clean up that area for increased development, has left him stunned.
"I certainly don't know a damn thing about this," said Charlebois. "People are trying to develop the waterfront for public use."
Mayor Bob Kilger said he's been told the new tanks are so-called "ground profile" in that they will be recessed into the property along the waterfront, and won’t present much, if any, sight-line issues. They will be 100 feet in diameter.
"They will barely come over the top of the ground," he said.
For years the area in question, which is owned by Transport Canada, was the site of an oil tank farm. The property is adjacent to the Cornwall Harbour. When the oil tanks were finally removed years ago many, including Charlebois, celebrated.
"That's not the desired construction...you want to see on the waterfront," Charlebois said, adding the public should have been consulted before construction began. "I'll tell you what people would have said...they don't want it."
Kilger said the city received a call from the party that is leasing the property, to advise the municipality in broad terms about the project.
"My preference would have been no tanks," said Kilger. "But that being said we're not involved in these negotiations."
Transport Canada officials confirmed with Seaway News via e-mail that a third party signed a lease agreement this fall with a company that is licensed to distribute products for regional road safety including dust suppression and ice control for roadways.
Activity currently taking place includes construction by the tenant of two storage tanks for the purpose of receiving, storing and distributing calcium chloride as part of the company’s operations. The construction is likely to be completed early next year.
It's unknown, right now, who the private firm is that is building the tanks.
Calcium chloride has a very low toxicity rating and is not dangerous to humans or the environment. It has been manufactured and used in a variety of industrial and food products for more than 100 years. It is widely used as a deicer on roads, sidewalks, driveways and parking lots.
More to come.