CORNWALL, Ontario - City hall has discussed a plan that would allow Trillium Distribution to operate a pair of chemical storage tanks on the waterfront for one summer, before finding another location for the facility.
A source with knowledge of the talks confirmed the information to Seaway News, but wished to remain anonymous because they are not authorized to speak on the subject.
Any decision on such a plan would likely have to come within the next few weeks, as the calcium chloride that will be contained in the tanks will start being transported to customers for summer use as a dust suppressor.
There is also a court date set for mid-April when the municipality and Trillium will appear before a judge on the Cornwall's interim control bylaw.
The source said the city will likely seek a legal agreement with Trillium to ensure that once the season is over the company will have to vacate the waterfront property in Cornwall.
Chuck Charlebois, president of Groupe Renaissance Group, one of the critics of the tank project, was guardedly optimistic about the future.
"If it's true it's going in the right direction," he said. "But it brings on a bunch of questions.
"Our objective is to remove the tanks…but does one year come with any baggage? Somebody has to pay for this."
Chief among those questions is who will pay the bills that have already been wracked up by the project?
Cornwall CAO Norm Levac would not talk specifically about the scenario when asked point blank if it was possible - or even being discussed.
"It's really not something we have control of," he said. "There's been a lot of options that have gone around."
Levac pointed out the city does not own the property where the tanks are being built.
But the city, in conjunction with Akwesasne, has expressed an interest in assuming ownership of the property through the federal government's port divestiture program.
Those talks are ongoing.