Summerside mayor says port is dismantling planned salt storage depot

·2 min read
About two months ago, the Port of Summerside started work on this wharfside storage site for road salt coming in by ship.  (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)
About two months ago, the Port of Summerside started work on this wharfside storage site for road salt coming in by ship. (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)

Summerside, P.E.I., Mayor Basil Stewart is declaring victory in the city's fight to stop two shipments of road salt from being stored on its waterfront.

Back in August, the Summerside Port Corporation started to build a concrete enclosure for 44,000 tonnes of salt due to arrive on Prince Edward Island sometime this month.

But Friday afternoon, the mayor issued a statement saying the port is "immediately" taking down the concrete barriers.

"The city commends the Port Corporation for not moving forward without the required authorizations," Stewart's statement said.

The Summerside Port Corporation is in discussions with a party out side the city boundaries for a storage solution. — Arnold Croken

"The city remains hopeful that in choosing another site — either within or outside the city limits — the port will be mindful of environmental and zoning concerns, and the overall concerns of residents who may be impacted by this amount of bulk storage."

The port's CEO told CBC News in an email late Friday afternoon that it is working on an alternative depot site, but wouldn't elaborate.

"The Summerside Port Corporation is in discussions with a party outside the city boundaries for a storage solution," Arnold Croken said.

As for the city's objections to the port's original plan, Croken said: '[We] are still in a legal challenge with the city so will not comment on that process."

On Sept. 1, the city issued a stop-work order to the port corporation, which had argued it is exempt from having to apply for municipal permits given that the project is on federal land.

"According to our legal advice, it is contrary to the city bylaws and regulations to have a storage area like that there," Stewart said at the time. "Our lawyers and the port lawyers are trying to get it sorted out."

Wayne Thibodeau/CBC
Wayne Thibodeau/CBC

When work on the waterfront depot began in August, the port said it was needed to hold two shiploads of salt because the province's supplier in Nova Scotia, Windsor Salt, had said it couldn't guarantee regular deliveries by truck this winter.

The salt is destined for use on roads and streets within Charlottetown and Summerside city limits, as well as on provincially managed roads.

Stephen Szwarc, P.E.I.'s director of highway maintenance, told CBC News in August that the road salt would be stored at the Summerside waterfront for only one year. After that, he expected normal deliveries to resume.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting