Engineering contract awarded
Details of $30M tar ponds cleanup deal to be finalized
By Wes Stewart
Cape Breton Post
Thurs., Sept. 28, 2006
Sydney - A total of $400 million will be spent in the downtown core
during the next seven years as the tar ponds and coke ovens sites
are cleaned up.
It's Barbara Stead Coyle's job to see that a sizable share of each
dollar spent stays in Cape Breton.
The economic benefits co-ordinator for the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency
said Wednesday her job is to design policies and programs to
optimize local participation and spend money locally.
The agency is now managing about $5 million in projects that were
not part of the environmental assessment process - the realignment
of Coke Oven brook, the barrier built at Battery Point and the
cleaning of the cooling pond.
The actual cleanup is now in the panel review process and
governments are preparing to respond to the 50-plus recommendations.
A decision on the actual cleanup method and a go forward is expected
"Hopefully we will hear early in the new year, which would let us
ramp up for the summer."
Stead Coyle said the work is really about producing cleanup and
design programs and tendering policies that will optimize local
Some goods and services, such as cement, are not available locally.
"We know we can get topsoil and gravel and all those materials
locally, so we want to optimize that."
The project is being designed so contracts are manageable for the
local contracting community.
She said companies will be asked what they will do for the community
while here, what kind of community support they will offer - such as
donations to the hospital foundation or a food bank - and will
employees volunteer for charity work.
The cleanup proposal as it now stands is a mixture of stabilization
and solidification and incineration.
Stead Coyle said the project, which is in the pre-design stage,
estimates 120 full-time jobs on site; that doesn't include the
indirect jobs in companies providing goods and services.
A workshop for contractors, suppliers of equipment and services will
be held Oct.31 at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre,
co-ordinated by the Cape Breton Partnership. It will detail the work
"You are not going to see 1,000 people on the site in hard hats; it
is going to be much more subtle than that, you will see 30 to 40 in
different pockets around the site," Stead Coyle said.
Stead Coyle issued a cautionary note, saying the cleanup will not
provide a big hit to the economy; instead there will be steady, slow
incremental increases over the term of the cleanup.