Two houses not at imminent risk within Chaline Valley landslide zone
Negotiations underway for the purchase of two houses in Chaline Valley by the provincial Ministry of Public Security are not being done because of an imminent landside risk, Mayor Robert Grimaudo told The Journal on during a phone interview November 21.
The clarification comes after an apparent unintentional miscommunication was made by the mayor in response to a question asked by resident Richard Meades during the monthly council meeting on November 13.
‘Literally at risk’
A resolution was passed to allow the town to negotiate the purchase of two homes on Rue Charbonneau in Chaline Valley which are located inside the landslide zone.
“They are literally at risk,” said Grimaudo at the time. “It’s not a shed at the edge of a property or part of the land. It’s the actual homes.”
He acknowledged this comment may have stirred some controversy. A meme was posted on a Facebook community page on November 20. It featured an aerial shot of Rue Charbonneau with a red box outline and an X-mark across the box placed over the two houses.
Yellow text atop the meme stated the houses would be bought and demolished by the town. Council was criticized for its ‘gross incompetence.’ A rhetorical question asked why people were still paying taxes for houses that are worth nothing and have to be demolished.
A claim was also made that the property value of all the houses in Chaline Valley would be affected. The post was taken down yesterday.
No imminent landslide risk
Grimaudo is reassuring residents that his comments were extreme and did not imply that the two houses or any other structures are in any imminent risk for a landslide. “At the council meeting, Mr. Meades got up and asked a question. The question was directed towards me and sometimes in the heat of the moment when I respond I don’t use the right words,” said Grimaudo.
“I think what may have raised this storm was the fact that I may have said these homes are more at risk. It was definitely not the right words to use. These homes are not more at risk. The work that needs to be done on these homes is definitely more excessive than on the other properties,” he added.
It’s up to the town to sit down with the affected residents and tell them what their options are, said Grimaudo. “One option available to them is that the provincial ministry of Public Security is willing to buy the houses. They may decide they want to pick up the whole house and move it. We don’t know,” he said.
The purchase option is being done with the $3 million that has already been set aside by the provincial government as part of the cost to stabilize the slopes in Chaline Valley, said Grimaudo. Another $2 million in provincial funds is pending. Stabilization work that was supposed to have started this winter has been postponed until next year at the earliest.