Smithers council has given the Works Department approval to clean up an abandoned property on Alfred Street.
Staff will be removing weeds, grass, securing an abandoned shed, and removing a dilapidated fence.
The town received four complaints about the property in 2020, stating that it is abandoned and periodically inhabited by “squatters.” At that time, town crews were directed by council to open and secure structures on the property, and since then have not had complaints about squatters, although the town has received two complaints from neighours in 2021.
The 2021 complaints centred around the fact that the property is unsightly, but also poses a risk to both of the adjacent properties given the accumulation of long dry grass and build-up of lumber as fuel for a potential fire.
The town has tried numerous times to locate/contact the owner of the property, but has been unsuccessful.
The Works and Operations Department has determined, according to a report to council, that the property could be remediated with minimal work being required.
It would require a two-person crew, mower, weed trimmer, and a flatbed truck. Once the work is completed, the report continues, a “demand for payment” will be issued to the registered owner, and can be added to the taxes of the real property, in the event the registered owner does not pay within 30 days.