By Brandon Mayer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A South Mountain local is speaking out after months of looking at the burned remains of the old King’s Pizza Restaurant across from his home. Frank Fata contacted the Times hoping for some answers after he was told the remains of the building – which was destroyed by a major fire in August – would be cleaned up before any snow fell. But, after a week of snow flurries, he was left scratching his head.
Frank was told that the Township was going to hire a contractor to come and clean up the property, since nothing was done by the time the original deadline that was provided had passed. Approximately two weeks ago, Frank was surprised to see a contracting company come and remove the temporary fence around the property, without completing any other work. He called the Township to let them know that the potentially dangerous site was now accessible, including to the many school children who pass by the site each morning and afternoon. He was once again assured that they would look after it, but still nothing had been done as of December 3.
Another of Frank’s concerns is that, every time it rains, the burned material fills the air with a heavy smell that bothers him and his wife.
“I don’t see the Township doing a lot, because the fellow told my wife that it should be cleaned up before the snow flies, and the snow is already here,” Frank told the Times.
His wife wanted to attend the latest North Dundas Council meeting, but missed the deadline to register. She was told she could be registered for a meeting in January, but that doesn’t cut it for Frank. “They’ll use the excuse that it’s frozen then!”
Frank does not blame the owner of the property for what is going on. “I feel sorry for the lady, too. It’s a shame, she did all of those renovations before the fire started, and she had it up for sale.”
The Times reached out to Calvin Pol, Director of Planning, Building, and Enforcement for the Township of North Dundas, for an explanation. Director Pol noted that a resolution was passed on November 23 to allow him to engage the by-law division to take on the responsibility for the cleanup work. He confirmed for the Times that, “Township staff are in the process of preparing a contract with the successful bid to proceed with the clean up work.”
It is unclear when the clean up process will start, or when it will be completed.