Taxpayers may be on the hook to fix marina building built without permit

Marina building (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – South Dundas taxpayers may be on the hook to fix a building constructed at the Galop Canal Marina.

During the marina’s committee meeting July 10th, South Dundas director of planning and enforcement Don Lewis presented a plan to bring a building constructed at the marina last year up to code.

The building, constructed by marina users, was built without a permit and is not compliant with the Ontario Building Code. The marina is operated by the municipality on property leased from Ontario Power Generation.

At an earlier meeting of the committee, members were told that the building would have to have the walls removed, or the foundation upgraded to meet the building code.

“The building doesn’t meet code for wind uplift,” Lewis said. “It’s built on deck blocks and 4×4 footings.”

The plan presented by Lewis required the floor be removed from the structure, with contractors installing laminated veneer lumber beams under the existing frame, supported by footings.

“This is the best way to deal with this without disturbing the electrical panel installation,” he said. “It would satisfy any issues with OPG as well.”

The other fix suggested by Lewis would see a concrete pad poured for the building to be attached to, something he said would be “considerably more expensive.”

The building is listed by the committee as a shelter and storage building. The electrical panel connecting to some of the marina boat slips runs into the building.

Committee members were unhappy with the potential expense of the plan, with many suggesting disconnecting the electrical from the building in order to move it and make the needed repairs.
The resulting direction given by the committee was for Lewis to look at lifting the building to make the repairs.

Lewis did ask what level of participation the committee and marina users would contribute to the building remedy. Committee chair Ron Cowalchuk asked Lewis to prepare list of jobs and they “would go from there.”

“Thanks for being a part of the solution,” Lewis said.

He told The Leader by email after the meeting that “due to the unique construction that occurred without the benefit of a building permit nor the approval from OPG, we are still evaluating options to determine how we can satisfy minimum Ontario Building Code requirements. Staff will be arranging a site visit to hopefully find a resolution at minimal costs to satisfy all parties involved and to legalize the use of the structure.”

Lewis applauded the “enthusiasm and efforts” of community volunteers associated with the Galop Canal Marina, “we just need to follow prescribed provincial/OPG requirements.”

What was not clear at the meeting was who will be paying for the upgrades to ensure the building is compliant with the building code.

“The money will have to come out of the marina’s budget,” deputy mayor Jim Locke told The Leader after the meeting. Locke is the council appointed representative on the committee. “If their budget is short then ultimately taxpayers will have to pay for it.”