Todd Young is well aware of the deteriorating state of the fish plant he owns in Sop’s Arm.
He has committed to cleaning it up and the residents of the local service district intend to hold him to his word.
Young’s company, 3Ts based in Woody Point, bought the building from the government around 15 years ago or so, after the previous owner and operator had gone into receivership.
He removed some equipment from the plant at the time, but things went downhill from there.
“People started stealing stuff out of there for scrap metal and, eventually, it just deteriorated,” said Young.
For a while, the plant was used to process iceberg chunks for drinking water and alcoholic beverages. That enterprise proved to be short-lived. After that, Young leased the space to someone who maintained horses on the property.
These days, the plant is an eyesore and a hazard in the eyes of the residents of Sop’s Arm.
Ross Pinksen, the chairperson of the local service district, said the roof and floors of the building are caving in. The wooden structural frame is decaying and the concerns are materials fastened to it will easily break away in a strong wind.
People have to walk and drive past the plant in order to access the adjacent wharf. Pinksen said abandoned buildings like this can also be an attraction for curious young children who may not realize the potential dangers lurking on the property.
“I know Todd is a busy man with a lot of things on the go, but he should be a good corporate citizen and do the right thing,” said Pinksen. “It’s a real danger.”
Young said the plan was to have the building sold, but that deal fell through recently. Now, the plan is for his company to tear down the building and clean up the site some time this month.
Pinksen has met with and discussed the situation with the White Bay South Development Association, which represents Sop’s Arm and the neighbouring community of Pollard’s Point. They have collectively met with Liberal Opposition Leader Dwight Ball, whose district of Humber Valley includes Sop’s Arm.
Pinksen just wants Young to follow through with his promise before someone is hurt or someone’s property in the area gets damaged.
“He could be liable if something blows off that building and does some damage,” said Pinksen. “There are fellas with boats there making good money and, if he has to pay them their wages, he’s going to know he’s paying them.”