One of the homeowners displaced by the Aug. 29 Wolverine Road fire will be getting a small break from Inuvik Town Council after Councillors voted 6-0, with Coun. Kurt Wainman absent, to waive tipping fees at the landfill for them on Sept. 16.
Councillors heard at their Sept. 14 Committee of the Whole meeting that one homeowner whose house was demolished in the fire did not have insurance coverage for the clean-up and was responsible for cleaning up debris from the lot themselves.
“This is a very tragic event that’s happened to the community,” said deputy mayor Paul MacDonald. “I am concerned about town council continuing to impact a small businessman, however in this particular case I reached out to that businessman at the local landfill and discussed the situation with him, and he agreed 100 per cent that the fees should be waive and he has no concerns.
“It’s a good move for our community and supporting each other, as has been done with the fundraising and all the events that have surrounded that.”
Senior administrative officer Grant Hood estimated waiving the fees would equate to between three to five loads, or $1,050 and $1,750 in lost revenue, 50 per cent of which would have been split with Harder Enterprises, the landfill contractor.
Other councillors voiced their support for the motion.
“I don’t see any reason to add any more cost to this already tragic occurrence,” said Coun. Dez Loreen. “I’m okay with waiving the fees.”
Hood noted a second homeowner potentially also did not have insurance coverage for the clean-up and that council could potentially set a precedent.
However, Coun. Clarence Wood said previous town councils had given similar breaks in the past for similar circumstances.
“All we would be doing is adding insult to injury,” he said. “So I have no problem with doing this at all.”
Firefighters were called to the site on Aug. 29 at approximately 3 a.m., only to find the two buildings full ablaze. The heat from the fire melted cable lines and knocked out a transformer, disrupting power for much of the neighbourhood. The fire was put under control until 5:34 a.m. but it took another eight hours to put out smouldering debris and declare the site safe.
Multiple residents were treated for burns and smoke inhalation and one woman had to be airlifted to Edmonton for treatment. The cause of the fire is under investigation and has not been determined as of yet.