Residents raise a stink, get council to close smelly sani-station

Council voted to close the facility after complaints from several Campbellton residents

The 17th Avenue sani-station will be permanently shut down this fall.

Council voted to close the facility after complaints from several Campbellton residents about the foul odours emanating from the sani-station.

Coun. Ron Kerr said while he sees the benefit in the service, it’s at the expense of residents.

“I have used it, it’s convenient. But there are other options,” Kerr said. “I think we’ve heard from the community and they want it shut down.”

Mayor Walter Jakeway agreed the sani-station is not in a suitable location.

“I can see why the neighbours would like it shut down but I think it needs to be replaced,” Jakeway said. “I’d like to see it at the airport.

“I’m in favour of shutting it down but I think we seriously need to look at putting one at the airport or some other location.”

The residential location of the sani-station has been a sore point for resident Christine O’Connor for years.

She wrote five letters over the last six years to council asking for some help.

O’Connor said the smell coming from the station was so bad that some days she couldn’t go outside.

“I still can’t have a barbecue on my porch without the putrid smell of fecal matter rolling through the hot summer air,” O’Connor wrote in a letter to council. “Every Sunday during the summer the traffic is backed up down the street and a constant rolling of RVs and buses continuously dump their refuse right in front of my home.”

The Campbellton Neighbourhood Association wrote a letter to council, which was on Tuesday night’s agenda, supporting O’Connor. A petition with 100 signatures was also presented to council.

City staff recommended council decommission the station.

“To try and keep this going in a residential area, I’m not sure we’re going to be able to contain the smell,” said City Manager Andy Laidlaw, adding that it “leads staff to the view that it is time to shut this system down.”

Jennifer Peters, the city’s utilities manager, said there have been problems with sewage spills from RV users dumping their waste, blockages, and a lack of available water.

Peters said there’s also been evidence of commercial and non-RV use and prohibited waste being discharged at the station. She said that’s likely due to the fact the station is unsupervised.

To improve service, including adding supervision, would cost the city $10,000 per year.

To make improvements would cost $30,000 and to relocate the sani-dump would cost $50,000. The cost to shut down the facility will be $3,000 – the same amount it costs the city in annual maintenance.

While council approved the shut down, Coun. Mary Storry was not on board and was the lone vote opposed.

“I’m almost feeling like I have a conflict of interest on this one because we use the sani-station so often and it’s well-used by the community,” Storry said. “I just hate to cut a service that has been enjoyed by the community for so long.”