Original Published 14:04 Apr 22, 2022
By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Residents and visitors of the Town of Coronation who happened to be driving around the afternoon of Tuesday, April 19 may have been very curious to know why bylaw officials were conducting the demolition of a burned building at an unsightly premises.
Bylaw officer Wayne Nyback, owner/operator of Rural Bylaw, was in charge of the demolition, which he stated was the result of about two years of attempts to get the property owner to clean it up followed by a fire last December which left the burned structure in question.
In a phone interview April 21 Nyback, who described himself as a retired Hobbema chief of police, said this unsightly premises was the worst he’s ever seen.
Nyback noted the process to clean up the property in question began about two years ago and he himself spoke to the property owner numerous times about cleaning it up, “…and nothing was done.”
The bylaw officer noted the Town of Coronation takes unsightly premises seriously, and the property owner had the obligation to clean it up for the appearance and safety of the community. So Nyback signed the order to demolish the burned building and clear off the lot.
The bylaw officer noted the authority to clear an unsightly premises comes from the Municipal Government Act (MGA) and all rules and regulations were followed. He further added the Town of Coronation was fully informed and supported the process; the property owner in fact had a 15 day period to appeal the clean up order to the Town of Coronation but “…didn’t do anything,” noted Nyback.
Nyback stated the yard in question was “full of refuse” and as crews cleaned it up they also towed 10 vehicles off the lot; it also contained 10 to 15 motorbike parts and engines, hand tools, “…anything and everything.”
During the project a track hoe and other construction equipment was employed.
Before the demolition, the property owner had apparently been complaining that people had been stealing things from the lot in question.
The bylaw officer noted that some stolen property was actually found on the site during clean up; it was documented and handed over to Coronation RCMP.
Contacted by phone April 21, Coronation RCMP commander Sgt. John Pike noted some stolen hand tools with a business name on them were recovered; however, as it’s virtually impossible to prove how they got on the site, there will likely be no charges laid.
Sgt. Pike did add, however, all of the vehicles recovered from the property are being investigated to ensure they’re not stolen.
Nyback noted the original fire in December 2021 was in his opinion “suspicious,” but he didn’t have any other information on it. He wanted to point out the excellent work the Coronation Fire Dept. did fighting that fire and preventing it from spreading to nearby properties.
He added that two metal containers were filled with the owner’s property; Nyback mentioned several times in the interview the owner’s property was carefully set aside and stored safely. Apparently the owner can reclaim his property after the clean-up costs are made good but he’s not allowed to put any of it back on the lot in question.
The bylaw officer noted it’s important for people to realize their neighbours take pride in their communities and don’t want to see unsightly, junk-filled properties.
This item reprinted with permission from East Central Alberta Review, Coronation, Alberta