SCUGOG: The Township of Scugog is facing a $10 million lawsuit from Greenbank Airways, for what the company claims is a breach of contract.
Greenbank Airways claims that the Township violated the contract by not granting a new fill permit to allow more soil on the site. They are also claiming that the Township’s Site Alteration By-Law does not apply to a federally regulated aerodrome. Greenbank Airways owner Robert Munshaw did not reply to requests for comment.
The Township is countersuing for remediation, tipping fees as well as other legal costs.
Borehole testing by Golder Associates last year found that 22 of 45 soil samples taken from the site had exceeded the Township’s soil contamination standards. In August, the Township conditionally granted approval of a remediation plan for the site, with Mr. Munshaw just needing to sign off on the deal. However, no remediation work has been done to date.
Mayor Tom Rowett told The Standard that Mr. Munshaw has indicated that “he doesn't want to start remediation without knowing that Greenbank and GFL will be given permission to bring 2 million cubic metres of remediated fill onto the site.”
Mayor Rowett also said, in a press release, that the Township has given Greenbank Airways “ample time and opportunity to take action” and added that the Township’s number one concern “is the health and safety of the public” as well as “minimizing the environmental impact.”
The cost of the litigation is being funded from the Township’s Fill Reserve. Mayor Rowett said that there might be a levy impact in 2017, but added that Council will make that decision during budget deliberations and the Township cannot make that prediction without seeing “how the litigation progresses.”
Scugog will seek a cost order against all parties if it is successful in the lawsuit.
The airport site is located at the corner of Hwy. 12 and Hwy. 47.