37 abandoned properties in Faro contain asbestos, report finds
'It's not a show stopper,' says town official, who plans to sell promising housing units
Officials with the Town of Faro have learned that 37 abandoned houses and buildings in the Yukon community contain hazardous materials, including asbestos.
The town commissioned a report on the properties, which range from single-family dwellings to 12-plexes, and were built decades ago when the lead-zinc mine was in production.
Ian Dunlop, Faro's chief administrative officer, says the findings just mean it will be more expensive to either tear down the buildings, or renovate them.
"It's not a show stopper. There is some hazardous materials present," he said.
Dunlop said the asbestos levels aren't high. The material was found mostly in drywall and flooring.
In the 1970s and 80s asbestos was commonly used for insulated buildings and homes. Health Canada warns that breathing in asbestos fibres can cause cancer and other diseases.
Promising units will be sold
A previous report determined that about half of the buildings in Faro would need to be torn down. The most promising housing units will be put on the market, which Dunlop hopes will happen by this summer.
"It's simply a matter of doing due diligence and making sure that any interested purchasers are aware of what is there. The next steps for us are identifying some of the properties that we do want to start selling immediately," Dunlop said.
He said crews will take precautions when working on the properties, and take "appropriate measures" when making disposals in the landfill.
Dunlop added that the town is looking at setting up a development corporation to handle the preparation and sale of the properties.
With files from Karen McColl