Depot debris blowing around Tompkins

Chantelle MacIsaac
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It is no secret that the southwest coast receives a lot of wind, and when communities are subject to Wreckhouse winds, one can expect a bit of damage.

Joe Aucoin holds a piece of siding from the Department of Transportation and Works depot across the road from his home in Tompkins. He said debris has been blowing around the community, and he is worried someone will be injured. — Photo by Chantelle MacIsaac/The Gulf News

Joe Aucoin lives in Tompkins, and although he understands the nature of the winds, he doesn’t understand why his complaints of the deterioration of the neighbouring Department of Transportation and Works storage building are being ignored.

For years, Aucoin has been calling and complaining about the building’s condition.

“This is a safety concern for me,” said Aucoin. “There is siding blowing off and across the road, plastic flying around, and more disturbing is the huge metal piece on the roof that looks like it will fly off at any time.”

A Department of Transportation and Works spokesperson said the building is a highway depot and is not vacant or being ignored.

The depot is used for storage of materials such as water-based paint and the spokesperson said the building is being maintained and heated.

The department said it isaware of Aucoin’s concerns and has met with him to discuss them, but Aucoin said he has not heard from anyone recently.

He has been complaining for years, and said there have been conversations in the past regarding his concerns, but nobody has contacted him regarding his new concerns.

The debris, which is constantly flying around, is a major concern for Aucoin, and not just because he is continually picking it up from his property.

“What if a car is struck as it drives down the road, or a person as they are walking?” he asked.

He is concerned with safety and he doesn’t understand why temporary fixes have not been put in place.

The department said the depot was completely re-sided about four years ago.

“Some siding was lost this winter and will be repaired when the weather permits, as will the fence around the property,” said the spokesperson.

Aucoin is not satisfied. One of his concerns had to do with how the siding was put on, with the joints running all down the middle.

He said the backside of the building has no siding left and about half of one side is also missing.

He questions why someone hasn’t come and nailed some strapping to the building to prevent further blow-offs.

The department said it is unfortunate that high winds have resulted in damage to the fence and debris being blown around.

“Departmental staff try to avoid placing anything on the depot’s grounds that could potentially get blown around by wind,” said the spokesperson.

Aucoin said pieces of siding and debris are constantly blowing around, and that he would like at the very least, to see some temporary fixes so that people do not get hurt.

Editor’s Note: Shortly after The Gulf News spoke with the Department of Transportation, Aucoin received a call saying the department would be putting strapping on the building to hold down the remaining siding.

The Gulf News

Organizations: Department of Transportation, The Gulf News

Geographic location: Tompkins

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