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PORT HOPE – A Port Hope retiree is mad on Madison thanks to the federal government’s so-called Property Value Protection (PVP) program.

John Floyd’s waterfront lot was recently valued at $130,000 after exceedingly high levels of copper, lead, zinc, arsenic and antimony were reportedly confirmed on 2 Madison Street by the Ministry of Environment (MOE).

Mr. Floyd is just now coming to terms with his misfortune.

“This is unbelievable,” he said. The former Reeve of Port Hope anticipated his property could catch at least $400,000 like similar lots in Cobourg. In 2013, he says his 5,500 sq. ft. lot was valued at $250,000 by Property Valuators Consult in Bowmanville.

Antec Appraisal Group was obtained through the fed’s Property Value Protection (PVP) program to review Mr. Floyd’s property in September 2016.

PVP is designed to compensate Port Hope property owners for any loss on the value of their property as a result of the Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI), a $1.6 billion initiative to clean up historic low-level radioactive waste in Port Hope. Thanks, Eldorado! The cleanup has been inching along for decades and for all the ground yet to break paper has certainly been pushed. But I digress.

PVP appraisers are asked to examine current market information as well as all other publicly available information about the subject property that buyers might consider. They are also asked to value a property as if it is not impacted by the PHAI. According to PVP coordinator, Chris Ostrom, Antec was sent a copy of the Radiological Status letter for Mr. Floyd’s neighbouring property, 14 Madison Street, an MOE report and compensation frameworks for consideration.

The appraisal states, “…we have been informed by the client that the MOE has confirmed the subject property is contaminated with non-PHAI contaminants…”

But Mr. Floyd says his property has never been tested and neither the MOE offices in Peterborough nor York-Durham have been in contact with the PVP or Antec regarding his property.

“How can the PVP confirm it’s contaminated when they didn’t even talk to the MOE?” asked Mr. Floyd.

Instead, he says his property value has been decimated over a 30-year-old report that has nothing to do with his property.

“In that report, it basically says everything is fine,” says John. “What the fuck are PVP trying to pull off?”

A reduced value means less PVP payout should the LLRW cleanup impact the sale of his property. At the end of the day, after paying for expensive soil tests to prove his property is clean, Mr. Floyd says he’ll likely walk away with a few grand. 2 Madison is currently listed for $100,000.

“They’ve put a black mark on my property,” Mr. Floyd said of the PVP. “This is my retirement savings.”

Mr. Floyd says he’s disappointed that the role of the PVP program has become one of finding ways to eliminate grants.

While the PHAI  – in effect since the dawn of time – is supposed to compensate property owners who have a hard time selling their property as a result of the clean up, there is nothing to protect victims of other historic wastes. Mr. Floyd’s property is currently being tested for LLRW contamination.

An email was sent to PVP on Jan. 12 to clarify what information was used in the appraisal

On Jan 20, Isabelle Gaudreault (for Jean Boulais, ATIP Director – AECL) wrote:

“Dear Ms. Karen Lloyd: This is further to your informal request copied below, to obtain a copy of the MOE report for property – 2 Madison.  I am pleased to enclose the records previously disclosed under the Access to Information Act.”

The report is huge and I am currently looking at the best way to share it. In the meantime, if you would like a copy, please email me at karen@k-media.ca