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This $1 million housing unit in Rankin Inlet will sit empty until a deal can be reached to correct errors in its construction, which include being almost 5 m too close to the road. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Construction headache

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Mar 24/04) - A construction oversight has a $1 million five-plex housing unit sitting empty in Rankin Inlet.

The building was completed this past year by the Nunavut Construction Corp. (NCC), to be turned over to the Nunavut Housing Corp.

The new unit was built on the wrong lot and is too close to the road.

Rankin hamlet Coun. Justin Merritt says the building sits on a lot partly belonging to a third party.

He says the first step in rectifying the situation is for the hamlet to obtain a variance from the lot's original owner.

"Until we obtain that variance, the hamlet won't be able to rezone the lot the building is sitting on and get our money from the land or equity lease," says Merritt.

"We're going to have to negotiate with the people who already own that lot and go through all this trouble because, when it was being built, an oversight happened and the hamlet didn't take the time to make sure the building was in the right spot."

Merritt says the hamlet will also have to work out a way with the contractor to address the proximity-to-the-road issue.

A building has be at least 6 m away from the road. The new structure sits only 1.4 m away.

"Our lands committee is worried about the road variance because that may mean having to move the stairs or actually adding on to the road.

"It was a mistake on both sides. You would think a big contractor would put it on the right lot, but we both should have checked into it."

The problems with the building delays the hamlet from collecting $130,000 in lease money.

Merritt says until an equity lease is signed, he doesn't know if the hamlet would receive the $130,000 in one lump sum or spread out over time.

He says the hamlet is waiting to receive a reply to a letter sent to the NCC, advising it of the problems that need to be addressed.

"If that company (NCC) is going to get its lease signed, someone is going to have to sit down and negotiate a solution with the hamlet.

"I would imagine NCC wants to get its money from the Nunavut Housing Corp.

"But the company can't turn the building over until this matter is addressed, so I'm sure that puts some onus on it to resolve the matter, too."