Comox man exasperated by dust from French school

Comox resident Jack Bode is stomping mad at the dirt around his home.

Comox resident Jack Bode is stomping mad at the dirt around his home.

Bode approached council Wednesday asking for a letter of support or other help for him to recover residential cleaning costs from the Francophone school board, which is in the process of constructing École Au Coeur De Le L’ile School across from his house on Linshart Road.

Since construction, Bode said his family and neighbours have been bombarded by a constant barrage of fine dust and grit during working hours, which infiltrates through small openings.

He added the dust is ingrained in carpets, settled on shelves and on his cars and boats parked in his driveway.

“I’m not here to get money out of the Town. I’m really ticked off at the Francophone school board,” he noted. “It’s been a bloody nightmare. The dust over there is equivalent to talcum powder; it’s in everything.”

Bode said he has tried contacting the school division, but has not had a formal response from them. An engineer had offered to power wash his home, but Bold said he told him he wants the inside cleaned, not the exterior stucco.

“I want carpet cleaning, I want my furnace ducts cleaned,” he noted.

Bode showed council a photo he snapped of a street cleaner with a large rotating front brush, which he said created a huge mess with moving dust and dirt everywhere.

“We wouldn’t support or approve that type of sweeper,” noted Richard Kanigan, the town’s chief administrative officer. “I believe what (the construction crew) were instructed to do is that if they were to use that type of sweeper to actually wet down the streets and move it off the road, which in limited circumstances is going to work. There are private contractors in the Valley that do have sweepers that would essentially act as a vacuum cleaner and clean the streets in that regard and would probably work well in this situation.”

Although the Town’s nuisance bylaw allows for only a $200 fine, Kanigan said other bylaws could be applied in a future situation.

“One is the nuisance bylaw; another one that is probably more relevant in this situation is the building bylaw, which also refers to keeping construction and building material off the street, and clean. We’re looking at how we can clarify with this situation and we also do take construction deposits,” he added.

Bode said he can pay the $700 to clean the interior of his home, but if he can get the construction company to pay, “all the better,” he noted.

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