Man still toils in Back Country

Len McGinnis is still beavering away in Porter Creek, removing wrecked cars and dilapidated buildings from a property that doesn’t belong to…

Len McGinnis is still beavering away in Porter Creek, removing wrecked cars and dilapidated buildings from a property that doesn’t belong to him.

He’s been doing it at his own expense, without being asked by the land’s owner, Jacine Fox.

But, he’s about to see the payoff, he said in an interview Thursday.

He’s sent a bill to the landowner on Wednesday and expects payment or title to the land, he said.

“Jacine Fox was served papers yesterday, so we’ll wait to see what happens on that end,” said McGinnis.

“We gave her the bill and the notice to sign. If she doesn’t sign it over, then we’ll go to court.”

So far he’s removed 135 tonnes of scrap metal and vehicle parts from Back Country Corners, a property located at 92038 Alaska Highway, at the mouth of Rabbit’s Foot Canyon in Porter Creek, said McGinnis.

He’s paid for a backhoe, tipping fees at the landfill and has spent his own time cleaning up the mess, he said.

All of that entitles him to compensation, he added.

And, if he gets title, he’s planning to set up an auto body shop, something city zoning bylaws don’t allow.

But, that hasn’t dissuaded him, he said.

“After the property gets into the appropriate name we’ll get it figured out,” he said.

“After I get the property, then I’ll go in for rezoning. Chances of it getting turned down are pretty slim.

“But, if it doesn’t work out we’d put in a wholesale car lot or something, it’ll be something to do with bikes or cars, that’s all I know.”

Last month, the city’s bylaw department manager John Taylor said his department had slapped the former owner, Murray Freeman, with an order several years ago to clean up Back Country Corners.

The city was preparing to charge Fox $25,000 to $50,000 to send a company in to clean up the property but was holding off in light of McGinnis’ efforts.

“All we’re concerned with is that the property get cleaned up,” said Taylor.

Last month, McGinnis estimated the bill he would send Fox would come in between $180,000 and $250,000.

Fox could not be reached for comment.

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