It took some time, more than three years in fact, but the District of Mission has done the right thing and settled with two of three homeowners whose houses were sinking into the ground.
The homes, located on Cedar Street and Best Avenue, were constructed in the mid-1980s on a site that contained improper fill.
Nevertheless, civic officials of the day inspected and passed both sites.
That fact alone makes the decision to compensate the two householders a given.
Once the inspected and approved sites started to settle, the homes began to fall apart.
Mission Mayor Randy Hawes told the media that the district had “a responsibility” and a compensation deal was required.
Such clear thinking on an obvious matter is refreshing.
The district will have to pay a sizable deductible, however the Municipal Insurance Association will pay the remainder.
The third sinking home – located between the two other houses – is a more complex issue.
That home was not inspected by the district. According to Hawes, a private engineering company provided a letter stating the house was built on solid ground.
That makes the district’s responsibility questionable, at best. Despite this, council is offering assistance to the third homeowner, trying to help settle that claim as well.
Whatever agreement is eventually reached, the district will not walk away empty-handed. Once all three claims are finalized, Mission will own the properties in question.
It is likely the homes will be torn down and the property stabilized. Then Mission has a piece of real estate to work with, build on, or perhaps sell.
While not the objective, it’s possible that doing the right thing might even, eventually, be profitable.