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City of Saint John says American Iron and Metal owes $219K for firefighting costs

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The City of Saint John has submitted a bill of nearly $219K to American Iron and Metal for costs related to fighting a massive scrapyard fire three months ago.

City chief administrative officer Brent McGovern says an invoice of $218,718.24 was submitted to AIM "within the past month" following an audit of fire fighting materials used and time spent fighting the Sept. 14 fire

"I think it's well justified and appropriate that it would be paid by AIM," said McGovern at the city's public safety committee meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

The costs were detailed by Saint John Fire Chief Kevin Clifford during a presentation of the department's post-incident 'after action review.' 

Councillor David Hickey said the invoice only reflected costs incurred by the Saint John Fire Department.

"The cost to this community was a lot larger, and that’s as a result of closed businesses, closed officer towers, and everything that was impacted on that day," said Hickey.

On Tuesday, a provincially appointed task-force examining the fire returned with a scathing report against AIM, calling AIM operations in Port Saint John a health and safety risk to the citizens. 

AIM made its first comments about the task-force review in a written statement late Wednesday afternoon.

The company said it was reviewing findings from the report and finalizing its own internal investigation while "cooperating fully with regulators."

“AIM recognizes that the fire was a serious and trying incident for the Saint John community as a whole,” said the statement. “As such, we wish to take this opportunity to reassure the community of Saint John that AIM is committed to regaining its trust. To this end, rest assured that AIM is working diligently to concretely take the steps that are necessary to prevent a similar incident from reoccurring in the future.”

The company’s statement also refers to AIM employees “and that the fire continues to be a serious and trying incident for them and their families.”

The company did not have an immediate response to a request for comment late Wednesday, regarding the $218,718.24 invoice.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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