Decommissioned, M.S. Norgoma is off to the scrapyard

Unable to find a viable alternative, City Council Monday night voted in favour of decommissioning the MS Norgoma.

The 73-year-old ship will be stripped down and scrapped. It brings an end to a longtime puzzle of just what to do with the Norgoma.

An agreement of sale with The Sweet Shop in Tobermory and another with Jeff Dwor of Port Colborne fell through in the final stages. The city held talks with six other proponents but the cost of relocating the
vessel, refurbishing it, issues surrounding a suitable place to dock the ship and the requirements of host municipalities to provide funds in escrow should the ship be decommissioned were stumbling blocks to a deal.

Sault Mayor Matthew Shoemaker said the City obtained the Norgoma for $1 back in 1975 and “have had a debate ever since of whether or not it was proper for our waterfront.

“I hold the view and I know that others who were on the previous council do it was not a proper use of municipal resources to invest in its viability or lack of viability all those years,” continued Shoemaker. “We are at this point in our decision-making because a decision was made that ought not to have been made in the first place.”

The Norgoma, owned by the City of Sault Ste. Marie, has carried an ongoing cost for docking fees and insurance. The ship has been docked at a slip owned by Purvis Marine at Algoma Steel. It’ll cost Sault taxpayers $395,000 plus HST for Purvis Marine to decommission the ship. As part of the agreement, the City is waiving landfill fees for the disposal of non-ferrous materials and any contaminants. Estimated cost for the disposal is between $5,000 and $8,000.

The sister ship of the Norgoma, the S.S. Norisle, was recently decommissioned at a cost of $743,000.

Author

  • Ron Jokelainen

    Ron has returned to writing and reporting after 27 years with Ontario Lottery & Gaming. He began as a staff writer with OLG in 1994 before moving to Sports Marketing in 1997. He retired as a Senior sports analyst in 2021. Prior to OLG, Ron worked in radio and print journalism in the Sault and Simcoe. Folks may remember Ron "Williams" with CFYN-CHAS in the early 90s A graduate of Windsor's St. Clair College Journalism program, Ron lists drumming, gardening and walking among his favourite hobbies.

One thought on “Decommissioned, M.S. Norgoma is off to the scrapyard

  1. Another extremely dumb decision by the green, hyper new mayor that spends money that the city doesn’t have like a drunken sailor, to blow another half a million dollars when they could easily just take it out in the lake and sink it to become an artificial reef and possible diving site.
    What would this cost $10-$20K? The incompetent new mayor should resign in shame.

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