Owen Sound city hall. DENIS LANGLOIS/THE SUN TIMES
Owen Sound’s bylaw department has concluded its probe into complaints that used cooking oil was dumped into a catch basin next to Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen after finding no evidence the product entered the city’s storm water collection system.“We’ve searched the storm systems on both 16th Street and 16th Avenue East and we couldn’t find any presence of cooking oil. So if they did, it was all contained on site,” Dennis Kefalas, director of public works and engineering, said Wednesday.“So we won’t be issuing any fine because it never actually made it into our system.”On top of that, Kefalas said the city didn’t receive any video evidence of someone pouring the oil into a catch basin and no eyewitnesses came into city hall to provide a formal complaint.“So, our bylaw department has closed the book on it,” he said.Kefalas is still awaiting a report from the vacuum truck company that pumped out two catch basins on the property to find out what was found during that work. But the report won’t change the outcome of the investigation, he said.City officials launched an investigation July 2 after receiving complaints that used kitchen oil was allegedly dumped into a storm water catch basin outside of Popeyes on the Canada Day long weekend.Kefalas said, at the time, that a visit to the Popeyes site on 16th Street East revealed evidence of a spill.There’s a possibility, he said at the time, that a stormceptor was installed when Pizza Hut operated from the building that might have captured some or all of the oil.The Sun Times spoke with a man who identified himself as the owner of the Owen Sound Popeyes during a visit to the restaurant July 2.He said he wasn’t able to comment about the allegations, referring a reporter to media relations at Restaurant Brands International, which owns the Popeyes brand.RBI has still not returned email or Facebook messages from The Sun Times.The incident outside of Popeyes was brought to the public’s attention after Owen Sound resident Raymond King posted a video on Facebook that showed the catch basin surrounded by what he said looks to him like spilled oil on grey pavement.The catch basin is steps from a back staff-only door into Popeyes, next to the mall’s western entrance.In the video, which has now been viewed more than 82,000 times and shared just over 2,000 times, King confronts three restaurant employees who are standing near the drain.