Stuck with the bill
Harbour Grace mayor fears demolition job could cost residents $68,000
The mayor of Harbour Grace is concerned a dilapidated building in his town could end up costing taxpayers an arm and a leg to tear down.
Don Coombs fears the demolition fee may run as high as $68,000 and the town may get stuck with the bill.
The building, the former Kyle’s Landing Hotel, located at the corner of Water and Victoria Streets is at least 50 years old.
Coombs considers it to be a significant safety hazard.
“Over the past two years some kids and people have been accessing it and tearing it up,” he said. “It is a real death trap and council is concerned someone is going to get hurt, killed, or start a fire.”
Coombs says up until about 15 years ago, the building was used as a hotel, formerly known as Pike’s Hotel.
“It had a great reputation and was known all over the island. It was like the Newfoundland Hotel is today, many dignities attended functions there,” he says. “In its day it was something else!”
The building was sold a number of times and for the past 10 to 15 years has been used as a tavern.
Around two and a half years ago government approached the town council and requested they close the business.
Coombs admits the building was run down, but says council had been monitoring the situation and was working with the owner to clean the place up.
“I told them (government representatives) that we’re not in the business of closing down businesses,” he says. “I mean we knew the place needed some work, but some effort was being made and I didn’t feel council had the right to just go in and put the locks on the building.”
However in 2008 representatives from four government departments took the matter into their own hands and closed the building.
“A few people strolled into the building, closed it down and walked right out again and that was it!” says Coombs. “I doubt if they even bothered to check to see if the door closed behind them as they left.”