Remove Harbour Grace eyesore
I have had occasion to spend a fair amount of time in Harbour Grace in recent months, visiting family. Whenever such an occasion arises, I like to spend a lot of time walking through the town.
I should start this letter on a positive note since I wouldn’t want to be accused of only being a critic. Most of the residential properties are maintained to the highest standard, which makes for very pleasant surroundings. Even the public park on Water Street has been given a face- lift, with bright red garbage containers provided to keep it clean and tidy. It was one of my favourite places as a child, and I am happy that i t h a s been restored for all to enjoy.
However, almost directly across the street from the park, on the corner of Victoria and Water streets, is what is left of Pike’s Hotel. It not only is an eyesore but also is a potential danger for all the residents of Harbour Grace.
In a recent phone call to the town council office, I was informed by one of the staff that the property had been sold and that the new owner intended to dismantle the hotel and build something else on the property — whether commercial or residential was not disclosed.
This staff member went on to remind me that it is quite expensive to tear down an old building (no mention of asbestos in the building at this point of the conversation) and truck the debris to Robin Hood Bay.
Two things came to mind at this point. First, we are all aware of the expense involved in tearing down the building and trucking the garbage elsewhere. Second, I wonder whether any time constraints for cleaning up the site were included in the bil l of sale. When I brough t u p t h e p r o b l em of asbestos, the response was, “I don’t know if that was removed or not.”
Well, I know, and I would think a good many more do as well, that there was a work stoppage placed on that building about three years ago for that very reason — asbestos removal.
Since Harbour Grace and Carbonear recently hosted the Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games, I would have thought it was a wonderful opportunity to take pride in the town and not to expose this eyesore to all the visitors. I would like to see the residents of Harbour Grace apply pressure to their town council to have this matter resolved.
The property has been left in slings and has even turned into a convenient place to deposit discarded appliances and mattresses. It poses a potential health and safety hazard. Surely, this has gone on long enough.
The town council in Harbour Grace seems to grow more complacent with every passing year. Ladies and gentlemen of council, you owe your citizens more than this!!
Maggie M. Hennessey is a former resident of Harbour Grace. She writes from