Re­move Har­bour Grace eye­sore

The Compass - - OPINION -

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

St. John’s.

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