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REPORTING · 26th October 2010
Walter McFarlane
For those of you who do not remember, there was once a time when there was a vibrant building at Nechako Center; home to the Foodbank, a card shop, a thrift store, a restaurant and even the Penny Candy Store. The building has now fallen into disrepair and has been sealed from the public. It was brought up during the status report on Tuesday, October 12th.

“I’d just like an update, I know we have consulted with lawyers but I understood that if there is a health hazard or the building is falling down that we could do something. I'm not too sure how the state of that particular building is. It is an eyesore and I’m wondering, what is the state of affairs with this particular item?” asked Councillor Gerd Gottschling.

Municipal Manager Trafford Hall clarified they have spent a lot of time on this issue during the last few years. It’s been boarded up, the water's turned off, it is abandoned. The complaints are that it is an eyesore.

Gottschling mentioned he had heard the roof is falling off the grocery store part of it. Hall said they would send the building inspector in to see if it is condemned but they shut off the water supply after the Food Bank's pipes froze during the winter time.

District Engineer Tim Gleig confirmed when the water was shut off. He said the owner had stated the building is a very valuable piece of property. “There is a section that used to be in the Municipal Code and I’m sure it’s still in the Charter per dangerous erections which Council can take action on. There has to be danger if someone is securing it. We’ve only done it once that I’m aware of,” said Glieg.

He said there are buildings in Service Centre and residential buildings which are in bad shape as well but there is little Council can do as long as they pay their taxes. He said if the building was breached again and the owner did not take action, they could do something.

Gleig also pointed out they would need to have cause to enter the building and if they did, he would not know where to go from there as there were houses in town with leaky roofs as well. He said he would check with the building inspector as to the last time he went in there. They have little reason to enter the building since it is not occupied.

Councillor Halyk said he investigated this issue years back and it turns out Smithers had a similar issue and tore the building down after giving the owner three notices to clean it up or do something with it. They then charged the owner for the cost. The owner refused to pay. Smithers won in court and their bylaw was upheld. Victoria has also had a similar issue. These owners have had to do something or lose their building.

Feldhoff said they had ‘In Camera’ discussions over the building and there was little more they could do. He suggested talking to these other communities over what they did. Hall offered to call these people on this issue.
Nechako Center
Comment by vanne hanisch-godoy on 28th October 2010
I remember Super Valu, the restaurant I ate at many times, hardware store, London Drugs, doctors offices upstairs; and my doctor, Dr. Lowen, there was Dr. Condon. It used to be a friendly place, but not anymore. That has gone for good now. I loved snaring and hiking in the mountains in the winter, and in the summer picking medicines for the winter.