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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Editorials Future of Port Stanley in the Balance

by Francie Dennison
Future of Port Stanley in the Balance

The future of Port Stanley's harbour hinges, at least in part, on what we do with the Dominion of Canada (DOC) building. As it stands now it is nothing more than an under used low concrete warehouse.

The DOC building has had part of the contamination from the lead paint which covered it inside and out cleaned out and painted over, but I think not all of it. The back of the building where the old washrooms are located remains closed to the public and in a state of disrepair. Hard to believe this building was once used as a place for processing fish that people eat when Omstead leased the premises, even if the fish were there for only a short time.

I think in 2015 the Municipality of Central Elgin only managed to rent the DOC out three times, and I'm not sure if each of those times rent was to be paid. That's a very low usage for 365 days. It is an eyesore that harkens back to the days when Port Stanley was a commercial and industrial port and will certainly not blend in with any new development of the harbour lands. If anything, it is a detraction to new development.

Now that the silos are down, the cleared land offers more opportunities for an economically vital development. But if you leave the DOC building in place you detract from the character of the area, and the usefulness of the DOC building is really not there. How much better it would be, and how much easier it would be to get a developer interested in it, if the DOC building was not there.

So why not demolish the DOC while we already have a crew in place working in the harbour doing exactly this kind of work on the silos? Clean the plumbing, electrical and paint out of the building and demolish it and use the broken concrete as more fill for Hofhuis Park. That way you'd be rid of a polluted eyesore and create a perfectly clean slate for development from the bridge right through to the end of the west pier.

Now that is something Mayor David Marr probably could sell to a developer.

Last Updated: Thursday, 11 August 2016 12:22:43 PM EST

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