COMMENTARY · 15th July 2011
At Terrace’s last Council meeting a grant of $1,500 was agreed to for developing conceptual drawings for a development on the Co-op property. This was already done for free by Ulysses Venegas, architect and former owner of Gordos Restaurant before it burned down in the Skeena Hotel fire.
A group called ASK Terrace used their own time and energy to put together an inclusive plan. From a Terrace Daily article in October 2007 regarding a downtown plan meeting;Also on hand were representatives from a local special interest group "ASK Terrace", who had been invited to the meeting by Mr. Block. ASK Terrace has also been working on their own home-grown ideas for the downtown also revolving around the Co-op.
ASK Terrace's plan, started by local residents and volunteers interested in seeing a downtown that embraced more than simple economic change, are also pushing to see the creation of a multi-purpose facility, but with the focus being on social equity, cultural vitality, environmental sustainability, as well as economic viability. Employing a local restaurateur, Ulysses Venegas (Gordo's Cafe), a recent immigrant and former architect from Mexico, the ASK Terrace team put forward their own detailed architectural concept for the space.
Another concern on the Co-op building, the asbestos, requires some insight and investigative work. Where is the asbestos? The Keystone apartments also contained this material. Hazmat crews came in to ensure the material was handled safely. The asbestos between the floors was considered contained; sealed and undisturbed so it did not need to be removed. Curiously however, the third building was deemed to be too deteriorated to rebuild and an excavator was brought in to openly demolish it. No concerns were made for the now completely airborne asbestos particles then. All this occurred next to two elementary schools across from many homes.See the demolition here
When a government wishes to side step the rules depending on many things; personal interest, family relationships, profits or greed, they just side step the rules. Why can’t they just do the same for the Co-op?
Maybe there are good reasons. We just simply have no time to investigate it all, just putting out the question.
Why is SNCIRE getting money to do a conceptual drawing when one was done years ago by truly involved and concerned citizens? I’ll draw something up for $1500. “I’ll too” take the design done by ‘Gordo’. He was way ahead of his time for Terrace.
Drawings by 'Gordo'
Profile drawings by 'Gordo'
Demolishing the last, Unit 3, of the Keystone Apartments
Ulysses also furnished full colour conceptual drawings, all at his own expense, a truly committed resident of Terrace, one prepared to give, not take.
Comment by Josh on 22nd July 2011
My favorite part is when he talks about history repeating itself in one article and then on the next article he is saying that we should do something bad because.. well.. we did it before right? Just tear it down, the wind will carry the asbestos up the hill, no worries. We've done it before so we should obviously just ignore the fact that asbestos is poisonous once again and release it into our air and inevitably the river and forest.
It happened once, the real questing isn't "Why don't we do it again?" it's "Why is money winning over my health?" You people are so concerned about money that the well being of the town isn't a concern?
Fixing a wrong done(Keystone) does not constitute doing that wrong again, so why bring it up.
Get a move on & clean up that eyesore !
Comment by Carol on 20th July 2011
I am totally with MaggieJo! I wouldn't take any guests down that street. I cringe when I see the so called "ART". What is happening to good sense in our local city council. We want to be proud of where we live, not ashamed. Get with it, make some good decisions & be accountable to the taxpayers in this town.
Perhaps a "usage fee" could be imposed?
Comment by MaggieJo on 19th July 2011
Since the Co-op bldg keeps getting uglier and uglier like a bad case of spreading leprosy...why not make it into an official temporary "in town" Dump Site?!
In order to generate cash, the City could even charge fees to residents for dropping their garbage there. After all, residents would be saving gas $ not heading to the 2 dump sites outside City limits, so I don't think they'd mind the fee charge - especially since the "in town" location would be so convenient.
The piles and piles of "abandoned" dirt and weeds that have been sitting there for ever can be used to bury the trash. If the concept is a hit and with all our garbage being repeatedly heaped and covered over, eventually that entire Co-op bldg could be buried for good - asbestos and all and then we could plant grass over top and make it look all pur-deeeee.
Then we could build a Collesium down the South Side of that Co-op covered "Grassy Knoll", borrow a lion from a travelling circus and host open-aired live entertainment.
No Grant to SNCIRE
Comment by Dr. B. A. Bidgood on 19th July 2011
Please note that the City of Terrace has not made any grant to SNCIRE to develop plans for the development of the Co-op Building. A motion was made to provide sanction to SNCIRE to develop an idea for the site; Council is routinely open to all delegations ideas. BUT, no decision was made to approve the requested $1500 grant. This was referred to Administration for a report and recommendation in light of the approved budget.
Comment by Ian on 18th July 2011
For the betterment of the city coming from a tax payer that is had enough of increase after increase and seen nothing that would seem practical in development.
The Coop is a viable piece of property that is doing nothing to generate income and jobs for the area. In the winter, taxi cabs huddle there along with some homeless people. The garden center is used by our fine fire fighter for practise and honing skills.
The outside of the building reminds me of the Bronk of Newyork. Alothough the effort and time was put in to make the building more eye catching to the public and tourists, it did the exact opposite.
The Coop building is being undermined by seasonal run off. If you remember the food floor had sunken in parts and made it a challenge to shop there. Greig avenue used to be a slough in the old days and the rain and snow melt has worked on the foundation of the building itself.
The building and lands of the coop are far too valuable to let sit and deteriate while the city and TEDA should be looking at ways to make it a better viable asset.
As it sits right now. Is it doing anything for the city. No. So any improvement would be to the betterment of the city as awhole.
And no I am not a city councillor, been asked four time to do so. No time. Rather be out shoot photographs of this great place we live in:]
Comment by Janice P. Robinson on 17th July 2011
That Co-op building belongs to us....the taxpayers of Terrace. Apparently, we should be grateful, to Mr. Hull, for unloading it so cheap. Where did all the "shareholders" go? Did they all sell their shares, and leave for Reno? What kind of legacy is that to leave behind??
Mr. Hull should have paid the City of Terrace for taking that albatross off his hands.
If Mr. Hull's purchase of the building was profitable, he'd be seeking tax breaks. He took a risk, and lost.
It's still good to have friends in the right places, at the right times.
Looks Interesting .
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 17th July 2011
As much as I like the building , It is more like something you would find on the top of a mountain in Greece. Looks very expensive to build. Maybe something more practical would be better.
Comment by Roy Harding on 16th July 2011
"The coop lands will be used to the betterment of the city."
In whose opinion?
I like the gist of your ideas - whether they are economically feasible or not remains to be seen, but I like their general direction.
The question remains - how do you know that "The coop lands will be used to the betterment of the city." Are you a City Councillor?
Comment by Ian on 16th July 2011
The coop lands will be used to the betterment of the city. One suggestion, that being that what ever is constructted there should be green in development. My thinking is that the new building[s] should have solar pannels built into the structure to stem the rising costs of heating and lighting.
This would demonstrate that the city is moving forward with the energy demands that will only increase as the population will do also.
The concept gives a responsible and enviromentally concious local goverment.
Comment by MaggieJo on 15th July 2011
Frick! I can't TAKE this anymore!
Is there any way we can hold the City's "leadership" accountable for continually wasting our $$$ ???!