The city couldn’t grant a request from the Salvation Army to use the old fire hall for 54 days as part of the program that provides Christmas Food Hampers and toys to individuals.
Captain Kirk Green, from the Salvation Army, wrote that in order to provide for the estimated 300 families in need the non-profit needs a suitable building and the old fire hall would do it.
“Preparations begin in early November with the storage and arrangements of goods and culminate on December 22 with hamper pick-up and delivery,” Green said. “For the purposes of this request, we would appreciate the use of the building from November 1, 2014 until December 24, 2014.”
However, at the Oct. 20 council meeting, CAO Staudt said the old fire hall would not be available for the extended period of time the Salvation Army is requesting.
Staudt wrote back to Green saying that the city had just had a contractor remove the asbestos in the old fire hall and as a result the facility won’t be available for public use until it is renovated.
“The fire chief did say that if it was for one day, or something like that, they might be able to make the fire hall available for something on a one-day activity window,” Staudt said, adding that the fire chief was going to contact the Salvation Army, but noted he didn’t believe there was anything available from the city at this time.
Mayor Wayne Stetski said he’s been looking into the request.
“Coun. Scott and I were talking about it earlier and were wondering if maybe a realtor might know about something available that a business person might want to open up and let them use for free,” Stetski said.
Coun. Diana J. Scott said the Sunrise Rotary used to use the building in the Tamarack Centre next to the Columbia Theatre, but that now houses Glow Yoga.
“Something like that may be available, or the Subway restaurant on the strip has moved down a few blocks to a great big new fabulous place. Their (old) location is sitting vacant.”
Scott noted that it was too bad no one would be able to watch the meeting, as it wouldn’t be broadcast on Shaw due to election rules (which have since been revised; the Nov. 3 meeting will be broadcast).
Coun. Gerry Warner suggested the Telus building.
“That’s one of the biggest buildings downtown and it’s not all occupied,” Warner said. “We use it as an incidence centre when there is an emergency, there’s good space there.”