Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Fate of Fire Hall No 1 Continues in Jeopardy

The black cloud of uncertainty hangs over taxpayers like an ominous drone that refuses to leave.
Fire Hall #1 July 2010

In 2010 Fire Hall # 1 was still loved and cared for.  The flowers baskets hung at the front much as they always did in summer. The Fire Hall was always known for its flower displays and the Fire Department took pride in this tradition.

But what now?  Many Cranbrook residents are bewildered by this fierce notion on the part of some members of Council to sell the building.  Why, when CDAC's project has been supported by the Federal Government, Columbia Basin Trust, the City's Official Community Plan and a $50,000 study that the City paid for, is this project facing being tossed aside in favour of private ownership? 

An adjudicating Councillor who recused himself from the public presentations of the Community Initiative Application process was recently and reliably reported to have told a support letter writer in the week of April 1st. that the reason he did that would be known in two weeks.  Really?

Why, when Cranbrook lags behind so many communities who have had municipally owned Art Galleries for years is this 'sell' option so favoured?  

Most BC Communities value and promote the arts by owning buildings, frequently historic or heritage, to showcase the visual arts.   Kimberley has Centre 64.  Fernie has the Arts Station. Invermere has Pynelogs.  Nelson, Revelstoke and Salmon Arm all, for example, own buildings specifically for the Visual Arts.  Nelson alone, a community much smaller than Cranbrook owns the buildings which house the Capitol Theatre, the Civic Theatre, Kootenay School of the Arts and Touchstones Museum. These communities take pride in their artists, their work and skills.  In return these communities gain balance becoming attractive to all. 

Why, when previous Councils spent years buying back properties to acquire a contiguous piece of City owned property in the downtown, would this Council wish a sell off a piece supporting one of the City's few remaining heritage buildings?

There is no guarantee that in private hands this building will maintain its unique floor plan, its integrity or even remain.  

Why, when the Cities financial affairs are in stable order and there is no desperate need for $350,000 an amount that wouldn't even deal with half a city block, is there such a fervent desire to get rid of this fabulous city asset?

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