TRURO – Town officials are eager to see a number of deteriorated buildings in downtown Truro come down.
During this week’s Truro town council meeting, Coun. Tom Chisholm voiced his frustration at the state of 546 Prince St. (formerly Suckling and Chase) and 548 Prince St. (most recently used as an NDP campaign office), along with a few buildings along a strip of Dominion Street, including #4 (the former Babbling Brook Baskets business), #6 (formerly a barbershop) and 16 Dominion St., which used to house Day Makers Salon.
Regarding the 16 Dominion St. property, Chisholm said, “It’s going to fall down … it’s a safety hazard and it’s killing businesses.”
A bylaw enforcement report to town council on Monday indicated all the buildings, which are vacant, are an “ongoing” issue and they are to be demolished. The report says the owner of the buildings, which is listed through the town as J.W. Snook and Company Ltd., had “requested additional time due to health
Jason Fox, planning director for the town, confirmed a complaint to the town was received on Nov. 22. A 30-day notice was sent to the owner at that time.
The bylaw enforcement report also states a second 14-day notice was sent to the owner and “if work is not completed by date indicated on notice (Feb. 12) (it) will be referred to solicitor for further action.”
Council discussed requesting another report on the buildings next month. Coun. Raymond Tynes said that wasn’t good enough.
“By the time we get legal action it could fall down. We’ve all seen the pictures of it leaning,” Tynes said.
He made a motion that if the town doesn’t hear anything from the buildings’ owner about the status of demolition by the end of the week, it could start legal proceedings. The vote received unanimous support.
“We have to worry about the safety of citizens,” Tynes said.
Fox told council the building inspector has spoken to the buildings’ owner and has within 30 days from last Friday to demolish them.
Fox told the Truro Daily News the buildings’ owner indicated he would heed the notice and “will be given the benefit of doubt.”
Council also decided to request a review of unsightly premises and minimum housing standards from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities.
Sheila MacAulay, owner of The Book Nook on Dominion Street, which is situated in between the buildings up for demolition, hopes action will indeed be taken soon.
“I’m annoyed with the town and owner that nothing has
happened,” MacAulay told this paper. “I’m worried. I feel they are a danger for people and fires.”
MacAulay said the shape of the buildings is often talked about by neighbourhood residents, visitors and customers.
“It doesn’t encourage business,” said MacAulay. “Customers often ask what’s going on with the vacant, derelict buildings and it’s been like this for awhile.”