Today I was having a conversation with a couple of newer residents of the Crowsnest Pass.
Quickly the discussion turned to the issue of the Crowsnest Centre, one of the folks started applauding the present council for not attempting to run the centre, for moving ahead with the demolition and for finally attempting to take advantage of commercial opportunities on that property.
To this point I totally agreed with this couple, then he totally floored me with the comment "I can't believe that previous councils didn't deal with this issue". Well if I had false teeth I would have spit them out. I asked "where have you been?, haven't you read the papers the last five years?". In all fairness they have only lived here since 2009.
So I ordered another tea and spent the next ninety minutes filling this couple in on the history of the facility.
If present council gets rid of this property and realizes the commercial opportunity that this community so desperately needs I say good for them, and good for the Pass.
I argued for the last ten years that there is no where else along highway 3 that provides the opportunities for commercial development that the Centre property allows for. I asked the naysayers over and over to tell me where else you could go? nobody had an answer.
If the proposed venture for that property comes true I am sure the entire present council and administration will line up for all the glory.
I would like to think that somebody will stand up and say lets give some credit to the majority of the previous council that had the brains to have a vision for this property that saw it being turned into a tax base for this community, a provider of employment and revitalization for this community. I hope somebody has the courtesy to recognize that the majority of the previous council had the "balls" to take this issue on. Believe me over the last three years of my time on council, my life could have been spared a lot of grief if I had backed off on this issue.
This council was given the opportunity to ride in and claim victory way after the battles had been fought for them.
But isn't politics all about timing?
I hope that council finds a buyer for this property quickly, I hope they do the sale with conditions that force a buyer to have a vested interest up front, with very strict conditions that force the buyer to develop quickly.
I hope they don't spend a considerable portion of our municipal reserves to demolish that building to have the property sit vacant for the next ten years.
The last thing this community needs is another developer that promises the world, and delivers nothing but holes in the ground.