Fate of Anmore village hall could be decided tonight

Anmore Village council will be sifting through two reports tonight to decide on the future of the village hall.

The former homestead of Ma Murray has been studied by two consultants. One report is an off-the-cuff assessment that said the building is "bulldozer ready" and a waste of time and money to fix and the other is a more formal assessment that pegged necessary repairs at $663,750 to make the building habitable and bring it up to B.C. Building code requirements.

Meanwhile, relatives of Ma Murray have sent a letter in support of saving the building.

However, village administrator Tim Harris said there is no requirement for council to make a decision tonight. Instead, the politicians could ask for another estimate.

Harris noted as well that he has requested an addendum to the report by Emerald Inspection & Consultant Services Ltd. for insulation and electrical costs, which he said were omitted from the previous report.

"It will be up to council to decide if it was renovated would it adequately provide for the village," Harris said.

The hall has been plagued by rodents for years but staff were moved into a rented portable trailer after concerns that the the smell of feces, urine and of dead rodents had reached levels that pose health and safety concerns.

Restoration contractors found the upper floor was infested with squirrels and mice, and part of the ceiling had collapsed due to the weight of their droppings. There was also mould in the basement.

The reports by WITCO Building Inspections Services Ltd. and Emerald Inspection and Consulting Services Ltd., list numerous concerns about the building roof, exterior, and ventilation.

Ed Witzke, of WITCO, suggested the building would be an ongoing "money pit" while Lloyd Lucas of Emerald noted that the building systems are functional for the type and age of building and remediating it would cost $663,750.

The meeting is scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m. in the portable located behind Anmore elementary school, 30 Elementary Road.

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