Coulson warns of uptown exit over graffiti

The Coulson Group of Companies wants something done about the defacing of its Third Avenue building or it will sell the property.

The Coulson Group of Companies wants something done about the defacing of its building on Third Avenue or it will sell the property, owner Wayne Coulson said.

In an April 7 letter to council, Coulson Group of Companies CEO Wayne Coulson expressed concern about tagging/graffiti on the former Zellers building which he purchased last year.

Coulson’s property on Third Avenue and Mar Street have been defaced six times since he bought it, he said.

Coulson said he has invested $200,000 in the property since acquiring it, and has worked to attract new business to the area.

The graffiti/tagging is a personal attack on the Coulson Group of Companies, and Coulson said he wants council to apprise him of its position on the matter and plans for followup.

“This will help us decide if we continue remodelling Building N0. 2 or put the property up for sale,” Coulson said. “I am reluctant to continue to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in the uptown if this situation is acceptable to council.”

Specifically, Coulson pointed to graffiti painted on the main building last month in which the words “Sorry Coulsons…” is clearly legible. As well, he pointed to graffiti on the building across the street, which he also owns, where the words “Ahh…got real lots” have been re-tagged.

Coulson noted that he met with council prior to buying the Third Avenue and Mar Street property to discuss “the nonsense that goes on up there” and that “some of the property owners up there needed to be ‘pushed’ to clean up their properties.” Coulson noted that he was left with the impression that council supported this.

Coulson scolded council for being mum on the issue of graffiti and tagging. “What was even more surprising to me was that no one from council stood up and took the position that it is not OK to tag/vandalize anyone’s property.”

Graffiti and tagging isn’t good for the town’s image, Coun. Jack McLeman said. Leaving the material on the Coulson building is an invitation for it to keep happening so it should be painted over, he added.

Coun. Cindy Solda suggested that murals and not graffiti be allowed to be painted in the area by ADSS students.

Council should take a lead role in the issue by rolling up their sleeves one day of the week and paint over the graffiti themselves, Coun. Wendy Kerr said.

Coulson’s letter was referred to staff who will report back with options at the next council meeting.

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