The City of Port Alberni has no plans for the agin clocktower at the Harbour Quay at this time.

The City of Port Alberni has no plans for the agin clocktower at the Harbour Quay at this time.

No plans for aging clock tower: city

Public concerns over the Harbour Quay clocktower were raised at a Jan. 9 City of Port Alberni council meeting.

The city has no plans with regards to the aging clock tower at Harbour Quay at this time.

The issue came up during a public input session at the Jan. 9 city council meeting, when Jan McKay stepped forward to discuss her concerns about the city’s financial priorities. “I was taking pictures of good old Mount Arrowsmith in this beautiful weather that we had, and I noticed the disrepair of the clocktower,” she said.

McKay asked what was going to be done about the tower, and added, “I also think we shouldn’t be spending money on changing names of things, of streets. I think we’re getting really politically correct and it’s getting out of order. And it’s tax dollars.”

Neil Anderson reiterated the concern about the clock tower at the end of the meeting, pointing out, “It’s been on the agenda for as long as I can remember. What is happening? My concern is that we’re going to end up tearing it down. Are we just going to put it off another year?”

Mayor Mike Ruttan admitted that council does not have a specific plan regarding the clock tower at this point, but said, “every person sitting around this council table shares your concern, that it is an asset that we need to retain.”

He said that the city put in an application to the Canada 150 federal grant program for up to $250,000 to assess and repair the clock tower, but they were unsuccessful.

“So we will have to continue to look for funds to do that, because it’s not an inexpensive proposition to repair it,” said Ruttan.

“But it is a community asset, and we feel deeply as a council that we need to do something, as well as other maintenance issues related to Harbour Quay.”

One of the maintenance items, in particular, is repair to the steel sheet piping at Harbour Quay, which the city will be looking into this year.

“It’s not as prominent as the clock tower, but it is no less important,” said Ruttan.