Port Alberni city council is keeping pressure on the Port Pub.
Council agreed during a meeting on Monday, Oct. 26 not to take any action against the Port Pub as long as improvements continue to be made to the building.
Back in September, the building was slapped with a remediation order and the owner was given 30 days to fix things up before the city takes over.
Although the 30-day deadline has passed, manager of community safety Gaylene Thorogood said that the number of nuisances, bylaw infractions and calls for emergency services have “decreased significantly.” She added that the property owner and a new manager have been working with staff to address the requirements of the remediation order. City staff carried out an inspection on Friday, Oct. 16 and confirmed that “a number” of the actions identified in the order have been remedied.
Thorogood added that city staff have recommended that the owners hire a live-in manager to look after the building.
“I think they have to renovate a few more suites before they can accommodate that,” she said.
Councillor Helen Poon said she was happy to see improvements.
“I think we should give them a bit more time, if they need it, as long as the work schedule remains consistent,” said Helen Poon.
Councillor Cindy Solda wanted to know if the residents had been evicted from the building.
“Not everyone was evicted,” said Thorogood on Oct. 26. “There’s still residents that are still there. The only ones I’m aware of that were evicted were the troublemakers—the ones that were not actually ‘living there’ or had an agreement to stay there.”
In a later interview, Thorogood said approximately 20 people had been evicted.
“Some weren’t authorized to live there, they were just staying with friends and that sort of thing,” she explained.
There are approximately 40 apartments in the building, as well as a pub and a restaurant that have recently re-opened.
Council agreed on Oct. 26 not to take any action as long as “significant and appropriate progress” continues to be made. Council will revisit the Port Pub at its upcoming Nov. 23 meeting to ensure that more improvements have been made.
“The work started the day after we made the order,” said Mayor Sharie Minions. “They were very prompt. But as we know, it all comes down to how the building is managed.”
Councillor Ron Paulson said he would like to see the inspection report at the next meeting. “I think that would be helpful for council in dealing with this and moving forward,” he said.
Solda agreed, and also requested photographs of the improvements.
The Harbourview Apartments were also given a remediation order in September, but the owner was granted a 30-day extension after pleading his case before council on Oct. 13.
The city did not have an update on the Harbourview Apartments as of Monday, Nov. 2, but Thorogood said an inspection is scheduled for later in the week.