EDITORIAL: City of Port Alberni needs to step up over McLean Mill

What was once a main part of the city’s Alberni Heritage Network is in jeopardy

It’s time for the City of Port Alberni to take back control of McLean Mill National Historic Site.

Two major incidents have happened at the mill this year without the city’s knowledge. The first, when what turned out to be a small heritage building was torn down, could have seen the mill stripped of its national historic site designation.

The second, which happened late last week, saw water quality in the Kitsuksis Creek threatened when a sluice gate replacement project in the mill’s log pond went awry. The Alberni Valley Enhancement Society, which has a hatchery at the mill site, took on the project without city consultation.

Both incidents occurred while the city has had an ‘arm’s length’ relationship to the McLean Mill Society, which the city put in charge of the mill in 2016.

We have to wonder if either incident would have happened if the city had more of a role in the operation at the mill.

More than a year ago, we advocated in this newspaper to give the McLean Mill Society a chance—its members were new people taking over a site that needed a different direction, but they had to take an accounting of their assets first. We felt they needed time to find their footing, and they deserved to do it without the widespread criticism they were receiving.

Two years after the society was formed, they’re still trying to find their way. In the meantime, the steam mill hasn’t operated for two summers, and the steam train has only made a handful of runs—two of the main draws to the national historic site.

What was once a main part of the city’s Alberni Heritage Network is in jeopardy.

There must be a more open line of communication between the city, the mill society and other organizations such as the AVEA that operate at the mill.

— Alberni Valley News

Just Posted

Soapbox derby a success in uptown Port Alberni

Organizers say an adult racing category is coming for 2020

Alberni teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

Two Port Alberni teens are missing after their vehicle was found on… Continue reading

Watch the museum come to life with Our Town in Port Alberni

July 23 event takes place at Gyro Recreation Park

Alberni drag racers travel to Port McNeill for event on airport runway

More than 20 drag racers from the Alberni Valley travelled to Port… Continue reading

Learn the art of songwriting with musician John Pippus

Writing workshop, performance at Words on Fire highlight a trip to Alberni

Food fight: Liberals, Tories trade shots as pre-campaign battles intensify

Health Canada released an overhauled document that did away with traditional food groups and portion sizes

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

B.C. Ferries crew member’s medical emergency causes cancellations on Nanaimo route

One sailing from West Vancouver and one sailing from Nanaimo cancelled Monday

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Most Read