Editorial: Time to let go of ADSS land

It is beyond time for School District 70 to divest itself of the former Alberni District Secondary School lands on Burde Street.

It is beyond time for School District 70 to divest itself of the former Alberni District Secondary School lands on Burde Street.

The land has been vacant for three years, and fire destroyed the last of the buildings a year ago.

We are puzzled why a realtor has only been consulted and not yet hired to sell the property.

The lot is 22 acres in the middle of prime residential land, close to pharmacies and grocery stores yet far enough away to ensure a peaceful existence for a residential enterprise.

While we support former teacher Lyman Jardin’s suggestion that the site is ideal for a long-term care facility for seniors, we feel holding out for a provincially-funded facility is shortsighted.

Especially in light of comments from an Island Health representative who said the province has no intention of funding long-term residential care for seniors in our community at this time.

There are private developers whose sole purpose is creating housing for seniors; the city should be enticing these developers to look at property such as the 22-acre Burde Street plot.

We acknowledge that such facilities can be expensive; but there are people in our community who can afford it. Better yet, people who might be willing to move to our community for such a facility.

The Vital Signs report released this week shows that the number of seniors in the Alberni Valley living in poverty is about half the provincial and national averages of 8.2 per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively.

There are only 192 publicly-subsidized long-term care beds in the Alberni Valley and 34 assisted living suites.

The need for these beds will soon double; we can ill afford to wait around debating the issue until that happens.

— Alberni Valley News