To the Editor,
This is to set the record straight about the Ocean Canal Clubhouse.
It was to be a members only facility for use by local special interest groups, non-profit and charitable organizations for meetings or charitable fundraising events. The purpose was to supply a gathering place to bring people together to work toward making Port Alberni a better community, especially for those who are in need of help.
Officials at city hall instructed us to hire an architect to have the building re-zoned to public assembly to do this. We subsequently hired an architect who wanted to hire approximately six or seven engineering consultants, even though no changes to the structure of the building were required.
This was going to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars before a hammer was even lifted but, as the city said to our door contractor, “Not much is going to happen there until they get an architect”.
To assist with renovations we asked the city for copies of the original prints, but they would not release them to us, unless we had permission from the original architects from 1964, even though we own the building.
The city wasn’t making this an easy process, and to make matters worse, our building continued to be vandalized. We eventually had to invest in roller-shutters to prevent the windows from being broken because the insurance deductible was more than the cost of new glass installation.
Finally, after one obstacle after another, we decided to keep the building zoned as it was for the bank and it remains to be office space to this day. It will not be rezoned to public assembly.
The business is registered under “Ocean Canal Clubhouse”, so the sign will remain the same on the building.
Ocean Canal Clubhouse Inc.
(Editor’s note: Stacey Gaiga has declared her intent to run for the office of mayor.)