Seniors shared their concerns about the sale of the former Cariboo Lodge site for a proposed 70-care bed facility at a meeting held Thursday in Williams Lake.
“There were concerns that the site was sold for $10,” said George Atamanenko of the Seniors Advisory Council that organized the meeting.
About 60 people crammed into the meeting room at the Williams Lake library and most agreed the beds are really needed, but that they want more public beds, Atamanenko said.
“I told them Deni House could go another storey and there is room at the back for making more beds if necessary.”
Mayor Walt Cobb attended the meeting and said it was apparent many seniors thought city council knew more than it was making public.
“They did not understand that we knew nothing until we got the initial announcement about the 70 beds,” Cobb said. “After it was announced we received an inquiry about the former Cariboo Lodge site.”
At that point, the City contacted IH to see if the covenant that was on the site would pertain to the requested purchaser.
“When we were told that it could work, we advertised the site for what it was paid for [$10] with the understanding that there was a lease with Community Living on the end portion of it and the purchaser would have to be responsible for the lease,” Cobb said.
The City advertised and received up to 10 different inquiries, not necessarily about that site, but about the 70-bed issue and looking for available land in Williams Lake, Cobb said.
There are problems with the building, making it very expensive to fix, Cobb said, noting it was costing the city more than $30,000 a year just to leave it sitting there.
“We sold it to InSite Building Services, but they will tear it all down and start from scratch.”
Atamanenko said people left the meeting with some facts and the city’s position.
Seniors Advocate coming to WL Friday
Atamanenko also wanted the public to know the Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, will be in Williams Lake on Friday to meet with the Cariboo Regional District.
“We have scheduled a meeting with her at the Seniors Activity Centre on Friday at 10 a.m.,” Atamanenko said.