Vacant portions of Williams Inn raise concerns

Through the years I and my neighbours have had a negative relationship with Williams Inn and city bylaw officers.


Through the years I and my neighbours have had a negative relationship with Williams Inn and city bylaw officers.

Unresolved concerns include theft, drug dealing, trespass, squatters, verbal abuse, feral cats and safety issues.

Firefighters have awakened me twice to be on alert. On a third occasion I was questioned as a witness in an arson attempt.

When wet the stench from the debris invades my home. The number of squatters and foot traffic past my home to the fire remains has not abated.

Bylaw officers excuse everything by telling me that the owners have “insurance problems” and cannot afford to clear the site. It appears that Williams Inn is exempt from nuisance bylaws and health and safety regulations.

The last fire at Williams Inn, July 5, causes me to demand action.

I was not at home when the RCMP effected an evacuation. With no response to door knocking, officers kicked in my door and searched my house. The two other vacant units weren’t touched. In questioning witnesses, I learned that the officers did not take one second to shout to my neighbours to ascertain I was away.

My unit is the furthest away from the fire, the fire was controlled and the feeling is the officers acted prematurely.

I appreciate concern for my life so this becomes a non-issue, but other questions arise.

I was not notified by the RCMP until, 10 p.m., July 8 when I received a long distance call notifying me that my house in Williams Lake had been “broken into.”

After some misinformation the officer was updated by his partner as to the circumstances of the “break in.”

He refused to secure my house Wednesday night. Apparently, it is not in the RCMP job description to secure a building that was forcibly entered.

My point is that my door was visibly wide open from Sunday until Thursday morning. It is fortunate that no theft or vandalism occurred, as all concerned would have had “insurance problems.”

As approximately 40 per cent of my tax dollar goes to policing I am most upset that the RCMP  “protect” code doesn’t extend to securing a home they made vulnerable.

I relate this to give you an idea of the anxiety, fear, anger, and financial damage that non-enforcement of bylaws regarding Williams Inn has caused the residents of Yorston Gables.

As a taxpayer, never in arrears, unlike Williams Inn, I am entitled to protection by the city, its laws and personnel in order to live in a safe and peaceful environment.

This will not happen until Williams Inn condemned structures and debris are removed. Point proven by the latest fire.

It is past time for council to take action.

Alena Grosso

Williams Lake.

Editor’s Note: Mayor Walt Cobb says cleanup of the site will begin next week. See story Friday.