City wants fire damaged 7-Eleven site cleaned up

Salmon Arm council to request facelift for burned-out building

First the fountain and pretty McGuire Lake, then the burned out 7-Eleven.

City council would like the landscape a little lovelier for those heading into town from the east, as would Downtown Salmon Arm.

Council has agreed that Mayor Alan Harrison should write a letter to the owners of 7-Eleven asking them to clean up the property located at the corner of the Trans-Canada Highway and Fourth Street NE.

On the afternoon of Aug. 24 of last year, a vehicle drove into the front of the convenience store with staff working inside and a fire erupted, leaving the store fully engulfed in flames.

Read more: Police arrest a suspect after front of 7-Eleven goes up in flames

Kenneth Robert Laforge is facing charges in connection with the incident, including arson damaging property, arson in relation to inhabited property and mischief $5,000 or under. A preliminary inquiry is scheduled for provincial court in Salmon Arm beginning Sept. 30.

At council’s March 11 meeting, council responded to a letter from Lindsay Wong, manager of Downtown Salmon Arm.

“Our busiest tourism months are fast approaching and while it is not acceptable to disregard unsightly conditions at anytime, there is acknowledgment that the Trans-Canada Highway summer traffic increases significantly. DSA works hard on beautification for the downtown core and the 7-11 building as is, is counter to those efforts.”

Read more: Man charged in Salmon Arm 7-Eleven fire granted bail

The city planner has written to the owners, “but I think a letter from the mayor is much more impactful,” said Coun. Kevin Flynn.

Coun. Chad Eliason wasn’t sure a letter would make any difference. He pointed out the work of insurance adjusters can be slow.

“It used to be a gas station, so it will take time. I think it’s fine to write a letter, but what you’re asking for is something you can’t control,” he said.

Harrison said he would like to see something covering the burned out part. Flynn added council is not asking for the remediation of a brownfield (a possible contaminant), but for a little clean-up.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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