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HBR pledges to address freight shed concerns

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The fate of the freight shed at the corner of Hazelwood Street will be settled definitively one year from now.
Hudson Bay Railway, which owns the property, spoke with Town council in early June and offered to see the building either refurbished or demolished, while also pledging to do more to maintain it from garbage and graffiti. During the council meeting of June 22nd, HBR went further with that pledge, sending the Town a formal letter outlining a recent timeline of efforts to clear the area as well as a timeline for the long-term plan with the building.
In the letter signed by Kent Affleck, President for Arctic Gateway Group, the parent company for HBR, the plan calls for an assessment for asbestos remediation by the end of this month. The fact the building contains asbestos and the costs associated with removing it have been a major factor in the building remaining largely untouched for years, dating back prior to HBR’s ownership of it.
The July 31 deadline to explore the asbestos remediation was contingent on the impacts of COVID-19 and associated restrictions.
After that, the company is calling for a deadline of June 30, 2021, to provide the Town with a firm plan to either sell the building or to repurpose and/or refurbish it. The following month, July 31, 2021, is when HBR will provide the Town with the demolition plan if no plans for the building are made, with demolition slated to occur by December 31, 2021.
HBR also stated they are “actively working to find an alternative use(s) for the Reimer building, which would likely be beneficial to both HBR and the Town,” and advised they would provide the Town notice if anything impacts the deadlines set in advance.
The building has been called the Reimer building unofficially for years, as the trucking company by that name operated out of that building for a few years prior to rail companies OmniTrax and then HBR taking ownership of it.
Town of The Pas Mayor Herb Jaques acknowledged their efforts but added he was still receiving complaints regarding the building from the general public.
The rest of council was in support of the letter and plan from HBR as well.
“I don’t think you can ask much more, as long as they keep doing their job cleaning it and covering graffiti as it comes along,” stated Councillor Bill Ward.
It is expected fines relating to unkempt property by-laws the Town had levied against HBR for the building will be cancelled or postponed at the next meeting of council.

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Trent Allen
EDITOR
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