June 24th, 2024

City pushing forward with sale of Bowman


By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on February 17, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge City Council on Tuesday tasked administration with the job of preparing and developing a request for proposal process (RFP) that contemplates the sale of the Bowman Building to private entities.
Administration has been asked to report back to council by May 24 on that effort. The motion was passed by a 6-2 vote Tuesday. Councillor Jeff Carlson was absent from the meeting.
During debate, mayor Blaine Hyggen reiterated the motion was separate from a matter involving potential uses for the Bowman, one of those being a home for the Blackfoot Resources Hub, for which council recently unanimously supported the annual allocation of nearly $500,000 in federal and provincial grant monies. The Blood Tribe and Kainai Nation were successful bidders to provide hub services but a location to provide the services has not yet been determined.
“It’s important we separate these two,” Hyggen told councillor John Middleton-Hope during debate about the motion.
“The resource hub is separate. That funding has been received and as far as location, they’re two separate items,” said Hyggen.
Middleton-Hope said he isn’t supportive of the Bowman for the hub at the present time and was asking, by the motion, to send it back to administration to review potential options for the building.
“I too will support this,” said Hyggen, referring to the motion.
Deputy mayor Belinda Crowson said she was voting against the motion.
“One of the worst things you can do to a guest is say ‘come stay and visit but I can never find you a room,” Crowson said.
“I think it would be an awesome place for the Indigenous resource hub and I will not support it as something that we’re looking to sell.”
After a vote by council following the motion, council gave Treena Tallow of Reconciiation Lethbridge five minutes to speak about the Bowman as a potential home for the hub.
“We have engaged our communities and it’s taken a lot of work to get to this point,” she told council.
“We have seen the Bowman sitting there for many years and unfortunately I see the optics as being very questionable as far as why this building is going up for sale now, now that the Indigenous community has garnered interest in it. So it does not look good to the Indigenous community,” she said.
Earlier in the meeting, council received a report from Urban Revitalization Manager Andrew Malcolm with details on a proposal to utilize the Bowman Building as the site for the Blackfoot Resource Hub as an interim use while further evaluating the potential to divest the building.
The report states the Bowman has been mostly vacant since 2013. Last year, discussions were conducted between Social Community Development and Opportunity Lethbridge about a proposal to repurpose it as the hub.
On Feb. 1, council asked administration about providing more details on the due diligence that had been completed on the Bowman.
The report states that evaluation determined the Bowman to be an appropriate site for the hub “with a limited term.”
It also stated that critical planning is occurring at Civic Common and the surrounding area that, from a strategic land-banking perspective, should be considered with the timing of divestitures, and that council priorities and direction which will guide the process. The aim is to utilize for divestiture those results for the highest returns in terms of both initial financial returns and long-term contributions to community outcomes.
It also stated the Park n Ride facility as a short-term location isn’t feasible due to the time and cost to get tenant improvements completed.

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pursuit diver

Buy a house next door to Councilor Crowson and put the Indigenous resource center there! You built a $22 million park and ride terminal downtown that has become the gathering place for addicts and prostitutes, so many do not want to park their vehicles in the complex, you allowed the library to be over-run by the same people so citizens fear sending their children to the ‘public’ library, now you want to give up the Bowman?
You have poured tens of millions into downtown to attract people to come and shop and open business, yet you continue to attract all the negative acts to happen in our core! How many break and enters haver their been recently? How many thefts in that area? How many vehicle vandalisms and break and enters?
We watch you pour tens of millions into downtown, not to mention the $40 million recently poured into the Arts at the Yates and CASA, but you continue to give up our city and downtown to the very people that have cost this city close to one hundred millon dollars of taxpayer funds in the last few years with the high cost of extra policing/EMS/fire, all of the support services such as DOT/Alpha House/isolation hotels and emergency winter shelter hotels/graffite clean-up/ social services and damages to all the public buildings, etc., etc., etc.,
I guess it is time we blockaded City Hall and demanded they woke up and quit pouring our hard earned tax dollars into area they have decided to make the urban reserve as they make us all say we are on Blackfoot land!
These services and the shelter should all be built on the land by Kipp, 10 minutes from downtown!
I guess Council needs a wake up call and we need to bring back the protests to take back our City! A City that was paid for and built by the blood, sweat and tears of OUR ancestors after agreements were made and agreed upon by all parties 150 years ago!
It appears it is the First Nations people that are the ones that are constantly walking away from agreements and changing them as they see fit!
If Council will not start representing the citizens of this city, not the citizens of surrounding communities, then it is time that the protests began and demands for some Councilors to resign! Don’t you know, we have seen just how well the protests work!
I had thought we had finally got a Council that was going to represent the citizens of this citizen! I stand correct now and it is time to make my displeasure know and break out the protest placards!
Councillors have the following duties:
a) to consider the welfare and interests of the municipality as a whole ..
You are focused on one group and giving up our city for the small number of people at a high cost to taxpayers! We do not want an urban resverve in our city!
Many of these problems need to be dealt with by the First Nations on their land, because all the money we spend and all the efforts we put in are never right in their eyes, so those projects should be on their land under their governance and we should focus on our city, our citizens as a whole, not a small group that is the tail wagging the dog and has been for several years!
Reconciliation cannot be forces on us and will never work by selling out our city in this manner!
Your role is to consider the impact to the community as a whole!
https://www.alberta.ca/roles-and-responsibilities-of-municipal-officials.aspx
Under the MGA, councillors have the duty to:

  • consider the welfare and interests of the municipality as a whole and, to bring to council’s attention anything that would promote the welfare or interests of the municipality

Interests of the municipality
A councillor is elected to look after the interests of the entire municipality.
A councillor who is in a municipality that has wards must be careful not to place the interest of the ward or electoral district above the interest of the whole municipality.
Council’s effectiveness depends on councillors providing input on their areas while thinking and voting for the whole municipality.
Councillors also have to make certain that they do not put themselves in a conflict of interest situation.

Last edited 2 years ago by pursuit diver
pursuit diver

I should add, that in the last 6 years we have seen $40 million spent on the downtown CASA and Yates Centers, $22 million on the park and ride terminal that is a slum now, $7 million to revitalize Galt Gardens and recently $11 million on the 3rd avenue revitalization project by Galt Gardens, $5.78 million on the renovations of the SAAG arts center in Galt Gardens and not sure if the Town Square across from Galt Gardens was combined with the Galt Gardens development, but I do not think so, so another $2 million can added for that. So let’s add all that up: $87,780,000.00
Almost $88 million dollars blown downtown to attract people but we continue to push all the addiction and homeless issues to the downtown core. They will be attracted to this hub!
How is that a smart and reasonable thing to do? Or have we given the downtown and the city for that matter up for the cause of Reconciliation?

IMO

NIMBY is considered to be a syndrome.

A syndrome may be categorized as 1) a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality or condition, and 2) a set of concurrent things (such as emotions or actions) that usually form an identifiable pattern.

“In the land use perspective, the NIMBY syndrome is portrayed as an emotional, parochial and self-serving community reaction…”

https://www.jstor.org/stable/41421101

buckwheat

Then Councillor Crowson should have no difficulty with pursuit’s suggestion. Then she won’t be a NIMBY.

biff

indeed – in fact, if crowson balks, which i am sure she would, imo would happily welcome a shelter next door.
there is a concern that the city will fire sale the bowman, as it has done with numerous other holdings over the years. always a buddy getting a discount.