CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - After years of calling it a “death trap’’, Charlottetown Coun. Mitchell Tweel finally got council to agree to purchase the home at the corner of Queen and Pond streets.
Council voted 5-3 at its monthly meeting Monday night to offer $140,000 for the yellow house and to pay out $3,000 for the mortgage discharge fees. These expenses will be added to the 2018 capital budget.
Opposing the purchase were Couns. Terry Bernard, Terry MacLeod and Greg Rivard while Couns. Melissa Hilton and Eddie Rice were absent.
The home has been a sore spot with Tweel and area residents and pedestrians because people say the house blocks sightlines at the intersection.
“I thought the time was for action and action speaks louder than words,’’ Tweel told the media following the council meeting.
At this point, council has given permission for administration to prepare a purchase and sale agreement with the property owner. That is being worked on now. When asked if the city plans on tearing the home down, an official said once the city is in possession of the property, council will determine what happens to the property.
There is still someone living at the property, but they couldn’t be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Tweel said the makeup of the entire surrounding community, including the two schools – Colonel Gray High School and Queen Charlotte Intermediate School – Holy Redeemer Church and businesses on the east side of Pond Street, such as Swiss Chalet, the liquor store and the new apartments under construction, only adds to the need to make changes at the intersection.
A report done in 2010 that was presented to council by traffic engineers backs Tweel up.
“Council asked for a report, and eight recommendations were submitted. And the number one recommendation was the removal of the house.’’
There has also been talk of installing a sidewalk and taking down some telephone poles, but the councillor says the visibility and sightline issues have to be taken care of first.
As for whether the city should be getting into the house-buying business in these cases, Tweel believes each case should be judged on its own merits.
“This decision was based on recommendations by a traffic engineer. If you ask for a report by a traffic engineer and you ignore those recommendations I would suggest to you that you’re going to ignore those recommendations at your own peril.’’