Old hospital a burden to taxpayers

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

In more ways than one, the old High Prairie Health Complex is proving to be a big headache to High Prairie town council.

And now it’s costing money, much to their chagrin.

Senior peace officer Alan Bloom reported at council’s May 8 meeting that extra patrols and enforcement is occurring at the site due to youth climbing onto the roof.

“We’ve had five complaints of teenagers on top of the hospital,” said Bloom, adding no one has yet gained entry.

“We’ve apprehended 8-10 teenagers…and issued warnings.”

Those are the complaints he is aware of. Bloom has since asked High Prairie RCMP to inform him of all incidents.

Signs prohibiting entry are having little effect on curious youth.

“It is signed [no entry],” said Bloom.

Warnings will soon come to a quick halt, said Bloom, and tickets for trespassing will be issued.

Councillor Debbie Rose asked if the tickets would be paid. Bloom replied parents and/or guardians would be notified.

“It will cost the taxpayers a lot,” noted Rose, citing the time needed.

Rose does not see the site as being council’s responsibility to police.

Councillor Brian Gilroy noted that perhaps council could use the incidents as “leverage” to get the site reclaimed, not only to save money on enforcement and security but before “someone gets hurt”.

Bloom added the Alberta government may also face liability issues if someone gets hurt.

 

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