A resident’s comments.
D and I support the report to demolish the Ingram Farmhouse. It has been sitting idle too long and it is an eye-sore. It is prohibitive to repair. I am sure that a building that has been empty that long and not heated is full of Stachybotrys mould. It probably has lead plumbing, lack of insulation, and poor electrical wiring, and doesn’t comply with the fire code, among other deficits. Mould spores are hard to eliminate. The cost to fix it is just too much for the tax payer. Isn’t there a 2.4 million shortfall at the city? If the farmhouse were sold, that would take some of the property out of the public use and that’s not fair to the neighbours who bought their houses on the understanding that this would be part of the public space. If the decision comes down to selling it, what will be the process? I think the best solution is to take some pictures, create a little model of it, and demolish it.
Some people just have trouble dealing with clutter and like to hoard. Old, dilapidated buildings that have become derelict are just that – building clutter. BTW, I didn’t copy this from Andy’s quote in the paper. I was already preparing my response when I saw that he and I were thinking along the same lines. I have no problem saving buildings if they are worth saving. If individuals have the money to put into their own buildings to keep them in good repair then all well and good but don’t expect the tax-payer to carry the load. We already spend too much money on ‘nice to have’ items at the expense of other things, like road surfacing, that need to be done.
The city is allowing people to tear down homes in much better condition than the farmhouse to allow higher density housing or upgrades. Nobody thinks twice about it but threaten to take down a dilapidated farmhouse and everyone gets hysterical. We have lived in an old farmhouse out in Eramosa that was built circa 1901 with a stone cottage attached. That part was built circa 1868 and was the original stone building but neither part had any insulation. The pipes froze when it got below a certain temperature in the winter. Even though it was on a hill, there was an underground spring and the basement flooded every spring. It was mouldy and most of our family had allergies from the building. We dealt with mice, flies, carpet beetles and all sorts of wild life that invaded. These houses are lovely to look at but not practical to live in.
I hope this decision about what to do with the Simmonds/Ingram farmhouse doesn’t drag on like the Imico property. It’s already been too long coming to a conclusion.SM