Trail’s longest running lodge has expressed its concerns over the city’s proposal to relocate the homeless shelter to 585 Rossland Ave.
The Colombo Lodge, a Trail legacy for 118 years, is directly across the street from the city lot where BC Housing proposes to build a temporary shelter for the community’s unhoused for a minimum of three years and maximum of six.
“The problem is they (the city) are just transferring a lot of the issues they had downtown to the Gulch,” said Colombo presidente Alex Coutts. “It’s unfortunate because these people are living in desperate times, they have addictions and are just doing whatever they can.”
The Colombo held a meeting Monday (Feb. 6) night, and drafted a letter of concern to the city regarding the shelter.
In their letter, the Colombo cites Trail’s Official Community Plan (Plan), which stresses the importance of the entrances to the city, and how they generate the greatest impression on its visitors/tourists, and reflects “how the community feels about itself.”
The Gulch, being one of the three entrances, is part of the Plan’s implementation program for the Gulch revitalization, whose guiding principle is to: work with property owners, businesses and the community to prepare an enhancement strategy aimed at improving the appearance of the Gulch as an important entrance to the city.
“So this goes against the principles of the community plan,” Coutts reasoned.
The Colombo has recently invested hundreds of thousands of dollars on its building and piazza, and opens its doors to celebrate festivals, weddings and events, and also shares its facility generously with the community.
Like many businesses and organizations, the Colombo was devastated by COVID. So just as the lodge is starting to generate bookings and recover its losses, Coutts says the executive is concerned about the future of the lodge and safety of its members and guests with the shelter across the street.
“We are afraid these bookings will be cancelled or moved because we really feel that the piazza will be turned into a campground,” he added. “And will people feel safe when parking or when we have events?”
The City of Trail has sent out a notice inviting those affected by the shelter to attend the council meeting in person or via zoom on Monday, Feb. 13. Email email@example.com prior to noon the day of the meeting to register or send written concerns.