Outside opinion on downtown business duel

Letter writer raises points in dispute between business neighbours

My frustration builds more and more each week as I read the articles in the Castlegar News about the ongoing battle the City of Castlegar and local business owners have with Basil McLaren, who owns a number of buildings in the downtown area. I’m wondering if the locals of this town remember the arduous battle the city had with the McLaren’s with respect to the City Center Motel which was eventually and thankfully torn down due to the building’s hideous and neglected condition as well as the city’s persistence. Here we are again with the same people. The same people who own and operate a very well kept and aesthetically pleasing business in Nelson which they appear to take pride in.

Where is the pride with the buildings you own in Castlegar? Instead it appears as though Basil Mclaren consistently feels the need to blame the city and the Element Night Club for their lack of consideration for his predicaments. Is it only broken windows that need to be addressed here? Because when I drive or walk by some of the buildings Mr. McLaren owns, I see more than broken windows. I see peeled paint, broken stucco, a great deal of debris piled up against the windows on the inside, and the list goes on. I find it hard to believe he is suggesting the patrons from the Element are solely responsible for the deplorable condition some of his buildings are in. The buildings look terribly neglected and I see a lack of respect for not only other local business owners in the area, but for the City of Castlegar and the people who live here, who I might add are patrons of your stores who spend their hard earned money there.


-Jen Mair,