The Habitat ReStore is the right project in the wrong location.
I am a major supporter of Habitat; in fact, a family member is a homeowner thanks to this fine organization. I value their extensive work in helping to create a diverse, well- integrated community.
However, I also value our commons—including a publicly accessible, attractive riverfront. That particular area where Habitat wants to build the Restore is especially significant because it is next to the “Grand Forks” where the Kettle and Granby rivers join.
Preserving and expanding the riverfront walkways, services and parks in that historic area to attract locals and tourists is an important component in an economic development plan.
City council has a responsibility to base land use decisions on what’s best for our community both for the present and future. At this time of a downturn in our local economy, I believe it would be short-sighted to place a building supply business with a temporary lease on prime downtown riverfront.
Some possible alternate locations might include the Province Hotel lot [behind CIBC], the bus station, and the industrial parks.
I urge city council and the citizens of Grand Forks to take a thoughtful, unhurried approach to this matter so that a creative solution for finding a suitable location for the ReStore is achieved. If we take this approach, a win/win outcome is possible.
Christy Luke, Grand Forks