Alberton Town Council is wise to take another look at what to do with the old Maplewood Manor property.
That will happen during a special meeting on Tuesday.
The property was hashed over during the monthly council meeting this week, but largely in relation to whether Mayor Michael Murphy should have consulted with his council before sending letters to provincial politicians asking that the building be demolished and turned into green space.
The reality is the mayor should have had the letters approved by council before sending them out. If he had, a healthy discussion on the pros and cons of keeping the building could have ensued instead of council members getting caught up in a debate on process.
Should the building be maintained or torn down? Hopefully that issue can get resolved Tuesday.
Here’s the scenario: Less than two years ago the building was home to 48 manor residents and the workplace for dozens of staff members.
Is there still life left in the building? Maybe, but more life gets drained from it every day it’s idle.
And, even if there is a future for the building, unless there are some assurances it will be well maintained, there remains the concern of what happens to it once that life expires. If the provincial government unloads the property it would not want to be responsible for demolition after the fact.
Because of asbestos on the property, it is not just a matter of turning a bulldozer loose and carting the debris away.
Cheap food not good for the producer
According to the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, fishermen are being paid the same price per pound for their lobsters as they were 25 years ago.
That might be okay if everything else were the same, but obviously that’s not the case. Fuel prices have more than doubled, bait costs have skyrocketed and wages are eating away more than a thousand dollars per boat per week.
Boat payments and material costs are also much higher than they were a quarter-century ago.
While 25-year-old prices are both unfair and unreasonable for lobster prices, food prices have little to do with what’s fair for producers and harvesters. All the more reason for lobster fishermen on both sides of the border to get together and hammer out what they are willing to accept for their product. Fishermen today are getting $2.50 and $2.75 per pound because they have demonstrated they will sell for that amount.