One of the Last Fort St. John grain elevator faces demolition

Local grain farmers are worried about the possible demolition of the Fort St. John Cargill cement elevator.

At the Peace River Regional District Meeting on Thursday, Directors debated on intervening in the demolition.

Director Arthur Hadland says the cement elevator dates back to the early 1980’s. Hadland says the elevator in Fort St. John ceased operations a few years ago, ever since the mill in Rycroft, Alberta, opened.

Cargill says the local elevator isn’t efficient anymore, but local farmers say it’s better than nothing. Cargill wants to sell the land on which the elevator sits, for 700 thousand dollars. While the building would only cost one dollar, Hadland says companies in the area cannot afford the land price, so Cargill is proposing a demolition.

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Local farmer Blane Meek wrote a letter to the board, asking it to take immediate action to have the demolition stopped, and that the Crown land be provided to the farmers at a minimal charge. In the letter, he wrote, "Otherwise, this will be another nail in the coffin of Peace River Agriculture."

Hadland suggested that the PRRD intervene in the demolition. He said a letter should be sent out to Cargill, asking the company stop the process. He said this is the only grain elevator north of the Peace River.

Mayor Bruce Lantz, however, thought otherwise.

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In the end, two motions were passed. The board decided to send a letter out to Cargill, asking them to delay the demolition, until the board can begin negotiations with the company.

Another letter will be sent out, to the Minister responsible for CN, once he or she is chosen, to see if there are other options for the land.

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