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by Isabel Mosseler
December 9, 2020
At least 350 people in the area of Field want to get the derelict École Ste-Marie torn down. A petition was posted at Riverview Market, the store in Field, and within a few days that many signatures were garnered, and more are being added.
Town Councillor Chris Fisher, who represents Ward 5 (Field) on municipal council, is pursuing the matter at the behest of his constituents, and he says the decaying structure is not only an eyesore, but it’s a danger to residents. Recently he took photos of the inside of the building. There has been a recent spate of nostalgic videos posted to the community’s social media page, as well as comments about the deplorable condition and questions as to why the building is still standing.
Fisher says there are a few old and abandoned buildings in Field which may be coming up for tax sale, including the old gas station, an old restaurant and the old bank building next to it, and this school, which was sold to a private party after the Conseil scolaire catholique Franco-Nord closed it several years ago. The current owner abandoned the property and left it to rot, and the taxes are in arrears.
“I’ve been working quietly behind the scenes, it’s one of the things on my list. When you become a councillor you ask what people want, and they want this.” Fisher is hoping to bring the petition to council, noting that the taxes have been in arrears for some time and the due date, as far as he knows, has passed. “There’s a process the municipality has to go through,” he notes, but the municipality may have an opportunity at last to do something about the structure.