The caretaker’s cabin was not even a handyman’s special.
The aging 560-square-foot city-owned structure at 1901 Lakeside Drive, contaminated with asbestos and high-risk lead particles, was demolished by city crews earlier this month. (Following an assessment by a professional industrial hygienist, all hazardous materials were removed before the structure was taken down.)
“It didn’t make sense to put more dollars into the property,” said Chris Gainham, manager of public works for the city, adding that the building also failed a recent energy assessment. In summary, he stated, “Renovating the building was not feasible.”
Avid walker Mari Plamondon, who contacted the Star after noticing the cabin had been demolished, wasn’t satisfied with the city’s explanation.
“This appalls me that they would just destroy something like that. It’s very sad to see,” said Plamondon, adding “with Nelson having so little housing, why would the city choose to tear down a lovely cabin at lakeside park.”
Plamondon, who said two men lived in the building last summer, said she also believed the cabin was likely historic..
Even after being told about the building’s poor condition, Plamondon wasn’t convinced it needed to demolished, saying, “That’s (the city’s) perspective.”
Gainham said the building, which had been rented to city employees for several decades up until about two years ago, could not have been occupied by anyone because it had been locked.
People were certainly “hanging around the cabin” but no one was staying there, said Gainham, added that it “was locked up.” He also said the cabin “had been there for a long time but was not historic. “
He said a nearby smaller shed will also be torn down “once we get some time.”
Gainham said the plan is to reseed the grass around the area, located just west of the children’s playground at Lakeside Park.
“By tearing it down it fits with the spirit of opening up that area of the park,” he said.