St. Thomas Times Journal
Editorial Letter
February 2003


I don't understand why Brian Squires did not undertake to save the building at Alma College if, as he has stated, that was his plan when he purchased the property.

Just because he spoke to Mayor Peter Ostojic, who felt that the Alma site was a favourable one for the senior complex, does not make a binding agreement between Squires and the City of St. Thomas.

I'm sure Mr. Squires has had enough experience in real estate to know that unless it is in writing its just conversation.

When the site was purchased it was a heritage site with conditions, on of which would not allow the site to be razed.

The buildings, after neglect, may not be salvageable. But I don't think Mr. Squires can blame Mayor Ostojic for the city not entering into a deal with this property as a site for the new seniors home or any other venture.

If Mr. Squires has a good plan to develop the property and it does not include a partnership with the city, then the council members should give Mr. Squires all the assistance available.

If there are those who feel that the Alma site should be preserved, they should deal directly with Mr. Squires and not include these costs to be shared by the city.

I don't believe Mr. Squires had any agreement with the city when he purchased the land and his reference to Mayor Ostojic's statement on the potential use of the land was given far too much emphasis as a firm commitment to use the Alma site.

I personally think the site would be ideal for the seniors home, but I hope Mr. Squires will not take this as a commitment or include me in a venture as a partner.

Jim Kaplanis
St. Thomas, Ontario