Council bus terminal decision ‘disappointing’

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The Council’s 7-4 decision to move the city’s bus terminal to Huron Street was disappointing.

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There should be more debate on alternate locations as expressed by some of the councilors. Huron Street bus barns are technically in the canal district and certainly out of town.

Personally, I thought of the suggestion made a few weeks back by Coun. Mathew Shoemaker deserves serious consideration.

He suggested that rather than renovating or rebuilding the current site or moving the terminal to Huron Street, that transit would take over the vacant Algoma Central Agawa Canyon Tour Train depot in the northwest corner of the Station Mall yard.

The existing structure already has most, if not all, of the facilities and necessary access requirements. There will be more than enough parking for buses and cars considering that the tour train depot can handle over 800 passengers for one trip.

Having the city’s bus terminal here is likely to appease many of the Queen Street businesses that are opposed to moving to Huron Street, and will certainly bring many shoppers and tourists to Station Mall.

Considering the current state of stay at Station Mall, I would think Algoma Central Properties would be willing to cut a piece of its northwest parking and depot structure and sell it to the city. The city is known to buy properties, some at exorbitant prices.

There was talk about the need for significant renovations to the city’s existing police service building. There was also talk about moving the police headquarters to a downtown site. The current bus terminal site, which is owned by the city, may be the most appropriate location for a new modern Sault Ste. Marie Police Home.

Four of our councilors have seen problems and rising costs in rebuilding a bus terminal in the current area and in moving to Huron Street bus bars.

Too bad seven of the councilors didn’t look outside the original box. Alternatives should be considered.

Fred Haavisto

Sault Ste. Marie

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