Construction crews get to work tearing down the garage on a house on Cronquist Drive in Red Deer on Friday.

House demolished by city frustrates neighbours

A Red Deer couple said they are concerned more was not done to salvage material from a city demolition project beside their home.

A Red Deer couple said they are concerned more was not done to salvage material from a city demolition project beside their home.

The city began knocking down a house along Cronquist Drive near Heritage Ranch on Thursday after purchasing the property earlier this summer.

Dennis and Pamela Leis, who live next door, said the house is full of salvageable material.

“The windows were upgraded not that long ago. There’s patio doors in the back. Flooring, cabinets. That siding — you can’t even buy that any more. I hate seeing this stuff get thrown in the garbage. It’s filling up the landfill. The city should know better,” Dennis said.

“Why not reuse the lumber, trusses?”

Pamela said she also knows there is a complete sauna downstairs that could be taken apart and reused.

However, a City of Red Deer official said steps were taken to have as much salvaged as possible and that Habitat for Humanity was contacted at the end of June.

“We did discuss it with them, as we thought it was the right thing to do. It would have been a few weeks that they had to go in … I understand they weren’t able to go but we certainly made the offer,” said Paul Goranson, Red Deer’s director of development services.

“We did allow the homeowner to go in and salvage as well.”

The house should be completely demolished by Wednesday.

Paula Madu, executive director with Habitat for Humanity, said they just couldn’t find the resources to put together a crew for salvaging at the time.

Goranson said it’s up to the demolition team to do any salvaging now.

“We said to the contractor we tendered for demolition, anything that’s there that you can salvage and reuse, build that into your price for the demolition. So we don’t know exactly what that will amount to, that’s their area of expertise.” Goranson said.

According to Wade Martens, land services specialist with the city, the contractor has been salvaging as an excavator tore out the garage and back deck on Friday.

“Cabinets, doors, a gas fireplace and a stove top have so far been salvaged by the contractor,” Martens said.

The property was purchased by the city after a slope stability survey in 2012 revealed the foundations of two properties along Cronquist Drive were at risk of becoming unstable.

“Safety was an issue because of the adjacent slope of the river,” Goranson said.

The city obtained a grant from the province to help the residents and begin work to stabilize the properties.

The future plan is to remarket both properties as vacant, developable lands, said Goranson.

“The timing on that is dependent on how long it takes to restore them to a marketable state.”

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