Comment 59184

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 03, 2011 at 09:08:09

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/480974--developer-says-heritage-sculptures-are-safe

In a letter to downtown Councillor Jason Farr presented to the city’s planning committee this week, Vranich says he has “retained a heritage architect and an appraiser to assist in the removal and preservation of the art works.”

Vranich also said he’ll foot the bill for removing and storing the art.

However, Councillor Brian McHattie, a member of the municipal heritage committee, says he wants more protection for the carvings.

“I think that the letter or ‘trust-me’ approach from Mr. Vranich – nothing personal — is not good enough,” he said. “It’s great to see more downtown development and I’m really keen on that, but we also need to pay attention to the heritage features downtown.”

McHattie is now pressuring the federal government to enforce a covenant Vranich signed when he bought the building from the feds in 2004. In the document, which was uncovered by Terry Whitehead and presented at the planning committee meeting on Tuesday, Vranich promised to “conserve, protect and maintain” the heritage features of the building.

The city can’t enforce the covenant, but it can pressure the highest level of government to do so, McHattie says. He has already been in contact with the federal public works department.

“The federal government appears ready to step in and defend their covenant. That will be a stronger response than anything council is doing,” he said.

Tyler McDiarmid, chief financial officer of Vranich’s company, Vrancor, said they are aware of the covenant. He affirmed that Vranich is committed to preserving the reliefs.

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