Local florist business owners Paddy and Sue Brown are feeling anxious about the future of their business since the building which houses it has been sold to the City of Kimberley.
The City purchased the Flowers Galore building, located on Wallinger Avenue at the bridge, in order to proceed with the Mark Creek flume rehab said Mayor Ron McRae.
“The City now owns the building after negotiating the purchase with the previous owners,” McRae said.
The Browns have written to City Council explaining how they feel their business will be affected by the sale.
In a letter to Council they say, “when we were negotiating to purchase the assets of Flowers Galore we really had three options. One was to purchase the assets and property. We ruled out purchasing the property because the building wasn’t that good and they wanted far too much for it. The second option was to purchase just the assets.
“The third was to open a flower shop in a location of our choosing.”
Brown writes that prior to making a decision he had coffee with Mayor Ron McRae to find out if the flume was a factor and if the City would be buying the building.
“He (the Mayor) said the flume expansion was on the opposite side from the flower shop and that a piece of Flowers Galore property on that side had been or was going to be purchased. He did say that he would like to bulldoze the building and put in a green space but there were no plans to do so.
“Largely based on the fact that the City didn’t seem to have any plans to impact the existing store location, we decided to purchase the assets and sign a five year lease.”
Now that the City has purchased the building the Browns feel that they are left with the worst scenario, having purchased the business and now being forced to relocate. Had they known this was going to happen, they say, they could have simply opened a new flower shop. Now they will have to move the entire contents of Flowers Galore to a new location.
“I sympathize, empathize with them and the situation and the impact they feel,” said Coun. Darryl Oakley as the letter was received by Council this week. “A lot of it is circumstances changing as we try to deal with infrastructure.”
McRae said there were a few “inaccuracies” in the letter, but he shared the same sentiment.
“The city is working with the operators of Flowers Galore to see what we can do to help out with finding another location,” McRae said later.
However, the City still has had no word on potential funding from the Province and will not make a decision on going forward with the flume until they receive what McRae calls a “more definitive statement from the government”.
“We are hopeful we will get that soon. The application is in the process and we haven’t heard anything to lead us to believe there are any problems with it.”