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New councilors say drug house is old issue

With the new Lac La Biche County Council getting settled in to their new position, the purchase of an alleged drug house by the previous council still remains an important issue for many in the community.

With the new Lac La Biche County Council getting settled in to their new position, the purchase of an alleged drug house by the previous council still remains an important issue for many in the community. But many of the councillors say it is a decision that they no longer have control over, since it was the previous council who passed the motion to purchase the house.

“We are a new council and it’s a done deal for the supposed drug house. We have to uphold their decision now,” said Aurel Langevin, who sits as a councillor for Ward 2, replacing David Lozinski who actually voted against the purchase of the house, a long-standing eye-sore on 103 Street in LLB.

Mayor Peter Kirylchuk said that at this time nothing has been said about the issue being revisited. “I believe that the previous council has made the decision to purchase it, and I believe that action has transpired.”

But the decision on what to do with the house will be up to the new council to decide, since the house has already been purchased and the tenants have already vacated, which was one of the conditions of the purchase, said Shadia Amblie, Manager of Communications with the County.

The new councillors will have to decide what to do with the fiveplex after an inspection is done.The house is scheduled to be inspected by a building code inspector sometime next week, said Amblie and the new council will be given the results of the inspection.

“It will be up to council to decide on the next steps,” said Amblie.

Many of the councillors say that it was a huge issue when they were going door to door, and many residents voiced their opinion on it at the candidate forum earlier last month at Portage College.

“The new council takes the issue very seriously and we are starting to look at other ways to address the issue of drug houses,” said Gail Broadbent, who is one of two councillors who represent the urban Lac La Biche area.

Some councillors expressed their interest in talking with the RCMP and the County Peace Officers by looking at other ways to reduce crime in the community.

“Policing issues will be looked at and we really want to meet with police and work together as a team,” said M.J. Siebold, who is the councillor for Ward 5.

Ward 1 councillor Alvin Kumpula said it’s more of a case of ‘when’ than ‘if ’ the issue of the drug house will re-emerge.

“It’s something that will have to be dealt with at some point. It is probably an issue that will sit on the backburner for awhile though, as there are other issues at hand we need to take to task.”