Businesses frustrated over water main break and Lethbridge Hotel fire issues

Local business owners are not happy following the recent Lethbridge Hotel fire and subsequent water main break that put them out of their building.

The group, represented by Hole Lotta Love Piercing Studio, are demanding answers from the city as to the cause of the water main break. They also say they are frustrated saying they have been kicked to the curb.

Businesses that are in the concerned group include Kitsune Crystals, Beirut Restaurant, Arise Coffee Shop, Lotus Salon, Urban Prairie Antiques, and Atomic Cannabis.

Chantale Noel, the owner of the piercing studio also told us the group is worried about asbestos from the Lethbridge Hotel.

“Our building saw like six feet of water in the basement. We kind of want to know where that water came from, if it runs, the risk of asbestos in it, if they’re testing for it, what they’re going to do. We all operate family businesses. Our own families come into our small businesses. There’s definitely a concern on that. There’s concern on how they’ve left the hotel and any kind of residual asbestos just hanging out in the pile of rubble. And we can’t seem to get answers on that either.”

Staff from the city said business owners will have to reach out to their insurance providers to figure out if they can get any compensation for the closure. The Director of Emergency Management for the city, Luke Palmer, told us asbestos is currently being removed from the Lethbridge Hotel and the city is making sure that businesses are safe from the potentially cancer inducing material.

“What I can share is that we’re working closely with both Alberta Environment, Occupational Health and Safety to make sure that what they require us to do to dispose of and treat those contaminated materials that we’re doing so properly. So a lot of this is under the direction of the province and the oversight of them as well. Things are moving well. At this point our focus is on the investigation and at some point we will likely transfer the continued disposal to another provider either through the building owner OHS direction.”

Palmer said the city is still determining the cause of the water main break and for now businesses are being given up to three weeks as a timeframe before they can head back to set up shop once again.

Micah Quinn

After graduating from Mount Royal University in Calgary with a Broadcasting Diploma, Micah made the trek down to Lethbridge to work for Bridge City News. He has previously worked at City TV Calgary on the Breakfast Television morning show. He looks forward to connecting with this community, and reaching a new audience. Micah has a passion for interviewing and finding out why people think the way they do. You’ll often find him pursuing local feature stories and hard news.

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