Rat infestation prompts Murray River demolition

Murray River, P.E.I. is trying to quash its rodent problem through demolition, but some residents are hoping its not too late to save a century-old train station.

Murray River buildings slated for demolition

Officials on P.E.I. are trying to evict unwanted tenants, including rats and raccoons, from old buildings near Murray River. (The Associated Press/Frank Franklin II)

Murray River, P.E.I. is trying to quash its rodent problem through demolition, but some residents are hoping its not too late to save a century-old train station.

A post office, apartment building and grocery store on the once bustling Main Street will all be leveled this week.

The first to go will be an old woodworking shop.

While some residents lament the decades of history disappearing, Ralph Dort said he isn't shedding a tear.

"There [are] a lot of rats around. I had one in my basement last fall, and I had a heck of a time getting rid of him. And there's a lot of rat droppings in my garage," he said.

Dort and his neighbours blame the derelict buildings for the village's rat problem.

Dort said the vermin are hurting property values in the area.

"I'm hoping that they'll all disappear and they're doing it right now. So hopefully it'll be landscaped and turned into something nice," he said.

The province's plan is to eventually widen and straighten the main road.

But not everyone is on board with the change.

In June, village council chair Garnet Buell launched a campaign to preserve the village’s 109-year-old train station.

"There's not too many of these stations left. They're pretty well gone," he said.

The province pardoned the station from demolition.

It's now up to the village to decide if it's willing to spend the money to preserve it.

Council will debate the issue in the coming weeks.