Nfld. & Labrador

Grace nurses' residence could be sold, as province trims assets

Less than a month after complaints that the former hospital property is an eyesore, the Department of Transportation and Works says it is assessing a possible sale.

Planes and automobiles also on list of items no longer needed to provide services

The former nurses' residence is all that's left of the Grace Hospital complex on LeMarchant Road, and there's pressure from neighbours to tear it down. (Paula Gale/CBC)

Less than a month after complaints that a former nurses' residence in St. John's is an eyesore, the provincial government says it is assessing a possible sale of the property.

The old Grace Hospital building on LeMarchant Road has been deteriorating for more than a decade, and neighbours told CBC News that they are tired of grafitti, broken glass and people using the building as a hangout.

As recently as April 24, the Department of Transportation and Works said it had put up security fencing, sealed entry points and cleaned up garbage on the property.

Graffiti and boarded-up windows are an obvious sign of deterioriation. But the government is also assessing hazardous material that you can't see. (Paula Gale/CBC)

But in a news release Monday, the department said it has no use for the site and will soon begin "hazmat and property assessments."

That information will determine "next steps, including the sale of the property and removal of the building," the news release said.

A spokesperson for the department said work is beginning this week to hire a consultant to determine whether potentially hazardous materials, such as asbestos, lead and mercury, are present in the building and if so, how to remove them.

Wanna buy a water bomber?

It's all part of a plan to sell off government assets that are no longer needed.

Also for sale — two old water bombers and parts, a former ferry and 110 vehicles.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government said selling the vehicles will save about $500,000 on fuel, insurance, parts and maintenance.

Wildlife officers, highway enforcement officers and park rangers, who need a vehicle to do their work will reserve one from the fleet.

The Earl Winsor was replaced by a new ferry, but is still costing a lot of money just for security and electrical. (Submitted by Chantelle Vivian)

The MV Capt. Earl W. Winsor, formerly used on the Fogo Island-Change Islands run and now costing $237,000 a year to keep mothballed, is also for sale.

Leased office space is being reduced as well, for a savings of $2.7 million annually, according to government.