SANTA CLAUS has re-emerged as a bidder for the city-owed former Co-op property on Greig Ave.
Despite being rebuffed several years ago, when the Co-op building was still standing, a new proposal from the North Pole toy baron has come to light.
Stamped “Confidential. No peaking. I’m checking it twice. Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice,” the proposal was an addendum to a report released by a city committee struck to outline possible uses for the property.
A copy of the addendum was leaked to local media, despite the best efforts to keep it hidden.
Part of the reluctance to officially releasing it, sources deep inside city hall reveal, is how citizens would react to the selling of a piece of prime Terrace real estate to a state-controlled foreign entity – Santa Claus himself.
As it is, Santa already ran into trouble with his first attempt to buy the Co-op property over plans to use the federal government’s Temporary Foreign Elf Worker Program.
That was when the Co-op building was still standing and Santa had plans to refurbish the structure and use it as a subsidiary toy workshop location.
The newest proposal has resulted in intense debate within city council with the more business-minded councillors arguing that Terrace, dependent as it is on investment from outside its borders, is in no position to pick and choose exactly who would be welcome and who would not.
Other council members are skeptical of the idea, worried about the implications of having a large section of land sold off to a foreign entity.
Santa’s newest proposal is one crafted, according to the document, to have a maximum positive impact.
In simple terms, Santa wants to develop a green energy testing complex on the Co-op lands.
An outline with the addendum cites the large, flat surface of the Co-op land as being an ideal location for testing solar panels.
“If we can generate solar power in Terrace, then we can generate it anywhere,” indicated a scientist quoted in the addendum.
And given the windy nature of Terrace and area, the large undeveloped plot of land, now flat as a pancake, would be a perfect testing ground for wind-driven turbines.
Most intriguing of all, according to the addendum, is the possibility of shale oil and gas existing just below the Co-op property surface.
“Could a pipeline fit in with this proposal?” a handwritten note in a margin queried. The addendum indicated, however, that Santa would only proceed with extraction if it was absolutely 100 per cent guaranteed to never cause a problem.
So confident of approval are officials that the addendum even mentioned a name for the development – the Santa Sands.
The Santa Claus green energy testing complex is also regarded as a way to soothe public concerns over a sale to a foreign entity.
And in a postscript, the addendum says there’s every chance the energy testing complex could be nominated for a green award presented each year by the local business association.