Well, Humboldt, what are we going to do about the old CN Rail station?
And don't say knock it down.
If you've read the front page story, it's clear that demolition is off the table. So do we let the building slide further into disrepair and become an eyesore or is someone willing to do something to make it a vibrant part of the community?
There are myriad things the old station building could be used for.
Off the top of my head, it could be a collection of little shops, perhaps selling local arts and crafts, or antiques. It would be a great spot for a boutique, or maybe even a new restaurant, or just really unique office space.
What about an art gallery?
What about an entrepreneurial hub - where business start-ups get their feet wet with a small office set up?
What about a dance hall? Opened up inside, that building could be pretty big.
There's a multitude of possibilities.
I'm not going to suggest that the old station house another museum. Humboldt already has an incredible museum just over a block away.
I'm also not going to suggest that the City of Humboldt take on this project. They have plenty of other things to focus on, including repairing roads and hopefully lowering our taxes at some point in the future (we can all dream, anyway).
A local committee could take on the challenge of restoring the building to a usable state, hopefully with an idea of what could go into that space when it's all fixed up.
But, to me, it looks like a private developer could get the most bang for their buck out of it.
It is a building that could be highly usable, after all. It's not like the historic Water Tower in Humboldt, containing a huge metal water tank that limits its uses. The CNR building is not a weird shape, and it's in a great downtown location, though a little close to the tracks for some people's comfort.
But its location also means that if it continues to fall apart, everyone who visits our downtown will see it. It will make us look bad.
So we need to find a way to fix it.
Anyone got any other ideas? Or money that's burning a hole in your pocket? If you've got an idea, tell the City. Or your rich developer friend.
It is a charming building architecturally, that is for certain. And unlike other historic buildings in this community that have been or will be knocked down, we have a chance to save this one. We are actually almost being begged to save this one.
So what are we going to do with it?
Again, don't say knock it down. That option has been taken off the table.
And don't say nothing. If we do nothing, it's going to sit there and rot, possibly for decades, before finally being torn down.
Something is the only option we have let.
We have to do something.
That is the question. Please, Humboldt, answer it.