The chamber of commerce building that stood on the corner of Lougheed Highway and 223rd Street for 30 years was demolished on Thursday.
After the chamber's facilities committee realized that fixing the old building's roof, floor, carpeting, drywall, and plumbing would cost more than $50, they decided they had no choice but to pull down the building and find a new location.
Interim chamber president Terry Becker said, however, that the non-profit business organization will maintain a presence in Maple Ridge with its executive director in constant contact with Ridge businesses.
"We're not leaving Maple Ridge," she said, adding that they're just setting up their desks in Pitt Meadows.
The new office has been leased for three years and is located at the back of the tourism building, which was most recently occupied by the Pitt Meadows Economic Development Office. (The economic development office has moved into the old Pitt Meadows Library.)
The old building was owned by the chamber but the land was leased from Chevron - the lease ended on July 31.
The lease for the new chamber office, while smaller than the previous one, came under budget, Becker explained.
Overseeing the move to a new location and signing a three-year lease in the building was one of the first tasks Becker did as the new chamber president.
Becker took over as chamber president on July 1 from Ken Holland, and she hopes in her new role she can engage chamber members and find out what pressing issues are on their minds.
"When you can address [things] when they're issues... it's less likely they'll become problems," she said.
Becker and Company, the law firm that she and her husband John Becker run, has been a member of the chamber of commerce since 1980.
She'd like to see the chamber form a policy committee and bring forward issues at the provincial level, and have the weight of the B.C. chamber speak on behalf of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows businesses.
Being a part of the chamber allows businesses to be part of a collective voice.
"Your voice is a little louder," Becker said.
For more information about the chamber of commerce, go to www.ridgemeadowschamber.com.
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