Dimboola Hotel should be saved: Resident

COMMUNITY MURAL: Artists will collaborate with the community for a new mural at the Dimboola Hotel. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

COMMUNITY MURAL: Artists will collaborate with the community for a new mural at the Dimboola Hotel. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

A DIMBOOLA resident has called on the community to band together to save the contentious Dimboola Hotel.

Norma Elsom wants Dimboola residents to pool their resources to rebuild and reopen the hotel, which is to be demolished under court order.

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Paul Rintel bought the freehold for $1 in 2004 after the hotel was gutted by fire the previous year.

In February 2013, Horsham Magistrate’s Court ordered Mr Rintel to complete safety repairs on the burnt-out site by April and begin redevelopments by the end of the year.

After he failed to do so, the court issued a warrant for his arrest in November last year.

In March, the court told Mr Rintel he would face prison time if the site was not cleared by July 30.

Mrs Elsom said Dimboola residents were tired of the continuing saga.

“This has been going on for 10 years and we’re sick of it,” she said.

“There are a lot of people who don’t want to see it pulled down.

“I’m sure there are people who do want it pulled down as well.

"If they do that I think it will be an even bigger eyesore, because it will expose the back of the shops in Lloyd Street, which are quite run down.”

“It might cost $2 million to repair, and people think that’s a lot of money. But if you divided it up into public shares, say of $100, then it’s quite feasible.” - Dimboola resident Norma Elsom

Mrs Elsom has put it to her fellow residents to buy the hotel.

“I was reading the Dimboola Banner on Wednesday and there was another letter suggesting the same thing,” she said.

“It is no use waiting for courts, councils, outside operators or a miracle to do anything about it.

“It might cost $2 million to repair, and people think that’s a lot of money. But if you divided it up into public shares, say of $100, then it’s quite feasible.”

Mrs Elsom said she was happy to help with the process, but wanted someone else to take charge.

“I’m 78, so I think this needs some young blood,” she said.

“What is needed is a group of energetic, forward-thinking, altruistic – albeit with business brains – people to get together, raise money from the community or wherever as shares. 

“Obviously it would be beneficial if this energetic group contained legal and accounting people who might volunteer, to some extent, their expertise. 

“I know people will need to get their money back in some way in the long-term – but we just don’t seem to be getting anywhere at the moment.”

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