As Sundridge council continues to pursue potential property acquisitions, Mayor Lyle Hall is making councillors aware of a potential “sticky” situation as he called it.
Staff prepared a report for council's consideration on a list of properties that can be found on any public real estate website.
However, staff also suggested that the council may want to “contract the services of a real estate agent who could provide more insight on other potential properties that are out there.”
This is where Hall advised caution on how to keep moving forward without creating an awkward situation for council.
“It's very easy for some people to believe there's some collusion going on” which could involve the municipallity, Hall said.
“Obviously there's not.”
Hall also said property acquisitions may seem straightforward, but when a municipal council is involved in this type of activity, the matter becomes intricate.
Coun. Steve Hicks agreed, saying council had to “proceed with caution and diligence with this.”
Council's solution was to direct staff to prepare a request for expressions of interest indicating that the municipality was interested in acquiring property.
The property could be commercial or residential, with the goal that the municipality would create a purpose for it be it either residential, retail or community use.
During the debate, Hicks said following council's initial decision earlier this year to look at potentially acquiring properties for development or repurposing, he's had people come up to him and say “it's a great idea.”
Council has expressed a strong interest in buying a house next to the Post Office on Main Street which was listed for sale but has since come off the market.
It's the council's understanding the home has issues.
However, regardless of the nature of the issues, they aren't of concern to council because the property would be bought with the purpose of replacing the home with a two-storey building with retail shops on the ground floor and residential units on the second floor.
Hicks says the property addresses the vision of reinvigorating Main Street with the goal of encouraging residents and visitors to come downtown.
Council also has its sights on the former Steirerhut Restaurant Schnitzel House, now also on council's radar to receive heritage designation because it's the community’s oldest home.
Also of interest to council is the former Anderson Windows building, which Coun. Barbara Belrose envisions turning into a facility much like 250 Clark in Powassan, which would be home to several services.
Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget