Hanna town council decided it would move to gain title to two vacant lots with unpaid property tax bills after no interest was shown in them at auction. The decision was made at the Oct. 10 regular meeting of council.
Town Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Kim Neill presented councillors with a report on three properties with unpaid property tax bills that recently went to tax recovery auction.
Neill’s report stated lot 8, block 45, plan 6133AW (tax roll 12000), lot 17, block 22, plan 6133AW (tax roll 34700) plus a third property, tax roll 57500 described as lot 10-12, block 3, plan 6133AW, all went to tax recovery auction on Sept. 11 but no bids were received on any of the three.
“Tax roll 12000 (lot 8, block 45, plan 6133AW),” the CAO’s report to council stated “as of the most recent tax penalty on Oct 1, 2023, tax roll 12000 has taxes owing in the amount of $5,802.08. The assessed value of the property is $48,410.
The property is abandoned and has been for several months and administration recommends that council authorize administration to take title of the property.
The second property Tax roll 34700 (lot 17, block 22, plan 6133AW) tax roll 34700 has taxes owing in the amount of $2,998.97. The assessed value of the property is $47,560.
The property is abandoned and has been for several months and administration recommended that council authorize administration to take title of the property these two lots are vacant.
However, Neill noted the third property, zoned commercial, has seen some recent discussions take place between the property owner and town staff.
Neill stated he was hopeful that based on those discussions the property owner will pay off the tax debt. Therefore, he recommended the town hold off on acquiring title to this property.
“As of the most recent tax penalty on Oct. 1, 2023, tax roll 57500 has taxes owing in the amount of $3,183.39,” stated Neill’s report. “The assessed value of the property is $48,080.”
Mayor Danny Povaschuk asked if there was a timeline on a payment plan for this property owner, to which the CAO responded, “We’re working on that.”
Neill pointed out that, in the event this payment plan doesn’t succeed, then the fate of this third property would return to council.
Councillors unanimously passed a resolution that the Town of Hanna move to acquire the two vacant lots for tax recovery purposes; it was noted realtors will be asked to help the town sell them if title is acquired.
Concerns over accuracy
While presenting his regular report to councillors the CAO stated he wanted to discuss the downtown redevelopment project with council.
Neill stated he recently had a Hanna resident drop into the town office to discuss this project and Neill stated that a recent newspaper article did not accurately portray the work that’s actually going to be included.
“I can’t control what’s written in the newspaper,” said Neill.
The CAO stated that he pointed out to this resident the downtown redevelopment project will include not only road work but also utility infrastructure. He added councillors have always been clear that the downtown redevelopment project will include above and below-ground work.
The CAO’s report also included a report on the visitor information centre, which closed for the season on Sept. 4.
“With the (Harvest Sky Economic Development) Corporation not receiving any Canada Summer Jobs grant funding for staffing the corporation showed a loss of $29,049.98,” stated Neill’s report to council.
During discussion the CAO stated that it seems no Hanna organizations received Canada Summer Jobs funding for the summer of 2023, which was disappointing.
It was noted the subject may be raised with MP Damien Kurek in the future.
Local Journalism Initiative reporter