Big Lakes selling 50+ surplus lots

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Just over 50 properties owned by Big Lakes County will be up for bids at an auction planned later this year.
At its regular meeting Dec. 8, council approved a list of 52 properties to be dispersed.
County staff compiled a list of properties that are surplus to the County needs, said Pat Olansky, director of planning and development.
“The vast majority of properties were acquired through the tax recovery program,” Olansky told council.
Most of the properties are in Grouard.
Olansky added she spoke with a representative from an auction company. The official suggested auctioneers would package certain lots together to achieve the best possible rate of return for some of the properties that may not be particularly saleable on their own due to a lack of road access, for example.
The list includes a variety of lots zoned as hamlet residential, hamlet commercial, rural industrial, agriculture, parks and institutional an urban reserve.
Other properties are located in Enilda, Faust and various outlying areas.
Many of the Grouard lots are adjoining.
“The auction will create increased property tax revenue for the county and potential for new development and increased property tax revenue,” Olansky said.
She presented a recommendation that included the name of the auction company that will conduct the auction.
However, council will decide the auctioneer in the coming months.
High Prairie East – Banana Belt Councillor Tyler Airth suggested that council shop around to select an auction company for the best price for the County.
Kapawe’no First Nation Chief Sydney Halcrow and council attended the meeting as a delegation and inquired about potential lots the First Nation is interested in.
When the auction was discussed after the Kapawe’no delegation left the meeting, one councillor asked how Kapawe’no can buy lots.
Reeve Robert Nygaard replied Kapawe’no has the opportunity to take part in the auction.
“If they want to buy land, they can bid on it.”
As a delegation, Halcrow asked if Kapawe’no could get a bargain for buying several lots.
“We want to see if we can come up with a deal,” Halcrow says.
“Maybe we can can get a bigger bang for our buck.”

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