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Town of Fort Macleod to list former courthouse for sale

town office

The Town of Fort Macleod has listed the historic former provincial courthouse for sale.
Council approved listing the building at the appraised price of $231,000.
At present, the building houses the Town of Fort Macleod office.
That will change when the Town of Fort Macleod moves to new office space it will share with Livingstone Range School Division.
The town and school division are repurposing the former G.R. Davis school building in Fort Macleod to serve as joint central offices.
At its Sept. 25 meeting council was asked for a decision on selling both the present town office and the vacant lot next door.
The vacant lot has an appraised value of $131,000.
“Administration is a little bit concerned about selling the lot next door,” Town of Fort Macleod chief administrative officer Sue Keenan said.
At present that lot is used for storage of ice scrapings from the arena, as well as a parking lot for the post office and businesses on Second Avenue.
Council learned there is a system that can be installed to handle the ice scrapings, but a cost was not available.
Coun. Mike Collar suggested it might be wise to hold off on selling the lot until costs are known and a plan is in place.
Keenan suggested council proceed with listing the town office building for sale.
“There are a lot of hoops that have to be gone through,” Keenan said.
The 2 1/2-storey brick building was built in 1902by Patrick Navin from the designs of the chief architect for the federal department of public works.
It is the only one remaining from a series of buildings built across Alberta and Saskatchewan by the government of Canada.
It is also the only surviving building in Alberta that served as a courthouse for both the territorial and provincial judicial systems.
The Town of Fort Macleod moved its office into the building in 1971.
The building received provincial historic designation in 1979.
The town office building is a designated historic resource, and government approval is needed for any maintenance and renovations.
Mayor Rene Gendre said he contacted local and out-of-town real estate agencies and they weren’t aware the town office building was for sale.
Keenan explained that’s because the building could not be listed without council’s approval, which was only being requested at the Sept. 25 meeting.
“We don’t deal with any real estate companies at all because of the commission we would have to pay,” Keenan added.
The town handles its own property sales in-house.
Gendre said real estate companies should be made aware of the property when it is listed for sale.
Keenan said when the town lists property for sale it shares that information widely.
Gendre said he wanted to ensure the town gets top dollar for its properties.
Keenan said if no offers are forthcoming on the town office building, council could consider listing it with an agent.
Council voted to list the town office building for $231,000.
Council did not proceed with listing the adjoining vacant lot for sale.
“I would like to postpone that,” Coun. Gord Wolstenholme said, suggesting waiting until the cost of a chute system to handle the ice scrapings is known. “We should know what it’s going to cost us before we got ahead and sell that land.”
Keenan said council might also consider utilizing that vacant lots as additional green space in the community.

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