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Willow Creek MD to sell tax recovery land by public tender

Everyone will have the same chance to buy a piece of tax recovery land the MD of Willow Creek owns west of Fort Macleod.
Council decided Wednesday to sell about 160 acres at SW-30-9-27-4 by public tender.
A closed session was held at the end of the meeting for a minimum price to be set by council.
Council had tabled making a decision Jan. 8 meeting on how to dispose of the land until it received a legal opinion.
MD of Willow Creek chief administrative officer Cynthia Vizzutti reported Wednesday legal counsel advised council can sell or lease the land by public tender.
Council has to be aware that whatever it decides to do will set a precedent.
The MD of Willow Creek had come in possession of the land from the provincial government.
Back in the 1920s the provincial government took a lot of land through tax enforcement with the intention of giving it to the municipalities.
One of the parcels in the municipality is at 30-9-27-4, and it was leased for grazing purposes to Wallace Daley in 1979. Since then his son Mark has assumed the lease.
Last year, the land was legally transferred from the province to the MD of Willow Creek.
In June, Mark Daley made his case to keep leasing the land.
Council said it would allow him to stay until the end of 2013.
Coun. Maryanne Sandberg suggested leasing the land to Daley for the rest of his life, then selling it.
Coun. Earl Hemmaway said the MD of Willow Creek should go to a realtor for a fair market price.
Coun. Henry Van Hierden said the land should be sold by public tender and Coun. John Kroetsch agreed, noting it would save the municipality the fees it would pay a realtor.
Coun. Ian Sundquist cautioned, a realtor may not be able to sell the land for two years.
Coun. Glen Alm wondered about the possibility of an auction to sell the land.
Sandberg then asked if the MD of Willow Creek has to accept the highest bid if it tenders the land.
Vizzutti responded that council would set a minimum price, and do that in closed session.
Council agreed to put the land up for public tender with a minimum bid to be set. All of council voted in favour except Sandberg, who was opposed.

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