During their May 11 virtual meeting Meaford council approved the sale of a municipally owned property, 390 Sykes St., which houses Meaford's OPP detachment along with an insurance office.
The sale of the property is good news for the current library project, as funds from the sale had been earmarked for funding the new library, and with the property now sold, significantly less long term debt will be required.
Council had directed staff in May of last year to sell the property, which had been appraised at $740,000, as part of the library funding package. The property was listed for $1.2 million, and prior to Monday's council meeting, the municipality had conditionally accepted an offer from Tekela Holdings Inc for $1,015,000.
“As part of the due diligence process, the proponent undertook a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment on the property, which identified that the property was previously utilized as a “Fina” gas station. This warranted the need for a Phase 2 assessment. This assessment has now been completed, and the purchaser has waived the conditions on the offer of sale,” council was informed in a report from CAO Rob Armstrong. “The real estate agent representing the Municipality has advised that the conditional offer received is very reasonable. This is based on discussion with a number of interested parties and the return that can be obtained based on the two leases for the building being in place.”
Meaford's OPP detachment will continue to be housed at the 390 Sykes property under a lease agreement with the municipality at a cost of $44,835 per year.
“The lease for the OPP space was negotiated with the assistance of the municipal solicitor and represents a standard triple net lease for commercial space. The only variable is that the Municipality will continue to maintain the lot with regard to snow removal and grass cutting as it will be less expensive for the Municipality to provide these services, instead of purchasing them from the building owner,” staff told council.
After real estate and legal fees, the sale will result in a net contribution to the new library project of $950,000.
“This was one of the things right up front with the building of the new library, council's desire was to sell this location, and it was certainly my own hope that we would hit that million dollar zone, and we've accomplished that so I'm pleased to see this be sold and have those funds put toward the new library,” Councillor Tony Bell told his fellow council members.
The CAO told council that the sale of the property is expected to be finalized on May 15.