The city is authorized to negotiate to acquire one property and explore the possibility of acquiring another.
During Monday’s regular council meeting, Coun. Fraser Tolmie moved an amendment to his motion to acquire the property at 105 High St. W. Instead of administration reporting back to city council with a recommendation of a source of funding for the demolition and removal of the building, administration would report back to executive committee. The majority of council voted in favour of Tolmie’s amendment.
Similarly, Coun. Terry Coleman brought forward a motion to explore the possibility of acquiring the property at 122 First Ave. N.W. Most of council voted in favour of Coleman’s motion.
“I don’t know how many times that I’ve been approached by the citizens of Moose Jaw asking, ‘What was the city thinking, leaving those buildings there like that?’” said Tolmie. “This motion is a way forward to see if there can be an agreement made between the city and the land owners regarding this property.”
The owners, Robert and Monique Marciszyn, stated in a letter they are prepared to give the city the first right of refusal to obtain the property subject to several conditions. The property would be a donation to the city in exchange for a tax receipt for the value of the land. The city would also develop green space to improve the appearance of the land surrounding Mosaic Place.
However, there were mixed feelings among city council regarding Tolmie’s amended motion and Coleman’s motion.
“I think it’s pretty clear if you listen to the community that there needs to be development in the downtown area, but as I raise the question about the background report to this motion, there’s not context for a plan for the area,” said Coun. Don Mitchell. “For the city to purchase land without any sense of related developments and intent is obviously premature.”
For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.