April 13th, 2024

Just one undisclosed property made it to tax auction, received no bids

By Medicine Hat News on April 3, 2024.

@MedicineHatNews

A dozen properties that appeared on an initial list of a tax auction in Medicine Hat this winter was reduced to one on March 28 when the auction was held.

No bids were received, as is common, and city officials are now determining if it will take possession of the undisclosed residence, officials told a meeting of the corporate services committee on the day.

“We’ll determine the best course of action over the next few months,” said acting managing director Lola Barta during a general update of division for council members on the committee.

“Our goal is always to end with a negotiated agreement and conduct a full environmental assessment of the properties.”

Officials said in February that 12 properties had been in tax arrears for at least three years, and were eligible for recovery of taxes at auction.

That number was at the average over the last 10 years, and in similar fashion all but four had made payment arrangements in late March. Three others made arrangements on the morning before the auction at city hall.

When sold or acquired, proceeds are returned to the former owner after tax arrears and a five per cent fee are subtracted.

According to information provided to the committee when minimum bids were introduced this year, only 19 properties have proceeded to auction out of 111 on initial lists since 2014. Only one auction sale has been transacted since the early 2000s.

Cash, storage on agenda

Council’s audit committee is prepared to accept the 2023 audited city financial statements at a meeting this morning at city hall.

As well, a meeting of the municipal planning commission will take up two applications to update zoning for two self-storage facilities in central Medicine Hat.

One located near the intersection of Kingsway Avenue and Spencer street is currently zoned for mixed-use, though indoor RV and container storage on site is a legal non-conforming, or grandfathers, use. The owner has applied to see zoning changed to a business industrial zone.

Another application would see a portion of a separate, existing self storage yard plan to expand east toward Clay Avenue behind the Top-Hat Bingo Hall on Bridge Street. That parcel is currently part of the Historic Clay District zone in the River Flats, but the owner is seeking a change to business industrial.

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