Thanks, but no thanks. That’s more or less the position of the Town of Slave Lake, regarding a derelict condo in the Woodland Place complex.

The place is in terrible shape, failed to sell in a tax recovery auction and the condo corporation is left holding the bag. It would like some relief from the town, and that’s why Dan Lachambre of Realty Canada Inc. was before town council at its Aug. 22 meeting.

The condo in question owed the town something over $6,000 in property taxes, plus more than $11,000 in penalties. Lachambre was asking for the penalties to be waived.

Judging by the details in Lachambre’s letter to council, the condo and its delinquent owner (or owners) were and continue to be a major headache for the company. Tens of thousands of dollars worth of repairs are needed on the unit. If they manage to re-sell it for an estimated $90,000, they’ll still be $30,000 in the hole, the letter continues.

The town had tried to sell the condo in a tax recovery auction back in April, but had no buyers. Lachambre said there had been an agreement that the town would take over title. But the town changed its mind on that, and didn’t inform the management company, he said.

There was no written agreement, the town heard from administration. The situation is quite complicated, “due to the state of the property.”

The state of the property is pretty much a disaster, based on Lachambre’s report, with telltale photos attached.

Lachambre said the place had “turned into a flop house, complete with drug dealing,” and “a severe cockroach infestation.” There was an overdose death at the place.

“Even the copper plumbing has been removed by the last owner,” Lachambre said.

Lachambre’s letter in council’s agenda package started out by noting the Woodland Place Condominium Corporation recently spent $2.5 million refurbishing the complex. Each condo owner contributed to the cost, except one. Not only that, the owner racked up $60,000 in arrears in condo fees “and occasionally caused extreme disturbances and willful property damage.”

Had the town carried through with the original agreement, says the letter, “resolution would have been realized a year sooner,” and costs avoided.

Council did not make a decision on the request for a waiver on the tax penalties – at least not on the spot. Instead, they voted to further discuss the matter in camera.

by Joe McWilliams

This item copyrighted by / Lakeside Leaader   Slave Lake, Alberta

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