The Kinsmen Community Centre and parking lot has been approved for sale at $510,000 pending a sale and construction agreement.
Council made the decision Feb. 12 after an in-camera session to sell the building and surrounding parking lot, about 1.26-acres, to Cash Foods (Hamilton’s IGA). At this point a sale and construction agreement has to be created by the town’s lawyer before the sale becomes final.
In June 2018, council had initially accepted an offer to purchase the centre for $480,000, plus the parking lot (about $200,000), however, the proper steps needed to sell public land were not followed, and due to a delay of signing, the offer to purchase ended up becoming void.
This time around it appears the proper steps were followed with an independent appraisal done on the property in August. At the time that appraisal was not released due to the land not being sold yet.
Cash Foods co-owner Jim Hamilton offered $10,000 over the appraisal amount. According to the land disposition of the Kinsmen Community Centre, which was discussed at the Jan. 22 council meeting, “A sale price established at or above fair market value requires the price to be advertised to the public.”
If the offer was below the appraised value, then the town would be required to advertise and to allow for the process of a petition.
Hamilton said that if the sale is signed he will have a few regulatory steps to ensure that the property is part of Cash Foods. The plan is to redevelop the Kinsmen Centre and put Hammy’s Spirits in there facing IGA. There will be four spaces for office rent facing the street.
He will also have to make an application to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission to move Hammy’s Spirits.
Hamilton said he’s excited for the potential of this new development. “I’m excited for it.”
“I think it’s going to make that end of the town look nice,” he added.
Mayor Rick Bonnett is excited for the change and the potential development in Ponoka.
“We will receive taxes out of that building and it will no longer cost us,” explained Bonnett.
With that sale comes the potential of other unused properties in Ponoka. Bonnett said he’d like to see the 120-acres of land around the Hudson Green Nature and Activity Centre sold for development, and even the centre.
According to the disposition of the property, in 2018 the building saw 79 Town of Ponoka bookings and 81 private bookings. Some of the town’s bookings will be offset with town bookings now being able to be held in the new civic centre. Private bookings will need to look at other locations in town.