Committee members Neil Russell and Chris Davidson inside the old McNaughton Building last week. Cleanup of the building began on the weekend.

Town purchases old McNaughton Building

March 2, 2015 7:55 am
Kara Kinna

At their meeting last Wednesday, Moosomin town council passed a motion to purchase the old wooden McNaughton Building from Sasco Enterprises for $1.

Council also passed a motion to obtain accident and liability insurance for the building. The insurance will provide accident coverage and indemnity for the volunteers working on the building, and will also give the town liability coverage if the building itself falls over or causes harm during the lifting, moving and refurbishing process.

Although he wasn’t able to attend the meeting, Mayor Larry Tomlinson left word with the town administrator that he was not in favor of taxpayers’ money being spent for insurance costs and legal fees associated with the ownership transfer, and one councillor, Jason Miller, opposed the vote. All other councillors were in favor of the motion.

The town’s ownership of the building is to be temporary. According to the motion that was passed, the town will purchase the building for a sum of $1 “with the town to own the structure until the building has been worked on and is stabilized from falling over. After the building has been stabilized, ownership will revert back to Sasco Enterprises Inc., or a non-profit organization designated by Sasco Enterprises Inc.”

Councillor Garry Beckett pointed out that that non-profit organization is in the process of being formed. A meeting was held last Thursday at the Armoury Hall in Moosomin with the aim of getting that non-profit organization started so that it could take ownership of the old McNaughton Building once the building is stabilized.

By taking temporary ownership of the building, the town will also be able to issue tax receipts to those wanting to make a donation to the project.

Town Administrator Paul Listrom told council that he had received a phone call from a resident who was waiting for the ownership to transfer so that he could make a donation.

After the meeting, Mayor Larry Tomlinson said he’s not opposed to saving the building, he just didn’t want to see taxpayers’ money go toward legal costs and insurance.

“I’m all for saving it, but not with taxpayers’ dollars,” he said.

“I understood it was going to start costing us some money (for the insurance and the legal fees), and I don’t want the taxpayers to be responsible for paying for it.”

Tomlinson said he was not against council passing a motion to take ownership, but, after hearing it could cost a few thousand dollars to cover legal costs to take ownership of the building and purchase insurance, he was concerned.

The insurance cost the town $795, and, as of last week, legal costs were still unknown.

Council discussed the costs and the possibility of the some of donation the money being used to reimburse the town at some point.