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For sale signs appear at controversial fire halls

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The fire hall on Grosvenor Avenue is up for sale.

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

The fire hall on Grosvenor Avenue is up for sale. Photo Store

The city has put up for sale the two former fire halls in last year’s controversial land swap with a local developer.

For sale signs were recently posted on the former Grosvenor Avenue and Berry Street fire halls.

The two properties were secretly traded to developer Shindico, along with a parcel of land on Mulvey Avenue East, for property owned by Shindico on Taylor Avenue where a new fire hall has been constructed.

The deal angered councillors, who were upset with the finances, how the deal was done, and that a fire-paramedic station was allowed to be built on land the city did not own.

The deal was negotiated with fire paramedic Chief Reid Douglas, who was a deputy chief at the time – an unusual situation to have a department head involved in the sale of property.

Council killed the land swap in November and ordered city officials to negotiate a straight purchase of the Taylor property, which has not yet happened. Council also ordered a review of the controversial deal, which is expected to be completed in September.

The review involves both the financial aspects of cancelled deal and the process that led up to it. External appraisers will be involved to determine the value of all four properties.

The city has not put a price tag on the three properties. Offers are being accepted for the two fire hall properties until August 30, and until Sept. 6 for the Mulvey East land.

The swap was one part of a $15.3-million plan to build four new fire-paramedic stations in Winnipeg.

But the construction project was presented as four separate contracts, each awarded to Shindico, which did not require council approval because each individually was less than the $10-million threshold needed for council oversight.

History

Updated on Friday, August 16, 2013 at 11:19 AM CDT: Adds pictures.

2:23 PM: Corrects address of one property.

4:04 PM: Correction: the city has not put a price tag on the Mulvey East land.

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