Town to tap reserves to buy Huffman

Duane Hicks

It’s official: the town is buying the former F.H. Huffman School property.
Council passed a bylaw to authorize the purchase of the property from the Rainy River District School Board following a special committee of the whole meeting yesterday afternoon.
The town will buy the property for $158,325.74, with the cash coming out of its corporate reserves.
Mayor Roy Avis said the town was approached by the school board about the property, and put in a bid.
“We decided it would be in the best interest of the municipality at this time to purchase that because there’s many things can be done with it,” he noted, adding it could end up being used for anything from green space to part of a subdivision.
“I hope that we can move forward and make good use of that property that will benefit the rest of the community,” the mayor remarked.
“There’s no plans at the present time,” Mayor Avis stressed. “There was no use planning if we didn’t know if we were going to buy it and our bid would be accepted.
“It has been, so now it will be going to Planning and Development and we’ll be moving on with that process,” he explained.
Mayor Avis noted the building will be kept and continue to have water and heat, and the grounds will be maintained, until the town decides what to do with it.
F.H. Huffman School closed its doors in June.
The town officially was notified the property was up for sale on June 29, after which time the town had the property appraised and thoroughly investigated it prior to agreeing to purchase it.
At its Oct. 12 meeting, council received the letter of acceptance, dated Oct. 6, from the Rainy River District School Board regarding the town’s offer of purchase and agreed that an appropriate bylaw be prepared.
The committee of the whole met yesterday to approve the financing for the purchase and pass the bylaw.