Hay River high rise going to auction August 12

Mackenzie Place after March 15th high rise apartment fire, Hay River. (Photo by MyTrueNorthNow.com staff.)
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After being added and removed from the auction list earlier this month, the Hay River high rise is set to go to auction August 12, according to Town of Hay River Senior Administrative Officer Glenn Smith.

The property had been up for auction in the Town of Hay River’s tax arrears auction — where building owners that have unpaid property taxes have their property auctioned off — but was removed 24 hours later because there were multiple registrations against the unit.

The apartment block, which has sat vacant for two years since a fire forced residents to evacuate, had been for sale by auction $1.45 million.

The owner of the building, Harry Satdeo, has unpaid property taxes totalling around $170,000, according to the town’s Senior Administrative Officer Glenn Smith, who spoke with Cabin Radio.

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If the building is sold at auction, the tax debt is considered paid, and the new owner is responsible for paying property taxes moving forward.

It is not clear what will happen to the building moving forward if it is bought, considering the building had issues with asbestos before the fire, and damage from the fire was not repaired.

In March, Satdeo said he was optimistic progress could be made with the building, after he said the Chief Public Health Officer had approved a third party consultant company to do some assessments on the building, when speaking with NNSL.

But Housing Minister Paulie Chinna said in March she had not received a report about any work being carried out on the building.

On that same day in the Legislative Assembly, Chinna was criticized by MLA for Hay River South Rocky Simpson for what he said was inaction on the part of the NWT Housing Corporation, even suggesting the minister responsible for the corporation, Paulie Chinna, be removed from cabinet.

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“My concern is that, when we lost the high rise, it displaced a number of people, and when people get displaced in Hay River, they are either on the street or they may not tend to move to Yellowknife or other northern communities; they tend to move south,” Simpson says.

A criminal investigation into the cause of the fire did not find enough evidence to support criminal charges.

Members of Hay River Town Council and employees of the Town of Hay River aren’t allowed to bid for the property, which will be sold to the highest bidder.

The current owner can appeal against the sale and pay the property taxes owed within 30 days of the auction.

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