Harding Carpets Site - 85 Morrell Street
Following an unsuccessful tax sale in 1993, the City took advantage of recent changes in the Municipal Act permitting environmental investigation to be carried out prior to municipal vesting of the three properties. These properties were in municipal property tax arrears to the amount of about $3.8 million. The tax sale of two of the properties was unsuccessful. The City subsequently vested the properties and sold them King and Benton Development Corporation. This company cleaned up the property and renovated the 10-acre property to warehouses and offices for industrial use.
Bay State Abrasives Site - 186 Pearl Street
The property at 186 Pearl Street was under the management of the Public Trustee for Ontario following the dissolution of the corporate entities that owned the property. The property is located two short blocks from the Brantford General Hospital and has been vacant since 1990. The City has found that abandoned buildings are often targets for arsonists and it has been very fortunate that there has not been a major fire at this location, particularly due to its proximity to the hospital. Municipal tax arrears on this property, which is only .6 acres in area, amounted to $190,000. The property was also subject to federal and provincial liens amounting to $649,000 plus accumulated interest since 1993.
With the co-operation of the Public Trustee, the City has carried out a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment of the property, removed an underground storage tank, removed the existing structures, cleaned the contaminated soils and planted sod on the site. The cost of this work was approximately $175,000. Although the property was under the control of the Public Trustee for Ontario, the City received no provincial support for conducting this work.
The City has subsequently become the owner of the property following an unsuccessful tax sale. The property has been developed as a neighbourhood park in partnership with Enterprise Brant.