Essex Councillor Pushing For $1 Harrow High Sale
An Essex councillor would like to see the town acquire the empty Harrow District High School for a $1.
Sherry Bondy says it's standard practice for government agencies to off load properties to willing buyers for a buck.
Essex has entered negotiations with the public school board. An appraisal of the property is underway, but Bondy worries if that appraisal comes back too high the deal will be scraped.
She says Essex taxpayers are asking questions.
"They're saying to us, 'Why can't we go to the school board and the province and get the Harrow High School building for a dollar?'" says Bondy. "It's been done in the past. Why are we now paying fair market value when the taxpayers feel like they paid for it already once? So if they want viable community hubs and the municipalities are interested in the building give it to the municipalities for a dollar."
She says it would give the town a lot more incentive.
"If we're looking at developing Harrow High School, our council can't afford hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop it. But if we were given the chance to develop it for a dollar we could hit the ground running right now and offer programming and other community services out of that building," says Bondy. "So it just allows us to put more money back into the services."
To gauge interest, the town has put a call out to community groups who may be interested in renting or leasing space in the building as part of a community hub.
Harrow High closed in June 2016 after 112 years.