Rec­om­men­da­tion made to sell for­mer River John School

Truro Daily News - - OBITUARIES/PROVINCE -

Pic­tou County coun­cil has rec­om­mended that the River John School be put up for sale.

But there is a catch. It wants to see the prospec­tive owner’s busi­ness plan for the build­ing so it does not be­come just an­other va­cant build­ing in the com­mu­nity.

The rec­om­men­da­tion was brought forth af­ter staff ac­knowl­edged the lease with the River John Ac­tion So­ci­ety will ex­pire the end of June and the build­ing will be va­cant. The county spent $50,000 in 20142015 to cover the cost of heat, lights and snow clear­ing and an ad­di­tional $35,000 to date this year.

Coun­cil said in the past that the ac­tion so­ci­ety won’t be tak­ing it over mainly due to the over­all size of the build­ing as well as ex­ist­ing halls in the com­mu­nity that can be used for ac­tiv­i­ties.

The land the build­ing sits on was do­nated to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity two decades ago by the MacGre­gor fam­ily for the pur­pose of build­ing a school and will con­tinue to be the prop­erty of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“We are seek­ing di­rec­tion on what the next step is,” asked CAO Brian Cullen.

“Do we of­fer it for sale or re­pur­pos­ing pro­pos­als or are we let­ting the lease ex­pire and tear­ing it down? What is the next log­i­cal step?”

Coun. Ron Bail­lie said he doesn’t want to see the school de­mol­ished, but he also wants it dealt with prop­erly. He said if it is sold to some­one at a low price, they could own the build­ing, re­move what they wanted and still leave it stand­ing for the county to take down.

If it is left va­cant and stand­ing by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, it will also cause hard­ship be­cause the county will get calls from peo­ple want­ing to use it for cer­tain events and this will not be pos­si­ble.

“The last thing the com­mu­nity needs is for that build­ing to sit in derelict de­ci­sion,” said War­den Robert Parker. “It does need a set price and a plan. If some­thing go­ing to hap­pen we need to know and have con­fi­dence it will be a good thing for the com­mu­nity.”

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