Community club wants controversial fire hall land
Council postpones decision on declaring properties as surplus
Winnipeg city council has postponed a decision on whether to declare three properties at the centre of a controversial fire hall land swap as surplus, as a community club wants the land where one of the halls currently sits.
Councillors voted unanimously on Wednesday to refer the matter, involving two former fire halls on Grovesnor Avenue and Berry Street and a parcel of riverfront land near Mulvey Avenue, back to the city's property committee.
Coun. Jeff Browaty moved the motion, saying he understood that there are negotiations underway involving stakeholders for the Grosvenor fire hall, also known as Station No. 12.
The Corydon Community Club wants the land where the hall sits. Sir John Franklin Community Centre, which belongs to the Corydon Community Club, is located directly south of the former station.
Community club president Pat O'Connor said they could use the land to expand their home soccer field to regulation size.
"Smaller kids can play on smaller fields, but as you get the older ages, you need to have security and the safety zones around the fields," O'Connor said.
If that wish is granted, a bus loop that now runs around the fire hall would have to be relocated.
Station No. 12 on Grosvenor has been vacant since a new Station 12 was constructed on Taylor Avenue.
The Grosvenor location was thrust into the spotlight in the summer when Shindico Realty prematurely listed it as an office property for lease.
That led to the discovery that the Taylor station was built on land owned by Shindico, not the city, and that a verbal agreement had been negotiated between Fire Paramedic Chief Reid Douglas and Shindico.
The agreement, which had yet to be made aware to council, was to give Shindico the vacant fire hall on Grosvenor, along with another vacant fire hall and a parcel of land on Mulvey Avenue, in exchange for the Taylor land.
An external review of that deal has been ordered to find out how the contracts for the fire halls were awarded, who was responsible, and why city councillors were completely in the dark about what was going on.
And earlier this month, the city's property committee voted to kill the deal and start the negotiation process towards buying the Taylor land from Shindico.