City of Melfort buys chamber office

MELFORT — The Melfort Chamber of Commerce’s office has a new owner – the City of Melfort.

Brent Lutz, the city’s director of development and planning, said because the utility services for Spruce Haven Park are routed through the chamber office, there was value for the city in buying the building.

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“The removal of the building was going to require the construction of some form of utility shed to contain the service connections,” he said.

Because the city would have to spend money to build the shed, it made sense to buy the building while at the same time helping a community organization, Lutz said. The price that the city brought the office for has not been made public.

“They are able to get some money from their building and we will able to retain a structure that will be admittedly more beautiful than what we might have put there to contain the utility services.”

The office was put up for auction in August 2018, with the highest bid being $15,500. The chamber rejected the offer.

In a media release, the chamber confirmed the purchase.

“The chamber will use the sale proceeds to retire the outstanding debt,” they said.

According to the last figures made public by the chamber, they owed $36,000 in unremitted payroll expenses and another $4,000 in unpaid bills.

“Following [a] financial reorganization, the chamber will be calling a membership meeting to determine the future direction of the chamber of commerce,” the chamber’s release said.

Due to legal advice, the chamber is not commenting further.

Lutz said the city will do some minor repairs to the building but have no immediate plans for it beyond that.

“Any other future use of the building will be an extra benefit for the city."

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