Lacombe County ponders future of former Mirror Hotel site

Site of historic hotel burned down in 2016 put up for auction for unpaid tax but found no buyer

Lacombe County is pondering what to do with the former historic Mirror Hotel site.

The property that included the hotel, which burned down in 2016, was put up for auction last month for unpaid taxes but found no buyers.

When a property in tax arrears does not sell the county has the option of taking ownership.

But not all on council were sure on Thursday that was a good idea.

The hotel site is comprised of five serviced vacant lots and comes with a storage shed or a garage.

About $20,400 in unpaid taxes are owing on the property with little hope they will be paid, county manager Tim Timmons told council.

The property is worth much more than the taxes owing meaning there is potential profit to be made.

However, Coun. Barb Shepherd was concerned there could be hidden liabilities if the property was found to have environmental issues.

“I just think we need really need to be careful about taking title to some of these things,” said Shepherd.

Council opted to undertake an environment assessment of the hotel site to ensure there were no serious issues before considering taking over the title.

The county is under no obligation to address environmental issues that are uncovered if it does not own the property.

If the property was sold, remediation costs would fall to the buyer.

The county is currently trying to sell the site of the former Mirror Library. Hydrocarbon contamination was found there and will be disclosed to any potential buyer.

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