A community hall in the Town of Ponoka is being sold to become retail space.
The former Kinsmen Community Centre was declared surplus to the Town of Ponoka’s needs at a meeting in January.
“The building has consistently been under-utilized and has been posting operating losses for several years,” says Ponoka Mayor Rick Bonnett.
Records show that almost half of the bookings at the Kinsmen Community Centre in 2018 were for Town of Ponoka events, such as open houses and meetings. Multi-use space in the new Ponoka Civic Building can now accommodate these requirements.
As well, financial statements from 2013 to 2018 show the community hall had an annual deficit averaging $15,300.
The building, which sits on a 1.26-acre parking lot, was independently assessed at $500,000. It was advertised for sale on the town’s website and an offer was received from Cash Foods Ltd.
The town accepted $510,000 for the building, subject to council’s endorsement.
The sale and construction agreement will outline the purchaser’s obligations to renovate the property for commercial and retail space.
Cash Foods must first apply for subdivision of the Kinsmen Community Centre property from the adjacent seniors centre building and land, which will remain municipal property. Development approval and building permits will also be required.
Bonnett noted the sale of the aging community hall will generate new assessment and tax income for the town.
“Selling the building to Cash Foods will increase the amount of commercial and retail activity downtown, bringing more people to shop and work in downtown Ponoka.”