Central Frontenac Council passed a motion to declare the old Parham Fire Surplus and approved it being listed for sale at its regular meeting Tuesday afternoon in Sharbot Lake.
The motion came as a part of a proposal from Fire Chief Greg Robinson who, in his report, proposed that the “net proceeds of the sale be transferred to the fire reserve account.”
The old Parham station was replaced with a new fire station in 2016 and the old one is currently used as a warehouse for fire equipment.
However, Robinson said that the fire department has two surplus stations in Mountain Grove and the one by the rink could be used for storage as well as continue as change room for the rink. He acknowledged that there are some recreational materials in the building but the Facilities Manager assured him that they are rotting skateboard park items that will be disposed of or relocated by Facilities.
“We have received serious interest from two parties that want to purchase the old station,” Robinson said in his report.
However, there are two potential problems with a sale of the property.
The property has two neighbours, one a residential property directly west and the Township itself in conjunction with the Parham Agricultural Society on the other two sides. The property in question is directly adjacent to the fairgrounds.
In his report, Robinson said “the land severance will be about half an acre and will not impact the fairground.
Three councilors (Tom Dewey, Bill MacDonald and John Purdon) all pointed out that under the Official Plan, the minimum lot size in Central Frontenac is 1.25 acres.
Robinson said that the entrance to the fairgrounds could be moved in order to comply with the minimum lot size requirements but Coun. Phillip Smith, who is the treasurer for the Ag Society said it was the first he’d heard of the entrance being moved.
The other issue is that there is a well on the property that is used by the ball fields. Robinson said that one of the interested parties said they didn’t use much water and would be prepared to let the fairgrounds/ ball fields continue to draw water from the property. If someone else wanted to buy it, Robinson said “we’d have to drill another well” for the ball fields to use.
It is conceivable that the neighbours to the west might want to add the property to their own but in any other scenario, there is a lot of process to happen before the property could be sold including a survey, addition of property from the fairgrounds (either by moving the entrance or taking some from the children’s play area), determination of fair market value and quite likely a zoning change, depending on what the new owners might want to use it for.
Former Coun. John Purdon was sworn in to replace the departed Jamie Riddell around the Council table. Riddell was also at the meeting in his capacity as Dep. Fire Chief and wished Purdon luck “considering the size of the shoes you have to fill.”