Twin Pad Arena/Library Site: Appraised at $3,535,000 - Purchased for $5,435,000
The Town has now released the 2019 Current Market Value Appraisal for the vacant land used for the TPAL project
When Something Doesn’t Add Up…
FACT: In 2019 The Town of Wasaga Beach purchased vacant land at the east end of town for the purpose of constructing the new Arena/Library. The purchase price was $5,435,000 for 544 River Road West
FACT: WBRA raised major concerns at that time regarding the exorbitant price paid and requested a copy of the appraisal that justified this significant cost to taxpayers.
FACT: Our request was denied by the CAO/Town Clerk for reasons that were not very explicit. We were advised we would have to pursue this via the Freedom of Information (FOI) process.
FACT: WBRA submitted the FOI request over three years ago and we still have not received a decision from the Adjudicator's office.
FACT: During this FOI process the Town of Wasaga Beach vehemently opposed the release of the appraisal value and responded with a barrage of questionable reasons why they would not do so.
OPINION: WBRA considered their reasons to be total gobbledygook. We could not understand why this key information, the appraised value, was not made readily available. It was the taxpayer's money that was spent and taxpayers have a right to know how well their tax dollars are being managed, especially when “Truth & Transparency” were so often touted by former Mayor Bifolchi and former Deputy Mayor Bray as part of their platform.
FACT: In October 2022, the voters elected six new members to join Councillor Belanger, the only surviving member of Council from the previous term.
Common sense has now prevailed. Under the direction of Mayor Brian Smith, the Town has released information on this land purchase deal.
The Price paid was $5,435,000 of taxpayer money.
The Appraisal Final Estimated Value was $3,535,000.
OPINION: At the time of the purchase, WBRA believed the true value was significantly less than the purchase price, which was the reason we raised major concerns. The release of the Arena/Library land appraisal value validates our long battle to find the truth.
CONCLUSION: The obvious question is why did the Town pay over 50% more, $1,900,000 more, than the appraised value?
This equates to approximately $150 extra cost per household just for the land.
Another question is: Where did these funds go - who benefitted?
There’s a lot more to understand about this deal and we fully expect more information to be forthcoming. WBRA will continue to pursue the facts and get the answers taxpayers deserve to know.
Use the button below to contact all members of council by email if you wish to express your concerns or ask questions.