Mayor takes responsibility for Council overpaying $325,000 for 89 Hudson Drive

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89 Hudson SSM ON

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – Mayor Christian Provenzano admitted purchasing 89 Hudson Dr. is more about morals than any particular vision during the Sept. 14 council meeting.

The decision to buy the former Studio 10 property which has an MPAC value according to City Solicitor Kathy Fields of $62,000-69,000 was met with some opposition and various members questioning the price of $350,000 plus HST for a total of $395,500. Provenzano admitted the city didn’t initially identify this property as needing to be purchased.

“The property owner reached out to the city. And it was certainly something that I could, I’m comfortable taking some responsibility for, and really frankly asking Council for direction to engage in this and working with staff on it,” said Provenzano during the meeting, “any questions as to kind of the motivation or what staff’s plans are, you know, probably should be directed to me because it wasn’t really something that staff was motivated by or had any plans for. It was an opportunity that came to city council to buy a piece of property and remove the zoning on that piece of property. So for the next 50 years, when you drive over a bridge, the first thing that you see is not a strip bar.”

Councillor Scott was the most concerned about this purchase. He wondered if the city had ever bought a property just to remove the licensing, he also wanted to know about the vision for the project.

“Even if we could flip it for x amount, but we, it appears if MPAC, and we could assume MPAC isn’t going to exactly be the purchase price based on demand and market, but it appears we would be overpaying quite significantly,” said Scott. “I personally don’t feel comfortable spending that sort of money, taxpayer money on that.”

Provenzano had already admitted there was no plan for the property next to it being a “good piece of property for our inventory” when Ward 2 Councillor Luke Dufour spoke up in regards to different projects on the go. “I just want the public to really understand that there absolutely is a vision for this area. We have a Jamestown revitalization strategy coming this piece of property as part of that. We have significant development that’s occurred on Mr. Porco’s property at the Mill Market. We’ve extended the hub trail to this area, we have an opportunity to extend it further. In the years to come, which will go by this area, we are relocating our transit shelter to this area we’ve approved, you know, a potential gateway development and condo development to this area.”

After the meeting, Sault Online reached out to the city and Councillor Dufour for some more information on the Jamestown project. The city has been unable to provide any information and Dufour said it is still in the planning phase but will be coming to council soon. We have since obtained a draft copy of the proposal. After reviewing it, the property does not appear to have any role in the re-development of Jamestown.

It was also determined before the vote the city would maintain the property by cutting grass and adding a few trees, since that point the property has had some work done to it. None of this was included in the price sent to council.

The vote was taken and the purchase passed 10-1 with only Scott against.

14 COMMENTS

  1. So exactly what does that mean? Mayor is taking responsibility for this purchase. Empty words mean nothing. They cry taxes and lack of money all the time yet they waste well over $200,000 in overpaying on their morals. That money could have gone a long with other projects desperately needing funding Who is going to pay back this money? This is the same guy who ignored people over daycare, bussing, and of course the destruction of Sault Fire Services by buying into the lies of the former Fire Chief fraud.
    And yes, empty words from a guy who said he isn’t running for Mayor next election. Unless he’s going to pony up the overpaid money, stop trying to snow us.
    I truly hope we have someone who has some common sense to run for Mayor in the next council,.
    Good for you Councillor Scott for not letting personal opinions step on the rights of the taxpayers.

  2. This mayor has kept council under his thumb from day one. He has wasted millions of dollars throughout his tenure on his personal agenda!
    Please remember this come next election!

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  3. The question is… Did he know what the property was really worth? And if so why pay so much over the market value. And if he really feels so bad about it he can chip in the difference

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  4. This is ONE reason that I will not be paying my taxes. Other reasons include many reductions in several services. Poor city police management is one of them. They are paid to serve and protect. When you call them for crimes committed against your business or when you count on them for protections from abusers who harass and assault you and they don’t show up, they are failing. I’ll do whatever I have to do to protect myself now since I can’t count of ssm police. Another reason I won’t be paying my taxes is that I called public works many times over the winter because of a major pothole that could never be repaired properly (winter/too cold). My house would shake every time someone drove over it…often times that was every few minutes. I expected that area of the road to be resurfaced/fixed properly over the summer. It didn’t happen. Another winter of constant shaking/banging…no taxes will be paid until the road is repaired properly.

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  5. Sounds to me like we may have a quorum..
    quo•rum kwôr′əm►
    n.
    The minimal number of officers and members of a committee or organization, usually a majority, who must be present for valid transaction of business.
    n.
    A select group.
    n.
    The minimal density of bacterial cells that results in altered gene expression in a population of bacteria.

    Or at best perhaps.. the beginnings of a ‘New city Council’. What say you all..?

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  6. Not that this will make the over payment any better … but The mayor & council did not over pay 32500 for the property! He over paid 25600 The property is worth 69000.

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  7. Why would the council even think anyone would want to open a studio 10 type operation? With today’s business climate it is almost a certainty no one would be interested. EVEN IF THEY WERE…it is a legal business in Canada if the proper protocols are followed. The mayor should not be acting as the MORAL AUTHORITY on any matter. Why would the council simply change the bylaw instead of over paying for a piece of property never to be developed? I guess the mayor can do anything since he has already announced he is not running for mayor again..good decision.

  8. I wonder how much causality behind the city’s deterioration is directly attributed to Mayor Provenzano’s city management style. Having moved to this city 10 years ago I’ve witnessed a significant decline in the past few years. I’ve never personally experienced this level of crime, seen such increased joblessness, overdoses, stifled economic growth and Trudeau-esque secrecy. I’m very disappointed and my family is currently planning moving.

  9. Just remember this when your taxes go up. Mayor pays premium for worthless land. I doubt anyone with the capital to build a brand new commercial building has their eyes on a strip club in a rough part of town; otherwise the old owner would have rebuilt and sold it.

    Jamestown revival? Not likely. (See Gore) That property at best will end up having government housing built on it. The poor and the addicted have to live somewhere, and land next to a steel plant is never going to attract people to live there if they don’t have to.

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  10. Is this the 16th centurey?morals mayor should pay.what about 200,000 spent again at underpasmfirst rain it floods& bay flood?

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  11. Christian Provenzano should have purchased the property with his own money if he wanted to ensure it’s future use. With financial struggles these days and looking for funds for the new arena, paying 5x the appraised value is irresponsible and the mayor and councilors who voted for it should be held responsible and accountable

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  12. Remember W5’s Steel Town Down?!!! What about the hundreds of overdoses and deaths that happen on the daily in this community?! I highly doubt this mayor and council have been through witnessing a loved one become addicted and die? This money would have been a God send to help addicted and hopeless people in SSM. Shame on this entire administration! I 100% agree with Paul Frolich! Everyone that backed this has to step down now!

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  13. Mayor Christian Provenzano’s explanation for purchasing this property is pathetic at best & this isn’t his first reckless misadventure with the ‘tax-payers’ cheque-book. The other 10 nit-wits who raised their hands have also once again, shown an absolute blatant disrespect for the trust instilled in them by the people of this community.

    Just as the people have lost confidence in the provincial & federal government’s ability to lead this country.. the people of Sault Ste. Marie have lost their confidence in the abilities of this administration as well.

    The people hereby demand that Mayor Christian Provenzano & all those who unanimously chose to support or act with such reckless disregard of the public interest immediately replace these funds or resign their positions.

    The people of Sault Ste. Marie can no longer afford to suffer the incompetence of this Mayor & or his council. #EnoughIsEnough

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