Fort Hotel finally facing cleanup

The remains of the Fort Hotel may soon be undergoing some cleanup work.

Fort St. John City Council passed a motion, Monday, to undertake work to remediate the property if the owner does not take on the responsibility himself.

The property is currently delinquent on property taxes, meaning that the owner has not paid three consecutive years worth of taxes.

After the third year, the property was transferred into the City’s name and went up for sale. However, since no one bid on the property, the City will officially take ownership on Sept. 28.

City Manager Dianne Hunter says if the City does take ownership, it will be required to remediate the area.

The cleanup project is expected to cost approximately $250,000 and the money has already been put in the 2010 budget. Hunter says the cleanup may even be finished before winter.

The owner does still have two options, including paying all taxes owing on the property, or he can sell the property.

If the property is sold, then the buyer would have to pay all back taxes owed to the city.

Furthermore, the cleanup costs would also have to be dealt with.

However, if the current owner does nothing, then by the end of September, the City will officially become the landowner.

Hunter adds that although the City would be responsible for any money owing to senior levels of government from the property, any liens that might currently be on the property from other companies would not transfer over.

The Fort Hotel burned down in 2009 and the building was torn down, but debris and other materials were left at the site, making it a potentially dangerous area.

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