Slocan’s waterfront could soon look a lot different. Photo: Royal LePage

Village of Slocan purchases former mill site for $1.5 million

Residential and commercial area, park space now set to be built on site

The Village of Slocan officially purchased the $1.5-million former mill site along its waterfront on Thursday, Sept. 3.

Susan McKenzie, a local realtor involved with the purchase, said the village could now potentiallydevelop the 19-acre site into a residential and commercial area. She said a portion of the site could also be developed into a park space.

McKenzie suggests there could be an infrastructure boom in Slocan with the purchase of the site.

“The village has been trying to make Harold Street more attractive and commercial in recent years. By owning this property, they’ll be able to expand the street right down to the beach and waterfront,” said McKenzie.

“This site is definitely a huge asset and it will expand the village by quite a lot.”

According to a report by village chief administrative officer Michelle Gordon, staff will also work with B.C. government staff and stakeholders to remediate the site and restore Springer Creek to its original condition.

Emotion and excitement set in for McKenzie, who is originally from Slocan herself, when the deal finally went through.

“I was initially in shock. I have been working with the village for three and a half years trying to complete this purchase,” said McKenzie.

“It actually took a couple days for me to realize that it actually was going to happen. This is definitely the sale of my career.”

The purchase of the site is a big investment for the small village, especially since it had to borrow around $845,000 to call the property its own.

A three-per-cent tax increase for Slocan households has also been proposed to help with the purchase.

The site had been on the market since 2014 when the Springer Creek Forest Product sawmill closed after over 40 years in operation.

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