South Glengarry hiring real estate agent to sell surplus land

A map from a Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020 South Glengarry council agenda shows the lots in Lancaster Heights that have been declared surplus to the municipality. South Glengarry will hire a real estate agent to market these lots and all other surplus land in the township. (South Glengarry via Newswatch Group)

LANCASTER – The Township of South Glengarry will hire a real estate agent to market and sell all of its surplus land.

The decision came Tuesday night as council talked about hiring someone to sell the 26 remaining lots in Lancaster Heights, southeast of Glen Robertson on the edge of the Ontario-Quebec border.

There’s also a larger piece of land in the same area, valued at $41,000 in 2014, that was put up for sale in 2015 but did not sell due to the buyer not meeting minimum requirements, Infrastructure GM Ewen MacDonald told council.

Some of the smaller lots have been sold mostly through word-of-mouth for the past few years.

Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden, also a real estate agent, says he can see the benefit in hiring someone but he will “not be trying to get work from the municipality, it’s a huge conflict of interest.”

But the deputy mayor said that a real estate agent should be “on call” to sell all surplus land in the township – a move supported by his colleagues.

“I do agree with Deputy Mayor Warden. If we’re going to get a Realtor, then let’s get him or her for all the municipal lands,” Mayor Frank Prevost said. Prevost, also a real estate agent, did not indicate at the meeting whether his firm would participate in the RFP process.

The township stands to bring in $560,000 in revenue from the sale of the Lancaster Heights land, which MacDonald called “significant” and would “certainly be a welcome source of unfound (sic) revenue.”

MacDonald added that the Lancaster Heights listing was updated in 2015 and 2000 before that. “I do suspect that we are not at the market rate for those lots in Lancaster Heights so that is something that a Realtor would certainly determine, is market value.”

The 26 lots are roughly 0.6 to 2.0 acres each with a 2015 price listing of $16,000 to $20,500 each.

A request for proposals (RFP) will be drafted along with a listing of all surplus land for a future council meeting.