City Hall is taking bids on North Ruckle homes to be moved ahead of dike construction in the neighbourhood.
Bidding on more than 30 homes opened Thursday, Nov. 25, on the province’s website, bcbids.gov.ca. Forty-eight homes were on that list as of Thursday, Dec. 2, according to Graham Watt, Manager of Strategic Initiatives and Flood Recovery.
The city bought all of the homes through its Land Acquisition Program (LAP), one of two major projects paid for by the roughly $51.5 million Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF). Sixty-six homes and around twenty other properties were purchased through the LAP, whose object was to clear North Ruckle and some downtown locations ahead of flood works to be built through the city’s Flood Mitigation Program, the second overarching project under the DMAF Charter.
The 66 homes bought through the LAP accounted for roughly five per cent of Grand Forks’ housing stock at the time of the 2016 census, according to City Hall.
The bidding process will allow the city to sell the 48 homes to contractors who would be responsible for moving them by April 1, 2022, after which Watt said the city will finish demolition at those addresses. Neighbourhood homes that are still occupied are not up for bidding, he told The Gazette.
Around 10 other North Ruckle homes will be moved through the city’s historic partnership with the Osoyoos Indian Band, while other homes along the dike alignment are slated for demolition before the move deadline.
Watt said the city will evaluate a first round of bids between now and Thursday, Dec. 9, on a competitive basis, explaining that, “If two people offer the same bid on a home, preference will be given to the bidder who intends to relocate that home within city limits.”
“We hope they’ll stay in the city, but ultimately, they can go anywhere where someone finds a practical place to move them,” he added.
Bidders can make offers on the homes apart from any secondary structures on the same lots. Some of those structures include sheds, workshops or greenhouses, according to Watt.
An information package attached to the city’s call for bids provides estimated costs for moving each of the homes, excluding the homes’ appraised values and the costs of hazardous waste removal or site remediation. To that point, the information package shows that some of the homes contain lead paint, with others containing asbestos.
Estimated housing moves range from around $60,000 up to $245,000.
Bids will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis between Dec. 10 and final closing on Jan. 31, provided that they meet all of the city’s requirements.