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Amherst settles legal dispute over former Victorian Arms property

A massive fire in late August 2012 destroyed the Black and Windsor Block buildings in downtown Amherst. The buildings housed Doolys as well as the Victorian Arms Apartments. The fire also forced the Amherst Police Department to abandon its headquarters next door. That building was restored and is now home to a restaurant while the site of the fire remains empty more than five years later.
A legal dispute over the outstanding taxes for the former Victorian Arms property has been settled.

Town accepts payment from mortgage holder, writes up remediation costs

AMHERST – An ongoing legal dispute between the town and the mortgage holder for the former Victorian Arms property downtown, destroyed by fire in August 2012, has come to a conclusion.

Amherst council announced at its February session on Monday that it’s writing off the remaining $96,490 in outstanding taxes and interest from the account on the property that has sat vacant since the fire destroyed the Windsor and Black Block buildings six years ago.

Harbouredge Mortgage Investment Corporation of Toronto held the mortgage on the property at the time of the fire. The property had been put up for tax sale, but Harbouredge applied for and received an injuction in the court to stop the sale.

Amherst agreed to accept a payment of $46,975 for the outstanding taxes from Harbouredge ending its legal action against the town.

The remaining $96,490 represents the cost of remediating the site following the fire, including the removal of oil-contaminated soil, as well as interest.

The amount owing has been allowed for as a bad debt and will have no financial impact on the town’s bottom line.

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