By Robert Frank
Laval has spent nearly $4 million to buy the high-rise building next to city hall where municipal civil servants have worked for more than a quarter-century.
“It was an unbelievable deal,” St. Vincent de Paul Councillor Paolo Galati told The Suburban. “The building has a book value of close to $18 million.”
“We will be saving about $800,000 a year on rent alone,” he enthused.
While Galati acknowledged that the city will no longer be able to collect property tax, now that it owns the building, he asserted that taxpayers will still come out on top.
“When we resigned the lease in 1998, we retained the option to buy the property after 15 years,” he said in an interview. “We did the math and the savings on the lease outweighed the loss of revenue from municipal taxes.”
The city’s property evaluation section was the first department to move out of city hall into the adjacent office tower at 1333 Chomedey Blvd. after Laval first leased the building in 1988, and it has remained there ever since.
Galati explained that the city was the building’s exclusive tenant.
“It’s full,” he said. “It’s all city offices and will remain that way for some time. We’re short of office space at city hall.”
He added that the city plans to invest in modernizing the premises to make it more energy efficient and environment-friendly.
“We project renovations and upgrades to the whole structure during the next few years,” Galati explained, “hopefully hand-in-hand with an overall vision to modernize the whole area here.”
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