Figuring out what to do with Petrolia’s Scotiabank building

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The Scotiabank building in Petrolia was built in 1911 and has been home to the bank for 112 years. Heather Wright Photo

Petrolia council has struck a five-person committee to figure out what to do with the recently acquired Scotiabank on Petrolia Line.

The 112 year-old fixture on Petrolia Line closed March 7 amid a round of layoffs at one of Canada’s largest and most profitable banks. Local politicians were upset with the closure and met with representatives from Scotiabank via a video conference. That call led to talks to purchase the building.

May 27, CAO Rick Charlebois said a deal had been struck for the town to buy the building for $200,000, well below the assessment Scotiabank obtained stating the property was worth $1.2 million.

At the time the sale was announced, Mayor Brad Loosley said residents would have a say on what the building could house. An open house on the issue was slated for Wednesday night.

But Monday, in advance of the meeting at Victoria Hall, council agreed with Loosley’s proposal to appoint Deputy Mayor Joel Field and Councillor Bill Clark to a sub-committee aimed to find the bank’s new purpose.

The Independent asked the mayor why the committee contained more staff than councillors, with Loosley replying he wanted to keep the committee small.

The group will take the suggestions from Wednesday’s open house and come to council in the near future with possible uses of the building.

The town still has to give access to the property to Scotiabank occasionally for business meetings.