The Fort McMurray Legion is looking to move out of Waterways and potentially into Parsons Creek.
They’re currently in discussion with the RMWB about a potential buyout and with the government of Alberta about a land swap.
Speaking to reporters, Branch President Pat Duggan says this is ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity.
“Hopefully, at the end of the day no significant costs for the Legion to relocate and expand to provide a better service to the community.”
Since the 2016 Horse River wildfire, the Legion has seen a big drop in foot traffic. Duggan notes they’re worried it could get worse as the municipality discusses potential buyouts for half of the neighbourhood.
They decided to hold a vote to determine what members would like to see happen. Nearly 50 of the 160 members took part with all unanimously supporting the move out of Waterways.
“Even though it was unanimous, none of us are happy about having to do it,” said Duggan. “At the end of the day, the Legion has to survive for Fort McMurray.”
If a buyout and land swap are approved, the Legion would potentially remain in Waterways for the time being.
“We’re negotiating with the city if we do except the buyout we wouldn’t physically move until we have a new building to move into,” Duggan added.
Due to their insurance, they can’t abandon the property after suffering damage and must fix the building.