Business faces expropriation by city after investing $1 million
A Winnipeg business may have its property expropriated by the city only a few months after it recently poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into its operation.
Mike Gobeil, owner of Eliminator-RC, says about $1 million has been invested into the hobby shop's new location on Higgins Avenue. He fears it may have all been for nothing because of the potential for property to be expropriated to make way for work on the Disraeli Bridge.
"After all the investment we've done to move in here, we've migrated our customers, renovated the building. It's going to be a big loss," says Gobeil.
His business lies near the Disraeli Bridge which is slated to be overhauled. The city says 19 properties will have to be expropriated in whole, or in part, so the project can go forward.
Gobeil is worried the expropriation will cost him customers and he's angry about the way he found out. Rather than find out from the city, a construction company was the first to break the news.
The city, however, says notice was sent out.
"The city did mail a letter out six days ago," says Ed Shiller, manager of corporate communications with the City of Winnipeg.
The city says if the proper notification process didn't happen, it will try to make it right.
Point Douglas Coun. Mike Pagtakhan says the city dropped the ball.
He says Gobeil should have been officially notified as quickly as possible.
But Gobeil says it's already too late, especially after the city granted his business permits for the site in December.
"Why did they let us get occupancy and do all that work and move in?" asks Gobeil.
The city says its plan for the Disraeli Bridge was only finalized in January, a couple of weeks after Gobeil set up.
The city also says it prefers to notify people by letter, rather than in person, about expropriation because it wants to give individuals a chance to consider an offer and then decide how to proceed.
- with a report from CTV's Jon Hendricks