Eleven properties located within the Wheatley blast zone could become the property of the municipality.
The idea is part of a conceptual mitigation plan for the community rocked by an explosion in the downtown core in August of 2021.
Dave Taylor, Chatham-Kent’s director of legal services, cautioned that the possible real estate exchange is only an “exploratory conversation at this point.
“We’ll be reaching out to the owners of the 11 properties,” Taylor explained. “This is a potential step we could take.”
Taylor said purchasing properties located in the evacuation zone would allow the municipality to be able to continue to operate safety monitoring equipment, and it would help affected property owners move forward.
No final decisions have been made by the municipality about purchasing any properties, as the final decision is to be made by council.
The municipality, in conjunction with the Ministry of Natural Resources, is holding a public meeting March 1 to reveal the findings of the latest engineering investigations.
Taylor said the meeting will allow for public input as a way for the community to rebuild and heal.
A location for the meeting in Ward 1 has yet to be determined.