By Michael Boriero
Local Journalism Initiative
The historic, and decrepit, Del Monty Hotel has come under the temporary ownership of the town of Stanstead, after the building’s owner ceased paying property taxes several years ago.
“Well, basically, if you don’t pay your taxes over several years the town has the right to put your property up for sale for taxes and that’s where we are, so basically they didn’t pay their taxes for, if I’m not mistaken, the last three years,” said Stanstead Mayor Jody Stone.
The current owner, Jacques Hauben, will have one year to pay back what is owed on the property, plus 10 per cent, if he wants to keep the building. The building has been vacant since 2017 — the year Hauben’s father and previous building owner, Marcel, passed away.
According to Stone, Hauben is on the hook for nearly $48,000, a mixture of property taxes, school taxes and different professional fees, but it remains to be seen whether the building owner is interested in retaining the property. Hauben has been in contact with the town.
“I haven’t personally, but [he has spoken] with the general manager, so he’s aware of all the procedures that need to be done if he does want to take back the building […] I honestly don’t know. I do know there’s an interested party that might want to purchase it,” said Stone.
Hauben was given every opportunity to pay for these outstanding property taxes, the mayor continued, adding that the Del Monty was the only building in Stanstead to go up for sale due to tax reasons this year. Hauben did not reply to The Record’s interview request.
However, Stone said the building has been of particular concern to the town because in its current shape, it could pose as a serious danger to the population. Stanstead is inspecting the property to determine whether it is structurally sound or not, he explained.
“Is it going to fall apart? There hasn’t been any maintenance on it, nothing. We know that the water has been leaking inside the building, you know, we’ve had to turn off the town water, there’s a bunch of issues with that,” said Stone in a phone interview.