The Fort McMurray Legion remains in talks with the RMWB and province about moving their building out of Waterways.
Back in August, nearly one-third of members voted unanimously to move out of the neighbourhood as the RMWB was considering potential buyouts for some of the properties.
Wood Buffalo council ended up voting against buyouts, choosing to continue flood mitigation work.
Despite this, Branch President Pat Duggan tells Mix News possible options, including a land swap, are still being discussed as the Legion continues to see a big drop in foot traffic.
“After the fire, we lost a lot of folks who didn’t move back, the economic downturn, lost more after the flood… we’re already seeing more places up for sale and people looking to move.”
The Legion has had two previous buildings – one in Waterways and the other in downtown.
High on the list of possible destinations is Parsons Creek. The Legion is currently talking to the province as they own the land in the neighbourhood.
“The Legion is the actual love and thoughts we have for our veterans and that has to continue on, all the programming has to continue. So, for us to be viable, we have to move as well,” added Duggan.
As of right now, the Legion is expected to remain in Waterways for the next couple of years. They’re currently looking at reopening the lower level of their building, which was damaged in April’s flood, sometime in December.
Duggan adds he understands some Waterways residents will have hard feelings about the move, however, they need to do whatever they can to remain viable for the community.
“Amongst some of the members who were a part of that group who voted unanimously were some of the members who helped build that building and do have a lot of emotional attachment to it and it does have historical significance, but again it’s not about the building, it’s about what we do for the community.”