One town’s good fortune is another’s lament. A furious five-month lobby to save Almonte’s barely year-old land registry office from closure produced dividends Thursday when Consumer Minister Marilyn Churley announced she was reversing the decision. Lucky Almonte. Not so lucky is nearby Perth.
Churley said the registry office in that town, the seat of county government in Lanark, will be closed in its place effective Oct. 28. “I heard from many in Lanark County who said the Almonte Land Registry Office, a one million dollar building, justified an exception,” she said, noting in a press release that it does not need renovations and has the size to accommodate the increase in records and installation of computers.
The decision was immediately condemned by Perth lawyers, who said they had no idea the town’s registry office was in jeopardy. “Nobody was aware that this was a competition between the two centres,” said lawyer Robert Butterworth, past president of the Lanark County Law Association. “Nobody in the county was arguing for one over the other.” Almonte lawyer, Pat Galway, who led the lobby to reverse the ministry’s original decision announced May 7, said Thursday’s announcement left him with mixed feelings.
“None of us who argued in favor of keeping the Almonte office said it should be done at the expense of another.” The province announced May 7 Churley Exception Jordan In middle that 14 registry offices across the” province would be shut this fall to,” save $1 million in operating expenditures and an estimated $8 million in renovations. Registry’ records would be consolidated in the town that also serves as the-county seat. ; The closures have been hotly; contested in every case. Lawyers-and developers have said it will; cost their clients more if they; have to drive an hour or more to the registry office to file documents. Lanark-Renfrew Tory MPP Leo Jordan, who has been outspoken in his criticism of the decision to close the Almonte office, now finds himself in an awkward spot.
His riding includes both towns. “As far as service to the people is concerned, this (decision) is worse,” he said, insisting both offices should be kept open. Perth would serve Lanark County, he said, while Almonte would serve the northern portion of the county, West Carleton and Kanata.
Perth Mayor Chuck Montgomery was furious the town was given no advance notice of the decision. Montgomery vowed the town is prepared to fight the province on the closure. Butterworth said Perth’s registry office should be kept open because the sheriff’s office is there, and land division committee meets there. 11 Oct 1991, Fri
Nonetheless the outcry against the closing of the Almonte office was so vocal and so obviously on the side of common sense that in the end we won the day and the Perth office eventually was consumed by Almonte. For a while thereafter this necessitated the attendance of the Perth law firms in Almonte to close their deals, something I confess brought a wicked smile to my face from time to time. Read– Land Registry Office-November 9, 2012 – 7:00 am L. G. William Chapman, B.A., LL.B.
Land Registry, Microfilm, and Atlas Collection Land Registry Abstract Books date from the Crown Patent to the mid 1980s Archives Lanark