Colchester County serves notice of intent to sell former Diefenbunker for tax arrears

Facility owner says sale won't take place

Published on August 27, 2012
The former Diefenbunker in Debert, which now serves as a secure digital data facility, has been placed under notice of sale by the County of Colchester for alleged tax arrears. Submitted photo
David TS Fraser

TRURO - Colchester County has served notice that it plans to sell the former Diefenbunker in Debert because of tax arrears.

Facility owner Anton Self, however, said the notice is one of several he has received in recent years and that he has no intention of losing the bunker to the municipality.

"There will be no tax sale of our property in Debert," he said. "The amount claimed is trivial compared to the millions we have invested in the project to date. We haven't taken one penny in government capital, incidentally, which is noteworthy for these parts."

The facility, known as Dataville Farms Ltd., is controlled by Self's company, Bastionhost Ltd., and is used as a secure digital data centre.

Figures published by allNovaScotia.com indicate the company owes $17,664 on bunker property and water taxes dating to 2009 and an additional $2,135 on property taxes on an adjoining lot.

Self would not confirm those figures and calls placed to Colchester County Mayor Bob Taylor and CAO Dan MacDougall were not returned on Monday.

"The amounts itemized in the notice are under review," Self said. "I cannot comment as to their accuracy – which we shall audit. There are line items for water bills. We dispute those charges, and plan to file a formal complaint with the UARB (Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board).

Under the notice of sale received last week by Self, the county said it intends to sell the property in November.

"The first such notice we received was just a year after we purchased the property, and we have received a Notice of Tax Sale each year since," he said. "Naturally, we still own the property ...

"We have already paid thousands in property taxes in the short time we have owned the property. We get little but municipal grief in return."

Last summer, Self was embroiled in controversy with the municipality over water issues that arose after the company made a request of the Debert Fire Department to hook into the municipal water system, via a fire hydrant, to refill a storage tank within the facility at the former military bunker.