LT Supers Hear about Blighted Property Issue

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CLEARFIELD – David McBride asked the Lawrence Township Supervisors for help at Tuesday night’s meeting regarding an abandoned property neighboring his business.

McBride noted the house had been previously condemned, and has been empty for a long time.  He said he’d be willing to purchase the property that’s up for tax sale, but the cost of demolition is estimated at $12,000 and he couldn’t afford to invest that much into the parcel.

McBride said the property is hurting his business, and is an eyesore and a health hazard, adding that it’s negatively impacting property values for neighboring properties for sale. McBride asked for the township to condemn the building and have it removed.

Solicitor James Naddeo said there are a number of blighted properties in the township, but there’s no money to tear them down.

Chairman Bill Lawhead added that the township cost of demolition and legal fees will have to be recouped through leans against the property that would have to be satisfied when the property is sold. Naddeo noted the township already has leans on the property for mowing and other expenses.

Code Enforcement Officer Debra Finkbeiner said there’s a program through the state that provides funding for blighted properties, but the stipulation is that the property has to be converted into affordable housing.

McBride said he’d looked into that, but the parcel was too small to put any such housing on.

Lawhead asked Finkbeiner to check if there are any CDBG funds that could be available for such a project. He assured McBride that the township would check into what options are available before the tax sale on Sept. 12.

Finkbeiner reported that the sewerage project in the Hyde area is 25 percent complete, with work progressing on Country Club Circle and Meadow Road.

She said 435 home sewer inspections have been completed, with 46 violations discovered to date, and eight of the residences out of compliance are currently being corrected.

Stressing that the township doesn’t discourage people from having yard sales, Finkbeiner asks residents, however, to please remove signage when the sales are over. She said she’s been tracking down residents that leave signage because it’s considered litter.

Finkbeiner also reminds residents that such advertising isn’t permitted on roads designated as “Scenic Byways”

In other business, supervisors approved:

  • Placement of CMA Wastewater Treatment Staging Area on Beauty Drive
  • Land development for Integra Care at 1300 Leonard St.
  • To pass a resolution to adopt the “False Alarm” ordinance, which limits the number of false alarms from businesses to two per year after which fines and costs will be assessed.
  • To adopt the “smoke testing” ordinance that’ll require that sewage smoke testing be done as part of closing procedures in township property sales.
  • To pay the balance of $236,076 for the Mill Road Fire Co. pumper engine that’s ready to be picked up.

Supervisor Dan Mitchell thanked the Lawrence Township and Clearfield Borough police and the Pennsylvania State Police for presenting a robbery prevention workshop last Wednesday at the Clearfield Area Junior-Senior High School, noting that they did an excellent job and the program was very well attended.

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