Clearfield Commissioners Review Map for SPCA Lease Agreement

(GantDaily Graphic)

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County commissioners reviewed the property map related to its proposed lease agreement from the SPCA for the construction of a new animal shelter on a five-acre parcel near the Clearfield County Jail at its work shop meeting on Tuesday.

County solicitor Kim Kesner said he had received the proposed ground lease, which was long-term for a period of 40 years, and more recently the property map. He said the county was in “good shape” so far as the property’s zoning, but the keys would be the location subject to lease and its implications for the jail.

“It appears to be closer (than I originally thought) to the jail,” Commissioner Mark B. McCracken said while looking at the map.  “. . . It could cut our property in half. We need to look at the future of the county.”

McCracken said the commissioners must keep the prison board informed about the proposed lease agreement and its status. He also said the prison board should be presented with a copy of the property map.

Both Commissioners John A. Sobel and Joan Robinson-McMillen suggested that the board meet again with representatives of the SPCA and visit the proposed location with them.

“But at the same time, we need to keep this moving and the public informed,” Robinson-McMillen said.

According to a prior GantDaily report, Peter Smith, attorney for the SPCA, said their current shelter, located on Graham Station Road in Philipsburg, isn’t able to sufficiently facilitate their services. He said it has become mandatory for them to construct a new shelter, which would be a $1 million facility. He said they would begin a capital campaign pending the approval of the lease.

Smith said the proposed location was “ideal,” as it would not only make them more visible, but also more accessible. He also believed that it would become a facility that the local citizens would be “proud of.”

Sobel said then that he had read the drafted lease and found it satisfactory. However, he deferred further review of the same to Kesner, who urged them to look more critically at the parcel’s boundaries.

Kesner pointed out that the commissioners had previously petitioned the Lawrence Township Supervisors to change the zoning of the property from rural agricultural to industrial limited. He indicated that the latter would have prohibited the construction of an animal shelter.

Kesner, too, indicated that their petition had been amended, and zoning changes wouldn’t be made on this particular property. He noted there was a strip of land along US Route 322 that may affect the plans of the SPCA.

When they met with Lawrence Township officials, Kesner said they weren’t able to provide more specific information about the previously said strip of land. He pushed for them all to determine the exact boundaries rather than just an approximate for the five-acre parcel.

“It’s something to look at closely. It needs to be critically looked at. We don’t want to be cornering ourselves with the needs of the jail,” he said.

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