DUBOIS – On Monday DuBois City Council voted to turn over 2.3 acres of land to the DuBois Area School District for required creation of additional wetlands.
The acreage is a portion of land behind Truck and Tractor Supply on Beaver Drive. This will remove the last of Area 5 off of the city’s books. The decision was made unanimously after debate on alternatives solutions. It was said at the meeting that the school board only required half an acre for creating new wetlands.
Council Member Diane Bernardo inquired on whether the property could be kept by the city as it bordered the railroad. She brought up the possibility that the Marcellus Shale industry may want a rail based location in the area. City Solicitor Toni Cherry was initially interested in seeing how to utilize the mitigation to benefit the city. Interest died down as it was stated in the meeting that the city has unused credits of wetland creation and the land would need to be in the district’s name for them to get credit for creating the wetlands.
Council Member Edward Walsh asked Scott Farrell, city engineering technician, if in his professional opinion the city should give the land to the school district. Farrell brought the issue before the council and is also the vice-president of the DuBois Area School Board.
“I would, just to get rid of the problems with area five,” answered Farrell.
Farrell listed several problems with the property that make the land difficult to utilize in a way that would generate future tax money for the city.
Some of the listed problems include: the land is already becoming wetlands naturally, there is minimal to no access to the property as it is behind Tractor Supply, the rail road removes some of the buildable space, flood management regulations prevent building within eighty feet of the middle of McCracken Run that runs next to the land and a sewer line runs parallel to McCracken Run under the land.