CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Commissioners will make an offer of $40,000 on the property where Ethan’s Café/The Angry Bean and Rick Evans Photography were formerly located on North Third Street in downtown Clearfield.
The restaurant/coffee shop was destroyed by fire the night of Feb. 9. The fire also displaced the photography studio next door and several second-floor apartment tenants. Damage was estimated at $750,000, according to previous GantDaily.com reports.
Following a brief executive session at Wednesday’s meeting, Commissioner Chairperson Joan Robinson-McMillen said the property owner, Dustin Quigley, wanted the county to consider purchasing it. The property is located from 112-124 N. Third St., and it neighbors the county’s administrative office building at 212 E. Locust St.
Robinson McMillen said Quigley offered the property to the commissioners “as is” for $125,000; if they would like it paved, he offered the property for $150,000. She said county code requires the commissioners to pay only fair market value.
According to her, the commissioners have investigated Quigley’s offer with the chief assessor, and community members have provided appraisals of comparable properties. She also addressed concerns that have arisen about their intentions for the property.
“There’s been some concern that we would be putting a parking lot in,” said Robinson-McMillen. “That is not our intention. We, if a price is reached, would simply like to entertain purchasing that lot.
“It would be for sale if a business wanted to come in. This way we control our own destiny and the grounds around it, so that our buildings are maintained in a good order. They are the taxpayers’ buildings.”
Commissioner John A. Sobel said they appreciated the concerns expressed by community members. He said it’s a good location for a business in the downtown Clearfield area. If it’s purchased, Sobel said they don’t have any intentions other than to make the property available to an interested business provided it allows the county’s offices to be safe.
“We almost lost the building. We want to have some control over what might locate there,” he said. “We do wish to make the property available as a source of tax revenue for the borough, the school district and the county. But in the same token, we are responsible for the building we’re located in, and we want to make sure it’s safe and properly maintained.”
The commissioners approved, 2-0, to make the offer to Quigley, who will have 30 days to respond. Commissioner Mark B. McCracken was absent from the meeting.