Clearfield County to Assist Houtzdale Borough with Blighted Property

CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County is looking to assist a local municipality with a blighted property.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Clearfield County Commissioners discussed what options they had to assist Houtzdale Borough with a blighted property.

Daniel Nelson, solicitor for Houtzdale Borough, said the borough has everything ready to demolish a delipidated building on a property on Brisbin Street.

He said the borough is asking the three taxing entities who hold liens on the property to release their liens to allow the borough to go through with the demolition.

Nelson said the borough has voted to release their lien, the school district will be discussing their lien at their upcoming meeting and he was hoping the county would release theirs.

Clearfield County Solicitor Kim Kesner said the county does not have the power to release the lien on a property that could potentially have value in the future.

However, there were options if the property were to be donated to a municipality or a municipal agency. It was his understanding that the borough intended to turn the property over to the Houtzdale Municipal Authority.

Kesner said in that the county could agree to release the lien if the lot has no significant value in the future; the county could negotiate with the donor for compensation if the property would ever be eligible for taxes; or if there were to be no action within 30 days, the taxes could be released.

Nelson said there was a major concern for public safety, due to the deteriorating condition of the building.

Commissioner John Sobel said he would be in favor of possibly negotiating with the borough. He said he was concerned because the county has traditionally “held out” to require some type of payment.

Kesner said he was not aware of any situations where the county negotiated down the taxes.

After further discussion, the commissioners voted unanimously to release the taxes, but the borough must release the deed for the property to the municipal authority.

In other business, the commissioners announced that a representative from the American Legion will be in the county Veterans Affairs Office from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 21. The representative will be available due to the present Veterans Affairs Director serving on a military deployment. Veterans needing assistance are urged to call 814-765-2642 ext. 3001, to make an appointment.

Also at the meeting, the commissioners approved:

  • The premium only plan description and adoption agreement.
  • Executing the rescission agreement with Colver Development.
  • Purchase of service agreements for Community County Services, Dr. Allen Ryen and the Children’s Aid Society.
  • A liquid fuel allocation for Troutville Borough in the amount of $3,000.

 

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