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Deed transfers in city allow sale of properties

LOCK HAVEN — City council transferred deeds of four properties to the Redevelopment Authority in an effort to get more property back on the tax roll.

Of the four, two involve major properties for sale within the city limits including the former Town Tavern property.

The authority is in negotiations with a firm to sell 37-55 Bellefonte Avenue for $65,000, City Manager Gregory Wilson said during a previous meeting.

The possible buyer, Davis and Yoder, are proposing a possible three story structure with the first floor as commercial and floors two and three residential, Wilson said.

The transfer of the deed to the authority has given them the ability to negotiate the possible sale further, he said.

The second large portion of property is the former City Public Works Building at 2 W. Walnut St.

The authority is in a sales agreement with VASAS, Inc. to purchase the property for $200,000.

VASAS, who purchased the former Lucky 7 property in 2017 and is constructing a truck stop and restaurant, would like to build a restaurant on the property, Wilson said.

The revenue generated from both sales would pay for the cost the city put into tearing down the Town Tavern in 2019, Wilson said.

Two other smaller parcels of land — 615 Park Street and a portion of land near Myrtle Street along the rail road tracks — were transferred to the authority.

All members of council were present for Monday night’s meeting.

MASONIC TEMPLE

Council approved a request from Downtown Lock Haven Inc. to file a Municipal Assistance Program (MAP) grant from Department of Community and Economic Development that could cover half the cost of a feasibility study for the Masonic Temple.

DLH announced in January they were in agreement with the Masons to transfer the property to the nonprofit and transform the three story building into a cultural center.

Steve Getz of the Clinton County Arts Council – another partner in the project – said the total cost of the study is $20,000.

The MAP grant would pay for half of the cost. The other half would be covered by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), Getz said.

Wilson said he gave City Planner Abigail Roberts permission to offer some assistance in writing both grants but council needed to approve the submission of the MAP grant.

All members of council were in favor of the request.

“I think if anybody isn’t excited about this then they’ve got their eyes and ears closed,” Councilman Richard “Rick” Conklin said.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business council:

— Amended Chapter 27 of the City Code involving fencing so the maximum height of a fence can be eight feet. Fences were only allowed to be up to six feet under the previous ordinance.

— Endorsed the creation of the Complete Count Committee to support the 2020 Census.

— Entered into an agreement with Baker Tilly for the 2019 fiscal year audit at the cost of $43,000.

— Readopted the Drought Contingency Plan for the next five years. City Manager Gregory Wilson said the plan was almost the same except for the removal of supplemental wells as a back up in the event of a drought. The Susquehanna River will be the city’s main source of water in the event of dry weather, Wilson said.

— Approved multiple use requests from Downtown Lock Haven Rotary including the installation of two Little Red Libraries in Jack Bailey Playground and Hoberman.

— Appointed Jim Leone, of Rose Street, to the City Planning Commission and Ted Nuttall, of West Main Street, to the Levee Advisory Committee.

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