Abandoned Dormont home funding unsettled
Dormont council will decide next month how to pay for improvements to an abandoned home the borough took over through a little-used state law, but the contractor doing the work wants to make more improvements than borough officials seem willing to fund.
Late last year, Dormont petitioned the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas to appoint a “conservator” for abandoned houses in the 1400 block of Dormont Avenue and the 2700 block of Broadway Avenue. Dormont and a contractor would take over the properties, pay to have them fixed up, then resell them.
The court agreed, and the borough selected Mt. Lebanon-based contractor Keith Buono to do the renovations.
“We are in the final steps,” Buono said. “I'm waiting until the next meeting for them to release the funds. It's getting close, I think.”
But Buono estimated it would cost $200,000 to bring the Broadway Avenue property back up to code and sellable condition, so now the plan is to demolish that building for about $25,000 and sell the land, he said.
“It's a shame, because that was one of the first houses here,” said Council President Bill McCartney. He said council would get the final estimates and vote on the spending at its meeting June 2.
“We had to, in order to do the renovations, get the market values of the properties so the renovations are consistent with what the market will bear,” said borough solicitor John Rushford. “We don't want to go beyond what we're able to recover.”
State law doesn't allow the borough to keep any profits from reselling the properties, but it doesn't want to take a loss on them, either, Rushford said.
For the Dormont Avenue house, which was divided into apartments, Buono said his plans for new kitchens, bathrooms and siding were put on hold in favor of $45,000 worth of repairs and replacement for the roof, gutters, deck and porch roof.
Jeff Naftal, borough manager, said the staff's main interest was getting the house to a point where it could sell, and many similar houses in the borough go for about $150,000.
The rest of the interior improvements would be up to the buyers, he said, so the borough would not be at risk of losing money if the house didn't sell.
Buono remained confident the properties would sell once they're back on the market, if only because he'd like to bid on them himself. The Dormont Avenue house could use an additional $45,000 of work, he said, and he'd like to build a pair of $350,000 townhouses on the Broadway Avenue parcel..
Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or email@example.com.
Add Matthew Santoni to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Digital Age reboots foreign language instruction in Western Pa. schools
- South Park middle school project will require student relocation
- Dormont to ease parking crunch once auto dealer vacates lot
- Young achiever: Dakota Palmer
- Bethel Art Guild tweaks name to eliminate ‘old bag’ stigma
- Findlay manager Gary Klingman to retire after 26 years
- Wilkinsburg Black History Month dinner to benefit young entrepreneurs
- Gallery: Western Pa. Catholic schools celebrate with events, community service
- Moon Area hires security company for second consultation
- Job growth in Upper St. Clair area prompts need for housing