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West Deer hires firms to demolish houses

| Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, 1:26 a.m.

West Deer supervisors on Wednesday night awarded two contracts to demolish dilapidated homes, but several board members want the homes to be preserved.

Vernon Fry Excavation, Inc. was awarded a $4,900 contract to raze a structure at 99 Orchard St. and a $3,700 contract to tear down a building at 463 Sycamore St.

Supervisor Gary Vaerewyck thought the $20,000 set aside when this year's budget was reopened in February was earmarked for “home recycling,” not demolition.

Supervisors Tracy Adamik and Lawrence McManus said buyers are available for the homes, individuals who want to rehabilitate the homes and get them back on the tax rolls. They added that when a home is demolished, the township is responsible for mowing the grass and dealing with shrubbery overgrowth.

Supervisors Chairman Jeff Fleming, RichardDiSanti, Shirley Hollinbaugh and Rick Florentine voted to award the demolition contract while Vaerewyck, Adamik and McManus voted no.

Bids to demolish three more homes in the township are slated to be opened Thursday. Vaerewyck said there are buyers available for those homes.

Supervisors are expect to vote on those bids Oct. 16.

Money to demolish those three homes is being provided by a federal Community Development Block Grant.

Fire house flooded

Chief Josh Wiegand of West Deer No. 3 Fire Company told supervisors that the station has been flooded “five or six times this year during heavy downpours.”

The station is in a low-lying area along Route 910, and water cascading down nearby hillsides overflows an unnamed tributary of Deer Creek.

Debris is gathering near a PennDOT drainpipe along Route 910, causing the road to be closed at times.

Township engineering and public works officials will look for solutions, such a installing a retention pond or an instrument to catch debris.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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