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West Deer moves to level buildings

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By George Guido
Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 12:36 a.m.
 

Despite the efforts of several West Deer supervisors, the wrecking ball soon will visit three abandoned structures in the township.

West Deer supervisors voted, 4-3, on Wednesday night to award a $15,900 contract to A.W. McNabb to demolish buildings at 1132 Eisenhower Ave., 4687 Gibsonia Road and 21 Golden Lane.

The money for the work will come from the federal Community Development Block Grant program, channeled through the North Hills Council of Governments.

Supervisor Gerry Vaerewyck had hoped to have the properties turned over to the township Housing Committee, saying that he had potential buyers for at least two of the properties.

But Supervisor Shirley Hollinbaugh was concerned that the township could lose the federal money by delaying the demolition and jeopardize the township getting future CDBG funding.

“People say they're tired of eyesores, and we have concerns, too,” said supervisors Chairman Jeff Fleming. “Some of these are not feasible to rehab.”

Vaerewyck would like to take advantage of a new state law that allows municipalities to petition a county court to appoint a conservator that will work to convey abandoned properties to new owners who will rehabilitate the structures and get them back onto the tax rolls.

“West Deer essentially has a housing shortage,” Vaerewyck said.

Voting to delay the demolition award and send the three structures' fate to the Housing Committee were Vaerewyck, Tracy Adamik and Lawrence McManus. Voting against were Fleming, Hollinbaugh, Richard DiSanti and Rick Florentine.

Voting yes on the contract award to A.W. McManus were Fleming, Hollinbaugh, DiSanti and Florentine, while Vaerewyck, Adamik and McManus voted no.

No start date on the demolition has been determined.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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