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O'Hara man hoping to buy former Eagles club building in Sharpsburg

| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

An O'Hara man has his eyes on the former Eagles building on North Canal Street in Sharpsburg but wants support to fight its assessed value.

Rush Howe told Sharpsburg officials he has a $50,000 contract to buy the building but the assessed value from Allegheny County is $793,000. He said that value is unreasonable.

“It is essentially uninhabitable,” Howe said.

While Howe would like a show of support from the borough in getting the value reassessed, officials told him that was unlikely. Council President Renee Procopio said Howe needed to take his chances with the appeal process.

“We certainly welcome you to come in and buy the property and get it on the tax rolls and get everything going the way everything should,” Procoppio said.

Officials did not want to set a precedent by openly supporting an assessment appeal in this situation, she said.

“If we did that for you, we'd have to do that for everyone who purchased property here,” Procoppio said.

Howe said the property needs $300,000 to $400,000 worth of work to be inhabitable. With the taxes that would come with the current assessed value, a sale would be difficult.

“I can't afford to buy it and pay taxes,” Howe said.

Councilman Matthew Rudzki said the borough was unlikely to attend the hearing and wanted Howe to buy the property but reiterated that official help with the case wasn't possible.

Without a reassessment, Howe said, it was possible the property could continue to get worse.

“If it remains that high, nobody is going to be able to do anything with the building,” Howe said. “It will just get further and further behind.”

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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