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Mayor Cherepko clarifies status of Palisades

| Thursday, May 2, 2013, 2:31 a.m.

McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko dispelled rumors that the Palisades is for sale.

During Wednesday's meeting, resident Robert Livingston approached council with three questions regarding the entertainment hall and banquet facility at 100 Fifth Ave.

He asked if the building is for sale, what its market value would be and if there is a financial statement available for its operation.

“Are we marketing it? The answer is no,” Cherepko said. “Have we had offers that sparked some rumors? Yes.”

With the Palisades being part of a waterfront destination, framed by the Marina at McKees Point and a local trail system, the mayor said any offers on the Palisades would have to be based on more than a single financial transaction.

“The bottom line will not be the bottom dollar,” Cherepko said. “Anything we would look into will have to be a long-term commitment to the city of McKeesport.”

The city only would entertain offers that appear to boost that area's status as a regional asset. The Palisades is owned by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of McKeesport and its operation is managed by a non-performing arts commission.

A financial statement, provided by the city's non-performing arts commission, should be available in public records in city hall, officials told Livingston.

In other business, council:

• Vacated by ordinance a portion of Harrison Street and an unnamed alley for parking expansion at Cal's Cantina.

• Revised the city's human relations commission by official ordinance.

• Authorized Starfire Corp. to perform the fireworks display at Renziehausen Park on June 29, July 4, Aug. 15 and Sept. 2 for a total of $21,000.

• Authorized a $40,963 contract with DataMatrix Systems for new computers and software at city hall and the public safety building, to be paid with an early intervention program grant that was awarded in 2012 through the state Department of Community and Economic Development after a qualifying Delta Development Group report in 2010.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or jvertullo@tribweb.com.

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