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Greensburg Council OKs property sales

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

Greensburg City Council on Tuesday approved selling a South Pennsylvania Avenue complex housing five stores and two adjoining parking areas to two city attorneys.

In a 4-0 vote during its regular meeting, council accepted Gregory C. Moore and Lawrence F. Becker III's bid of $541,003 for 100-108 S. Pennsylvania Ave. Councilman Randy Finfrock didn't attend.

City solicitor Bernard McArdle said he hopes the sale can be finalized by end of this year.

Before then, he must work out a sales agreement with the prospective buyers and they must obtain financing. Their purchase further could depend on an inspection of the property.

Katwalk, Mancuso's Shoe Repair, Golf for Her, Herbs to Your Health and Lapels: A Fine Men's Store are in the 7,382-square-foot building. The buyers further get an adjoining surface parking lot with 50 spaces and a lower-level parking area with 71 spaces.

The agreement will require that the surface lot remains used for public parking, McArdle said.

The city has owned the complex since the 1970s. Mayor Ron Silvis and council members said they wanted to sell the complex because they don't believe city government should own rental property. City employees also spend too much time with upkeep on the property and negotiating leases, Silvis and council members said.

Five bids had been submitted for the property. One of them, from The Buncher Co. of Pittsburgh, offered a range — $475,000-$575,000.

“We didn't feel it ... met the requirements because it wasn't a firm bid,” City Administrator Sue Trout said.

In a related matter, council approved a two-year lease for $928 monthly for Golf for Her, starting Nov. 1.

In another matter, council introduced the proposed 2013 budget. Millage will remain at 25.05 mills, with 17.05 mills devoted to the general fund and 8 mills to the sinking fund, which is used to pay off long-term debt, said Councilman Rob DePasquale, who oversees accounts and finance.

The budget totals $24.43 million, with about $11.29 million set aside for the general fund, which is used for normal day-to-day operation expenses. Accounts such as pension and grant funds make up the remainder of the budget.

Council plans no changes in services or layoffs for full-time employees, DePasquale said. A few job changes or reclassifications may occur, he said.

A police officer and a public works position will remain vacant this year, DePasquale said.

General-fund expenses total $4.36 million for public affairs and safety; $3.69 million for accounts and finance; $1 million for administration, development and public operation, $956,316 for public works; $1.22 million for parks and recreation.

City officials project $2.1 million will be raise for the general fund from property taxes and $2.68 million from the earned income tax. A mill generates $131,000.

In another matter, Seton Hill University donated $30,000 to city government in memory of former Councilman Tom Tridico, and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Seton Hill gave $5,000.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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