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Talks to resolve $3.5M Monsour liens under way

| Friday, Jan. 9, 2015, 12:01 a.m.

Negotiations have commenced to resolve $3.5 million in liens leveled against the former Monsour Medical Center property in Jeannette, a county official said Thursday.

“There's been productive dialogue with the two lien holders, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. and the IRS, and we're hoping the issue will be worked out soon,” county planning director Jason Rigone said.

The liens have stalled the county's plan to remediate and demolish the complex along Route 30. The 3.8-acre property was purchased at a judicial sale last year by the county's Land Bank, which intends to rehabilitate the site, sell it and have it returned to the tax rolls.

Since the Monsour Medical Center was ordered by the state to close in 2006, the hospital has been vacant. Over time, it has been targeted by vandals and arsonists — most recently last month, when a fire was set in a first-floor loading dock area.

Commissioners on Thursday approved a nearly $9,800 contract to erect an 1,800-foot fence around the property. The fence was installed two weeks ago after last month's fire.

“After the fire, we felt we had to add security measures that were needed to restrict access to the site,” Rigone said.

Last month, county commissioners awarded a $95,900 contract with a consulting firm to oversee engineering work to clean up the property and plan for demolition of the hospital buildings.

Rigone said demolition is still on target for the summer.

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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