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Municipal Authority of Westmoreland sells last office

| Thursday, June 14, 2012, 7:21 p.m.

The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County has sold the last of its former satellite offices.

Board members voted Thursday to sell the Vandergrift office on Pine Run Road to Sedat Inc., a subsidiary of Penneco Oil Co., for $261,001. Sedat's proposal was $1 higher than a bid from Nagoda Properties LLC.

"Nagoda Properties has a contingency property right there where they're under contract and set for closing Sept. 30. If that falls through, they're out of the deal," said Solicitor Kenneth Burkley. "Sedat said, 'We will close in 25 days and pay cash.' That was the big difference."

In 2007, the authority relocated its operation to a $10 million facility in Hempfield next to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission's Western Regional building at the Arona Road exit of the Amos K. Hutchinson Bypass.

Authority Executive Director Chris Kerr said at the time the authority had outgrown its offices at Route 30 and South Greengate Road in Hempfield. It was built in 1964 at a cost of about $350,000. The facility was sold in 2007 for $6 million to Pittsburgh-based Walnut Capital Acquisitions to be redeveloped into a retail complex.

The authority transferred its satellite work crews from regional locations in Vandergrift, Greensburg, Scottdale and McKeesport to the new facility, closing those offices in the process.

"When we did an analysis of moving, one of the benefits we felt would be what we would derive from the sale of all the properties," Kerr said. "It looks as though the plan is coming to completion on that."

In other business, the board approved the application for a $125,000 energy efficient grant through Pennsylvania Conservation Works to replace antiquated equipment at the Avonmore Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The plan is to install energy-efficient aeration blowers and plates. Kerr said the work is necessary, so the authority is looking for grant money to help defray the costs.

"There are some blowers that need to be replaced, blowers that help dry the sludge," Kerr said. "There's no guarantee on the application."

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