Northampton Press

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Deteriorated property in Bath concern for some on council

Thursday, October 16, 2014 by STACEY KOCH Special to The Press in Local News

The property at 224 W. Main St. has been on the minds and agenda of Bath Borough Council for years.

At the Oct. 6 meeting, council discussed options regarding the abandoned half-double building.

Council President Robert Fields said it would cost approximately $30,000 to tear down the building and fix up the adjourning building.

"It looks like it's a pretty good price," he said.

Councilwoman Jennifer George disagreed with Fields.

"I don't think we should do that without first authorizing Tom [Petrucci, borough manager] to be able to get an appraisal on the piece of property that we could purchase because we don't really have any means to compare a cost without looking at that property," she said.

She also suggested adding recreational space for borough parks, which would meet the DCNR grant requirement for purchasing a possible new recreational area.

"Once DCNR signed off on the project, and we added to our park, then we would be free and clear to sell that building," she said. "Then we could recoup our costs. That way we're not losing any grant funding, DCNR is satisfied, we've added to our recreational opportunities and we don't face possible litigation for damage to a property. I think that's a win-win."

"I agree," Councilwoman Carol Bear-Heckman said. "The parks committee met and discussed a possible walking and exercise trail with gravel pathways."

Bear-Heckman prepared a list of pros and cons to tearing down the property and purchasing it. Some of which include a benefit as the borough would no longer be hindered by the abandoned property. She said a disadvantage to purchasing the property would be the cost could be more than the borough might receive due to its condition.

Council currently has the funds to demolish the building, but to do so "the budget would have to be changed around," Petrucci said.

Council tasked Petrucci with getting an appraisal for the building. It will discuss the matter further at future meetings.