County board clears property’s status

The Warren County Redevelopment Authority cleared an item off its plate on Tuesday morning.

The Anzietta C. DiPierro property on Route 6 in Sheffield no longer meets the criteria for blight, according to authority members.

That property was unanimously removed from the RDA’s list.

The final step that satisfied the authority members was the removal of a “hanging metal sheet”, probably flashing.

“The blight has been removed,” authority member Terry Hawk said.

“It is in poor condition… somewhat of an eyesore, but it is secure,” authority member Jamie Steffan said. “We took the position that our group is not responsible to address the cosmetic condition of the property.”

The members approved sending a letter to the Sheffield Township supervisors, with a copy sent to the owners, that the property could be put back on the list if it is allowed to deteriorate.

Paul Pascuzzi, acting as the blighted property committee’s liaison to the authority, said, “I will give Sheffield Township credit. They are taking proactive steps.”

The members are confident they will soon be able to act on another property, one that has been on the list for years. Removing the blight at the Wanda Miller property, formerly the Truver property, at 10 Railroad St., Clarendon, involves more than taking conservatorship of it and knocking the blighted structure down.

The authority does not have adequate access to the property for demolition equipment.

Contact with a neighbor has left the members hopeful that an agreement will come soon. Authority solicitor Andrea Stapleford said she has proposed that the owners either gift the property to the authority or sign a temporary construction easement.

“The Truver property we can get,” Hawk said, “if we can sit (the equipment) on the Johnson property… it looks promising.”

“The first priority is eliminating the risk to the health and safety of the neighbors,” said Pascuzzi, who is also president of Clarendon Borough Council.

The authority has the power to take control of property through a conservatorship. In that situation, the group has the legal right to demolish or rehabilitate blighted property and place a lien against the property in an amount equal to the cost of the work. The group does not own the property. The owner must pay off the lien to clear the deed.

Stapleford said an estimate for the demolition came in at about $16,000.

Because the building is a commercial structure, asbestos abatement would add to that cost, according to Hawk.

The authority allowed some property owners who had made progress prior to the onset of winter or who have only recently acquired the blighted properties more time.

In the case of the Bona property at 123 Front St., Glade Township, the authority asked Stapleford to “prepare one final letter to the owner.” The group is not satisfied with the response it will take the property into conservatorship, Hawk said, adding, “If he isn’t going to move on it, we have to.”

The Pleasant Township supervisors have encouraged the authority to act on a property at 463 Pleasant Drive. Authority members said there is a hole in the roof of the David and Judyth Smith property and that the Smiths have failed to live up to a self-established timeline.

“Last year, the Smiths said they would address it last summer,” Pascuzzi said.

Authority member Pam Matve said she would write a letter asking the Smiths to attend the authority’s April 15 meeting and that they should be prepared to offer a “solid plan… or we’ll take legal action.”

A property the authority acquired in 2010 may soon be off its books.

There is someone who is “very interested” in the 21 Kinnear St. property, according to Stapleford, and has verbally agreed to the $1,500 asking price.

Stapleford planned to have the deed completed for authority chairman John Zavinski to sign Tuesday.