School directors cutting final ties with Pittsfield Elem.

It has taken over 10 years, but the Warren County School District is almost no longer tied to the former Pittsfield Elementary School.

In a letter from Warren County Development Association President Jim Decker to the district, Decker stated, “A single Sales Agreement is being finalized between the WCDA and the Pittsfield Professional Karting Association, LLC with a sales price of $50,000.”

An agreement has been in place since Oct.13, 2003 that gave the WCDA the right to seek to develop, and ultimately sell, the property.

“The Parties understand and agree that said best efforts shall be carried out in such a manner so as to encourage, entice, and provide incentives for economic development results including, but not limited to, tax producing enterprises, job creating businesses, and the like,” the agreement stated.

When the agreement was finalized, the WCDA paid the school district $10,000, and the district stood to receive more money if the development was successful.

“Thereafter, as the WCDA develops the property, the WCDA agrees to pay to the district 90% of the net proceeds realized by the WCDA in the course of its development of the property,” the agreement stipulated, giving the WCDA the opportunity to deduct costs it incurred in developing the property.

The letter from the WCDA outlined the direct costs paid by WCDA in the development of the property $76,282.77.

Of that total, some of the larger items include $31,924.90 in property maintenance at the 32.37-acre lot, $17,297.69 in property taxes and $15,900 in asbestos abatement.

And that’s not all of it.

Decker explained in the letter that, “In addition to these direct expenses incurred by WCDA, indirect expenses of $97,239.73 were incurred in our efforts to prepare and market the property for redevelopment. All of these indirect expenses were reimbursed to WCDA through various Commonwealth of Pennsylvania grant contracts.”

“Based upon the direct costs incurred by WCDA on this property and the negotiated sale price of $50,000 no payment responsibility to WCSD exists,” Decker stated in the letter.

The issue was before the school district’s board of directors on Monday night in the form of a motion that asked that the board “accepts the final accounting prepared by the Warren County Development Association relative to the direct and indirect costs,” acknowledge that the WCDA adhered to the agreement, and authorize “the President and Board Secretary to sign the Deed conveying the property from the Warren County Development Association to the Pittsfield Professional Karting Association, LLC and to sign a Mortgage Satisfaction to satisfy the Mortgage between the” WCDA and WCSD “for the limited purpose of evidencing the Warren County Development Association’s fulfillment of the Agreement.”

The board unanimously approved the motion, as presented.

“People wonder why we don’t get a lot more money for the buildings we have vacant,” said board member Tom Knapp. “We were lucky not to lose money on this one.”