Pesky Clarendon property nearing the end of the line

bklein@timesobserver.com

For the better part of five years the Wanda Miller property at 10 Railroad Street in Clarendon Borough has been listed as ‘old business’ on the Warren County Redevelopment Authority’s agenda.

The authority has worked to determine who owns it, what the liens are and what can ultimately be done to remove the dilapidated structure that is open with grass growing up to the windows .

Now, after the authority’s Tuesday morning meeting, it looks like progress is being made .

“She is more than happy to sign a deed to convey the property to the redevelopment authority,” Andrea Stapleford, solicitor of the authority, said of Miller.

Wanda Miller is the owner of the 10 Railroad St. property in Clarendon. The property was put in her name on March 29, 2012.

There are $1,714.65 in back taxes and $1,322 in outstanding sewer bills on the property, Stapleford said.

“We can’t use our money to pay sewer bills and back taxes to get rid of those,” she said about using Community Development Block Grant funds from the state Department of Community and Economic Development to remove the blighted property.

The authority learned the property is in the first-year phase of judicial sale because it had been pulled from the sale last year after all the parties involved were not notified.

“We need to take action,” authority member Pam Matve said.

“If it’s sitting in the redevelopment authority’s court it’s stickier than if it was in Clarendon Borough’s court,” development authority member Paul Pascuzzi said. “It’s of no value to anybody…the problem is it’s still a blighted property.”

“I think that’s your best move; give it to the borough and the borough pursues tax forgiveness from the taxing bodies and the lien holder. Get free and clear of that and the only thing you have hanging over it is just the demolition costs,” authority member Dan Glotz said.

Authority member Terry Hawk made a motion to move the property from Miller through the redevelopment authority to Clarendon Borough to take ownership, pending its approval.

“It goes directly through the redevelopment authority to Clarendon Borough and they take ownership of it,” he said. “I make a motion that Andrea, contingent upon Clarendon Borough’s board approval of the acceptance of this property, that Andrea make the connection with the existing owner and accept the property on behalf of Clarendon Borough.”

County Grants Administrator Lorri Dunlap told the authority the demolition process will entail examining and removing asbestos and writing a request for proposal to demolish the structure.

She said CDBG funds could possibly be used to construct a park once the property has been cleared.

That will leave time for the borough, if it approves the transfer, to work with the taxing bodies, Pascuzzi said.