Meyersdale considers free building offer
Meyersdale Borough Council held a special meeting Tuesday to approve the final budget. (Staff photo by Katie Walker)
A local property owner has offered to donate his building to the borough to build a community park for free, public use.
Dave Jenkins offered to donate his property, which is located on the corner of Center and Main streets. His offer is dependent on several conditions outlined in a letter read by council at a special meeting Tuesday.
The offer arose amid a pending court appeal Jenkins filed against the borough after council suspended his rental license last year. Jenkins, who is a landlord, violated the borough's rental ordinance, according to borough President Martha Curran. The appeal is pending.
As part of the agreement proposed by Jenkins, council would drop any liens against his property. Jenkins said that he would stop his court appeal if the deal is approved. He has also requested a plaque stating the he donated the building be posted somewhere at the park site.
Council would have to pay all costs associated with demolishing the building.
Councilman Bill Curran was optimistic about the proposal.
"This should be a situation where the borough will spend very little," he said. "We could get a grant to have the building torn down. Hopefully it will be conducive to business. It's a place for families and bikers enjoying the trail to enjoy."
Council is concerned, however, that more than one lien may be filed against the property.
"How much are the liens?" Curran asked. "That's what we need to find out."
The property will be discussed further at next month's meeting.
In other business, council approved changes to the 2012 budget. The $505,689 spending plan includes a 2-mill tax increase.
As part of money-saving efforts, council approved the temporary furlough of two full-time police officers.
Council is now facing two grievances filed by the union that represents Meyersdale Borough Police Department.
The first grievance deals with an illegal layoff. Because there is no official voluntary layoff agreement the council is in violation of the police contract that requires the municipality to furlough part-time officers first, according to Carl Bailey, secretary/treasurer of Teamsters Local 205.
The second grievance is seeking retroactive holiday pay for 2011 under the terms of the new contract.
Mayor Mike Brant said the police committee has denied both grievances. Brant said attorney Dan Rullo wants to meet with council to discuss the grievances further.
Council will meet with Rullo at 6 p.m. Monday. A roundtable discussion for community input will be held at 7 p.m.
Council accepted the resignation of Pat Murray, who resigned last week due to personal reasons. Anyone who is interested in the position should submit a letter to the borough or call the borough office at 814-634-5110.