Carbon County officials want to find out how much the 59-acre Packerton Yards site is worth.
During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board voted 2-0 to approve a proposal by Andress Appraisals (Vincent Gilotti) for two appraisals of the site that stretches between Mahoning Township and Lehighton. The first would be for the property "as is" and the second would be if the county would be able to install the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's approved access road. Commissioner William O'Gurek was absent from the meeting.
The total cost for the appraisal would be $8,500.
Commissioner Wayne Nothstein said that the current appraisal the county has for the property can't be used if the commissioners find a buyer for the site, because it has a value with an access road into the site. Currently, the commissioners are appealing Carbon County Court of Common Pleas decision to deny the county to build a road into the site.
"We can't sell it because of the appraisal right now," Nothstein said, adding that the property value will be lower than the last appraisal.
Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard noted that the property was bought in good intentions 10 years ago by Commissioner William O'Gurek and former Commissioner Charles Getz, with the hopes of industrializing the site and bringing in jobs, but too many road blocks have caused a number of delays and the loss of millions in grants.
"I think we need to face reality and put a for sale sign on it," he said.
In other matters, the commissioners awarded K.E.S.K. Corporation of Jim Thorpe with the contract for the restroom renovations at the Old Mauch Chunk Train Station. K.E.S.K. was the apparent low bidder in both general and plumbing contracts with bids of $74,500 for general contracting work and $24,750 for plumbing.
Nothstein said that he expects the project to begin in two weeks.
Gerhard added that the county is excited about the bids because they expected the cost to be close to $150,000 for renovations and they came in $50,000 lower.
"We're excited K.E.S.K. is from Jim Thorpe and that we got a good price," he said.
Last week, the board opened bids for the project, which will be a complete overhaul of the bathroom facilities in the train station.
The project is expected to take between four and eight weeks, depending on any problems that may arise once work begins.
The train station will remain open to visitors, but bathrooms will not be available inside the building.