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Lansford Council considers buying Dime Bank building

  • BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS The former Dime Bank in Lansford is being considered as a new borough hall.
    BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS The former Dime Bank in Lansford is being considered as a new borough hall.
Published March 17. 2011 05:02PM

Lansford council has set it sights on buying the former Dime Bank building at 7 West Ridge St. as a possible new borough home.

At a special meeting Wednesday, council discussed making an offer $10,000 to $20,000 was mentioned for the three-story red brick building.

There was no discussion of how the borough would pay for the building. Members tabled the matter until council's next public meeting at 6:30 p.m. April 13.

Council members have toured the building, which has no elevator, but does have a zoned oil heating system.

The building is a stone's throw from the community center, where borough entities now hold most of their public meetings.

However, the community center is not handicapped accessible. Nor is the borough office, which is housed on the top floor of the aging American Fire Co. No. 1 station at 26 E. Patterson St.

Council has for years been searching for a new office building, which would also house the code enforcement office and police station.

In an e-mailed message to the TIMES NEWS after the public meeting, council President Adam Webber said that as of March 1, all council members had been invited to tour the building.

"I attended the walk through and was very impressed with the building. The fact that the Borough of Lansford does not have a good track record for maintaining its buildings in the past is no big secret. As a municipality, the Borough of Lansford owes the aging population a place that they can access and do business with the borough.

"The Dime building is all of that. I see the building as the future place of business for the borough and one that will be a blessing for our residents. This is what I do know of the building: In the 1990s, the building was updated with a ramp for access and a heated sidewalk. In that same time frame all of the windows were updated with energy efficient ones.

"I believe the building has an air conditioning system that may have been installed around the time of the renovations. Unlike that of our current building the heating is zoned. This means that if the borough needs to heat the first floor that is all that it would need to heat," he said.

"This building was built around the same era of the old high school building. The design and material of the two buildings are very similar. This building was also a designated fallout shelter at one time and had to meet the requirements to be such. The roof, from my vantage point of the third floor, had no evidence of leaking at this time and may have been updated with the renovations. The former bank building would be one that the Borough of Lansford could utilize now and well into its future," Webber said.

In other building-related matters, council will contact the state Department of Environmental Protection to see how man EDU's (equivalent dwelling units) are available for new sewer hookups. Councilman Lenny Kovach brought the matter up, saying he had been contacted by a South Carolina company scouting the area for a possible new business. Kovach said he did not know what the business would be, only that the company was looking at a piece of land at the east end of the borough, near the Family Dollar store.

DEP had forbidden any new sewer hookups until the borough had completed its sewer separation project. That project is in the final stages.

Also on Wednesday, council asked that any Boy or Girl Scout leaders who held meetings in the community center at 1 W. Ridge St. please call the borough office at (570-645-3900 to arrange to remove all equipment and supplies from the building.

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