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Lansford seeks funds to remove Elks building

Published August 14. 2014 12:10PM

Lansford Borough Council is looking into demolishing two properties in the community.

At Wednesday night's meeting, members agreed to meet with a grant writer from Barry Isett and Associates Inc. to seek proper funding for the removal of the Elks Building on Ridge Street and a residential property at 242 E. Kline St.

Two representatives from the company, Lori Pepper and Gary Esposito, attended the council meeting.

Councilwoman Mary Soberick questioned whether the demolition is truly necessary or not. She said the buildings should not be demolished if it is merely a neighbor's concern.

Solicitor Michael Greek said that the Elks building in particular was falling apart and has become a home for pigeons, making the property a public nuisance and therefore, the building should be torn down.

Councilwoman Rose Mary Cannon also showed concern regarding the project. She said that the borough has received grants to demolish buildings in the past, but have been unable to sell the lots afterwards.

"We cannot be in the demolition business," Cannon said. "If we tear it down, we have to make sure somebody is going to buy that (lot)."

Sobernick suggested focusing on one building at a time, starting with the Elks building, in order to more easily accommodate the empty lots.

"It's been an eyesore and a problem for how many years, and quite frankly, I think we should focus on that one," she said. "It's right in the middle of the town, and it's always been the first one on everybody's list to try and fix."

She also said that it is easier to get a demolition grant that applies to one single property, as opposed to more than one.

The representatives from Barry Isett and Associates Inc. agreed with her proposal, along with remaining council members, and recommended making a list of dilapidated properties.

The date of the meeting with the grant writer, to be held sometime this month, has not been set.

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