Lansford to buy site for garage
Lansford Borough Council is moving forward with the acquisition of the former Silberline Industries site in the borough.
Members recently agreed to accept Silberline’s offer to sell the property for $1.
Council hopes to eventually rent and sell the existing buildings to businesses, and use an undeveloped portion of the site for a new borough garage.
“We’re glad Silberline kept the borough in mind, and we’re glad we can work to reuse an industrial site in the borough,” said Council President Bruce Markovich.
The property, located along Dock Street, has multiple buildings. Silberline used it as a production facility from 1963 until about five years ago.
Borough council plans to use a 1.5-acre undeveloped lot on the South side of Dock Street as the site for its long-awaited borough garage.
Until that project is completed, they could temporarily locate the streets department inside an existing building on the site known as the Emco building.
“It is a good temporary building, and then later we’ll rent it,” Markovich said.
During a recent special meeting, council voted 5-2 to accept the transfer of the site. Marie Ondrus and Martin Ditsky voted against. Markovich said they hope to have an agreement with Silberline by the end of the month.
Silberline first offered the property to the borough in 2019 when council was looking for a lot for the new garage. The borough received a state grant for the garage.
Over the past two years Silberline completed an operation to clean up soil contamination caused by chemicals that were used at the facility.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection recently signed off on the completion of the cleanup.
While the cost of the parcel is $1, the borough will lose out on approximately $7,000 per year in tax revenue by acquiring the property from private hands.
Council hopes to make up some of that revenue by increasing payroll tax revenue with new businesses at the site. And if a business buys a portion of the site, it would return to the tax rolls.
The property includes offices, two warehouses, and industrial space which could be used by a business, Markovich said.
Council plans to meet with the Carbon County Economic Development Corporation to discuss ideas for the property.
“I don’t think we’ll have trouble renting the buildings,” Markovich said.
The buildings were originally built by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company. During World War I, the site was used to produce cannons for the war effort.
Silberline acquired the site in the 1960s, and maintained a presence until about five years ago when it consolidated its Pennsylvania operations in Rush Township, Schuylkill County.