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Lansford finds site for garage

Published August 09. 2018 12:55PM

Lansford Council members have floated several locations for a new borough garage, but the sites have either come in over budget or failed to get enough votes.

Now the borough is proposing a new location — a basketball court near the site of the annual Zoostock music festival.

Borough council voted 4-0 Wednesday night to hire a surveyor to inspect the basketball court on West Ridge Street, for possible use as a new borough garage.

John Turcmanovich, Matt Walsh and Irma Leibensperger were absent.

Councilman Joe Butrie said he supported the idea of surveying the basketball court, but also reiterated his support for buying the property currently occupied by Panther Valley Lumber. He proposed buying the site for $400,000 — which is higher than the $360,000 price he proposed two months ago for the lumberyard.

Butrie said the extra $40,000 would go to upgrades that would be needed for the borough to move in within about three months of purchase.

Councilman Bob Silver, who heads council’s public works committee, questioned whether the utilities in the building are modern enough for the borough workers to use.

“My question is, would that property be move-in-able at that time? Would we need to do a lot of electric work, a lot of making heat accessible, insulation?” he asked.

The borough has a $160,000 grant to build a new garage, and until recently was under state scrutiny for having its road crew work inside a garage which had several workplace safety violations.

Borough workers finally moved out of the borough’s dilapidated garage on Spring Street this summer, after the Department of Labor and Industry threatened legal action because of the poor working conditions. But they are still looking for a permanent home.

Council has requested bids for a new garage across from the Spring Street site twice in the last year. But they haven’t accepted any of those bids because they were more than $450,000, largely because of the amount of excavation needed to make the site ready for a new building.

Council President Jared Soto said he was in favor of waiting to take any action on the lumberyard until they receive the results of the survey on the basketball court property.

“I’d rather get the property surveyed first to see where we are,” he said.

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