Authority gives intent to purchase land at double the appraised value
Published: October 25, 2012
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VALLEY VIEW - The Hegins-Hubley Water Authority has entered an intent to purchase agreement with ASA, a division of Pappetti's, a Klingerstown-based egg company, for five acres of land for the Act 537 plan.
The authority board met last Wednesday afternoon during a special meeting to accept the land purchase option.
"We received a call about three weeks ago from Toby Catherman who reported the company was now interested in selling the land to the authority," said Paul Datte, solicitor for the authority.
Datte explained to the authority members that the five-acre parcel of land was appraised for $25,000, however Pappetti's will only sell it for $50,000. Datte said that was the lowest amount of money they would consider for purchasing the parcel. There will be no more negotiating.
"I believe this option is better than if we would have to go the eminent domain route," said Datte. "I believe we would end up spending much more in eminent domain simply because there are figures based on how the taking of the land would effect the company and so on."
Datte said eminent domain would involve more appraisals and they could come in higher as well, not to mention the professional fees and legal fees of the authority. Until all the paperwork would be filed and it would move through the court, Datte said the authority could be waiting a year or more for it to be final.
Datte said the proposal to purchase the land agreement was sent to Pappetti's and it was signed and returned. They agreed to the authority wanting an easement to Pappetti's driveway as a safety measure.
After discussion, the board agreed to enter the land purchase agreement which is good until December 31, 2013. The authority will pay a non-refundable fee of $500 to enter the agreement which will go toward the $50,000 purchase which must be made by the end of the year next year.
Authority member Keith Masser was concerned whether it was determined that this plot of land is the ideal spot for the sewage treatment plant. He suggested that an engineering firm should be hired to determine the feasibility of the land.
Datte said the authority will have 15-months to determine if this is the right site for the plant.
Jaquie Pelaschak of Alfred Benesch Engineering said from a mechanical standpoint this appears to be an ideal site for the plant. Pelaschak said the plot of land is listed as the location for the plant in the Act 537 plan that was submitted to DEP, however she said DEP is only concerned with the site from an environmental standpoint.
In other business, Demetrius Kasmari, manger of the authority reported the authority was approved for an EPA grant to upgrade residential water meters.
He said the grant is for $65,000 and the authority will have to put up $53,180. The meters will be purchased from Master Meters of Reading.
The authority will be looking into a timber sale from trees along Grove Drive.
Kasmari said they received concerns from a homeowner on Grove Drive who was worried that some of the authority's trees that are leaning toward her property could come down onto her house and deck.
The authority members said they will have their forester give them an estimate and they will make a decision from that. The authority can have a timber sale every five years.
Well No. 2
The authority will be conducting work on Well No. 2. Kasmari reported that either the pump motor or the shaft broke. He said the existing pump must be pulled in order to determine what the problem is.
The board authorized $18,000 to determine the problem and fix it. If the cost is more the authority will need to bid the project.
Hegins Twp. Supervisor Brad Carl asked the authority when they plan to fix the road near the Tri-Valley Pharmacy.
Kasmari said the site must be left alone for 90 days so that proper settlement can take place. He said he prefers to wait until the spring so it is totally settled, but said they may put more cold patch on it in November.