During a recent meeting, Summit Township supervisors decided to table further action on the purchase of the former Harmonsburg School from Conneaut School District. This is the second consecutive month in which the supervisors have delayed a decision on the purchase.
Supervisor Bill Agnew had originally motioned to purchase the building for $1, but after discussion, the decision was tabled. The township secretary was tasked with finding out the insurance and other associated costs.
During public comment, one resident expressed opposition to the purchase, stating that it would cost thousands of dollars to demolish the building and claimed that it was not worth the expense. He suggested that if the school district wanted to donate the building, they should be responsible for tearing it down.
The supervisors discussed various options for the building, including marketing it for sale or putting it back on the tax rolls. The idea of letting the school board market it was brought up, but solicitor Tom Cagle stated that the board cannot market the building due to a lack of parking spaces.
Supervisor Agnew emphasized that the board was exploring all of its options before making a final decision. However, tensions rose during the meeting when the same resident who had voiced opposition interrupted with additional statements and questions.
If the township were to acquire the building, there were discussions about potentially marketing the site as well as the adjoining land behind the school. This would provide a developer with additional land for parking spaces and generate revenue for the township through property taxes.
Concerns were also raised about the presence of asbestos in the building and the potential cost of removing it. However, it was clarified that the township would not be responsible for asbestos removal as the sale would be “as-is.” Any expenses related to asbestos would be the responsibility of the new owner.
After further debate, the supervisors decided to table the issue and postpone a final decision on the purchase of the former Harmonsburg School.
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