County Tables Possible Route 85 Land Sale

County Commissioners Jason Renshaw, Pat Fabian and George Skamai discussed a potential sale of nearly-35 acres of land in Rayburn Township to the lone bidder - Buffalo Valley, Ltd., of Kittanning - following yesterday's public meeting.

County Commissioners Jason Renshaw, Pat Fabian and George Skamai discussed a potential sale of nearly-35 acres of land in Rayburn Township to the lone bidder – Buffalo Valley, Ltd., of Kittanning – following yesterday’s public meeting.

 

by Jonathan Weaver

For the second time in three years, a single bid was opened for a nearly-35 acre plot of county-owned land in Rayburn Township.

And, for the second time, Armstrong County Commissioners tabled a final decision on the sale.

County Controller Myra Miller opened the single bid received – a $65,000 offer from Buffalo Valley, LTD in Kittanning – Thursday morning. Buffalo Valley is reportedly affiliated with Snyder Associated Companies.

County Executive Director of Administration Dan Lucovich estimated a half-dozen packets of requested information was sent out to interested bidders.

Buffalo Valley’s bid was tabled for review and evaluation unanimously by Commissioners Pat Fabian, Jason Renshaw and George Skamai.

“I think its good practice to take our time when talking about something of this magnitude,” Skamai said. “There’s no reason to rush to a decision when we can take a week or two and then make that call.

“Just to make sure we got our I’s dotted and our T’s crossed.”

According to the bidding advertisement, sealed bids were due by 8:30AM yesterday morning.

Buffalo Valley LTD Representative Terry McMaster said the property sale was also stalled when the company was the only bidder before – even when their bid exceeded the minimum requirements.

Commissioner Chair Fabian said his intention was always to talk with the bidders before a final decision was made “, whether (county representatives received) one bid or six bids.”

Commissioners talked with company representatives directly following the meeting.

In June 2014, county commissioners also advertised the property for sale – to which Glade Park Gas made the single bid of $80,000.
After a month of review and consultation with legal counsel, the previous board of commissioners rejected Glade Park Gas, L.P’s bid.

At the time, Commissioner Richard Fink was concerned whether the County owned gas and mineral rights on the properties.

In 2014, the two tracts of property – part of a larger parcel once owned by the Middle-Armstrong County Industrial Development Organization (MACIDU) – had an appraised value of nearly $63,000.

At least two main gas lines, a water line and sewage line restrict what can be done with the acreage. The land is also in a flood plain.