Kittanning to Advertise Blighted Property

FOR SALE: Kittanning Borough is selling this property on Robison Street, but wants to make sure it receives bids equal to or greater than the $6,800 cost to demolish it.

The property at 442 Robison Street in Kittanning resembles more of a junk yard than a residence.

Last month, Kittanning Borough Council voted to assume the property from the county repository after it could not be auctioned off for taxes owed on it.

At Monday night’s meeting, a quote for $6,800 was received from Sean Westlake for demolition and site restoration.

Councilman David Croyle questioned where the money was coming from to pay for the demolition.

“It’s necessary to do some of these things, but unless someone knows where we are going to come up with the money – because we have several other major issues that are hitting this Borough from a financial stand point.”

Street Supervisor Jim Mechling said there were neighbors interested in purchasing the property once it was demolished. Croyle said the Borough has demolished properties over the past four years and did not receive the full cost of demolition when they were sold.

“We got into this before where we demolished it because someone was interested in it, but they didn’t pay what it cost us to tear it down. So if they want to come forward and pay the $6,800 to have it torn down, that’s a different story.”

Solicitor Ty Heller advised Council to advertise the property for sale with the stipulation that the bid price must be equal to or greater than the $6,800 cost of demolition.

Croyle made the motion to advertise the property for sale prior to awarding the contract to Westlake. The bids will be opened at the next Council meeting on October 2.

Fire Marshal Buzz Kline added that he has instructed the fire departments to not go in the building if a fire erupts between now and the time it is demolished, but rather fight the fire from outside because of the extreme disrepair of the structure.