FARRELL Church, others offer city free land

Real estate taxes are due on some of the lots.
FARRELL, Pa. -- Greater Morris Chapel wants to give the city 21/2 lots it owns adjacent to its building in the 900 block of Darr Avenue.
City Manager LaVon Saternow told city council at a workshop Monday that the church has offered the city the property, but there are some real estate taxes due on part of the land.
Nevertheless, it might be advisable for the city to take the land, she said. The city may be able to sell it to the nearby Murray Bell Veterans of Foreign Wars Post at 314 Idaho St., which may be looking for more parking spaces for its members.
Advice: Councilman Rudy Hammond advised that the city first suggest that Greater Morris consider developing the lots into parking spaces for its members instead.
The church has no off-street parking now and those attending services have to park on the surrounding streets, he said.
If the church can't afford to develop the lots now, perhaps it should hold on to them until it can, he suggested.
Saternow said the issue will be discussed with church representatives.
Other lots: That isn't the only parcel of land being offered to the city at no charge. There are several other small lots, most about 25 feet wide, being offered as well, Saternow said.
Little Craft Atwood is offering two lots in the 700 block of Hamilton Avenue, and William J. Neil is offering two lots at Spearman Avenue and Adams Street.
There are no taxes or sewage fees due on either the Atwood or Neil properties, Saternow said, adding that the Neil parcels are in a state Keystone Opportunity Zone, which could draw some interest from developers.
Abatement: Building in a KOZ entitles the developer to a temporary abatement of all local and state taxes. The KOZ program offered a 12-year abatement from its creation date in 1998, and there are about nine years left in the program, Saternow said.
Finally, Mary English has offered the city a lot she owns in the 700 block of Lee Avenue. Taxes are due on this property, but the owner of an adjacent lot is interested in the spot and would likely buy it from the city, thereby returning it to the tax rolls, Saternow said.
The land transactions will be placed on council's Nov. 26 meeting agenda, she said.

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