SHARPSVILLE, PA. Borough takes property for bus service, parking

The owner of the property will be paid an appraised fair market value for the house and land.
SHARPSVILLE, Pa. -- The borough is going ahead with plans to take a house and land at 32 S. Walnut St. by right of eminent domain.
The property is needed for a Shenango Valley Shuttle Service comfort station for bus passengers as well as a small public parking lot, borough officials have said.
The parking is needed because the Walnut Street Lodge, a large, privately owned building next door to the Foltz property, has been plagued by a lack of adequate parking for years, officials said.
The borough has helped secure some tenants for the first two floors of the lodge, but those deals are contingent upon the borough's being able to provide parking space, officials have said.
Council approved an ordinance Tuesday taking the property, which is owned by Richard Foltz of Hermitage.
Foltz was at the meeting but declined to comment on the borough's plan, said Jack Cardwell, council president.
Property value
Sharpsville has been trying to buy the property for some time but has been unable to come to an agreement with Foltz.
The borough's last offer was for $35,000 and at least one borough resident feels the offer is too low.
Cardwell said Theresa Woods, who owns a house next to the Foltz property, also attended Tuesday's meeting and said her house was valued at more than $70,000 and that the Foltz house is worth more than the borough is offering.
Several others in the audience were critical of the borough planning to take the property by eminent domain, Cardwell said.
Taking the property by eminent domain will require the borough to pay Foltz an appraised fair market value for the house, which is occupied by a renter, and the land.
Foltz will have the right to challenge the appraised value in court although a challenge wouldn't delay the borough's taking of the property.

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