WHEATLAND, PA. Council to study takeover of land
The mayor said he will try to get a state environmental representative to meet with council.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU
WHEATLAND, Pa. -- Borough council isn't ready to take over ownership of a former industrial waste site off Church Street along the Shenango River.
The site has been cleaned up under the direction of the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Mayor Thomas Stanton wants the borough to take possession of the 42-acre site, including the 10 acres where the various heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyls are buried.
He said it could be developed into a nature walk trail.
Borough council is less enthusiastic about the idea, balking at taking over the property.
There are concerns about liability and just how dangerous those buried contaminants might be, said Councilman Donald Stinedurf.
Council was expected to vote on the issue Wednesday but decided instead it wants more information.
Stanton said he will try to arrange a meeting between council and DEP representatives later this month in an effort to answer council's questions.
The DEP has approved Stanton's plan for a borough takeover of the property and supervised the cleanup paid for by the companies who deposited materials there.
What's in dispute
There is a dispute between the Alvin Taylor Estate and the Maneely-Wheatland Partnership, owner of Wheatland Tube Co., over who owns the land. The estate says Maneely-Wheatland bought the site in 1976, but Maneely-Wheatland said it never made all of the payments for the land and sought to rescind the sales agreement in court.
Both the estate and Maneely-Wheatland are willing to have the borough take over ownership in exchange for forgiveness of back taxes totaling about $21,000.
The cost of the cleanup was about $1.6 million. The Taylor estate contributed nothing because it has no money but Maneely-Wheatland, CBS Corp., Grimes Aerospace and Armco Inc. all shared in the expense.
They will also monitor the site for 30 years at a total additional cost of about $340,000.