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MERCER COUNTY Site for judge's office falls through



Published: Mon, February 10, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The property owner withdrew the offer to sell to the county.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU

FARRELL, Pa. -- C's Waffle House on the Sharon-New Castle Road is no longer an option as a site for the new office for District Justice Henry Russo.

Mercer County Commissioner Kenneth Seamans said Thursday that Garfar Inc., owner of the property, has withdrawn its offer to sell the building to the county.

The company didn't give a reason for the withdrawal, he said.

The county has been considering two other locations Farrell for the office: The Primary Health Network building on Roemer Boulevard and a vacant parcel at the southwest corner of Spearman Avenue and Roemer Boulevard.

Too costly

The Primary Health building turned out to be too expensive at $400,000, Seamans said.

Farrell bought and cleared the land at Spearman and Roemer at a cost of more than $100,000 in anticipation of Russo's office being built there but the county said the architect's estimated cost for a building at that site, about $410,000 for construction and land preparation, is just too high.

Seamans said the county could have bought and renovated C's Waffle House for about $210,000.

The county has asked the architect to go back to the drawing board and come up with a lower figure, something in the $210,000 range, Seamans said.

If the project can't be done there at that price the county will have to look elsewhere, perhaps outside Farrell, he said.

Russo's office is on Mercer Avenue in Hermitage but Farrell officials have asked the county to put the new one in their city. However, they are also insisting that it be built at Spearman and Roemer or not be built in Farrell at all.

City officials said they see the new office as an anchor to foster additional development in the area around the municipal building which is just across the street from the proposed office site.




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