Some veteran city council members say they are happy with their decision to swap land with Lycoming County.
Earlier this week, District Commissioner Rick Mirabito noted several concerns he had about a deal to swap land owned by the city under Executive Plaza for the district’s land in the Third Street parking garage. Mirabito voted against the proposal, saying he also wanted to see the Plaza building sold, but said the council did not get all of the facts or misunderstood the details.
His main concern was that the council would not see the appraisals on either side and that the parking lot on the square had an economic value. The proposed agreement cannot be implemented without the vote of Commissioner Tony Mussare.
The county is keen to sell the site and a private developer buying it could generate tax revenue for the city, Council President Randall J. Allison said. The council had not seen any ratings on either side, he said. The council was told that the property’s appraised value was similar, it said.
Councilor Bonnie Katz also asked if the council should see the opinions and was told by Mayor Derek Slaughter and Norm Lubin, city attorney, that it would be very expensive to get them.
Instead, the county conducted an assessment, and Katz said it wasn’t much different in terms of cost in the assessments.
“We listened and didn’t vote until we heard the details from Norm Lubin.” City attorney, he said.
“The county paid us $ 1 a year to rent the land on the square.” Katz said.
“If the Plaza building with the parking lot is sold to a private developer, the city will benefit from a taxable property.” She said.
Get the latest news and more in your inbox