Spotswood approves resolution purchasing vacant Main Street property


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SPOTSWOOD–Borough council members provided an update on a vacant, boarded up house covered in vegetation that officials were authorized to purchase last month.

Council members approved a resolution to purchase the property at 474 Main St. for $380,000 during the Sept. 4 council meeting. It will be paid for through a capital improvement loan, Mayor Edward Seely said.

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Seely said the house located on the property is condemned and abandoned. It sits next to a PNC Bank across from the Spotswood Funeral Home.

In related news, the council also approved a resolution authorizing Center State Engineering to conduct an environmental review of the property on Sept. 4.

Center State Engineering conducted an environmental inspection of the property at a rate not to exceed $10,000, according to the council agenda.

Resident Cheryl Bass asked the council if the borough looked into finding another company to do the environmental inspection for a lower price.

“It’s not just an environmental study, they’re also [handling] the contract to get the [house] demolished that’s on the property,” Seely said. “The [house] itself may have asbestos in it, we don’t know. So before we say ‘yeah let’s take this property’ we have got to make sure because we don’t need the town on the hook for an environmental issue.”

On Oct. 7, resident Collene Wronko asked about the current status of the property.

Seely said the engineer reported that the property was clean.

However, there are stipulations in the borough’s purchase of the property, he said. If there is a counter for counter bank-wise it becomes the responsibility of the seller, not the borough, according to Seely.

“Right now, I’m actually meeting with an attorney that handles franchises. … I’m trying to look at it right now, [but] I’m not sure. I am not looking to put something in that’s going to become a problem,” Seely said.

Resident Dulce Branco-Rivera said that instead of possibly selling the property to a franchise, why not build a community center or provide more parking for Main Street.

Seely said he is open to suggestions in terms of how the property can be used for the borough.

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