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Council OKs land plan

April 08, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - "We've honored our founders with a parking lot," Chambersburg Councilman Carl Helman said Wednesday night.

He was talking about existing conditions along the east bank of the Falling Spring that the borough wants to exchange for other downtown property owned by the Chambersburg Area Development Corporation.

The council endorsed the plan despite opposition from local historians and veterans' groups. The borough and development corporation must finalize the plan before an ordinance can be drafted, Council President Bernard Washabaugh said after the vote.

The corporation wants to use two parcels along the spring for commercial development and is working with a potential client to build on one of the sites.

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Private and public investment in the site could total $7 million for commercial buildings and park space along the stream, according to borough officials. The town hopes the projects will bring in 100 jobs and create what Borough Manager Eric Oyer called "a corporate and cultural center" to revitalize the downtown.

"Give the historic people that project. Give us three years," said Dr. Harry Haddon, who has been leading efforts by some residents to preserve a small park along the stream.

They want the park dedicated to the borough's founders and veterans.

At the end of a two-hour discussion, Councilman William McLaughlin said that, without development, the park will remain a place where the borough has to "perpetually haul out beer bottles."

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