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Alternative to land swap presented

June 25, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A two-story parking deck topped by office space is the alternative a local group presented Wednesday to a proposed land exchange between the borough and an economic development group.

In May, the Chambersburg Borough Council approved a conceptual plan to swap two parcels of land along the Falling Spring and Conococheague Creek for a lot on North Main Street and a strip of land off West King Street, both owned by the Chambersburg Area Development Corporation.

The development group would construct two commercial buildings and is negotiating with a local firm to lease one. Development Corporation Executive Director David Sciamanna said there is $2 million earmarked in the recently passed federal highway bill for parking and public improvements in the vicinity of the Falling Spring.

That money is available to the borough, but Sciamanna said his group would get private financing for the office buildings.

The Citizens for Representative Government plan would eliminate one building site near West King Street and move the other farther south, where it would be bounded by Lincoln Way West, Spring Street and the Conococheague Creek. Fred Fox, a downtown business owner, said it could create 65 parking spaces in the parking decks, topped by up to three floors of office space totaling 42,000 square feet.

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Fox said the borough could own the parking decks and the development corporation could own the office space above.

Sciamanna said part of that site is occupied by vacant buildings that neither the borough nor development corporation owns.

Citizens for Representative Government wants to eliminate one building site along the Falling Spring to preserve a small park that would be dedicated to veterans, according to steering committee Chairman Dr. Harry Haddon.

Councilman John Redding noted the borough supports a plan that increases park space along the stream. The council also said it will work with veterans' groups to create a memorial walkway there

The council will consider the plan at its July 15 meeting.

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