Washington Township officials to seek grant for land purchase

September 14, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Washington Township supervisors are moving forward and applying for grant money to purchase the lion's share of the proposed Blue Oak development from owner Thomas Mongold.

The application, which Township Manager Michael Christopher says is lengthy, is due to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Recreation and Conservation (DCNR) by Sept. 29.

Christopher said the grant, if obtained, is a 50-50 matching grant, meaning that once the grant is awarded, DCNR will reimburse Washington Township for 50 percent of the land's purchase price.

Mongold wants to develop the 6.31-acre parcel on Pennersville Road with 18 single-family houses. The parcel is adjacent to Happel's Meadow Wetland Preserve.


Supervisor Stewart McCleaf emphasized that the township cannot pay more for the property than the appraisal price. The board of supervisors has yet to receive an estimate from appraisers, but Christopher said they will know before the grant application is due.

Christopher asked residents at Wednesday's meeting to help with the application process by formally expressing their interests in the project in writing. Essentially, Christopher asked residents to detail their support and contribution efforts by writing letters to DCNR. The correspondence, he said, will "fluff the township's application" and will be sent with the township's application to the DCNR.

According to notes from an Aug. 31, 2006, meeting between Paul McClain, Dick Happel, Carroll Sturm and Christopher, "the owner of the property is hoping to get about $50,000 per acre based on his costs and needs."

Elaine Gladhill of Carrosmar Farm Road said Wednesday night according to the deed of purchase for the property, Mongold paid $67,500 for each of the two parcels of land.

Supervisor John Gorman said that "ideally we (Washington Township) would like to purchase the entire property."

The board of supervisors has not specified how much of the property they will offer to buy, but Christopher did say, "We will work a deal, and as of now, the deal is not done."

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