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Lease could keep school board, council out of court

Agreement would resolve argument about Third Street extension

Agreement would resolve argument about Third Street extension

September 17, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- The Waynesboro Area School Board and Waynesboro Borough Council are working on a lease agreement that could be an important step in keeping the two entities out of court.

The council and school board have been arguing about an extension of Third Street to the rear of Waynesboro Area Senior High School.

The council says the paving should be done as shown on land development plans. The school board did not budget money for the driveway project in its 2009-10 spending plan.

The long-term lease agreement could take care of one of the school board's concerns, which is making improvements on the borough's right of way. Schools Solicitor James Flower said the board wanted to have control of the property on which it was paving.

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He described a strong "likelihood of a resolution to avoid further conflict," saying leasing at a nominal price would serve as a "win-win" for everyone.

Councilman Ronnie Martin referred to the potential lease as a glimmer of hope when the council's solicitor mentioned the proposal this week.

"We would work out the details of the lease," said Melissa Dively, the council's solicitor.

The 99-year lease would affect an approximately 22-foot-wide section of the right of way for paving, Dively said.

"The rest of the area would remain a foot path," she said.

Representatives of both sides speculated in late August that the disagreement over Third Street could lead to lawsuits. None had been filed in Franklin County Court as of Thursday afternoon.

The recently renovated and expanded high school received a temporary occupancy permit to start classes on time. The council directed its contracted building inspection agency to withhold a regular permit until the Third Street matter was resolved.

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