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Washington Township staff sent to Cleveland to claim $632,700

Money could be used to finish roads, walkways, driveway turnarounds and possibly retention basins

April 28, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. -- The Washington Township (Pa.) Supervisors sent two staff members to Cleveland on Friday to submit paperwork claiming $632,700 from a letter of credit associated with an uncompleted subdivision.

Money from the Ohio Savings Bank, which also is known as AmTrust Bank and New York Community Bank, was to be shipped within three business days, meaning it could arrive anytime, Township Manager Mike Christopher said.

It could be used to finish roads, walkways, driveway turnarounds and possibly retention basins in the Antietam Commons development off North Welty Road, Christopher said Wednesday. The money was claimed because the letter of credit was expiring, he said.

Once the money is received, the township will consult with the developer, North Welty Road LLC, before deciding who will do what work, Christopher said. Money not spent by the township could be refunded to the developer, he said.

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North Welty Road LLC representative Ray Rachuba wrote in a letter that AmTrust Bank is in receivership and its assets are controlled by the FDIC. He wrote that the FDIC will not authorize payment for any future development work, so North Welty Road LLC intends to scale back its approved plans.

"This is not an adversarial thing with the developer," Christopher said, saying the collection was a matter of timing.

The Washington Township Municipal Authority, which oversees the township's water and sewer lines, wrote in a letter that it revoked final approval for Phase II B of the development. In its letter, WTMA identified the reason as having not received renewed construction bonding.

According to the WTMA letter, the affected portion is 55 lots on Benning Avenue, Pendleton Avenue, North Landis Avenue and Hill Avenue, all west of North Welty Road.

The engineered plans for Antietam Commons are dated Nov. 25, 2005, according to documents provided at the supervisors meeting Wednesday.

The original letter of credit was $2.6 million, but it was lowered on multiple occasions, the supporting documents show.

"As they built sections, the bonding was reduced," Christopher said.

According to published reports, 10 commercial lots, 137 single-family homes and 84 town houses received final approval for development in Antietam Commons in June 2006. The tract is the former Carl Diller farm.

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