Ligonier Borough has hired a professional auctioneer to lead the sale of vacant property owned by him in Loughlintown at a future public auction.
On Monday, the Council voted 6-0 to appoint Marc Ferry Auctioneers from Latrobe to manage the future sale of 26 acres located near Nature Run Road in the town of Ligonier. Council MP Judy Hofer was absent.
The wooded tract, originally purchased as a potential water source for the Ligonier Reservoir more than 70 years ago, was valued at $ 150,000 by Kent Watson Appraisals of Greensburg. Councilor Nate Sylvester confirmed the amount after the meeting.
Council President Sam St. Clair also appointed Sylvester and board members Matt Smith and Robert Baron to a committee that will finalize the details of the auction contract to be signed at a future board meeting, as well as a purchase agreement with a possible buyer of Parcel 42, Nature Road .
Smith will chair a committee that will also work with Ferry to provide a public review of the property, which is about 4/10 miles from the nearest access from Nature Run Road. Ferry’s marketing plan calls for drones to fly over the area and advertise in several print media outlets.
Bara Ligonie acquired land along the former Loughlintown Waterford Road in 1954, intending to create a reservoir to power the Ligonie Reservoir, located near Furns Run, about 1.5-2 miles away. A number of streams run through the property, including McCullen Run.
However, this plan never materialized. Decades later, in 2007, Ligonier Borough sold its water supply and sewage treatment plant to Westmoreland County municipal authorities, a deal completed in 2012.
Both Ferry and forester-consultant Ronald Rohal have visited the property since the council in October authorized attorney George Welty to contact an appraiser and a professional auctioneer regarding a potential sale.
According to Ferry, the landlocked tract is unique given the surrounding landowners. One adjacent property was part of the most expensive real estate deal in Westmarland County: Whose Woods on Kissel Springs Road, a large mansion with a three-story luxury home that sold for $ 5 million earlier this year.
“I agree with you. I think we have a small piece of luxury real estate and I know the piece of wood that is there has probably been over a hundred years since it was cut down. The last part was probably cut down around the time the property was sold to the district. So this part also needs to be almost ready for harvest, so I think that adds value to what we’re looking for, in my view, in order for you to put up for auction, ”St. Clair said.
The estate has marketable timber that could be harvested economically, although about five acres of hemlock grove along the creek will be limited, Rohol agreed.
The wood itself in the area can be valued at about $ 500, although Rohal did not recommend it. He said that after talking to Ferry and surrounding property owners, the wood probably costs as much aesthetically and as a buffer to restore trout flow to potential buyers as it does to the harvester.
“It’s a beautiful little trout stream, it’s gorgeous,” he said.
Ferry advised the council to sell the parcel in its entirety and allow the winner to decide what to do rather than offer the wood separately.
The housing can be reached at a 20-foot return from Nature Run Road, which crosses the neighboring property of Douglas Dick. Dick beautifies his part of the diversion almost to the tract of the village.
St. Clair said he was familiar with the land, as part of it was once owned by two of his ancestors.
“I took a lot of deer there, but it’s neither here nor there,” he said.
In addition to not expecting an increase in property taxes, the financial forecast of Ligonier for next year was no surprise. Sylvester presented to the council a balanced budget for 2022, developed by Treasury Secretary Ian Shaw and the Finance Committee, for the approval of which officials will vote at a meeting on December 9.
According to Shaw, the district’s tax rate will remain at 24.5 mills, with one factory continuing to generate about $ 17,000 in revenue. According to Sylvester, the expected increase in staff costs, such as health care, was addressed by an increase in income, such as income tax. That amount remained a meager $ 178 profit for next year, keeping the budget in the black.
Sylvester also expects that at the end of 2021 the district will get into the budget.
While property transfer taxes have been stable, income taxes have tended to rise over the past four years, he said. Bulletin.
“Ligonie is a wonderful place to live. People are moving here. We see that transfer taxes are rising for the value of real estate, we see that income tax revenues are growing year by year. So we are happy to announce that it is balanced without tax increases, ”Sylvester said.
A draft budget of $ 1.3 million will be available for public consideration at City Hall.
According to council member Jeff Craig, the budget of the Ligonie Valley Police Department (LVPD) will also remain the same in 2022 as in the previous two years. He noted that Chief John Berger and Assistant Chief Michael Matruniks filled in overtime changes, as well as revenue from police resources provided to Ligonier Valley School District, Idlewild and Soak Zone, Laurent Mountain Borough and Ligon Country Market Aid in cost reduction.
Craig said he also expects to end 2021 with a small surplus.
In other financial news, the council also approved an annual donation of $ 1,200 to the Ligonier Valley Library.
The planning committee will work with zoning and enforcement officer Carl Horman and attorney George Welty on minor linguistic changes to the zoning ordinance, Smith said.
Horman noted that although some amendments have been made since its entry into force in 2010, the current decree on the zoning of the Ligonier district has been in force for 11 years.
“Hopefully next year we will be able to think about making a few more updates and a few more quality updates. I think the time has come, from what I see anyway, ”Horman said.Free parking with meters will again be offered in the Ligonie area every Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas, starting on Saturday, Small Business, 27 November. The Council approved the annual request of the Ligon Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber has provided $ 1,200 in sponsorship from Elek Wealth Management, $ 1,050 of which will be a contribution to the Ligonie area for free parking.
A MeterFeeder spokesman will arrive in the city on Tuesday to train district staff on a new parking app for smartphones to be launched this week, Shaw said.
Earlier this year, the Council decided to invest in a new system that would allow residents and visitors to connect meters remotely using their credit cards rather than using coins if they wished.
Public comments included a resident’s concerns about unregistered and unlicensed car parking on the streets of the area and a request from a North Fairfield resident to designate an ADA parking space in front of her home.
The Council’s Streets Committee will work with Judy Marseille, who has offered to bear any costs associated with making the space accessible to the ADA, or cutting the curb. She explained that she often uses the area to help her husband get in the car, and cites an incident during the Fort Ligonier days when a construction car was parked near their home that weekend that blocked access.
Mayor Ormond “Butch” Bellas demonstrated the award Ligonie Barr received from the Scenic Pittsburgh during a Nov. 6 ceremony at Diamond Park.
“Eleven counties wide, and they chose us because we had the most scenic downtown, and we did our best to remember what we are,” he said. A glass souvenir with a simple design that hints at the fields, rivers and mountains of the Ligonier Valley, will soon be on display at the town hall.
A dozen scouts from Package 370 were present on Monday to observe the work of the local government and then ask questions to council members. St. Clair and Chief Berger recognized the wife and thanked her for attending.
“I want to say that it is very nice to see young residents among us this evening. It may not work the way it should, but we try. And I’m glad to see you here, guys, and watch what the Lignon City Council is doing, “said St. Clair.