Argall Plans Legislation to Prevent Deals Like Schuylkill County Buying Former Pottsville GIANT
Pennsylvania State Sen. Dave Argall (R-29) plans to introduce legislation that would prevent deals like the one currently being considered by Schuylkill County Commissioners.
The Commissioners want to buy the former GIANT grocery store property in downtown Pottsville, much to the chagrin of city officials.
Pottsville wants to keep the valuable property on its tax rolls. Meanwhile, the County wants it for one of several potential reasons: either to create a pre-release prison on the site, or to make extra room for government staff.
Neither reason is sitting well with Pottsville officials, who last week passed a resolution voicing their displeasure at the County’s plan.
The fight over this property started back on July 17 when The Canary broke the news on Schuylkill County proposing a pre-release prison on the site of the former GIANT store, which closed for good earlier that month.
Argall Introducing Legislation to Prevent Counties from Buying Property in Revitalized Areas
Argall previously spoke against the County’s proposed plans.
But now he’s taking it a step further by proposing legislation that would make it illegal for a county like Schuylkill to purchase a property in a city like Pottsville.
If it were to pass, the legislation would block a 4th-class county – which Schuylkill County is – from purchasing property in an area targeted for revitalization in a 3rd-class city, like Pottsville. In order for such a transaction to take place, if the bill becomes law, both the city and local school district affected would have to pass resolutions OK’ing it.
There are currently 9 4th-class counties in Pennsylvania:
A 4th-class county is defined as one having between 145,000 and 209,999 residents.
Third-class cities are defined, simply, as having less than 250,000 people living in it and which haven’t adopted a second-class city ordinance.
Argall says this legislation is being introduced as a bit of a last resort in dealing with the stubborn Schuylkill County Commissioners.
The Commissioners seem intent on moving forward with their plan to purchase the former GIANT property in Pottsville despite criticisms from just about everywhere.
In a statement released to The Canary on Monday morning, Argall said, “After numerous failed attempts to work with the Schuylkill County Commissioners on this issue, I feel I have no further options available except this legislative option to support the City of Pottsville and its redevelopment plans and efforts that are underway.”
Should Schuylkill County get its way, Pottsville believes it will miss out on tens of thousands of dollars in tax revenue every year, between both city government and the Pottsville Area School District.
READ OUR FULL COVERAGE:
- Schuylkill County Denies Right to Know Request on Pottsville GIANT Appraisal
- Pottsville vs. Schuylkill County in Fight Over GIANT Property
- Schuylkill County Administrator Says Appraisal Price on GIANT Property is “Privileged” Information
- Halcovage Suggests GIANT May Be Used for County Office Space Because of COVID-19
- Pottsville Officials Clap Back at Schuylkill Commissioners Over Prison Plans
- 500+ Sign Petition to Stop County Purchase of GIANT Supermarket to Build Pre-Release Prison
- Source: Schuylkill County Eyes Former GIANT Supermarket in Pottsville for Prison Pre-Release Center
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