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Schuylkill County News

Commissioners Begin Defending Questionable Storage Property Purchase

They’re selling you on the idea even though they’re going to do it regardless of what you think.

Schuylkill County Commissioners want to buy a commercial property in Pottsville for $375,000 to use as storage for County government records.

The Schuylkill County Commissioners campaign to sell the public on the idea of plunking down $375,000 to purchase a commercial property in Pottsville for the purpose of records storage has begun.

Actually, anyone questioning the purchase of this property could talk themselves blue in the face about why this is a bad idea – at least the hastiness of not allowing a prospective private buyer the chance to see the building – but it’ll be a futile effort.

During Wednesday’s Commissioners Work Session meeting, no formal actions were taken to acquire the Pottsville Moving & Storage property on Prospect St. in the city’s Jalappa section.

But the Commissioners began explaining why they think it’s necessary to take a commercial property off the tax roll without it being given the opportunity to find another private owner.

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Again, the Commissioners want the County to spend $375,000 to purchase 306 Prospect St., a massive 25,000-square foot building that has, for decades, been the home of a moving and storage business.

It has recently gone on the market and as is typical of this county government, the Commissioners wasted no time in going after it for their own purposes.

On Wednesday, they began to explain why they think this is a smart move.

“We’ve been running out of space for storage, for records and so forth,” Commissioner Gary Hess said.

Hess added that the building the County currently leases, presumably a building on Bulls Head Road in Norwegian Township, “is not being conducive for the amount of stuff that we have.”

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He also said the County used to store records in an “attic” above Courtroom One at the Courthouse and says the weight of the records being stored there started straining the ceiling over the Courtroom below.

Hess also said that the idea of the County purchasing a building of its own rather than leasing another property isn’t new.

“This isn’t something that didn’t pop up out of the blue,” Hess said.

He explained that County Administrator Gary Bender and County Engineer Lisa Mahall have been searching “far and near” for storage-friendly properties until this particular building came on the market.

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