New Waterford asked to use building to archive history

NEW WATERFORD – Mayor Shane Patrone said that after council discussed selling the two-story apartment building the village owns on the southwest corner of state Route 46 and Main St. last month, a private donor offered $10,000 if it is used to archive New Waterford’s history.

The apartment is occupied and Patrone had said repeatedly the village doesn’t want to be in the landlord business.

Patrone said an additional $2,300 to $3,000 was offered since. He explained there is no place for the money but the general fund.

He said if council decided to convert it to a historical venue the renters will be given plenty of notice.

Councilman Tom Cresanto tied the idea of displaying the village’s history to a festival and saw at least three walls inside the building for that.

Patrone said that structurally the building, which the village bought to keep out of the hands of a possibly irresponsible landlord, is sound and would take little money to maintain.

It could be a community-active work, Patrone said where people could see the village from the view of their ancestors and noted the benefactor “led me to believe more (money) would come … that would cover upkeep.”

Councilman Gary DeMarchis wondered about a timeline and Patrone said within a month to a couple months if the village decides to sell it and DeMarchis said by December.

“By next meeting we need an ordinance,” he said and Councilman George Pirock asked about the monthly cost and Patrone said the village will lose money if the tenants leave tomorrow and he was uncomfortable raising the rent.

Pirock said the $10,000 to $12,000 sounds good but asked what the village gets from it while noting it will decrease and what happens then.

“We could get the $13,000 and not get another cent,” Pirock said.

If the village retains the property for historical reasons it wouldn’t ask the renters to leave until March.

Patrone said he told the renters, “I would give them plenty of notice … I wouldn’t want anyone to move out in the middle of winter.”

If it sells the property it runs the same risk of a landlord who doesn’t keep it up.

The building is over 50 years old and Patrone said, “We want a building that hosts historical archives. Not a historical building.”

Councilwoman Doris Ogle said, “I think that would be an asset to the village” and Council President Bill Mullarkey agreed.

“I think it would too,” he said. Fiscal Officer Dave Slagle said the village could take the $10,000 check and place it in the general fund “until council decides what it wants to do.”

Patrone said, “If council is interested, we can draft legislation for the next meeting. I think his (donor’s) intent is to present information on the village … this is a chance to get old things collected, saved and archived.”

Ogle said, “It isn’t very often that someone comes up and offers this amount of money.”

No action was taken.

In other business, council approved a fire contract with Fairfield Township for the balance of the year from May 1 through Dec. 31 for $23,000.

It also approved financing a $65,513 excavator through PNC bank for five years. It approved the purchase during its last meeting.

Also, trick or treat was set for 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31.