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Vacant White Oak Property Could Be Headed to Land Bank

By Cami DiBattista
The Tube City Almanac
January 28, 2019
Posted in: White Oak News

(Allegheny County real estate photo)

White Oak council has given its approval for the transfer of a vacant house on Ohio Avenue to the Tri-COG Land Bank.

The one-story home at 1808 Ohio will only be transferred if McKeesport Area School District and Allegheny County consent, said Dave Pasternak, White Oak council president.

Pasternak said he's hopeful that the transfer, if approved, will result in the house being refurbished and sold to a new owner. According to county tax records, the house has been tax-delinquent for several years.

The non-profit Tri-COG Land Bank attempts to find new owners for vacant properties it acquires. Pasternak chairs the land bank's board of directors.

For the first five years after a property is sold by the land bank, Pasternak said, the borough, county and school district receive half the amount of taxes owed on the property, with the land bank keeping the other half for property improvements.

At the end of the term, the borough, school district and county once again receive all of the taxes collected.

“It’s a win-win for everybody because we’re taking properties that are delinquent on tax revenue and putting them back on the tax roll,” Pasternak said.

In other business

Council appointed Anthony Villinger and Glenn Beech to the Planning Commission for four-year terms; George Jayme Burgman to the Zoning Hearing Board for a three-year term; Paul Yester to the Building and Code Appeals Board for a five-year term; and George Matta to the vacancy board for a one-year term.

Mayor Ina Marton gave the police report, which included a total of 21 arrests and 44 traffic violations. Arrests in December included one assault, one for criminal trespass, nine for drug offenses, one for giving false identification to law enforcement, two for receiving stolen property and seven for thefts.

Council authorized Borough Manager John Palyo to purchase a new sound system for council chambers from Northern Sound and Light, Inc. at a cost not to exceed $2,700.

A White Oak resident asked that council consider fixing up the basketball area at Heritage Hill Park. He said he had fond memories of utilizing the court and would like for the younger generation to have the same opportunity. Council said they would look into it.

Borough Engineer Ken Hillman reported that he has completed an updated draft of road conditions on borough-owned streets, labeling which were most in need of improvement. He requested a meeting with Public Works Department and borough manager to discuss the results and determine a course of action.

The next council workshop meeting is slated for 6:45 p.m. Feb. 11. On Feb. 18, a council workshop meeting will take place at 6:45 p.m. with the regular council meeting following at 8 p.m. All meetings are open to the public.

Cami DiBattista is a freelance writer who covers municipal news from Duquesne, White Oak and other subjects for Tube City Almanac. She may be reached at cad316@gmail.com.

Originally published January 28, 2019.

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