No man’s land: Boswell unsure what to do with empty acreage

October 9, 2018

Boswell Borough officials are still deciding what to do with property along Morris Avenue after a building collapsed.

Solicitor David Leake told council members he was in the process of putting a lien on the properties. The borough spent $48,572 for cleaning and demolition of the former hardware store and bank building.

Leake said the property could be deeded to the borough at some point during the litigation process.

“Legally we get another judgment from that dissolved corporation, but it means nothing,” Leake said.

The brick building, located near Main Street, fell down in May after months of deterioration. No one was injured. Crews from Berkey Excavating began demolishing the dilapidated buildings on June 6.

At a court hearing in May, Somerset County Judge Dan Rullo gave the borough permission to clean up the property, which is owned by Jolee Properties, of Frederick, Maryland. The building’s previous owner, Gregory Hensley, of Maryland, died in 2017, according to borough officials.

“There’s nobody to get a judgment against,” Leake said.

The property was part of the county’s upset tax sale in September, with the opening bid listed at $5,328.22. There were no bidders for the property at the sale.

Borough officials met Monday with EADS Group engineer Dan Beyer to discuss funding options to fix borough sidewalks. Beyer also brought council members maps for potential projects.

Council member James Bubner said obtaining money for beautification and maintenance projects in town would be a starting point for making the borough more appealing to potential residents.

“It would be nice if we could all work together and maybe start out with something small,” he said.

Secretary Connie Knopsnyder told council members that a beautification project could inspire others to act.

“It could start something,” she said.

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