Hat­boro homeowners seek buy­outs

Public Spirit - - FRONT PAGE - By Caitlin Burns

cburns@jour­nalregis­ter.com Over a year has gone by since Hur­ri­cane Irene and Trop­i­cal SWRUP /HH flRRGHG HDWERUR DnG LWs neigh­bor­ing mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. One RI WhHsH flRRGHG DUHDs ZDs :RRGwinds con­do­mini­ums on North York Road, where homeowners are still wait­ing to hear from the Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency and Penn­syl­va­nia Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency on whether the 12 con­dos will be bought out and de­mol­ished.

Wood­winds res­i­dent Tracy That­ford ad­dressed bor­ough coun­cil March 11 dur­ing the com­mit­tee meet­ings about the pos­si­ble buy­out and where funds would come from. She said her un­der­stand­ing was 75 per­cent would come from FEMA, 22 per­cent from PEMA and the re­main­ing 3 per­cent would be bor­ough money. How­ever, coun­cil Pres­i­dent John Zyg­mont said the bor­ough had made no prom­ises to pay the re­main­ing costs of the buy­out, but al­ways ad­dressed it as “lo­cal ef­fort.”

“It’s not like we’re turn­ing a deaf ear to you,” Zyg­mont said when res­i­dents of Wood­winds ad­dressed coun­cil’s re­fusal to help. “Ev­ery­body here is in for help­ing you guys out.”

Zyg­mont said it was not the bor­ough’s place to buy out prop­erty own­ers and that it would be un­fair to use tax­payer money to as­sist the res­i­dents of Wood­wind. Bor­ough So­lic­i­tor Chris­ten Pionzio told res­i­dents it would be wrong of the bor­ough to as­sist th­ese 12 res­i­dents when coun­cil couldn’t do the same for other res­i­dents in sit­u­a­tions just Ds GLI­fiFuOW, OLNH suGGHn unHPSORy­ment.

Bor­ough Man­ager Fred Zollers said the Wood­wind res­i­dents would be ex­pected to pay the 3 per­cent, should FEMA/PEMA ac­cept the buy­out. He said the bor­ough would pay the amount for de­mol­ish­ing and main­tain­ing the prop­erty once the buy­out was com­plete. If the buy­out were to go through, the land would then be bor­ough prop­erty.

Pionzio de­scribed the prop­erty as “an is­land” the bor­ough did not want but would be re­quired to main­tain. She said although the build­ing that could be bought out would be de­mol­ished and the prop­erty owned by the bor­ough, the sur­round­ing fiYH EuLOGLnJs RI :RRGZLnGs FRn­do­minium would not be part of the pur­chase.

As for news on the buy­out, Zollers said he has not had any news from FEMA/PEMA but that “no news is good news” since many area ap­pli­cants had been re­ceiv­ing in­for­ma­tion about be­ing elim­i­nated from the se­lec­tion process.

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