First Posted: 5/27/2014

Harveys Lake Borough Council went into executive session during a special meeting on May 27 to decide whether to continue negotiations to purchase the old Villa Roma restaurant which would be converted into a borough building.

The building would house the police department and all municipal departments. The seller presented council with a counter offer. Council members voted 5-1 to continue the negotiation process. Council President Michell’e Boice voted against the motion and Council member Thomas Kehler was not in attendance for the meeting.

Boice stated that she is not completely against the plans for the Villa Roma; she just thought that it is in the best interest of the community to further investigate the costs associated with the purchase. Boice voiced her opinion that she didn’t feel council should make such a costly move so quickly and that the borough should be more cautious with the spending of such a large amount of money.

Bill Hilburt said that the potential purchase is “a good idea for the future of Harveys Lake.” He added that the Villa Roma building is in a “good location” and that he liked the idea that all municipal offices and police station would be combined in one building.

Council member Daniel Blaine said that it is a “fantastic idea” and an “asset to the borough” to purchase the building. Blaine added that the two apartments on the second floor of the building are now being rented for a total of $1,600 per month. This money would now go to the borough and could be used for the mortgage or expenses, stated Blaine. Blaine further added that if potential plans for the borough building become a reality, once the old police department is sold, the money from the sale can be used for the new building.

Long-time borough resident Mike Dziak had stated at a previous council meeting that he did not feel that “many people would want to live upstairs from a police station or a jail.”

Another resident, Rob Weaver expressed his opinion that “if it isn’t broke, why fix it?” During that same council meeting, Weaver stated there were other options available, rather than purchasing a building more than 70 years old that has been vacant for more than a decade. Weaver also cited the “confusing” parking set up as another negative factor of the potential purchase.

Attorney Thomas O’Connor, borough solicitor, stated that no contract has been signed between the borough and the seller, and that negotiations are continuing.

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