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DLI board OKs purchase

Five-Points site discussed

April 16, 2008
By Nick Malawskey, Sentinel reporter,
LEWISTOWN — Across the street at the Five-Points intersection, the dump trucks were hauling away the debris from Monday night’s demolition of the former Headings Pharmacy.

The site-work for a proposed park at the intersection continued Tuesday morning, not just on the streets downtown, but also in a meeting room in the lower level of the Regional Business Center.

It was there that the Downtown Lewistown Inc. Board of Directors met to discuss the future of the site, even as the rubble from the demolished building was being removed.

Following a short executive session, the board voted unanimously to authorize its officers to execute an agreement of sale for the Five-Points property with Crider-Mitchell Construction.

After the meeting, DLI Executive Director Jim Zubler said the authorization would allow the officers of the board, with the exception of the president, to purchase the property at the Five-Points.

Zubler also said the purchase is dependent on the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s approval of a grant application previously submitted by DLI.

“We have some other provisions within the (purchase) agreement which talk about the receipt of the grant award, those types of things,” Zubler said.

“So if all those things come together, then we can execute the agreement of sale,” he said.

Jon Zimmerman, DLI board president, excused himself from both the vote and the executive session, due to his professional association with Crider-Mitchell.

Zimmerman said Crider-Mitchell began the demolition of the site Monday evening, and was expected to have it completed by this weekend.

“When that (property) is filled in, it’s going to be bigger than you realize,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman said although it appeared the project is moving ahead quickly, “there’s a lot of work to be done.”

That work, he said, includes designing the project and bidding it according to public works requirements.

Zimmerman said he was present during the demolition Monday and spoke to several area residents who gathered to watch the building come down.

Many of the residents who attended were interested in the project, he said, as well as its eventual impact on the local community.

Many members of the board spoke Tuesday about the impact of the proposed park, and its potential to positively affect the area, both visually and in increasing the neighborhood’s spirit.

“If you’re going to make a significant difference in a small town ... you have to tear some things down and build some things up,” Zimmerman said.

Article Photos

Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Demolition work continues Tuesday at the Five-Points intersection in Lewistown.



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