DURYEA — Council approved the purchase of a property located at 303 Main St. for a sum of $38,000 at a special meeting held Tuesday.
“The reason why we are here tonight is we are having our special meeting to do land acquisition,” said council president Michael McGlynn. “Right next door there is a property which we are interested in purchasing to tear down and make into a parking lot for the borough building, or the park behind us.”
Council approved the motion 5-2, with McGlynn, vice-president Jimmy Balchune, and council members Ed Ameika, Audrey Marcinko and Lois Hanczyc voting yes and members Audrey Yager and Al Akulonis Jr. voting no.
The parking lot will be used as a public parking lot, specifically for the borough and the park behind it, but also for anyone who needs someplace to simply park their car for any other business on Main Street.
The purpose for turning the property into a parking lot was for safety reasons, according to Balchune.
“We need to have it,” said Balchune. “There literally is no parking here. There (are) four parking spots out front for official business only and the people have to park across the street, which is not our parking lot, it’s the church parking lot. They’re nice enough to let us use it. But, the older people who have to try to cross that road, Main Street, it’s very difficult. Yes, we do need to improve, get the cross walks in there, but for right now this way they don’t have to cross the street. When to comes election time there is place to park. It needs to be done.”
Balchune said items including the the paperwork to acquire the property as well as funding and legal fees will be done in the near future. He said the council will look for a grant to tear down the housing and a municipal grant to make the parking lot.
Balchune said he anticipates everything will not be ready until after the spring time, but said the council wants to make the purchase as soon as possible.
Ameika, a Duryea resident his whole life, was eager to approve the motion of purchasing the property saying the time is now for changes.
“Purchasing that property would be beneficial I believe for the town due to lack of parking for this borough building in particular when at times I have to park out on Main Street here, in the dark, or park across the street and walk across here, in the dark, which is at times quite unsafe,” said Ameika. “We don’t have a well-lit area, there’s no cross walk area… safety is imperative to any of us in here or any tax payer, or person visiting across this road here. That parking lot would, in my eyes, be beneficial.
“I’ve been in town along time here as everybody else in town. I’ve walked, biked, jogged and did everything on these streets and I haven’t seen very much improvement… even a parking lot in my eyes right now is an improvement in this town.”