HARVEYS LAKE — At a special meeting Tuesday, Borough Council went into executive session to discuss whether to continue negotiations to purchase the old Villa Roma restaurant before voting 5-1 to continue with the process.
Council President Michell’e Boice voted against the motion. Councilman Thomas Kehler was not in attendance for the meeting.
Borough Solicitor Thomas O’Connor said that no contract has been signed between the borough and the seller, and that negotiations are continuing.
The building would house the police department and all municipal departments.
The seller presented council with a counter offer.
Boice said she is not completely against the plans for the Villa Roma; she just thought it is in the best interest of the community to further investigate the costs associated with the purchase. Boice said she didn’t feel council should make such a costly move so quickly.
Councilman Daniel Blaine said Harveys Lake has “never had its own borough building.” Blaine said that if the 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.
During a past council meeting, resident Rob Weaver said he felt the borough should either leave the police station and offices where they are, consider a modular construction plan or bring in a design specialist and review blue prints for a new construction process.
Weaver questioned the Villa Roma site’s age, saying that the structure is “over 70 years old” and asked what will happen to it in 10 years. Weaver also said “If it’s not broke, why fix it?”
During that same meeting, Mike Dziak, a former Zoning Committee member, CEO of Earth Conservancy and longtime Harveys Lake resident, spoke out against the proposed purchase, saying that since the “property has been dormant for over a decade” there are great concerns that it would “meet the requirements.”
Dziak also questioned the amount of money needed for fees such as engineering costs.
Councilman Bill Hilburt said the potential purchase is “a good idea for the future of Harveys Lake.”
He said Villa Roma is in a “good location” and he liked the idea that all of the municipal offices and police station would be combined in one building.