DuBOIS — One of three suspects in an early Sunday morning joyride on four-wheelers and dirt bikes that ended up damaging Showers Field is in custody and police say they are close to identifying and charging the other two.
City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio and police Chief Blaine Clark told the city council about the incident during its meeting Monday.
The incident occurred around 1:30 a.m. when the trio was riding in the vicinity of Long Avenue and Brady Street.
Police initiated a pursuit. One of the youths pulled into Sheetz and ultimately escaped. The other two took off on East Park and Maple avenues.
One of them pulled into the parking lot at Showers Field, entered through the unfinished right field fence and spun up some of the outfield. That youth, a 16-year-old from Cherry Tree, was arrested. He did not divulge the identities of his comrades but police say they have leads on who they are; one is believed to be from DuBois.
A total of seven officers from DuBois and Sandy Township were involved in the pursuits, the second of which was called off when one of those who was fleeing was driving recklessly at high speeds without his lights on.
The council gave final approval to an ordinance was will allow the city to borrow – if and as needed – up to $8.6 million to pay for several projects that are or will be under construction.
The debt issuance will be through a general obligation note from S&T Bank at a tax-free interest rate of 2.13 percent.
Included in the ordinance are bridge work, construction of sidewalks and crosswalks in some areas, construction of baseball and softball fields, construction of a special needs park, and renovation work on Main Street and DuBois Street as part of the turnback of those thoroughfares from the state Department of Transportation.
Those and other projects are scheduled to take place through 2019.
The note with S&T will act as a line of credit to provide money to pay bills for which the city is waiting for reimbursement from various grants.
For example, the city is owed about $800,000 from its 2014, 2015 and 2016 Community Development Block Grant allocations.
City Solicitor Toni Cherry noted that unless funds are accessed from the credit instrument, nothing will be owed. No money may be used for general operating expenses of the city.
The council held a public hearing prior to Monday’s regular meeting.
The council tabled approval of a Planning Commission recommendation for a subdivision by DuBois Business College Inc. to property it owns along and north of Beaver Drive.
City Engineer Chris Nasuti said the applicant failed to meet conditions attached to the commission’s recommendation, namely failing to secure a modification of setback requirements and a change of use for the property.
Judicial sale properties
Suplizio gave the council his appraisal of the situation revolving around a property bought at a judicial sale and is now trying to sell.
The council instructed Cherry to prepare a sales agreement with Andrew Eddinger, of Grampian, for the property at 112 S. High St. The purchase price is $1,000.
Judicial sales are sales of last resort for properties that have been exposed to sheriff’s sale but have not been sold. The Court of Common Pleas discharges all liens against the property in the hope that it can be sold and returned to the tax rolls.
The city gives buyers one year from the execution of the sales agreement to begin work and two years to complete it. They are also responsible for meeting code requirements.
Eddinger’s attorney recently asked to negotiate the terms. Cherry said she believes they are non-negotiable and the council voted on Oct. 22 not to alter the sales agreement.
Suplizio said if some additional time or accommodation is not provided, the sale could fall through and the city will end up paying about $20,000 to demolish the property.
Cherry said if the terms are not acceptable, “maybe they shouldn’t be doing the project in the first place.”
Councilwoman Diane Bernardo noted that if a buyer is doing due diligence in working on the property, the city has extended the time frame for completion of the work.
Councilman Randy Schmidt said that property has “been a pain for years” and it is time to “get it back on the tax rolls.”
The council will hold its next work session at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, and its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20. This month’s meeting schedule was changed because of Thanksgiving and deer season.