This article was funded by LebTown donors as part of our Civic Impact Reporting Project.

At a special meeting Monday, supervisors approved a resolution to acquire property at the corner of Zinns Mill Road and state Route 419 in Quentin for uses including public parking.

The resolution specifies a purchase price of $256,000, the appraised value of the property at 67 W. Main St., Quentin.

Under municipal code, the township cannot pay more for a property than its appraised value, said township solicitor Eric Gibson, with the law offices of Anthony J. Fitzgibbons.

“We shared the appraisal with the property owner and realtor, and we received positive feedback,” Gibson told supervisors Russ Gibble and David Lloyd. Supervisor Dennis Tulle was excused from the meeting.

If the offer is accepted, the township will move forward with purchase in lieu of condemnation. But the resolution keeps the door open for condemnation by eminent domain if supervisors and the seller cannot reach an agreement.

“If the seller has a change of heart, we have already as a municipal body put things in motion to condemn by eminent domain,” Lloyd said.

The property includes a stone building that at one time served as a stagecoach stop. More recently, the corner property operated as a gas station.

But most of the almost half-acre lot is a black-topped parking area — which if supervisors acquire the property would address the need for more public parking for Quentin residents and businesses.

Monday’s meeting, advertised in local legal notices, followed executive sessions to discuss real estate matters held by supervisors. These sessions were announced at township meetings in February and March but without details in accordance with Pennsylvania law.

Read More: West Cornwall eyes private parking lot for public parking, preservation of building

“I support my tax dollars going for this purchase — it’s a good purchase for a number of reasons,” said Jeff Steckbeck, who said he was at the meeting as a township resident and taxpayer and not in his official township roles. Steckbeck was the only resident who attended.

“This is part of the historic landscape of Quentin, and the board can preserve it,” Steckbeck said. “And the community needs this site for public parking.”

In an email after the meeting, Gibson said the seller and realtor are reviewing the township resolution. He anticipates a response within the week.

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