2018-06-09 / Front Page

PCRA buys another property

Potter County’s most active real estate purchaser is at it again.

Members of the Potter County Redevelopment Authority (PCRA), a five-member panel appointed to support economic development, recently added another Coudersport property to its growing real estate portfolio.

PCRA members David Buckler, Terry Goodenough, Phil Vaughn, Jeff Wilcox and Shawn Wolfinger agreed to purchase a distressed property on Cartee Street for $3,000. The home had most recently owned and occupied by Debbie Lincoln.

Last September, PCRA bought the former Phillips home on Eulalia Street from Johnny P. Amato for $35,000.

Three months earlier, PCRA purchased two homes located across the channel from the Amato home. The agency paid $78,500 for the housed owned by Derrick and Lindsay Lathrop, located next to the parking lot of the Zito Technology Center, which PCRA also owns. Members also purchased a home across from the Coudersport Borough Police office from Christopher W. Wilson for $50,000.

All three of those houses were demolished.

Late last year, another PCRA-owned property met the wrecker’s ball. The former Bruzzi Cleaners building on South Main Street had been purchased by the agency in 2016.

To the PCRA members, it’s all about removing blight and making properties available for private development.

However, the agency, which is tax-exempt, has come under fire for continuing to gut the real estate tax base for the Coudersport Area School District, Coudersport Borough and Potter County.

“We hope to create an opportunity for development of the buildings we purchase, but we’re flexible,” said PCRA executive director John Wright. “When the cost of renovation far exceeds the cost of a demolition, we have to eliminate the building . . . Our priority is to liquidate them and turn them into affordable housing, but we also have to consider alternative uses.”

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