I read with dismay that the Borough of Jersey Shore opted to sell the parking lot located at N. Main St., adjacent to the Welker Funeral Home to Mr. Welker for $2000. I don’t begrudge Mr. Welker acquiring the site; indeed, this is a very prudent decision on his part.

It was a very imprudent decision on the borough’s part, for the following reasons: 1) It was stated at a Borough Council meeting that the Borough had an appraised value of $25,000 on the parcel. 2) It is assessed at $22,000, and that is before the county wide reassessment. 3) The borough acquired this parcel on 7/1/1977 for $1,073. My analysis of real estate appreciation in the Borough of Jersey Shore indicates more appreciation than 86% over 36 years, which would work out to just over 2.3% annually.

My research in the market indicates we have experienced more appreciation than that in the Borough. And, after incurring the expenses associated with the sale, e.g. advertising, legal fees, transfer tax, will the Borough actually even recoup their initial investment, in 1977, of $1,073? 4) No consideration was given to the lengthy, previous discussions Borough Council had regarding using this lot for public parking for the Rail/Trail.

Those of us who (apparently) have better memories than those on Borough Council remember that the Pine Creek Rail/Trail was extended down Seminary St, in view of a projected Rail/Trail along the Susquehanna River to Williamsport. This would be the “connector” area between the trails, and the municipal lot would provide parking. With the lot now in private hands, the only public parking still available is on South Main St., across from the Gazebo.

I would remind people that although Sovereign Bank generally does not police their lot, on the corner of Allegheny and Market Streets, it is not a public lot. Where will the borough provide parking if the trail comes to fruition? 5) No consideration was given to the concept of “value in use”.

“Value in use” is an appraisal concept that basically means that the value of something of great use to one person may have a higher value to that person than it would to another potential purchaser. As I’ve said already, I do not fault Toby Welker one bit for doggedly pursuing the purchase of this lot. He has been able to use it, but not unconditionally control it. He needs it very badly, as there is virtually no parking at his funeral home, and funerals and viewings bring vehicles. In short, that lot was worth more to Mr. Welker than to anyone else.

For borough council, if you had an appraisal for $25,000, why was that amount not the minimum bid? Alternatively, why was the $22,000 assessed value not the minimum bid? Did you consider the value in use to Mr. Welker, and even think about negotiating a higher price as you sold an asset that we, the taxpayers, own?

Melanie McLane

Jersey Shore

Submitted by Virtual Newsroom