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Penn College approves sale of land to Lycoming County

A drone shot of Pennsylvania College of Technology, a sprawling campus in the heart of Williamsport.

The sale of two properties owned by The Pennsylvania College of Technology to Lycoming County was approved by the college’s Board of Directors this week.

The first is located at 1359 West Third St., adjacent to the county’s transfer station, and the second parcel is located at Fritz Station Road in Brady Township.

In both cases, according to Patrick Marty, the college’s Chief of Staff, the college was approached by the county commissioners about the sale of the properties.

“The college evaluates opportunities like this whenever they are presented to us, and we explore how to make an impact on the long term sustainability of the college and its mission,” Marty said.

The property on West Third Street comprises 8.94 acres is west of the college and is not contiguous with the main portion of campus. A large flat portion of the property was developed as a parking lot.

“The lot is highly underutilized, and since the amendments to the city’s parking ordinance last year, the lot is no longer needed by the college,” Marty said.

Marty added that purchase of the property will be subject to independent appraisal.

At one of their meetings last month, the county commissioners had revealed that plans are being made to use the property to expand the transfer station in order to have separate facilities for commercial haulers and the public and also to return some of the recycling services that had been moved to the landfill for safety reasons.

Jason Yorks, director of Resource Management Services, said it would be several years before any construction begins at that site.

The second property approved for sale consists of two parcels that were conveyed to the college decades ago, Marty said.

The southernmost parcel is 64 acres of largely unused woodland just south of the 110 acres owned by the college for their heavy equipment training site, which the college will retain.

“No improvements have been made by the college to that parcel other than as a mostly instructional area for forestry and landscape students to do plant identification,” Marty said.

“We do not use the land, and naturally, as sold to the county, our plant identification instructional use can continue as this would be public land,” he said.

The county also initially wants 10 acres underneath the railroad right-of-way along the Susquehanna River on the eastern edge of the training site, he said.

“Lycoming County has been the lead partner in all of the local Rails to Trails conversions that occurred in the county,” Marty pointed out.

“Just note that — you can draw your own conclusions,” he added.

Purchase by the county of all properties will be subject to independent appraisals and some regulatory appraisals and in the case of the last parcel may require federal regulatory approval.

In other business, the board approved a slate of officers for 2022-23. They are: Chair, Sen. Gene Yaw; Vice Chair, Dr. Robert N. Pangborn; Treasurer, Virginia A. Teachey; Secretary, Dr. Michael J. Reed; Assistant Treasurer, Suzanne T. Stopper; and Assistant Secretary, Valerie A. Baier. Secretaries and assistants need not be actual members of the Board of Directors.

The next Board of Directors meeting will be at 3 p.m. Oct. 6.

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