Letter | Bellefonte deserves better

May 20, 2014 

As part of the original sales agreement for the Garman Opera House, developer Ara Kervandjian was required to post a bond to ensure the demolition and clearing of the site by Feb 15.

But here we are — well into May — and contrary to the CDT’s claim that the demolition is “complete,” parts of the building still stand, the site is a field of debris, and an enormous mound of bricks is piled against the adjacent Stover building. At least the taxpayers’ interests are still protected by the bond, right? Wrong. Recently, the CDT blithely noted that the Bellefonte Area Industrial Development Authority was convinced to free Kervandjian from the demolition bond because “with the proposed (government) work on the Hotel DoDe site, the geography of the Garman site and the possibility that Kervandjian’s project will soon get its tax credits, it might not be the best time to put the grass down.”

My 7-year-old comes up with better excuses to get out of doing homework.

Take a look at the revised sales agreement, and you’ll find the truth. In the rush to demolish the Garman (and thus any efforts to preserve it) the structural stability of the neighboring Stover building was compromised. That pile of bricks? It may be preventing the Stover building from collapsing.

At every turn, Bellefonte’s government and management have bent over backward to accommodate this demonstrably reckless developer while forcing the taxpayers of Bellefonte to take on more and more risk.

Bellefonte deserves better.

Patrick North


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