Bellefonte Borough Council OKs request to demolish former Army Reserve facility

One building in Bellefonte will tumble.

On Monday, the Bellefonte Borough Council voted 7-1 to approve a request to demolish the former Army Reserve facility on East Bishop Street, which is owned by Weis Markets.

Councilwoman Gay Dunne cast the lone dissenting vote. Councilman Paul DeCusati was excused from the meeting and did not cast a vote. Dunne said she opposed the motion to demolish the building, because she felt there was insufficient information as to how the property would eventually be used.

Tim Snyder, a project manager for Weis, said the property would be used for future developments. He also said Weis purchased the property some time in 2012 and that the company was unable to lease the existing building, which prompted the request to demolish it.

The building is one story and about 21,000 square feet. The demolition will cost $62,000.

The council also decided to not vote on a request by the Bellefonte Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses to display literature in Talleyrand Park and the farmers market.

Harry Mills, a congregation member, said during the meeting that the literature displays would be small and mobile. He said congregation members standing at the literature displays would not solicit pedestrians.

“It’s going to be a display, but we won’t shove it in people’s faces,” Mills said.

Ralph Stewart, the borough’s manager, said during the meeting that the council should seek the borough solicitor’s opinion before voting on whether or not to approve the request. The council then voted 8-0 to seek its solicitor’s opinion.

The council also voted 8-0 to approve a $15,000 quote by Barton Associates, an engineering firm, to design the Undine and Logan fire companies’ sprinkler systems and provide contract management services for the project.

The approval marks the start of a project to install new sprinkler systems for the fire companies after the Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the companies a $189,050 grant in August.

Don Holderman, the borough’s assistant manager, said the project should be complete by May or June.