HARRISBURG – The Senate Local Government Committee approved a bill today to address the question of Pottsville’s vacant Giant supermarket, according to Senator David G. Argall, who sponsored the bill.
Senate Bill 1296 would require local government approval for the purchase of property by a county government. This bill was crafted after the Schuylkill County Commissioners announced plans to buy the vacant Giant supermarket property in downtown Pottsville with the intent of turning it into a prerelease center for corrections facilities or a warehouse. This move is strongly opposed by city and school district officials and business, medical, and civic leaders from the local community.
“Officials from the City of Pottsville, Representatives Mike Tobash and Neal Goodman, and local businesses including the Yuengling Brewery have been working on a bipartisan basis to revitalize downtown Pottsville. That effort is now endangered by our county government, which is just wrong,” said Argall.
“I crafted this bill in the hopes that local people in Pottsville will have the opportunity to decide on the future of their downtown.”
This bill would specifically prohibit a fourth-class county from purchasing a property in a third-class city without approval from the affected city and school district, if the property is in an area of the city targeted for revitalization. This bill now advances to the floor of the Senate.
Contact: Jim Brugger