HARRISBURG – The Senate approved a bill today by a bipartisan vote of 45-5 to address the question of Pottsville’s vacant Giant supermarket, according to Senator David G. Argall, the prime sponsor of the bill. This comes after two Schuylkill County Commissioners disregarded community input and voted to authorize the county to begin the process of purchasing the property.
“I am pleased that the Senate chose to act quickly on this important legislation,” said Argall. “People in Pottsville have spoken very clearly on this issue on a bipartisan basis: This property should be available for use as a hotel, restaurant, or shops, not as a warehouse for old county records or a pre-release center for criminal offenders. It is 100% wrong to jeopardize Pottsville’s ongoing revitalization efforts with this unilateral action by two of our county commissioners. This is not just a bad decision for Pottsville, it’s an extraordinarily bad decision for the entire county because if Pottsville’s tax base is decreased, that will cause the county to raise taxes on all of us.”
Senate Bill 1296 would require city government and school board approval for the purchase of property by a county government. This bill was crafted after two Schuylkill County Commissioners announced plans to buy the vacant Giant supermarket property in downtown Pottsville with the intent of turning it into a corrections facility or a warehouse. This move is strongly opposed by bipartisan city and school district officials and business, medical, and civic leaders from the local community. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for its consideration.
Contact: Jim Brugger