Clarion County rejects property bid

The sale in Clarion County is not over.

In September, the county sold vehicles, miscellaneous items, and property by sealed bids. On Tuesday, the board of commissioners rejected one of those bids.

Commissioner Ted Tharan said the county rejected the apparent top bid for a parcel of property on River Hill (Route 322), west of Clarion. The bid entered by University Korner convenience stores owner Yasir Bhatti was rejected because it did not meet bid requirements.

Tharan did not specify what was not in compliance. Bhatti’s bid was $35,000 for the 19,567-square-foot parcel.

All of the bids for that parcel, which is vacant land that had been owned by the former Holobaugh Beer Distributor, were rejected by the board of commissioners on Tuesday.

The winning bid for another parcel, containing the former beer distributor’s building, was accepted. That bid, which came from the partnership of Dunkle and Henry, of Clarion, was $211,870 for the 1-acre parcel.

Tharan explained why the bid for the other parcel was rejected.

“We have to have fair market value on the property according to the county code,” he said. “We had an assessment done on the two parcels, but the assessment was for both parcels combined” at a total of $166,000.

Tharan said the parcel could now be sold by the commissioners at or above fair market value through a Realtor or the county could advertise it for sale.

In other business

The commissioners approved a letter supporting the Sligo pedestrian bridge project. The bridge crossing Licking Run allows children to walk to school without having to cross the Route 58 vehicle bridge.

“We hired (Harrisburg consulting company) Delta to help us find funds for projects. This was a top priority for us this year,” Tharan said.

Union School District had closed Rimersburg Elementary School and placed all of the students in Sligo Elementary School. The only pedestrian bridge to the school and the community pool crosses Licking Creek.

“They have done some repairs to the bridge, but I don’t know how safe it is,” said Tharan, who was not sure of the timeline of a grant toward the project.

Clarion County Planner Kristi Amato reminded county residents that the survey period for the Clarion County Comprehensive Plan will close Oct. 22. The survey is available on the county’s website.