For Immediate Release Contact: Gabriela Prete,
October 5, 2017 Public Information Officer
Council Statement on the Acquisition of 340 Harding Boulevard
NORRISTOWN, PA – In the interest of full transparency and to dispel the rumors related to Norristown’s pending acquisition of the GNPAL property, the Municipal Council is releasing the following statement.
In January 2017 the Municipality was approached by the Executive Board regarding the Municipality’s interest in purchasing the GNPAL property. Essentially, Norristown would pay out the remaining mortgage on the property (approximately, $225,000), plus legal and administrative costs related to the transaction, and take ownership. The GNPAL board, which supported the Municipal Council’s strategic goal of enhancing recreation services via its adopted Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), saw Municipal acquisition of the property as the logical move in ensuring the continued utilization of the GNPAL property for recreation programs for Norristown youth.
“As we were made aware of the diminishing funding available for GNPAL to continue operation of the facility and we are in the midst of seeking a facility from which to operate a recreation program per our CIP, buying the GPAL property is good business sense for a number of reasons,” according to Council President Sonya Sanders. These include:
- The purchase price of the property is well within Council’s approved CIP budget for acquisition of recreation property and completely aligned with Council’s stated strategic goals for recreation services expansion;
- The acquisition allows the Municipality to immediately begin Recreation Department operation once the sale is complete;
- The GNPAL property lies between two pieces of property that the Municipality already owns, which will provide a more viable footprint for future expansion and development of the entire site for recreation purposes; and
- The property allows for more efficient implementation of recreation activities and programming, as renting and borrowing of school and church spaces for year-round programming will, ultimately, be eliminated.
“The fact is this acquisition has not been quick nor impulsive; rather, it is the result of 10 months of discussions with the GNPAL Executive Board and due diligence by Municipal staff,” said Sanders. In accordance with State law, these real estate discussions have occurred in Executive Session, with proper notice being given in the ensuing Council Meetings. Norristown has conducted a structural analysis, a hazard analysis (asbestos and lead based paint) and a Phase 1 environmental analysis of the property, resulting in nominal remediation of less than $10,000 being required.
For more information please contact the Public Information Office at 610-270-0429.