Ordinance to buy Barclay is proposed

WEST CHESTER The effort to preserve a West Chester site that had been slated for development moved one step further Wednesday night when the borough council proposed an ordinance to buy the property.

Under the proposal, which will be voted on during a special meeting scheduled for Dec. 30, the borough would purchase the Barclay Grounds for $1.2 million in installments, using grant funds it anticipates securing next year.

Borough Manager Ernie McNeely said the first $600,000 payment would be due June 30, 2014 with a second payment of the same amount following on Dec. 30, 2014. A $20,000 deposit, which would be applied as a credit to the payments, would be due by the end of the year, McNeely said.

The borough also has the option of canceling the deal by Nov. 30, 2014, transferring the property back to the owner.

That company, StanAb, purchased the Barclay Grounds, a private property in the heart of the borough that for decades has been used as a public park, in February and proposed tearing down many of the 130-year-old trees and building four homes. A group of community members opposed the sale and asked the borough to seize it by eminent domain, leading StanAb to propose the sale at a borough council meeting this month.

- Tricia L. Nadolny