2017-09-13 / Today's Top Stories

Sayre school board approved the Sayre Gardens' PILOT

Process moves to Bradford County Commissioners

By Nathan Brown

Staff Writer

SAYRE — The Sayre Gardens affordable housing project has passed its latest hurdle in terms of the project moving forward.

On Monday, the Sayre Area School District Board of Education voted to approve the payment in lieu of tax agreement (PILOT) with a vote if 5-to-3.

The PILOT Agreement will see those living within the Sayre Gardens paying a set amount of school taxes, lower than the normal mileage of the district’s residents.

Approximately a year ago, the board had decided to not vote on the PILOT, which was proposed for 30-years. The approved PILOT is now for 20-years.

During last month’s board of education meeting, Margaret Barry, a resident of the district, asked the board to consider denying the Sayre Gardens project PILOT request.

Barry’s request was due to the “Financial situation that our district is in with the furloughs and cuts that have been made,” earlier in the summer.

She went on to state that the 56 families who will occupy the Sayre Gardens will use the services that the district provides, but the revenue generated from the families will be limited.

The facility is set to be constructed behind the St. John’s Lutheran Church property between Hayden and Chemung streets in the Borough of Sayre.

With the school district’s approval of the PILOT, the last local hurdle that the project faces is the approval of the Bradford County commissioners.

Sayre Borough Manager David Jarrett related that the commissioners have been supportive of the project from the beginning. He expects the PILOT to be featured on Thursday’s commissioners’ meeting agenda.

He went on to state that the commissioners have been waiting on the school district’s approval due to it having the “most skin in the game,” when it comes to the PILOT agreement.

The borough itself has approved the PILOT three times, said Jarrett.

“We like the project so much we approved it three times,” he joked following Tuesday’s borough administration committee.

Beyond approval of the commissioners, Jarrett stated that Home Leasing LLC, the owners of the project, will then file their application with the state, which would need a simple update with the insertion of the PILOT agreement.

He anticipates that ground can be broken on the project as early as spring of next year, and, with two years’ worth of construction, occupancy may then start taking place in 2020 or 2021.

Connect with Nathan: (570) 265-2151 ext. 1639; nbrown@thedailyreview.com; Facebook @Nathan Brown Daily Review.

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