FARRELL Officials advise residents to hold off on easements

A project developer wants the easements to make improvements in alleys.
FARRELL, Pa. -- City officials are advising residents living in the Steel City Terrace redevelopment area not to sign any property easements until the city can determine exactly what is being asked of them.
Residents have been getting letters from Falbo/PennRose of Pittsburgh, developer of the HOPE VI project rebuilding the Steel City apartment complex, asking for construction easements to go onto residents' properties adjacent to alleys that are being rebuilt.
City Manager LaVon Saternow said there was some concern that people are actually being asked to give up 5 feet of their property for alley improvements in the project area, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
Falbo/PennRose, which is working with the Mercer County Housing Authority to replace the old Steel City apartment complex along Spearman Avenue, actually only needs permission to go on private property to make improvements to the alley and then blend the property to the alley elevations, Saternow said.
However, because there is some confusion, residents who got the letters are advised not to sign them until city council can meet with Falbo/PennRose and housing authority representatives to clarify the issue, she said.
The company and authority will be asked to attend council's workshop April 7, she said.
The HOPE VI project involves razing all 100 of the old barracks-style apartments and building new units, mostly in duplexes, triplexes and four-plexes, out into the surrounding residential areas so the new development blends in with the community.