- Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 January 2010 00:19
- Published on Wednesday, 06 January 2010 00:19
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The last sales agreement between the Westmoreland County government and the corporate soldier training establishment known as The O’Gara Group expired last week and no plans have been announced for the county’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA) to convene and execute another purchase contract.
The Westmoreland Supervisors will meet next Monday, one year after convening the late night joint closed-door session with IDA counterparts and O’Gara officials that rocked the rural jurisdiction to its core. A Circuit Court trial scheduled for March 29 and 30 will address questions resulting from the controversial January 2009 meeting and the sales agreement that was ratified late that night.
The initial sales agreement was scheduled to expire on April 1 but was extended shortly before the the expiration date. A new contract was ratified on June 29. That sales agreement expired at midnight on Dec. 31.
The June 29 contract stipulated that the county would convey to O’Gara its 50,000 square foot industrial shell building and the surrounding 25.61 acres of industrial park property. O’Gara would pay the county $679,178 in cash or certified funds at settlement and deliver a down payment in the amount of $33,959. The deposit was to be applied to the purchase price at settlement.
In the absence of a fourth contract between the parties, Westmoreland will be required to return the deposit it accepted from O’Gara. The $33,959 down payment was returned to the prospective buyer immediately before the June 29 sales agreement was approved.
Since June 29 O’Gara has completed construction of a network of access roads, shooting ranges and a complex of office and classroom buildings on separate tracts it bought from Bryan Chandler. O’Gara Group has options to purchase other contiguous parcels owned by Chandler. The driving course portion of the O’Gara project would be developed on additional land O’Gara is expected to buy from Chandler.
The January 11 Westmoreland Board of Supervisors agenda still had not been developed when this edition of The Journal went to press. As in January 2009, the meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the afternoon segment will contain no advertised land use hearings.
On Jan. 12, 2009 the Supervisors executed their monthly business during the morning portion of the meeting and recessed until that evening, when they reconvened in closed session with O’Gara Group and the IDA. O’Gara’s plans to establish its training establishment in Westmoreland became known when the public officials returned from the closed-door segment of that meeting.
Proceeds from county government’s sale of property to O’Gara became part of Westmoreland County’s current operating budget. Revenue considerations associated with the stalled $679,178 have not been publicly discussed by members of the county government but may become a topic on Jan. 11.
By Betsy Ficklin