City Council boosted its deficit reduction plan last week by finding a buyer for the former West Side Hose Co., Hospital St. and Brown St., after unsuccessfully soliciting bids in December.


City Council boosted its deficit reduction plan last week by finding a buyer for the former West Side Hose Co., Hospital St. and Brown St., after unsuccessfully soliciting bids in December.
When the city didn’t receive any bids in that first round, council voted to put the property back out to bid in February for the spring, when the council members felt the property would generate more interest.
City Clerk Michele Bannon told the NEWS that the city has not housed a firefighting unit at the site in at least a decade, and has only been using it for storage over the past few years.  She said ICON Technologies has also been using the roof of the building for its high-speed Internet equipment, and in return provides computer services to the city. 
The city received two bids on the property, the highest of which turned out to be from ICON at $51,000.  The only other offer came from T.E. Spall & Sons, with a bid of $50,211.
Council agreed to sell the property to ICON Technologies as the highest bidder at its meeting on Monday night, April 18.  The vote was 6-0, with Councilman Francis Lagana not in attendance.
Councilman John Gigliotti, who heads the finance committee, said the sale of city-owned property and equipment — including the hose company building — is “one of the key aspects” of a deficit reduction plan which was implemented at the beginning of the year.
The city was also hoping to sell a small lot at 141 Terrace St., but only one bid was received on the parcel in the amount of $150.01, which council felt was insufficient.
Mayor Justin Taylor agreed, stating, “I wouldn’t sell it for one-hundred-and-fifty bucks, either.”
Council opted to re-advertise the sale of the 30-foot-by-26-foot lot with a minimum bid amount.
As far as the city’s deficit reduction plan is concerned, Gigliotti said the finance committee has been keeping a close eye on budgetary trends and they remain favorable at this point.
In his monthly administrator’s report, Taylor informed council that he’d held a meeting that day with representatives of the Lackawanna County Railroad Authority.  He noted that the authority is planning to renovate what he described as “the disastrous railroad crossing” at Fallbrook and Dundaff streets.
“The crossing will be completely replaced with lights and gates,” he offered.