Citgo Owner Receives Township Citations

SANATOGA PA – After several recent months of research, and several years of complaints and angst, Lower Pottsgrove commissioners can again report they’ve done something about what they think of as the visual blight positioned at the township’s northwest “gateway:” the deteriorating Citgo gas station on the corner of North Charlotte and Mervine streets.

The abandoned Citgo station at 1258 N. Charlotte St.

The abandoned Citgo station at 1258 N. Charlotte St.

Members of the Board of Commissioners last week (March 2, 2015) learned township codes enforcement officer Joe Groff, with assistance from Solicitor Robert Brant’s office, issued citations requiring the station’s owner to remove any hazards, continue regular maintenance, and generally make the property more presentable … if not appealing.

“Now we’re just waiting to see who gets served” with the demands, commissioners heard.

Waiting has become customary where the Citgo corner is concerned, board members admit. They and Brant last discussed their expectations to issue citations six months ago, during September 2014. Although board membership changed over the years, commissioners have been railing against conditions on the property since 2009 and before.

The delays stem in part from financial woes and legal disputes surrounding the owner, Pottstown Land Corp., that often left attorneys wondering whom to pursue for potential remedies. The tangle is further complicated by alleged petroleum product leakage that attracted attention from state and federal environmental agencies. They claim priority status for any money which might be available for clean-up measures.

The 1258 N. Charlotte St. building itself is vacant. No business has collected revenue there in years.

Commissioners were able to claim a small victory in the situation during 2010, when a falling light pole was removed from the property. It had been declared as endangering passers-by. Even then, township employees did the work and Lower Pottsgrove sent an invoice to the owner.

The new citations carry penalties of up to $1,000 per day if not acted upon, Brant’s office indicated. There was no mention of how that added penalty will be recovered, if imposed.

Related (to the “Citgo” property):