Cambria Twp. property dispute reaches end

EBENSBURG — A lengthy legal back-and-forth between Cambria Township officials and the out-of-town owner of a dilapidated apartment building has come to an end, township supervisors announced at a Wednesday meeting.

That end came last week in the form of a court order from Cambria County Common Pleas Court that gives township officials permission to demolish the structure and place a lien against the property.

The property at 103 Susan Drive — a two-story apartment building with multiple units — has been in disrepair for decades, supervisors Chairman Tim Bracken said.

The building is owned by William E. Ager of Indiana, Pa., Bracken said.

After the meeting, residents in attendance told stories about pieces of the building blowing into nearby yards during wind storms, and Bracken said conditions have worsened over time.

“They have been through hell over there,” Bracken said, referring to the property’s neighbors.

The building’s condition is bad enough for it to be labeled dangerous under a local nuisance ordinance, online court documents show.

Ager and the township have been locked in a series of legal battles for about 20 years, Bracken said, estimating that court costs, which are paid for with taxpayer dollars, likely have amounted to tens of thousands of dollars.

“We are going to have to eat it,” Bracken said of those costs.

However, the April 13 court order has put an end to the legal battle.

A copy of the order shown at the meeting allows township officials to hire a contractor to demolish the building.

The order stipulates that the cost of demolition — about $8,000 — will be placed against the property as a lien.

Ager will have 60 days to come up with a plan to make payments to satisfy that lien.

Bracken said he was relieved when he first saw the order.

“That’s the piece of paper we’ve waited a long time for,” Bracken said. “So it is coming down.”

Local contractor Kevin Lute Excavating is to demolish the building sometime in the next few weeks, Bracken said.