Oil City Seizes Harold Avenue Property Crucial to City Water Suppply Via Eminent Domain

| October 12, 2018

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – The Oil City Council Thursday voted to take a property on Harold Street by eminent domain because of a crucial city waterline that runs through the parcel.

The real estate in question is located at 3 Harold Street, owned by Kristy Martino, is identified in the tax assessment records for Venango County as Parcel ID No. 16,002.-005..-00.

According to the resolution passed by the council to take the property, the reason for the seizure is in “order to promote public health, safety, convenience and welfare.” Oil City solicitor Robert Varsek said the issue is a waterline that goes through the property, and Oil City Mayor Bill Moon described the waterline as the “life supply to the town” as it carries all the city’s water to the other pipes in the city.

Varsek said while Martino owns the property, she does not live in Oil City, and his belief is that the property is currently unoccupied. Oil City Manager Mark Schroyer confirmed that the property has been vacant for “quite a few years.”

The City will now have the property accessed and pay Martino “just compensation” for it.


The Council also took action, on a first-reading basis, to update the City’s Property Code and Construction Code.

The City, if the ordinance passes two more readings, will adopt the 2015 Edition of the International Property Maintenance Code and will also be adopting the Pennsylvania Construction Code.

According to Varsek, the City is currently operating under the 2009 Edition of the International Property Maintenance Code but that Code was updated and in 2017 the Pennsylvania Legislature adopted the use of the Code under Act 36 of 2017.

Both revisions are available for public inspection at the City Building, and PDF copies of the codes distributed to the media are available below:

Property Maintenance Code
Construction Code


In other business the council:

  • Approved the submission of the City’s 2018 Community Development Block Grant application and approved Kelly Amos, Director of Community Development, as the City’s Section 504 Officer while setting a grievance procedure for Section 504, which provides that no qualified person with handicaps shall, solely on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
  • Approved a request from the Oil City Arts Council and the First Night Committee to close Seneca Street from the Transit Building Entrance to Justus Park for Oil City’s First Night’s People Procession, which will begin at 6:45 p.m. Dec. 31, 2018, and end at 7 p.m. the same day. The City Council also approved the use of Justus Park Dec. 31, 2018, for Oil City First Night and the fireworks behind the bandshell along the railroad track as well as two sand piles for bonfires in the Justus Park parking lot and Central Avenue Plaza on the Southside to be provided by the Public Works Department.
  • Hired Michael Labesky as a police officer. Labesky is a Warren High School graduate and a graduate of Slippery Rock University and the Mercyhurst Police Academy, which he graduated from in July. His first day will be Monday, Oct. 15, 2018.
  • Accepted the resignation of patrolman Scott Hargenrader effective Oct. 11, 2018.
  • Adopted, on first reading, a schedule of attorney fees in connection with the collection of taxes, tax claims, tax liens, municipal claims and municipal liens.

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Category: Local News, News