The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


March 19, 2014

Neighbors say city neglects property

SUNBURY — Two Sunbury residents have filed a lawsuit against the city claiming the house connected to theirs is dilapidated and is causing damage to their home.

Terry and Mary Marshall, of 237 Spruce St., claim in a 23-page lawsuit that 239 Spruce St., is falling down, and because the city owns the property, it should be repaired or torn down.

Mayor David Persing, in turn, said the city does not own the property at 239 Spruce St., and that the city has tried to reach the home owner in an attempt to either fix the property, tear it down or give the city control of it.

The Marshalls claim there are holes and openings in the basement, porch and cellar doors allow water to enter the property, decaying floor supports.

Skunks, groundhogs, snakes and birds enter those holes and openings at 239 Spruce, creating stench and spreading diseases, the lawsuit claims.

They also claim that rotten food was allowed to decay in an unplugged freezer on the back porch, and the lack of security allows unauthorized people to enter the property.

Attorneys Kymberley Best and Tim Bowers, who are representing the Marshalls, said the city adopted a resolution for use and condemnation of blighted properties in 2007 and passed a declaration to take control of the property.

“And they haven’t done anything since,” Bowers said.

“They never finished the process to take control of the home, they took title but not possession,” he said. “They have never said why they didn’t take it.  They claim they can’t get in touch with the owner, but they don’t have to because under eminent domain the city owns 239 Spruce St.”   

The Marshalls are asking Sunbury to demolish the blighted property, pay compensatory damages and punitive damages together with costs and interest.

“Well, the whole thing is ridiculous,” Persing said.

“The city is looking at hundreds of properties in our blight removal project, and we take each property one-by-one. We develop a plan on each one. The initial act on this property is the other side of the house was interested in working with the city but when they no longer became interested, then the city withdrew the process.  Every property we go after is vacant and we wouldn’t get involved in any property that had people living in it.”

Persing said the Sunbury Redevelopment Authority doesn’t have any plans for half-double homes.

“We do not own this home. We are not pursuing it any longer because we don’t have cooperation from the parties,” Persing said. “We haven’t bought any half-double homes, and we don’t have any plans to rehab any half-double home. There is no plan to address half-doubles and we have no obligation. I don’t want to waste taxpayers dollars on this, but the city has no responsibility on this whatsoever.”

n Email comments to

Text Only
  • BREAKING NEWS: Fatal crash reported near Danville

    DANVILLE - Emergency personnel are reporting a fatal crash that occurred this afternoon on Route 54 at Route 642, just north of the borough.

    July 23, 2014

  • Jay Paterno sues Penn State for 'rush to judgment'

    STATE COLLEGE - Two former Penn State assistant football coaches, including a son of the late Joe Paterno, are suing the university, alleging that it fired them prematurely after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal surfaced.

    July 23, 2014

  • 400-pound bull on the lam

    State police and a western Pennsylvania cattle owner are looking for a 2-year-old bull that has been missing for more than a week.

    July 23, 2014

  • Complainer: Cars whiz by, and drivers take whiz

    The Pennsylvania Turnpike has asked state police to increase patrols near an area of the toll road where a woman says she can see motorists exposing and relieving themselves near her backyard.

    July 23, 2014

  • spider24online.jpg Arachnid alert!

    We came across this spider brunching on another today near the American Legion post in Herndon. We aren't sure what type of spiders they are. Particularly the one with the full stomach. Do you?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today's Editorial: Experts showing the way for reform

    Domestic abuse remains one of the most prevalent crimes nationally yet remains routinely unreported.

    July 23, 2014

  • Feds ship 500 children to Pennsylvania

    HARRISBURG — An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the southern U.S. border is spilling into Pennsylvania, as state officials received word Monday that more than 500 are being housed in the commonwealth.

    July 22, 2014

  • Hope Lewis Inmate's widow wants $750,000 from Northumberland County

    SUNBURY — The widow of a Shamokin man who hanged himself inside Northumberland County Prison is demanding $750,000, the firing of all jail employees who worked the night of June 16 and a complete overhaul of policies and procedures for suicidal inmates.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vancliff Lifer gets more time for molesting Danville girls

    WILKES-BARRE — A convicted murderer accused of having persuaded a former Danville woman to bring two girls to visit him in a northeastern Pennsylvania prison so he could molest them has been sentenced to additional prison time and fined.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Union County driver, 86, dies near Weikert

    WEIKERT — An 86-year-old Weikert man died in a one-car accident Tuesday morning, when he lost control of his vehicle on Weikert Road in front of the Union County Sportsman’s Club, veered off the road and slammed into a tree.

    July 22, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.