Walsh Bill to Facilitate Sale of Plumer House Goes to the Governor
HARRISBURG – The House today concurred in Senate amendments to Rep. Justin Walsh’s (R-Westmoreland) legislation to allow for the sale of the historic John C. Plumer House in West Newton.

House Bill 1009 would lift Project 70 restrictions on the historic building in return for the sale proceeds entering into an account to develop park and open space lands in the borough.

“Selling the Plumer House and making recreational improvements to West Newton is a win-win situation,” Walsh said. “While preserving historic properties are important to our history, taxpayers should not remain on the hook for upkeep in perpetuity. In addition, the recreational improvements envisioned with this project can be enjoyed by all and encourage healthy lifestyles.”

The property was bought by the borough in 1968 with a $1,250 historic preservation state grant and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. In 2011, the Mon Valley Initiative bought the home after upkeep of the property became impossible for the borough. After the sale, the group made some structural improvements to protect the building. It has now identified a buyer for the home.

The state offered a number of options to clear the title. Adding to the borough’s recreational fund for development of park and open space was chosen, but legislation must pass the General Assembly in order to complete the process.

Plumer, a captain of a troop in the militia cavalry, built the home in 1814 on the banks of the Youghiogheny River. He was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1830 and Pennsylvania Senate in 1839. Plumer also served as a justice of the peace and pioneered the movement for a free school system.

The bill now goes to the governor for consideration.

The 58th Legislative District in Westmoreland County includes Jeannette and Monessen cities, as well as East Huntingdon (part), Hempfield (part), Rostraver, Sewickley and South Huntingdon townships. Also, the district encompasses the boroughs of Adamsburg, Arona, Madison, Mount Pleasant, North Belle Vernon, Penn, Smithton, Sutersville and West Newton.

Representative Justin Walsh
58th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Tracy Polovick
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