York City Council to discuss $4 million Dentsply redevelopment

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

York City officials will hold a special meeting Wednesday to continue discussion of the potential $4 million purchase of the former Dentsply campus for redevelopment.

If approved by the City Council, the updated letter of intent would allow the city to begin negotiations on the property, which has sat vacant since 2020, when the dental supply company closed its facility and laid off 200 employees.

An earlier letter of intent with that same amount was passed unanimously by the City Council in May. The update, according to the motion, will clarify buyer and seller responsibilities, revise dates and reduce the site from 17.38 acres to 17.29 acres. It would not require a second vote if approved.

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This updated letter of intent, however, may find a more skeptical audience.

"There definitely needs to be more time to review the letter of intent," Council President Sandie Walker said Tuesday. "There's concerns for me with Dentsply not revealing information until a letter of intent is signed."

Those concerns had led City Council to delay a decision last month.

The Dentsply campus, at 570 W. College Ave. in York City, has sat vacant since 2020.

"When we're dealing with public funds," Walker said, "there's no rush to make decisions of this magnitude."

When asked if she would vote for or against the letter of intent, Walker declined comment.

The letter of intent is the only motion on the special meeting's agenda, which will be immediately followed by a committee meeting to discuss other city business.

Redevelopment Authority chairman Blanda Nace did not respond a request for comment Tuesday. He said last week that delaying the letter of intent could prove problematic in terms of obtaining information on the property, including the cost of utilities.

The special meeting agenda does not include a motion that would amend the 2022 budget to purchase the Dentsply property. That motion was introduced at last week's meeting to sit for two weeks until the council's next full meeting on October 4.

Mayor Michael Helfrich had no comment on the special meeting or the letter of intent. Broker Cushman & Wakefield did not respond Tuesday.

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The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 101 S. George St., York. It will be streamed on the city's Facebook page and White Rose Community TV's YouTube page at youtube.com/c/WhiteRoseCommunityTV.

Walker encouraged the public to speak out on the project.

"We definitely need to have community input because it's important for us to make decisions," she said. "Especially when we're dealing with public funding."

— Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.