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Centralia, Pennsylvania

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Lisa Wolfe
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« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2010, 01:27:20 pm »

Prior to its demolition in September 2007, the last remaining house on Locust Avenue was notable for the five chimney-like support buttresses along each of two opposite sides of the house, where the house was previously supported by a row of adjacent buildings before it was demolished. Another house with similar buttresses is visible from the northern side of the cemetery, just north of the burning, partially subsumed hillside.[8]

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania did not renew the relocation contract at the end of 2005, and the fate of the remaining residents is uncertain.[9]

In 2010, only five homes remain as state officials try to vacate the remaining residents and demolish what's left of the town.[10]

It is expected that many former residents will return in 2016 to open a time capsule buried in 1966 next to the veterans' memorial.[1]

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Lisa Wolfe
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« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2010, 01:27:58 pm »

Mineral rights

Several current and former Centralia residents believe the state's eminent domain claim was a plot to gain the mineral rights to the anthracite coal beneath the borough.[11] Residents estimate its value to be in the billions of dollars, although the exact amount of coal is not known.[12] In a nearby municipality, the government was successful in extinguishing a similar mine fire using methods like those proposed for and used in Centralia.[13][not in citation given]

The opinion of these former and current residents, concerning the Commonwealth's desire to obtain mineral rights to the coal, stems from the municipality laws of the state. According to state law, when the municipality can no longer form a functioning municipal government, i.e. when there are no longer any residents, the borough legally ceases to exist. Thus, the mineral rights, and all other rights, possessed by the Borough of Centralia (since the mineral rights are owned by the borough and not a private company) would revert to the ownership of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania until the legal status of the land (ceding it to an adjacent municipality) occurs. Residents theorize the state legislature would keep the land in political limbo, so they can extinguish the blaze and mine the anthracite.

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Lisa Wolfe
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« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2010, 01:28:46 pm »

Demographics

As of the 2000 census,[14] there were 21 people, 10 households, and 7 families residing in the borough. As of March 2004[update], there were eighteen people residing in nine dwellings (more recent statistics in 2007 report half as many residents). The population density was 87.5 people per square mile (33.8/km²). There were sixteen housing units at an average density of 66.7 people per square mile (25.7/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 100% white.

There were ten households out of which one (10%) had children under the age of 18 living with them, five (50%) were married couples living together, one had a single female householder, and three (30%) were non-families. Three of the households were made up of individuals, and one had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10, and the average family size was 2.57.

In the borough, the population was spread out with one (5%) resident under the age of 18, one from 18 to 24, four (19%) from 25 to 44, seven (33%) from 45 to 64, and eight (38%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 62 years. There were ten females and eleven males with one male under the age of 18.

The median income for a household in the borough was $23,750, and the median income for a family was $28,750. The per capita income for the borough was $16,083. None of the population is below the poverty line.

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« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2010, 01:29:41 pm »



Toxic gas and smoke rising from the ground above the underground fire.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania
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