Luzerne County tax sale tally released

All five listed properties sold in last week’s special delinquent tax auction, according to Elite Revenue Solutions, the county’s tax-claim operator.

Elite held the first-stage “upset” auction to promptly address properties carrying defaulted repayment plans.

Approximately 103 parcels were original listed, but all but five were removed because the owners paid their delinquencies or obtained reprieve from the court.

Elite strictly follows state law governing repayment plans. Property owners must pay 25% down and the remainder in set installments, and the law deems repayment plans in default if two installments are not paid. Owners who default on a repayment plan cannot obtain a new one for three years through the tax claim bureau by law, although some are able to seek new repayment agreements through the court.

Last week’s auction generated $196,732, according to Elite.

The properties sold, along with the winning bids, its report said: 74 Barnes St., Ashley, $44,000; 58 Saxe Road, Fairmount Township, $8,732; 3083 Route 29, Jackson Township, $61,000; 27 Morgan Lane, Pittston, $39,000; and 135 Hill St., Wilkes-Barre, $44,000.

Opioid committee

At least four county residents applied for a vacant citizen seat on the county’s Commission on Opioid Misuse and Addiction Abatement by Friday’s deadline, said council Chairman John Lombardo.

Applicants will be publicly interviewed by council’s Authorities, Boards and Commissions Committee at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the county courthouse on River Street in Wilkes-Barre, with instructions for the remote attendance option posted under council’s online meeting section at

An agenda with all applicants scheduled to be interviewed will be publicly posted before the meeting.

The opioid advisory body must identify and recommend the best uses for $25 million the county is expected to receive over 18 years from the state’s settlement against opioid manufacturers and wholesale distributors. Council has the final say on how the money is spent.

Transportation exchange

County Road/Bridge Manager Vince Zerblas spoke last week about a proposed “agility agreement” with PennDOT District 4 and the county road and bridge department.

If one of the entities completes work on the other’s infrastructure, reciprocal work would be performed for the same value or cost, the proposal says.

Zerblas told council he expects mutual agreements for pothole patching and overgrowth trimming in areas where state and county highways intersect or are located nearby, which will allow both entities to maximize their reach.

“It’s hard for us to get everything done, so a partnership would help us tremendously,” Zerblas said.

Lombardo said a similar partnership between Pittston and the state has been successful.

County Manager Romilda Crocamo said the initiative is part of a broad plan to work with the state and municipalities to lower costs and use resources more efficiently.

Council will vote on the agreement at its next meeting May 14.

Interest earnings

The county racked up $473,000 in interest earnings in March, county Budget/Finance Division Head Mary Roselle told council.

Most — $292,000 — was from federal American Rescue Plan funds that remain in the bank awaiting the completion of approved projects, she said.

The county has accrued $908,000 in interest on American Rescue funds this year to date and $5 million in total, Roselle said.

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *