Pittston Twp. mulls becoming member of landbank group

By B. Garret Rogan - For Sunday Dispatch | August 21st, 2015 4:43 pm

PITTSTON TWP. — Property development issues were the main focus during Monday’s Pittston Township Board of Supervisors meeting.

The township has yet to come to a decision as to whether they will join the Northeast Landbank Authority as a voting member despite passing a July 31 deadline set by the Landbank.

The Northeast Landbank is an entity operating in the Greater Pittston area. It acquires blighted properties and sells them to new owners with a guarantee of temporarily reduced property taxes.

Other voting members include the Pittston Area School District, the city of Pittston, and the boroughs of Avoca, Duryea, Dupont and West Pittston.

Pittston’s administrator John Bonita noted that “after some discussion,” the board was ready to vote on whether or not they would join. He also explained that Joe Chacke, the Landbank’s executive director, agreed to extend the initial July 31 deadline to accommodate the Aug. 17 meeting date.

The board however chose to table the vote so that their solicitor John Finnerty could review the group’s bylaws after some prodding from township resident Joe Lakowski regarding liabilities and potential repercussions for the township.

In other news, the board denied U.S. Gain’s request for final approval for the construction of a compressed natural gas filling station at a site within the township off of state Route 315.

The company has had the township planning commission’s conditional approvals for land development and the creation of a subdivision, the company does not yet have a highway occupancy permit or Department of Environmental Protection permit regarding the sewage facilities to be placed on the premises.

Municipal officials may call a special meeting to grant approval in the coming weeks once zoning officials could be properly consulted.

Also on Monday, the board accepted the resignation of police officer Kevin Gilmartin who, after serving the township for only eight months, will be leaving Pittston Township to accept a full time position with the city of Scranton.

In other police news, township officials announced that they remain committed to the police regionalization study process and that as of the most recent meeting, township police officers are on board to provide any kind of information and assistance that they can.

Pittston Township holds its next regular board of supervisors meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 21.

By B. Garret Rogan

For Sunday Dispatch

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