Pittston Township opts out of regional land bank

By B. Garret Rogan - For Times Leader | September 29th, 2015 2:28 pm

PITTSTON TWP. — The Pittston Township Board of Supervisors discussed land bank membership and heard concerns of its residents at Monday’s regular meeting.

The municipality had been dealing with the question of whether to join the Northeastern Pennsylvania Land Bank since July, but continuously delayed voting on the issue in favor of gaining more information.

The land bank is comprised of local governments in the greater Pittston area with a collective goal to restore dilapidated properties.

The land bank and local municipalities would then share property tax proceeds for five years once properties are sold.

At Monday’s meeting, Pittston Township solicitor John Finnerty explained land bank membership would require an initial $250 investment from the township and the creation of an indemnification clause that would protect the land bank from legal claims.

Immediately after Finnerty’s explanations, the supervisors voted unanimously to reject inclusion into the land bank.

After the meeting, Supervisor Stephen Rinaldi said Pittston Township would not benefit from membership as there are few blighted properties in the municipality.

The supervisors also heard repeated complaints from Gary Warsilla regarding noise at the Italian American Citizens’ Club on Oak Street.

According to Warsilla, there is excessive noise from music coming from the business each weekend. He claims that, despite a letter being sent from the township in late August, the noise issues have continued as recently as this past weekend.

Township officials promised action and encouraged Warsilla to continue reporting violations as he sees them.

The Pittston Township Board of Supervisors will hold its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19.

By B. Garret Rogan

For Times Leader

Reach B. Garret Rogan by calling at 570-991-6393.