Luzerne County receives bids for ice jam damage repairs at River Common

By Jennifer Learn-Andes -
Luzerne County Courthouse -

Two contractors submitted bids to repair and install cut stone at the Luzerne County-owned River Common fishing pier, which was damaged by this year’s ice jam on the Susquehanna River — Panzitta Enterprises at $56,750 and Casterline Diesel Inc. at $127,500, county records show.

Bids were due Thursday.

The administration had estimated the work would cost $50,000 to $60,000 and proposed paying for it with natural-gas recreation funding.

Skylight repair

A minor leak at the skylight atop the county courthouse’s main dome was quickly detected and repaired for a few hundred dollars, said county Operational Services Division Head Edmund O’Neill.

The skylight had been replaced in 2005, records show.

A section of the frame was fixed and resealed to stop water infiltration, and crews sprayed the skylight with a hose to verify the repair was effective, O’Neill said.

County Manager C. David Pedri emphasized no water touched the newly restored rotunda.

On-the-road meeting

Tuesday’s county council meeting and work session will be at the Pittston Memorial Library at 47 Broad St. in the city.

Council will convene at 5:45 p.m. for a public hearing on a proposed budget amendment to accept county Redevelopment Authority funding for the blighted property review committee.

A voting meeting begins at 6 p.m., followed by a work session.

Honoring veteran workers

Two workers will be recognized at the start of the voting meeting for their retirement — probation intake specialist Bernard Montigney and human services fiscal administrator Albert Petrole.

County Domestic Relations Director James Davis, who is retiring after four decades with the county, also is scheduled to receive a proclamation.

Council also will mark the recent death of Linda L. Kohut, who was employed by the county Area Agency on Aging for more than 40 years.

Voting matters

The voting agenda items include a request to forgive delinquent taxes on three, flood-damaged properties in Conyngham, Jenkins and Plains townships so they can be acquired and demolished by the municipalities.

Council also may vote on the proposed purchase of 60 repository properties that were abandoned by owners and did not sell in back-tax auctions.

A proposed settlement with former county chief public defender Al Flora is up for consideration to close out 2013 litigation he filed over his termination. The dollar amount is blank on the agenda because the county solicitor’s office has argued settlement amounts don’t have to be disclosed until the voting meeting.

911 funding

The administration also has asked council to initiate litigation seeking recovery of 911 fees allegedly not billed, collected and/or turned over by telecommunication providers.

According to the agenda, laws require phone companies to help fund emergency call service by collecting a surcharge on each phone line capable of dialing 911. Some unspecified companies failed to charge large business customers for each line, it said.

The county would not pay for the litigation but must share a portion of the recovery with attorneys if the action is successful, the agenda said.

Board seats

Council also is slated to fill a vacant seat on two popular boards that oversee the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre Township and the Luzerne County Community College.

Some audience members have privately questioned the wisdom of proceeding with the arena appointment if a council member is absent again. For three meetings in a row, the vote was tied 5-5 for nominees James Reino and Neal DeAngelo.

Luzerne County Courthouse County Courthouse

By Jennifer Learn-Andes

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

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