The public now has access to a free online portal containing basic Luzerne County GIS/Mapping data, eliminating the need to visit the courthouse during office hours.
Posted on the department’s page at www.luzernecounty.org, the public viewer shows boundary lines for the more than 165,000 properties in the county along with the owners and parcel identification numbers, or PINs.
The free GIS database is a major boost for research because it allows the public to instantly identify owners based on maps, ensuring they have pinpointed the correct location, said county Administrative Services Division Head David Parsnik.
In comparison, county assessment data available online is not mapped and contains “situs addresses” that are intended as vague reference points that may not correlate to actual structures currently using those addresses. Some county tax sale bidders have incorrectly based their purchases on situs addresses, only to learn they acquired something different.
Users can search the new mapping portal by address, property owner or the PIN, if known.
Once researchers find the accurate owners and PINs through the portal, they can use that information to obtain assessment data on the Times Leader’s free database, which is available under the news tab at www.timesleader.com.
An enhanced county GIS/Mapping portal is in the works that will provide additional parcel data for a fee, including soil, flood map and some zoning information, the website says. Daily, monthly and annual subscriptions will be available.
• The state Department of Human Services has granted full license status to the county’s Children and Youth agency through March 27, 2019, according to a posting on the state website.
The county applied for license renewal in December. The state opted to issue a regular license in response and informed the county it will perform an inspection within 12 months.
County officials had celebrated the agency’s return to a full license in April 2017, which had reversed a provisional license downgrade first imposed in September 2015.
• Luzerne County’s community development office will soon send applications to all municipalities explaining how they can seek a portion of $15 million for infrastructure improvements, primarily in low- and moderate-income areas, officials said.
The money comes from a business development loan fund that is no longer in high demand. Applications will be due within 60 days.
• Wilkes-Barre-based Panzitta Enterprises Inc. has been awarded a $318,350 contract to construct a modular addition at the county’s central court, according to a contract posted on the county website.
Expansion would create space for a second courtroom, additional public seating and enhanced security, court officials have said.
Central court is located next to the county prison on Water Street in Wilkes-Barre in a former residential structure that previously housed county Veteran Affairs, which relocated.
Court officials said money has been set aside from savings in their budget to fund the full cost of the project.
Panzitta was the low bidder among several submissions, officials said. The project completion date is July 6.
• A $52,625 change order was approved for a shower repair project at the prison and minimum offenders building on nearby Reichard Street, online manager contract postings show.
Council had approved that $627,000 contract with Panzitta in November. The added work increases the project to $679,625.
The showers have been leaking for years, causing damage and a safety concerns about broken tiles that could be dislodged and used as weapons, officials have said.
The change order was warranted because old tile removal revealed the existing wall was “in no condition to assure that the new epoxy coating would adhere, a report said. New cement backer board must be installed in 24 shower units, it said.
Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.