Luzerne County Council meeting on the road

By Jennifer Learn-Andes -
Luzerne County Courthouse -

Luzerne County Council members will take their Tuesday meeting on the road at the Dallas Emergency Management Agency building on Route 118.

The session kicks off with a public hearing at 5:45 p.m. on a proposed ordinance to make minor wording changes in the county personnel code.


At the 6 p.m. voting meeting, council is set to adopt a resolution authorizing county Manager C. David Pedri to proceed with an auction of unused, county-owned properties.

Council members had postponed authorization to obtain more specifics on the tallying of minimum bids and auction process.

According to Tuesday’s agenda, the administration says starting bids must be at least the fair market value.

For efficiency purposes, the administration proposes using the county assessment as the starting bid if the assessment is $10,000 or less.

For properties assessed over that amount, the fair market value would be determined by council, the county assessor’s office and a certified broker or appraiser, the administration suggested.

Procedures similar to county tax sales are recommended for determining when and how bidders must submit payment and which situations would preclude someone from bidding, such as owing back real estate taxes or municipal utility payments.


Council also is set to decide where to deposit $1.176 million, which is the county’s share of an expired tax-diversion program.

A likely choice would be the capital projects budget because only $664,246 would be left in that fund if council approves another $1.3 million in work recommended by the administration — primarily parking lot repairs and additional courthouse restoration.

The administration also has asked council to fund two new security cameras and exterior lighting, which were not included in the $1.3 million. No funding has been identified for new paper-trail voting machines estimated to cost $4 million and a 911 radio communications system overhaul projected at $20 million.

The county has nearly $5 million in reserve in this year’s budget — money that could be programmed for capital projects if it is not needed for emergencies.

Arena board

An appointee to the authority board that oversees the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre Township also is scheduled to be selected Tuesday.

The appointment to the popular board was postponed earlier this month because neither of the two final nominees received the required six votes. With two of 11 council members absent, the votes were five for nominee James Reino and four for Neal DeAngelo.

Budget report

At the request of Councilwoman Linda McClosky Houck, a more detailed monthly budget report has been posted on the work session agenda, which is available in the council section at

The work session follows Tuesday’s voting meeting.

Job openings

The county has posted an advertisement seeking three full-time assistant district attorneys, according to the human resources section at

The positions, which are unionized, start at $43,000 annually.

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.