• Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

    Decisions Await Luzerne County Council on Sale of Prime County-Owned Land

    BySharna Bass

    Jan 30, 2024
    Decisions Await Luzerne County Council on Sale of Prime County-Owned Land

    Luzerne County Council members are faced with an important decision regarding the sale of valuable county-owned land in Butler Township. The necessary survey and subdivision sketches have been completed, and now council members must determine the extent of the county’s involvement in the subdivisions designated for residential development.

    One option is to sell the raw tracts as they are, leaving the infrastructure and other necessary work to the purchaser. This would require less involvement from the county but may result in lower purchase prices. Alternatively, the county could take on a more active role in carrying out the subdivision plan, which would require additional expenses but could lead to higher purchase prices.

    Councilwoman LeeAnn McDermott emphasized the need for careful consideration of all possibilities but cautioned that there would be a cost associated with the county’s increased involvement. County Manager Romilda Crocamo assured the council that an informative packet would be prepared, enabling them to make an informed decision at a future meeting.

    Council Vice Chairman Brian Thornton expressed his opposition to the county taking on additional work, stating that such responsibilities are better left to the private sector. Council Chairman John Lombardo agreed, highlighting the lack of resources available to the county.

    The subdivision plans propose approximately 62 single-family residential lots, primarily along Old Turnpike Road, Middle Road, and Lions Drive. Jennifer Pecora, the county’s Interim Operational Services Division Head, explained that a project of this magnitude would require a large underground holding tank in case of a fire, as well as adequate utility connections.

    Selling the land has been a topic of discussion among county officials for several years, with the aim of generating revenue and expanding the tax base. McDermott, who has been involved in the land sale advancement through the council’s real estate committee, expressed her satisfaction at reaching this point and highlighted that the agricultural use of three sections would be preserved under the proposed subdivision plan.

    It is worth noting that certain sections of the land cannot be sold due to long-term leases with a youth music camp and a federally funded educational/vocational program. Additionally, land designated for potential pollution treatment related to the Jeddo Mine Drainage Tunnel would not be included in the sale.

    As Luzerne County Council carefully deliberates on the best course of action, the community eagerly awaits the outcome, which will shape the future development of this prime county-owned land.

    FAQ Section:

    1. What decision are the Luzerne County Council members facing?
    The Luzerne County Council members are deciding whether to sell valuable county-owned land in Butler Township.

    2. What options are the council members considering for the sale?
    The council members are considering selling the raw tracts as they are or taking on a more active role in carrying out the subdivision plan.

    3. What are the pros and cons of selling the land as-is?
    Selling the land as-is would require less involvement from the county but may result in lower purchase prices.

    4. What are the pros and cons of the county taking on a more active role?
    Taking on a more active role in the subdivision plan would require additional expenses but could lead to higher purchase prices.

    5. How does Councilwoman LeeAnn McDermott feel about the decision?
    Councilwoman LeeAnn McDermott emphasized the need for careful consideration of all possibilities and mentioned that there would be a cost associated with the county’s increased involvement.

    6. How does Council Vice Chairman Brian Thornton feel about the county taking on additional work?
    Council Vice Chairman Brian Thornton opposes the county taking on additional work, believing that such responsibilities are better left to the private sector.

    7. What are the proposed features of the subdivision plans?
    The proposed subdivision plans include approximately 62 single-family residential lots, primarily along Old Turnpike Road, Middle Road, and Lions Drive.

    8. What infrastructure is required for the subdivision plan?
    The subdivision plan would require a large underground holding tank in case of a fire and adequate utility connections.

    9. What is the aim of selling the land?
    The aim of selling the land is to generate revenue and expand the tax base.

    10. What sections of the land cannot be sold?
    Certain sections of the land cannot be sold due to long-term leases with a youth music camp and a federally funded educational/vocational program. Additionally, land designated for potential pollution treatment related to the Jeddo Mine Drainage Tunnel would not be included in the sale.

    Key Terms and Jargon:
    – Survey: The process of mapping and measuring land.
    – Subdivision: The act of dividing a piece of land into smaller lots for development.
    – Purchaser: The person or entity buying the land.
    – Infrastructure: The basic physical and organizational structures needed for the subdivision, such as roads and utilities.
    – County Manager: The individual responsible for managing the affairs of the county government.
    – Revenue: Income generated from the sale of the land.
    – Tax Base: The total assessed value of all properties in an area that can be taxed.

    Suggested Related Links:
    Luzerne County Official Website