Last updated: May 04. 2014 11:35PM - 2307 Views
By - jandes@civitasmedia.com



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Luzerne County officials are seeking a forestry consultant to calculate the potential profit from timbering on county-owned property.


The primary focus would be Moon Lake Park in Plymouth Township, according to a request for proposals on the county’s website. The county owns about 1,400 acres at the park.


The consultant would help the county assess the health of its forest, identify sections to timber and market the timbering opportunity to outside entities, the proposal says.


Proposals are due May 16.


• The county is hiring a human services maintenance/facilities coordinator to oversee about 75,000 square feet of offices and parking space. The position pays up to $30,000 annually, and the first review of applicants is May 19.


• A new batch of County Council emails covering Feb. 10 through May 1 has been posted on the Right-to-Know section of the county website, www.luzernecounty.org. Council members started publicly posting emails they exchange with each other to be more transparent, but staffing issues had delayed online updates in recent months.


• A grace period is ending for Wyoming Valley Levee fee payers who are marked as delinquent for 2010 and 2011 in county Flood Protection Authority records.


Officials opted to hold off on filing liens last month because numerous property owners said they already paid but needed more time to dig through old records to prove it. The accuracy of delinquency records from those two years has been questioned because the Don Wilkinson Agency, the prior fee collector, left shoddy paperwork, officials said.


Property owners who have not produced proof of payment are receiving follow-up notices that liens will be filed on properties if payment isn’t made within 30 days, officials said.


• The county Recreational Facilities Advisory Board will meet at 6 tonight in the second-floor jury room at the county courthouse in Wilkes-Barre.


• County Council committees overseeing judicial, correctional, administrative and operational services will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the council meeting room at the courthouse.


• Councilman Rick Williams, chairman of the operational services committee, did not schedule a committee vote during Tuesday’s meeting on a zoning ordinance allowing backyard hens in residential areas with regulations.


Williams said more time is needed to refine and discuss the proposed ordinance. The committee also has considered presenting the suggested ordinance to the 23 municipalities covered by county zoning for their feedback before advancing the matter to the full 11-member county council for its consideration.


Council Chairman Rick Morelli told Williams in an email last week he’s not waiting and plans to put the backyard hen issue on the all-council committee agenda later this month. The public “needs to see that council is moving forward with issues,” and all discussion on the matter should end if a council majority opposes a zoning change, Morelli said.


Williams said council should wait until the committee finalizes the suggested ordinance next month so council members are not voting on a “vague notion.”


“I hope you’ll at least wait until there is a refined proposed ordinance so the public and the council knows what, if anything, is being proposed. Then the public and council comments can be made in response to a specific proposed ordinance,” Williams wrote.


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