WILKES-BARRE — City Council on Tuesday heard from its usual critics, listening to complaints from former city towing contractor Bob Kadluboski and Taxpayers Association President Frank Sorick to American flag advocate Jim Walsh.
Council also approved a liquor license transfer for the Home Court Sports Bar to the former Hottle’s Restaurant on South Main Street.
In addition, council approved a bond issue for Little Flower Manor, South Meade Street, not to exceed $2.2 million to that will be used solely to refund the outstanding City of Wilkes-Barre Industrial Development Authority revenue note that was issued in 1997 to finance the construction of the 60-bed personal care facility of Little Flower Manor.
A new personal care facility is not being constructed at this time. Rather, the City of Wilkes-Barre Finance Authority is assisting with the financing to allow Little Flower Manor to achieve a lower interest rate on the new loan.
A public hearing on the matter was held Tuesday morning at City Hall.
Sorick expressed concern about the future of the Veterans Memorial located on the property that formerly housed Fire House No. 9 in Parsons. Sorick asked council to request an easement be written into the deed that would allow the monument to remain at the site if the property is sold.
The former firehouse is again for sale by current owner Richard Lombardo, who purchased the property for $42,001 in 2010. He has converted the building into a four-bedroom home and operates his tent business on site. The asking price is $295,000.
The monument and flagpole behind it are featured in the photographs of the online real estate listing of the property.
“It’s already being discussed,” said Councilman Tony George.
Council discussed the possibility of moving the monument to city property adjacent to the firehouse.
Robert Smalls of North Washington Street questioned council about the proposed project to relocate a natural gas line near his home. Smalls offered several alternatives to the plan that has been proposed and he asked council to see if the route of the new line can be changed.
Last month, council tabled a resolution on an easement for the installation of a 12-inch main by UGI Penn Natural Gas Inc. to allow assistant city attorney William Vinsko to look into changing language regarding how close the line would be to Smalls’ house.
As written, the resolution states the utility will pay $10,500 for the easement to install the pipeline on city property and prohibit construction of buildings or permanent structures within 10 feet of the main. But the proposed route places the main under Oakley Lane within seven feet of Smalls’ house, reducing the buffer zone for him.
The route for the new main was selected to have the least impact on the levee that runs through the Brookside neighborhood. Most of the 14,000-foot proposed main runs on city property. Oakley Lane is a public right of way and not part of the easement.
Walsh urged council to encourage residents and businesses to display the American flag, especially on national holidays. He also asked the city to address more than 40 dilapidated properties in the city that he says are reducing property values of good homes in the same neighborhoods.
Kadluboski asked council if it had reviewed depositions in a court case concerning the former Old River Road Bakery. Council members did not respond.
Kadluboski also objected to council taping the meetings and he asked that private conversations not be recorded.