Last updated: October 21. 2013 12:00AM - 3785 Views
By - jandes@civitasmedia.com



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The average annual Luzerne County government pension is $10,889, or $907 per month, according to newly released statistics.


County Retirement Coordinator Rick Hummer compiled data on county pensions last week, in part to show county retirees are not receiving amounts as high as commonly perceived.


The median county pension is $7,895 a year, or $658 per month.


Most retirees — 684, or 64.53 percent — receive monthly payments under $1,000.


The breakdown in other monthly ranges: more than $3,000 per month, 29 people or 2.74 percent of retirees; $2,000-$2,999, 81 retirees (7.65 percent); and $1,000-$1,999, 266 (25.1 percent).


County taxpayers have been required to pump annual subsidies into the employee pension fund because of a gap between fund assets and future liabilities, and the taxpayer infusion is estimated at a record high of $9.4 million next year.


• An appraisal of the landmark New Jersey Central train station in downtown Wilkes-Barre should be completed by Nov. 1, county Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Andrew Reilly said last week.


The appraisal is part of an upcoming search for private developers interested in buying the authority-owned property at the corner of Market Street and Wilkes-Barre Boulevard.


The authority wants to see if someone is interested in buying the property before entertaining a request to donate the 6-acre complex to the county Historical Society, which has expressed concerns about the property’s deterioration.


• The county election board will meet at 5:30 tonight in the council meeting room at the courthouse in Wilkes-Barre.


The county election office is seeking temporary, part-time election workers at a pay of $10.15- to $13.15 per hour. Information is available on the employment section of the county website, www.luzernecounty.org. Applications are due Friday.


• County voters can learn more about the 11 County Council candidates and two county controller contenders during a forum 7 to 9 tonight at Wilkes University’s Henry Center Ballroom, 84 W. South St., Wilkes-Barre. The city’s Downtown Residents Association is sponsoring the free event.


• County Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the courthouse council meeting room.


• Interim Human Services Division Head Mary Dysleski will start her new assignment overseeing the wills and deeds offices today.


• County Controller Walter Mitchell sent an email to county Manager Robert Lawton last week, which was copied to council, expressing concerns about the office’s proposed budget allocation for 2014.


“While this will not affect me personally, these numbers, if allowed to stand, may affect my successor’s ability to adequately compensate and staff her office,” Mitchell wrote.


Lawton proposed an allocation of $388,116 for the office next year, an increase of $38,558 from this year. However, most of that increase stems from the $28,437 increase in the elected controller’s salary, which will rise to $64,999 for the controller who takes office in January. Republican Carolee Medico Olenginski and Democrat Michelle Bednar are competing for the seat Nov. 5.

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