No hearing this week on Wilkes-Barre TIF suit

By Pat Kernan - [email protected]
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WILKES-BARRE — Originally set to be held on Tuesday, a hearing in Wilkes-Barre’s suit against the county and other bodies has been postponed until June.

The continuation was ordered by Luzerne County Judge Thomas F. Burke Jr. on Monday in light of a motion filed by the city.

The suit, filed earlier in April, is requesting funds from a Tax Incremental Financing plan, or TIF, not be redistributed by the county’s redevelopment authority to the county, the Wilkes-Barre Area School District and Wilkes-Barre Township, who are all named as defendants.

Started in 1998, the TIF was created to fund improvements to Highland Park Boulevard and Mundy and Coal Streets. Lawyers for the city claim the project isn’t complete until Coal Street is extended to meet Pennsylvania Avenue.

Last week, Seymour Holtzman, president of Jewelcor Inc., filed to intercede in the suit, claiming he ceded land to the city to be used for the project.

Monday’s filing for continuance, filed by city attorney William Vinsko, says the parties have become aware of a “potential resolution opportunity,” but the parties will need at least 30 days to do the necessary work.

The filing offers no insight into what the “resolution opportunity” is.

Vinsko’s filing suggests attorneys for all parties have expressed agreement for the continuance.

Burke rescheduled the hearing for June 12, and ordered once again that the funds in the TIF be held by the redevelopment authority for the time being.

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By Pat Kernan

[email protected]