The Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority has paid $1.135 million to purchase a former bank and three lots in Kingston for a new billing and payment center, property records show.
Once occupied by First Keystone National Bank, the structure at 179 S. Wyoming Ave. contains a drive-thru that will be used for customer payments, authority Solicitor William Finnegan said. The other three parcels are for parking.
Authority officials have been discussing options for years to provide additional space for the business office, which is currently located at the authority’s wastewater treatment plant in Hanover Township, Finnegan said.
When the authority was established in the 1960s, it had 14 participating municipalities, he said.
It now provides wastewater treatment services for more than 200,000 residents in 36 municipalities in addition to handling recycling, garbage and municipal sewer billing for several municipalities, Finnegan added.
“We vastly expanded services but had the same facility,” he said. “This is the most cost-beneficial way to meet needs and is in the best interest of ratepayers.”
Addition ruled out
The possibility of building an office addition at the Hanover Township plant was considered but ruled out because it would have cost significantly more, said Finnegan, stressing the recent Kingston real estate purchase will not cause a rate increase.
The purchase involved three transactions, according to county deed and property records:
• $35,000 to Millet 21st Century Ventures for a 0.28-acre parking lot on Carle Street that is assessed at $122,000.
• $960,000 to Cent’anni LLC for two parcels — the former bank on 0.38 acre, which is assessed at $1.01 million, and a 0.06-acre parking lot assessed at $16,800.
• $140,000 to Cent’anni Duo for an apartment building on 0.21 acre at 17-19 Carle St., which is assessed at $110,000.
Finnegan said the apartment building will be demolished to create additional customer and employee parking.
The former bank is in move-in condition and should be open to accept billing payments sometime next month, he said.
An authority release said the Kingston location is more centralized for customers.
“While the scope of our business services continues evolving, this office will provide more convenience for our visiting customers and sufficient room for our business administration employees,” authority budget/finance director Sandy Bartosiewicz said in the release.
Satellite payment offices in West Pittston and Wilkes-Barre will remain open along with secure payment drop-off boxes in Nanticoke and Plains Township, the release noted.
The new site also frees up space at the Hanover Township building for the authority’s project overseeing regional stormwater management for many municipalities that must comply with federal pollution reduction mandates.
The authority’s proposed solution, which has been estimated at $33 million, involves work on the Toby Creek impounding basin off Division Street in Pringle to make it more absorbent; stream bank restoration along Solomon Creek on the east side of the river; and enhancements at a Plymouth detention basin, Abrahams Creek near the county recreational complex in Forty Fort, and another water collection area in Hanover Township.
Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.