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Judge Rejects Dallas Man’s Claim Against W-B Area

April 16, 2019 GMT

Magisterial District Judge David Barilla rejected a Dallas man’s court claim requesting $12,000 from the Wilkes-Barre Area School District. Thomas Dombroski requested the compensation by contending the district paid too much buying land in Plains Twp. to build a new high school. District Solicitor Raymond Wendolowski asked Barilla to dismiss the complaint because Dombroski and the court “can’t second guess” a school board decision. Dombroski pays school taxes on a property he owns on Jones Street in Wilkes-Barre and represented himself without an attorney. The district bought a 78-acre site from Pagnotti Enterprises for $4.25 million and plans to spend $121 million building a new high school on the property. Dombroski said the district overpaid for the Pagnotti property because the appraised value of the land is $800,000. But that was just the surface value of the land, and Pagnotti wanted compensation for mineral rights, Wendolowski said. The school board agreed to buy the property for $4.2 million after negotiations brought the price down from $8 million, Wendolowski said. The board also didn’t want to risk spending more by obtaining the property through an eminent domain court proceeding, Wendoloski added. The new high school will allow for the consolidation of all three district high schools — Meyers, GAR and Coughlin — before the 2021-22 school year. Contact the writer: mbuffer@citizensvoice.com 570-821-2073, @cvmikebuffer