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Dallas Man Sues Over W-B Area Land Deal

April 11, 2019 GMT

FORTY FORT — A Dallas man claimed in court Wednesday he is entitled to $12,000 from the Wilkes-Barre Area School District because the district paid too much buying land in Plains Twp. to build a new high school.

District Solicitor Raymond Wendolowski asked Magisterial District Judge David A. Barilla to dismiss Thomas Dombroski’s civil complaint because Dombroski and the court “can’t second guess” a school board decision.

Barilla said he would issue a ruling within five business days.

Dombroski owns property on Jones Street in Wilkes-Barre and represented himself without an attorney at Wednesday’s hearing.

“This is my first time at the rodeo,” he told the judge.

The district bought the 78-acre site from Pagnotti Enterprises for $4.2 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 after the hearing. 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, Wendolowski added.

It will allow the consolidation of all three district high schools — Meyers, GAR and Coughlin — before the 2021-22 school year. Dombroski said he supports the consolidation and the construction of a new school, but is against the decision to buy the Pagnotti property for $4.2 million.

Contact the writer:

570-821-2073, @cvmikebuffer