Judicial sale nets $50K for Northumberland County
SUNBURY - Approximately $50,400 was generated through the sale of 19 properties at a county judicial sale Wednesday.
Northumberland County Tax Claims Bureau Director Jan Nestico reported a total of 67 properties had been available for sale, leaving the remaining 48 properties to be sold at a repository sale in January 2013.
The sale, which started at 10 a.m. in the public meeting room at the county administration center, lasted only 40 minutes with 22 bidders.
Northumberland County Commissioner Vinny Clausi, in his usual fashion during the sales, climbed on top of the dais to act as auctioneer, and was jokingly irritated when many properties didn't get any bids.
"Come on, guys! We need to make some money!" Clausi called out with a smile.
After approximately 20 minutes, Clausi stepped down and allowed fellow Commissioner Stephen Bridy to take over the duties of auctioneer. Bridy stood behind the dais.
After the sale, Nestico and county Solicitor Vince Rovito said the attention surrounding the judicial sales was decreasing because of the kind of properties being sold.
"We're getting caught up. Since these properties are so old on the list, it's hard to contact banks or owners or heirs," Nestico said.
"Consider what we're selling. These have been on the books forever," Rovito said.
Many of the properties sold at the sale Wednesday are in bad shape, Nestico added.
She also noted it was the second judicial sale of the year, which was likely a factor in the turnout.
In total, the county sold $50,429.51 worth of properties. Six properties sold in Shamokin for $17,765.43. Six properties sold in Coal Township for a total of $11,830.85. Five properties sold in Mount Carmel for $11,275.83. Two properties sold in Mount Carmel Township for $3,605.01. One property sold in Milton for $5,952.39.
The most expensive property was sold to Twilight Beginnings, which purchased 109 E. Sunbury St., Shamokin, for $8,038.60. The property, which is located in the city's eighth ward, was owned by Rosa Hernandez.
The second most expensive property was sold to Roger Grattan, who purchased 620 S. Front St., Milton, for $5,952.39. The .607-acre property, located in the borough's fifth ward, was owned by John Mitchell.
Grattan also purchased 405 S. Fifth St., Shamokin, which was owned Joseph and Emily Sanzotto, for $1,907.36.
Edward and Kelly Wilson, of Shamokin, purchased the most properties and spent the most money at the sale, shelling out $10,287 for four properties.
They purchased 861-863 W. Pine St., Coal Township, which was formerly owned by Samuel B. Moyer, for $1,675.64; 842 W. Pine St., Coal Township, which was formerly owned by Barry A. Strausser, for $4,100; 1710 Pulaski Ave., Coal Township, which was formerly owned by Larry and Shirley Yeager, for $1,512; and 248 S. Sixth St., Shamokin, which was formerly owned by Todd W. Kiger Sr., for $3,000.
The Wilson couple said they plan to fix the houses up and sell some of them, partly because they hope to turn a profit and partly because they want to see the houses in better condition.
"A lot of them, we want to save them so they don't fall down," Kelly Wilson said.
Asked why they decided to take a step in fixing up blighted properties, Edward Wilson said, "Why not?"
Sonia Santiago purchased three properties totalling $5,889.40 - 331-333 W. Seventh St., Mount Carmel, which was formerly owned by Lori Knopp, for $2,324.30; 810 W. Fifth St., Mount Carmel Township, which was formerly owned by Shawn J. Wondoloski, for $1,813.49; and 305 E. Cameron St., Shamokin, which was formerly owned by Glennie L. Rose, for $1,751.61.
Dawn Paczkowski was the only other bidder who purchased more than one property. She spent $3,567.79 - 16 N. Locust St., Coal Township, which was formerly owned by Kristen Hand, for $2,063.13; and 112 S. Fifth St., Shamokin, which was formerly owned by David and Shari Derr, for $1,504.66.
Nestico, Rovito, chief clerk Gary Steffen and staff from the tax claims office assisted at the sale.
Nestico said the next judicial sale will be held in May 2013.
The tax claims director said the 48 properties that will be added to the repository sale list should be available at the county website at northumberlandco.org and at her office within the next week, and properties sold at Wednesday's sale are posted online.
Anyone with questions regarding the sale can contact the tax claims office at 988-4116.
Prior to 2009, no judicial sales had been conducted in the county since 2001.
In 2009, 165 properties were sold among the 230 available for sale, generating $492,231. In 2010, 55 properties were sold among 89 available for sale, generating $186,500. Last year, 47 properties were sold among 85 available for sale, generating $150,392. Approximately $157,000 was generated last June in the last judicial sale.