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Armstrong officials pleased with sale of 25 parcels during property auction

| Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, 12:31 a.m.
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Solicitor Chase McClister conducts the auction of properties Armstrong County took ownership of because of non-payment of taxes. The auction took place Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, at the Armstrong County Courthouse.
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Matthew Cravenor and his son, Joseph, of Kittanning, were among the 50 or so residents at Armstrong County's first property auction, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014.

Officials are happy with the results of Armstrong County's first auction of properties it owns because of non-payment of taxes, even though only 25 of 172 parcels put on the block were sold.

“I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of people who attended, and very happy with the number of properties that sold,” said Jeanne Englert, director of the county Tax Claim Bureau. “This was a straight win — we sold properties and made money, but the biggest part is these properties will be back on the tax rolls and the county is no longer liable for them.”

The auction brought in $11,350, with a 2-acre parcel in East Franklin receiving the largest bid of $5,700. The 147 unsold properties will go on the auction block again in July.

About 50 people attended Thursday's auction in the Armstrong County Courthouse.

Properties owned by the county generate no tax revenue and were either vacant, contained mobile homes or dilapidated structures and depleted mineral rights. So every parcel sold at the auction is a bonus for the county, Englert said.

“Fixing and cleaning these properties up brings the value up to where it should be and increases our tax revenue,” she added.

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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