Register of deeds busier than ever

By The Mercury

Business is booming in the Pott County Register of Deeds office.

Mortgage indebtedness for 2012 totaled $167,822,727, an increase of more than $32 million over the previous year, Betty Abitz, register of deeds, told county commissioners Monday.

“What shocked me was the growth from 2009, 2010 and 2011,” Abitz said. “And this past January was the busiest we’ve ever been.”

The registrars office also brought in $581,154 in recording and service fees during 2012, an increase of $117,458 from the previous year, she said.

Abitz was one of several department heads to give updates to the commission Monday.

• Tim Eisenbarth, noxious weed director and county recycling director, said 309,980 pounds of material were recycled during 2012, at a total transportation cost of $19,292.

The program, however, resulted in a net savings to the county when revenue from recyclables, as well as transportation costs from the landfill are figured, he said.

Revenue from recyclables (cardboard, newspapers and chemical jugs) amounted to $14,410 in 2012, and diverting 335 tons of material from the landfill saved about $10,000 ($31.74 per ton) in transportation costs to the regional landfill at Perry, according to Eisenbarth.

The commission also approved the noxious weed eradication report presented by Eisenbarth.

• Scott Schwinn, sanitarian and landfill director, reported 711 tons of material shipped from the landfill in January of 2013, compared to 628 tons the previous January.

Commissioners also approved Schwinn’s recommendation to hold a spring free day at the landfill Saturday, April 6.

• Gregg Webster, zoning administrator, reported 12 building permits were issued in January with a total value of $1,271,150. In January of 2012, there were nine permits issued at a value of $733,000.

“We’re still seeing some home building going on,” Webster said. “It was a pretty decent January and the weather was pretty good.”

• Earlier in the meeting, John Watt, county counselor, said he had received an e-mail notification that a new masonry subcontractor was on the job at the Pott County Justice Center construction site at Westmoreland.

The original masonry subcontractor was dismissed several weeks ago by the general contractor for missing critical deadlines, and the matter has been in the hands of the surety company.

Commissioners had expressed concern that a long delay in replacing the subcontractor could jeopardize the completion date of the project.

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