New Wilmington neighbors vying for liquor license

The former Fractured Grape building at 115 N. Neshannock Ave., New Wilmington, carries a Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board alcoholic beverages application. Attorney Paul Lynch purchased the building on May 22, the day after borough residents voted to allow the sale of alcohol within the municipality.

Two properties owned by Paul Lynch Investments will have a lower assessed value as a result of recent court settlements.

The Lawrence County commissioners in a 3-0 vote last Tuesday approved settlement agreements that reduce the assessed values for properties at 115 Neshannock Ave. in New Wilmington Borough and at 126 W. Sheridan Ave. in the city of New Castle.

County assessor J.R. Hardester explained that the New Wilmington property is the former site of the Fractured Grape. The business has since moved to South Market Street in the borough.

Lynch purchased the unoccupied property, next to the now-closed Tavern, and appealed to the county board of assessment appeals for a reduction in the assessed value, which was denied, Hardester said. He then filed an appeal in the Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas, where a settlement was reached between Lynch and the school district and county taxing bodies.

New Wilmington Borough does not impose a real estate tax.

The new assessed value reached in the agreement is $140,000. The previous assessed value was $200,000.

The West Sheridan Avenue property is a vacant house that Lynch purchased, and the inside of it is gutted, Hardester explained. He said Lynch had the property on the market but was unable to sell it.

The county board of assessment appeals denied the lower assessment of the property, and that, too, went to common pleas court, Hardester said. The parties agreed to an assessed value at the recent listing price of $24,000, he said.

He explained that the property owner is responsible for notifying the three taxing bodies of an appeal to the Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas. The city did not join in the assessment appeal and the New Castle Area School District approved the agreement.

Solicitor Charles Sapienza said the school district has not yet approved the appeal and it’s pending action at a future board meeting.

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Debbie's been a journalist at the New Castle News since 1978, and covers county government, police and fire, New Castle schools, environment and various other realms. She also writes features, takes photos and video and copy edits.

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