Dobrinski Brothers, the high bidders in the Jan. 11 auction for two former elementary school buildings in the Tunkhannock Area School District, had their purchases affirmed by the school board last Tuesday night (Jan.15).
Prior to a vote being taken, two of the three county commissioners (Rick Wilbur and Ernie King) showed up at the school board meeting to make the board members a better offer on one of the schools.
Commissioner Wilbur, who had only been in that role eight days, said the commissioners had met earlier in the day for their bi-weekly meeting, and decided during an executive session to make a pitch of $125,000 for the Mill City School near Lake Winola, as it could be a centralized location for some county offices where the county is now paying substantial rents.
Kevin Dobinski, one of the brothers who made the high bids Saturday, told the board, “The sale was properly advertised, and we were the successful high bidder.”
He noted the company had 17 properties in the county, “And we would like to put these new ones to good use” but he did not specify any plans.
His attorney Ned Abrahamson, said, “My client was successful bidder, and there were no irregularities. I ask the board to act as any governmental agency should.”
The board then went into executive session, and came out eight minutes later formally taking a vote.
It was 8-0 in favor of the Dobrinski brothers with board member William Prebola not in attendance to sell the Evans Falls school in Monroe Township for $280,000 plus a 10 percent buyer’s premium which took the price up to $308,000. They also okayed the sale of the contents of the Evans Falls school for a flat $10,000.
For the Mill City School, the vote was 7-0-1 for the Dobrinski purchase of $110,000 plus a buyer’s premium of 10 percent with board member Lori Bennett abstaining.
Board President Phil Farr thanked the commissioners for their offer, and acknowledged an unfortunate timing of events because they couldn’t act on behalf of the county until they were in office. “But we have to look at what is the right and fair thing to do,” he said.
An online live auction of the contents of the Mill City school continues until Jan. 21.