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LAWRENCE COUNTY Commissioners question new property values



Published: Fri, February 8, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



County officials contend the company doing reassessment is not cooperating with their consultant.

By LAURE CIOFFI

VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Lawrence County residents will get their new property values next week whether county commissioners like it or not.

Manatron Sabre Systems, the company completing the reassessment, is bound by its contract with the county to send those figures out by next Friday, said James Manolis, attorney for Manatron.

County Commissioner Ed Fosnaught wants to hold off.

"I am absolutely opposed to sending these numbers out. Our contract also says that Sabre must provide proper and accurate figures and I don't know that they've done that," he said.

Commissioner's contention: Fosnaught contends company officials have stonewalled attempts by a county consultant to check their work.

"We've gotten letter after letter [from the consultant] telling us Sabre is stonewalling. I know Manolis says its not up to us [whether the numbers go out], but I really believe the job has to be done better before they do go out," Fosnaught said.

Market value: Preliminary values are expected to represent property market value. Anyone disputing those numbers can ask for an informal appeal with Manatron Sabre officials, who will be in Lawrence County over the next few months.

In June, county commissioners must certify all new property values and anyone disputing those numbers must file a formal appeal with the county.

Commissioner Roger DeCarbo said he wants the new property values to go to residents next Friday. He isn't pleased with the numbers either, but he wants residents to see for themselves the job Manatron Sabre has done.

Commissioners have complained that some preliminary figures are wrong, including some properties valued in the millions that shouldn't be.

"There are 59,000 properties in Lawrence County. There are going to be mistakes. There is no way you can avoid every single mistake, but when it all comes out it will be a pretty fair assessment," Manolis said.




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