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 Post subject: Breaker Owner Refuses to Testify at Bankruptcy Case
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:06 pm 
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Location: Anthracite Region of PA
Breaker owner refuses to testify at bankruptcy case
By Paul Golias (Correspondent)
Published: September 8, 2012

The owner of No. 1 Contracting Co. is not willing to testify in his bankruptcy case, the trustee in the case said Friday. No. 1 Contracting's main asset is the historic Huber Breaker in Ashley. Efforts have been under way for decades to save and preserve the site. Attorney Michael G. Oleyar, the trustee, called the case at what was supposed to be a creditors' meeting at the Ramada hotel in Wilkes-Barre. Neither Al Roman, owner of No. 1 Contracting, nor anyone else responded for the company.

Oleyar, in response to a query from the media, said the debtor "is not willing to testify." No. 1 Contracting is in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which calls for liquidation of assets and then payments to 200-plus creditors. The breaker's steel has salvage value and it is unlikely that it will ever be donated to any preservation group. The No. 1 file in Bankruptcy Court shows that creditors and No. 1 have agreed in a stipulation that it would be best to sell the Ashley property quickly to preserve its value. Oleyar said the creditors' meeting was rescheduled for 4 p.m. Dec. 7 at The Ramada. At what point the court will act on liquidating the company is unclear. Attorney Ronald Santora, counsel for Roman, could not be reached for comment.

Huber Breaker Preservation Society has been working for 20 years to acquire the breaker, one of the few remaining in the U.S., and to create a living museum, education and tourist center. No. 1 Contracting filed for bankruptcy March 5, 2010. Luzerne County began eminent domain proceedings several years ago to acquire the property but the cash-strapped county was unable to move forward. The county also dropped out of the Ashley Planes Heritage Park project which too is in limbo. Meanwhile, the preservation society is moving forward with construction of a miners' memorial park on 3.1 acres of land on South Main Street, Ashley, in front of the breaker.

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