Six Bieber Tourways parcels in Kutztown might be headed for the auction block unless the defunct company pays tens of thousands of dollars in back taxes by Sept. 19.
The properties appear on Berks County's upset tax sale list, which is updated every week. Starting bids range from $7,000 to more than $50,000 per parcel.
A fixture on the region's highways for 72 years, financially troubled Bieber announced in February it was going out of business.
Kutztown Mayor James F. Schlegel said the owner still has time to pay the taxes, but if the buildings are sold, he would like to see them developed. No plans or proposals have been submitted to the borough, he said.
Founded as a trucking company by Carl R. Bieber Sr. in 1928, business added charter bus service in 1946, according to a company history. In 1976, Carl R. Bieber Jr. took over the company.
Steven G. Haddad bought it in 2001, and acquired competitor Capitol Trailways in 2008.
Efforts to reach Haddad on Saturday were unsuccessful.
"The bus company really put the borough and (Kutztown) university in a bind when it closed," Schlegel said, noting some students at the university in Maxatawny Township depended on the service. "I wish we could get bus service back in Kutztown. But it is just a wait-and-see what happens (situation)."
An upset tax sale differs from a free and clear tax sale. Buyers are responsible for unpaid taxes and all other liens, mortgages and recorded obligations on the properties.
Schlegel noted that any buyer also could face further expenses due to environmental cleanup laws requiring the removal of pollutants or contaminants.
"There are diesel tanks underground there and diesel fuel on the ground," he said. "Cleanup could be expensive."
Schlegel, a lifelong Kutztown resident, said several of the Bieber properties were once part of a dairy and creamery, dating to the early 1900s.
"The station was an ice cream parlor called Denner's," he said. "It would be nice to get an ice cream parlor in there again, but who would buy it and who would do it?"