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The Susquehanna County Commissioners apparently are overwhelmed by the number of grievances filed by county employees who are represented by the Teamsters Union and believe the solution may be to hire a personnel director and dump the problem in his/her lap.
Gary Marcho decided to see how his colleagues on the Board of Commissioners felt about the idea of hiring a personnel director. He closed the discussion almost in disgust when Commissioners Lee Smith and Cal Dean managed to hem and haw their way through a 20-minute discussion on the subject without making a commitment.
"I just wanted to see if the other two commissioners are interested in the idea," Mr. Marcho said, "but apparently they arent so lets move on."
Messrs. Dean and Smith expressed sympathy for Chief Clerk Suzanne Brainard who is currently burdened with the employee grievances. Mr. Smith said he and Mrs. Brainard were tied up for three hours on one union incident and that her regular work just kept piling up on her desk while she was involved with the union matter.
"Suzanne has been inundated with grievances," Mr. Dean said. "We see the grievances but most of them go into arbitration because the attorneys for the union dont even agree with the language in the contracts."
Asked how many grievances have been filed, Mrs. Brainard said that right now she has seven on her desk that need attention.
Mr. Marcho said he would favor the hiring of a personnel director who would take charge of all employees. However, it was pointed out that many of the union employees work for elected department heads and are not under the jurisdiction of the commissioners.
Another woman in the audience asked if a job description has been written and she was told it hasnt. She suggested that a job title of human resources director would be more appropriate today than personnel director.
Asked if the three commissioners could serve as a grievance board and take the work load from Mrs. Brainard, Mr. Dean said it isnt that easy. He said there is a lot of paper work involved, files to be researched, and union contracts to be interpreted.
"There is a lot more involved than there has been in the past," Mr. Dean concluded. And, while he alluded to it, he stopped short of suggesting that the commissioners do not have time for all that work.
Mrs. Brainard said that in the past several employees in the commissioners office also served as personnel directors. She said the increased work load on her staff prohibits any of them from doing it.
"What do you really want from the person?" a taxpayer asked.
"What I am proposing," said Mr. Marcho, "is someone part time at this time."
Mr. Smith suggested that the subject be held until the commissioners have an opportunity to review some figures for the countys 2003 budget. He said he wanted to make certain the county could fund the position.
In another matter, the commissioners approved a resolution supporting a countywide road naming and addressing program to be undertaken by the county Emergency Management Agency. Mark Wood of EMA said most of the financing for the project will be paid for with grant money.
The purpose of the program is to establish standards for the naming of all streets and assigning addresses to all addressable structures. Mr. Wood said the goal is to provide county emergency service agencies with reliable location information in the form of street addresses to enable quick and efficient responses in times of emergency.
The commissioners hired Kevin Pietriyk as the database analyst for EMA at an hourly rate of $9.87 plus benefits.
In Salary Board matters, Andrew Genneken was promoted from 911 dispatcher trainee to 911 dispatcher. Mr. Genneken completed his six months probation period and his hourly pay was boosted to $8.34; and, the salary of Darci Ann Shelp, domestic relations intake officer, was set at $8.34 an hour plus benefits.
With the exception of Martin Brown, all members of the Hallstead Boro Council were present for their October 21 meeting.
The first item to be discussed was a complaint, in the form of a letter from a Dayton Ave. resident, who reported an incident that occurred at the Franklin St. Park. According to the letter, a pit bull had attacked a woman walking her dog; she was accompanied by her (small) children at the time. When the incident occurred, according to the letter, there were many other kids nearby who could also have been in danger of being attacked. The letter reported an additional incident, where the writers daughter had been in a group of volunteers cleaning the area by the riverbank, when a rock had been thrown at her. The letter related that charges had been filed, and asked council to "do something" about the problem before the situation escalated to include knives and guns; it went on to say that council should be aware that a lawsuit could be brought due to the boros "lack of action."
Council president Joseph Franks began the discussion by asking why the writer was not at the meeting in person, rather than sending a letter? "Weve done just about everything we can to get police here," he said, "We cant afford (our own)."
Mayor Canfield reported that he had chased kids out of park at night, even though he had been threatened by them. They told him that he did not have the authority to make them leave; he pointed out that signs are posted that the park is closed at dusk. He had called the State Police on three occasions, and they had responded to his calls.
Mr. Canfield said that two of the kids who had threatened him had been arrested. The dog involved in the attack had been leashed at the time, but it was reported that its owner had unleashed it and urged it to attack. Mr. Canfield had reported the incident to the State Police as well as the county animal control officer, who impounded the animal, but it had been returned to its owner five days later. The dogs owner has since been seen at the park, with the dog, which has been leashed.
Mr. Canfield related that the rock throwing incident occurred while a group of citizens were cleaning the riverbank area; a group of kids had shown up there, apparently after he had told them to leave the park. "Were not here to help," they told the group doing the cleaning, "were looking for our stash." Mr. Canfield said that after they found what they were looking for, they did remain and helped with the cleaning.
Council member Michelle Giangrieco suggested that council obtain copies of incident reports when the State Police were called, to show that action had been taken.
Mr. Franks commented that he had been approached by some members of the local Crimewatch, who had admitted they wont chase the kids out of the parks because they were concerned for their (own) safety. "The boro is sympathetic," he said, but council does not want anyone to get hurt. "Well keep calling the State Police," he said. "You cant take your life in your hands. Our only recourse is to call the State Police; hopefully, theyll keep coming."
In other business, council discussed a situation involving a storm drain on Chase Ave. that is not working properly. Council member David Callender reported that the drain had been cleaned, but after that, water was running into a residents house, most likely from a break in the line. The problem was most noticeable during recent, hard rainstorms. The resident will be asked to peg off the area where the line is; maintenance supervisor Dick Bigelow will dig up the pipe to see if it is broken.
A large, wooden swing at the Chase Ave. Park was reported to be broken; Mr. Bigelow will take the swing down, as well as the tennis nets, as winter is approaching. Mr. Franks asked if it would be better to replace the swing with two smaller ones; the matter will be discussed further in the spring.
There will be a special meeting on Monday, November 4, 7 p.m. in the boro building to begin working on next years budget.
Council has not yet heard from the boros solicitor regarding two agreements that there were some questions about; one regarding the beautification project, the other regarding leasing the softball field. It was agreed that Mr. Franks should make an appointment with the solicitor to discuss both issues in person.
At last months meeting, council had discussed a request from Prudential Insurance regarding shares owned by the boro, dating from a policy purchased in 1985. The policy had entitled the boro to 51 shares of Prudential; Prudential had requested that all "small" share holders either purchase additional shares so that they would own a minimum of 100 shares, or sell their shares back to Prudential. An additional 49 shares would cost approximately $1,813. A motion carried to sell the shares and, Mr. Franks said, "Put the money to work in the boro."
The Hallstead Foundry property was discussed. Mr. Franks said that, although the foundry building is still standing, "things are moving along." In speaking with Jim Mulligan, one of the owners of REG, which owns the property, Mr. Franks has learned that REG is about to join into a partnership agreement with an industrial agency in Susquehanna County. Because the county agency has more clout with the state, merging will enable REG to get the asbestos removed from the building more quickly than they could on their own. (DEP regulations stipulate how removal must be done.) Mr. Franks was pleased to report that Mr. Mulligan does have a developer for the property. "Hes ready to go," he said. Once the building is down, both REG and the county agency will go their separate ways and step "out of the picture" so that the developer can proceed with improving the property. Mr. Franks said that Mr. Mulligan would not disclose the developers name or his intentions, but he did assure that the process would be "swift."
Council reviewed correspondence received. A letter from the Susquehanna Depot Area Historical Society, asking for financial support, was tabled until further information could be obtained.
Information was made available from the Susquehanna County Charities Distribution Fund, for council members who wish to contribute to the United Way.
A letter from the Susquehanna County Housing/Redevelopment Authority was read, regarding 2003 Community Development Block Grants.
And, a letter from Barnes-Kasson County Hospital informed that, due to financial considerations, the Advanced Life Support Unit will no longer be in service to the county.
The next regular meeting will be on Monday, November 18, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
October 21 marks the date for the bimonthly meeting of the Great Bend Township. Roll call was received with Chairman Robert Squier, Supervisor George Haskins, and Secretary/ Treasurer Beverly Sheldon in attendance.
Supervisor Haskins was standing by the door to great all visitors and to proudly show off the new truck that the township received this week. From engine dimensions, to the tire tread, the public in attendance was able to receive answers on any questions that they asked about the new truck.
Approval of the Agenda was received after an addition was made to the building/driveway permits section.
The minutes from the previous meeting, on October 7,2002, were approved with no additions or amendments.
The Treasurers Report and the bills payable were passed with no questions or comments.
The roadmasters report gave information on the cleaning that was done around the township building; black topping that was started on one of the townships roads; and receiving of the new truck. The roadmaster also talked about the grant that the township hopes to receive for repairs on a road that was previously deemed a safety hazard, not an environmental issue by the Susquehanna County Conservation District. Further road wear and sliding embankment along the road has given the township the right to reapply for the grant that may be available. The road crew will also check into the agility program for State Route 1033 (Randolph Street), because they drive this street in order to reach some areas of the township, and the extra money that will be received for plowing this street will help the township. There was also a plan made to add rubber deflectors to the spreader on the new truck to keep cinders and salt from going under the frame and decreasing the life of this piece of equipment.
Donna Fekettes commercial permit for a sign is still on hold until further information is brought before the board of supervisors. Don Burns was issued a permit for a sign on the corner of River Road and State Route 171, in receipt of the permit fee of $24.
The sewage report disclosed that no new information was found on the permit issued to Joan Long for her trailers. Chairman Robert Squier held a meeting with all parties involved in the Pauline Chauncey estate. Fortuner refused to do the extra perk testing that was required to pass the project, because it was too late in the afternoon. He stated that the problem could be solved very easily, but in his haste, he crossed boundary lines and recommended a site that is not even in the estate as a spot to perk. He also stated that the map did not meet his exact expectations, even though it was drawn to scale and everything was placed in the correct locations. The Kenneth Tingley Trailer Park sewage problem has dried up, but it will return in the spring, or even this fall if a large amount of rainfall is received, because nothing has been done to fix the problem. There was no new information on the Harmony Village sewer complaint.
The Denton Crick Sportsmen Club was sent the wrong sewage documents for the land that they recently purchased from the Parks Family Limited Partnership. The Hinkleys did not previously own any of the land in the immediate area, so the Form B waiver, for annexations, was not valid. The supervisors (present) signed the new form that was required.
The township received a paper stating the estimated amount, $66,609.96, they should receive from PENNDOT for the liquid fuels fund.
During communications and correspondence, they reviewed the audit that they received from the Hallstead/ Great Bend Joint Sewer Authority for 6/26/01 through 6/25/02.
Under unfinished business, the code violations against Robert Hornish were reviewed. He is making progress towards cleaning his property, but he has a long way to go. The code violations against Armetta Slocum are still ongoing. William Dixon will continue to be in violation, because as Supervisor Squier said, "(his property is) better shape one day, next day (it is) worse." Interstate Burlap and Bag is still an ongoing issue as more work is accomplished towards cleaning up the site. Under the equipment section of old business, all leaks on equipment that the township owns are stopped. Mr. Haskins said, "(The equipment is in) better shape than I have ever seen it." The 4-wheel drive was repaired on the grader. There was no new information received on the roach infestation at Tingley Trailer Park.
Under new business, the supervisors discussed the need to hire new employees with the receipt of a resignation. They will be reviewing applications from six months ago.
There was a request from an audience member to patch a street that is in disrepair.
The meeting adjourned at 8:17 p.m.
The public is invited to attend the next meeting, which will be held on November 4, 7:00 p.m. at the township building on State Route 171.
Craig James Cochran, 28, Clifton Park, NY, and Georgia Ann Moser, 30, Clifton Park, NY.
Wallace A. Stewart, Jr. 36, Choconut Township, and Judy L. Sigler, 31, Choconut Township.
Karl A. Poulsen and Blanche O. Poulsen to Blanche O. Poulsen in Auburn Township for $1.
James M. Olivo and Jo Ann Olivo to Jay Olivo in Lathrop Township for $1.
Victor Radzinsky, Wendy Lee Radzinsky nbm Wendy Lee Angleone and Dominick Angleone to Emerson Wiley Veitch in Jessup Township for $55,000.
Kenneth W. Graves and Kay D. Graves to Kenneth W. Graves and Kay D. Graves in New Milford Township for $1.
Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Peoples National Bank in Auburn Township for $2,440.60.
Herbert T. VanLuvanee and Audrey Van Luvanee, deceased, to Brian J. Van Luvanee in Lenox Township for $1.
Janice Farley, Executrix of the Estate of Gladys L. Farley to Richard Charles Thompson and Cindy H. Thompson in Bridgewater and Franklin Townships for $93,900.
Lawrence T. O'Reilly and Christine M. O'Reilly to Joseph W. Przybylinski and Stacy L. Przybylinski in New Milford Township for $32,000.
Camp Chen-A-Wanda, Inc., to GPU in Ararat Township for easement for $10.
Lisa Lovell Ayres and Edward Ayres to GPU in Bridgewater Township for easement for $10.
Christina R. Mott and Presho O. Mott to Christina R. Mott in Apolacon Township for $1.
Mary H. Bannach and Mary H. Alexandrowicz and Richard J. Alexandrowicz to Mary H. Bannach and Mary H. Alexandrowicz in Auburn Township for $1 aogavc.
Ireno Monteforte and Mary Monteforte and Monteforte Enterprises, Inc. and McDonald's Corporation to McDonald's Corporation in New Milford Township for easement for $50,000.
Florence A. Wallace to Rowland Sharp in Ararat Township for $2,500.
Edward A. Van Auken and Kelly A. Van Auken in Bridgewater Township for easement for $10.
Clifford S. Thacher and Marlene A. Thacher to Raymond Belaski in Jackson Township for $189,375.
Bernard B. Zembrzycki and Rose A. Zembrzycki to Bernard Zembrzycki, Jr. in Herrick Township for $1.
Walter H. Chudleigh, Jr. and Ruth M. Chudleigh and Randy D. Bell and Suzanne E. Bell in Springville Township for $1.
Albert DeLisa and Kim DeLisa to Kirk Wornum in New Milford Township for $120,000.
Frank A. Nardone and Susan L. Nardone to Kevin A. Holgate and Cindy L. Holgate in Hop Bottom Borough for $57,000.
Robert A. Pennay, individually, and as Attorney-in-Fact for Rosalie B. Pennay to Robert A. Pennay in Hartford (sic) Township for $1.
Robert A. Pennay to Thomas Pennay and Evelyn Pennay, Stephen Pennay and Robyn Pennay, Robert Powers and Barbara Powers in Hartford (sic) Township for $1.
The Trehab Center, Inc. to Lillian Landry in Lanesboro Borough for $62,000.
Frances J. Sheldon to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Telephone Co. in Harmony Township for right of way.
Francis Glover to Northeastern Pennsylvania Telephone Co. in Thompson Township for right-of-way.
Richard E. Randall to Peoples National Bank in New Milford Township for $1.
Michael Olekza aka Michael Oleksza & Carmella Oleksza and Margaret W. Oleksza, individually, and as Executrix of the Estate of Albert A. Oleksza, Sr. to Michael Oleksza & Carmella Oleksza in Middletown Township for $1.
Michael Olekza aka Michael Oleksza & Carmella Oleksza and Margaret W. Oleksza, individually, and as Executrix of the Estate of Albert A. Oleksza to Margaret W. Oleksza in Middletown Township for $1.
Margaret W. Oleksza to Albert Oleksza & Jennifer Oleksza in Middletown Township for $1.
EMC Mortgage Corporation, by its Attorney-in-Fact Matrix Asset Management to George C. Bott and Lynne F. Bott in Ararat Township for $82,000.
On October 18 at 4:55 p.m., Melissa Williams, 26, S. Montrose, and Roderic Williams, 35, encountered one another on State Route 267 across the street from the Mountainside Fruit Market, Choconut Township. Melissa Williams had retrieved John Lamphere, 56, S. Montrose from Roderic Williams' vehicle, and Melissa Williams and Roderic Williams became embroiled in an argument. Roderic Williams left the scene, stopped in the roadway, put his vehicle in reverse, and proceeded backwards striking a parked vehicle belonging to John Lamphere and Barbara Lamphere, 59, S. Montrose, while they were seated in the front seats of same.
At the time of the incident, Melissa Williams was in the process of attempting to place her three-year old son into the rear seat of the struck vehicle and she had to make a furtive movement in order to avoid being struck. Roderic Williams then fled the scene south on State Route 167. He was located and taken into custody at his residence on October 19 at 3:55 p.m., then arraigned before District Justice Watson Dayton and is presently incarcerated in the Susquehanna County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.
According to the police report, Roderic Williams is charged with four counts of felony aggravated assault, four counts of recklessly endangering another person, four counts of simple assault, one count of felony endangering the welfare of children and one count of criminal mischief.
On September 22 at approximately 4:45 p.m., James Korenka Jr., 19, Binghamton, NY, lost control of his vehicle on Interstate 81, New Milford Township, on wet pavement and crashed into the median. He was wearing a seat belt and was not injured. He was charged with a vehicle code violation.
A 1997 GEO Prizm belonging to Scott David Robinson, Susquehanna, was scratched on its driver's side door while parked at the corner of Church St. and Union St., New Milford Borough, on October 15-16. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.
Trooper Michael D. Lohman made a report this week that between August 5-30, Debra Elizabeth Hack, Brushville Rd., New Milford, reported a theft of two rings from her residence. They were valued at $600. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT--HIT & RUN
A 2002 Chevy Tracker, no owner given, was parked at the Meadow View Senior Living Center Parking lot, Montrose, on August 14 at 7:30 p.m., when it was struck in the driver's side door. The unknown driver of the second vehicle then left the scene. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police at 570-465-3154.
The second Harford Township Supervisors' meeting for October, on the 23rd, was to begin preparation of a budget for 2003. Supervisors Rick Pisasik and Terry Van Gorden considered figures drafted by Mr. Pisasik with Township Secretary Sue Furney and came up with a set of numbers that show comfortable margins in almost all areas, and without a tax increase. They decided not to take formal action to issue the budget for public comment until Supervisor Jim Ketterer would be there to vote at the first meeting in November, on the 13th.
The Township's maintenance employee, George Sansky, attended the entire meeting of more than 2 hours, along the way making some requests for equipment purchases. He arrived with bids to supply the Township with equipment for storing and spreading liquid calcium chloride, used to control dust on township roads. At a prior meeting the Supervisors agreed that the township might realize some savings if its own workers could handle the liquid calcium themselves. Mr. Sansky presented a low bid from GVM, Inc. of Biglerville, PA for just over $4,200 for two 3,000-gallon plastic storage tanks, one 1000-gallon tank for the spreader truck, and related equipment. He said that the equipment would also allow the township to spread water when and where needed during the dusty summer months, and that some of the anti-skid material used on winter roads could be injected with the chemical to help melt ice. The Supervisors gave the go-ahead to purchase the tanks and equipment, and thanked Mr. Sansky for his diligence.
Mr. Sansky reported that a representative of Vestal Asphalt, a supplier of many of the materials used on township roads, including calcium chloride, toured the township to make an assessment. Mr. Sansky said that this fellow was surprised that anyone could complain about the condition of Stephens Road, saying that the road is the way it is supposed to be, and is mostly smooth and drivable. That may come as news to residents along the route, most of whom in any case would probably like to have the road re- paved, as it used to be.
Considering the budget, Mr. Sansky asked for several items, including a new auto-feed welder, and a computer. The computer would be used to keep equipment maintenance records. The Supervisors seemed so pleased with Mr. Sansky's work, and so expansively generous, that these requests were considered of no significance and easily managed within the budget.
In fact, Mr. Pisasik was giddily euphoric over the state of the township's finances. Overall, the Township expects to end the current year with an extra $44,000. According to Mr. Pisasik, that can go toward the purchase of a new truck to be delivered soon that will cost about $48,000. With other equipment loans soon to be paid off, the township will "own" all of its road equipment, he said.
The new township budget anticipates revenues a little lower than current-year revenue receipts. It lays out expenses somewhat higher than current-year finals are expected to be. But the budget balances, and without a tax increase. Most of the work on the roads in the township are paid out of the so-called "state" budget, financed from money provided by the state through liquid-fuels and other subsidies. That part of the budget is also somewhat higher for next year, and more stone will be available for the roads (but perhaps not as much as Roadmaster Bob Simon wanted). The Sewer Authority budget will be somewhat less expensive next year, but revenues may be higher with several new hookups in prospect already. Overall, Harford township will spend just under a half million dollars next year for all of its services.
The Harford Township Supervisors will next meet on November 13, at 7:30 p.m. At that time they will adopt a proposed budget for review by the community, with final passage in December. The second meeting in December under the normal schedule would fall on Christmas Day. No definite decision was made about meeting schedules beyond the first meeting of December. Harford Township Supervisors usually meet in public session on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month.
The Montrose Borough Council called an emergency meeting on the evening of October 24 and had one item on the agenda. And that was a resolution, drafted by Borough solicitor Charles Aliano (who was not present), that would grant the Center for Anti-Slavery Studies (CASS) a conditional use request for the property it purchased at 75 Church Street in Montrose.
A good part of Councils regular October meeting was dedicated to a hearing on the conditional use request, and the resolution, according to Council president Craig Reimel, was the result of that hearing and Councils discussions after it.
Council member Jack Yaeger made a motion to grant the CASS application of conditional use, as set forth in the two-page resolution, which was seconded by Elmer Taylor. Reimel then requested comments from other Council members and, when there were none, from the public.
Heres what comments were requested on: The resolution grants the CASS request for conditional use, provided several conditions, spelled out in the resolution, are satisfied or complied with. They are: that Council be provided a copy of and be satisfied with the parking agreement between CASS and the Presbyterian Church (comments made at the last meeting expressed a concern about increased traffic/congestion if parking were allowed on the street); that the property be inspected for mold with Council receiving the inspection report; and also that CASS provide Council with certified proof that there are no public health dangers before the building is open to the public.
In addition, the resolution says that the property may be used for up to four events during Fall and Spring Tours that coincide with these seasonal activities sponsored by the Montrose Chamber of Commerce; for up to two events for Fall and Spring receptions for guest speakers and lectures sponsored by CASS; and one Fall Fest Event. The resolution limits the number of people on the premises at any one time for these events at no more than 75.
The conditions also include that the premises be open to the public on a daily basis; that they be used for meetings and dining space for CASS; that CASS can conduct tours, lectures, seminars or provide information to school groups, community and church organizations or the like; that exhibits can be arranged (such as quilts, art, antiques and historical items); and that it can be used for other gatherings of an educational or cultural nature that do not violate any other condition of the resolution. No more than 30 people can be on the premises at any one time for these uses.
Resident Larry Kelly had several comments to make. First, however, he wanted to go on the record to say that his concerns about CASS use of the property was motivated strictly by the use of the property, not who would use it. His objections, he said, "are not racially motivated," noting that his brother-in-law is a native-born Nigerian. Kelly also recalled that he has spoken on behalf of CASS in the past and, "no matter how this turns out, Ill be happy to do it again."
Kelly then observed several things about the resolution. The first was that "it is far, far more expansive that what was requested in an October 14 letter to Council" from Sherman Wooden, CASS president. "CASS is asking for far less that what Council has on its resolution," he said, "and Im asking that Council go back to the CASS letter."
Concerned about the parking situation, he suggested that the agreement between CASS and the Presbyterian Church be an ongoing one, in order for CASS conditional use request to be granted.
He also suggested that Council limit the time the premises could be open, until 10 p.m. While Kelly noted that he doubted any current members of the CASS organization would contemplate late-night activities, he also cautioned that "when you change the use of the land, the identity of the people have little to do with it."
The paragraph that allowed the premises to be used "for other gatherings of an educational or cultural nature" was "entirely too broad," he observed, and asked that it be taken out of the resolution that Council will vote on.
Lastly, Kelly noted, "If you read the resolution carefully, youll find that the premises cannot be used as a residence. I think it should," he said, adding that use-as-residence replace the paragraph that would allow "other gatherings." He suggested that a vote be tabled until the resolution could be revamped.
Another audience member asked if Council had on file some kind of agreement about parking with the Presbyterian Church. Reimel answered that it was Councils understanding that such an agreement exists, and, if it doesnt, "they [CASS] wont be able to use the house for what they want to use it for." The resolution as it stands does call for providing Council with the parking agreement.
With no further public comment on the resolution, Council decided to table a vote on the resolution until its next meeting, during which time it would consider the comments it received at this one. Reimel adjourned the special meeting.
Afterwards, Wooden commented that CASS was prepared to do whatever it took to comply with Council requests and the terms of the resolution. He also said he was "overwhelmed" by the amount of support he and CASS have gotten from Montrose residents, via phone calls, letters, and bumping into people on the street.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Montrose Borough Council is on November 4, 7 p.m. at the Borough Building.
A Susquehanna County man was sentenced to serve two years to four years in a state correctional facility last week when he appeared before Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans on charges relating to his attempt to smuggle a controlled substance into the county jail.
Judge Seamans also fined 19-year-old Scott C. Barren of Montrose $500 and ordered him to perform 50 hours of community service. In addition, the judge recommended that Mr. Barren be enrolled in the states Boot Camp Program.
Specifically, Mr. Barren was charged with criminal conspiracy/transmit controlled substance contraband to an inmate in the county jail last July 3. Mr. Barren was also placed on probation for 12 months and fined an additional $200 plus court costs for theft by deception in Great Bend last July 2.
In other cases, Judge Seamans sentenced a dozen men to the Susquehanna County Jail on an assortment of charges. He suspended some jail terms and also shipped some defendants to other states.
Those remanded to the county jail included:
Peter Otasevic, 17, of Montrose, two consecutive terms of one month to 11 months on two counts of criminal trespass for breaking into two business places in Great Bend on August 2. Mr. Otasevic was also fined a total of $500 plus court costs, ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and to make restitution to his victims.
Thomas Joshua Fisher, 19, of Montrose, four months to 18 months, with credit for time served, for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver in Great Bend on May 6. He was also placed on probation for one year for theft by deception in Great Bend between March 17 and March 22, 2001. And he will perform 75 hours of community service, pay a total of $700 in fines, and be evaluated for drug and alcohol abuse.
Douglas Arthur Welch, 41, of Friendsville, one month to 12 months, with credit for time served, for theft by unlawful taking in Apolocan Twp. on February 1. Mr. Welch took checks from a girl scout troop and cashed them. He was also fined $100 and will be evaluated for drug and alcohol abuse and for mental health.
Joseph A. Machell, 39, of Clifford, three months to 23 1/2 months, with work release, for pulling a knife on a juvenile in Clifford on May 18. Mr. Machell was also fined $500 and must perform 50 hours of community service.
Patrick John Kernan, 22, of Rock Hill, SC, two and one-half months to 15 months, with credit for time served for receiving stolen property in Hallstead on November 25, 1998. He was also fined $500 and may be transferred to South Carolina.
David Lawrence Biesecker II, 23, of Susquehanna, one month to 12 months, with credit for time served, for possession of drug paraphernalia in Hallstead last December. Mr. Biesecker was also fined $500 and ordered to perform 25 hours of community service. While he is incarcerated, he will be evaluated for drug and alcohol abuse.
Shannon Hollister, 22, of Montrose, 30 days to 23 months, with credit for time served, for criminal conspiracy/theft by unlawful taking on May 20 in Montrose. Mr. Hollister, who was also fined $500 and ordered to perform 25 hours of community service, is one of four defendants who broke into Logues Hardware Store in Montrose and stole cigarettes, a CD boom box and a video surveillance system.
Timothy Charles Blaisure, 17, of Montrose, two terms of six months to 23 1/2 months, with credit for time served, on two counts of theft by unlawful taking in Auburn Twp. in August, 2001. He was also given a suspended sentence of 14 months to 28 months and placed on probation for three years for theft by unlawful taking in Bridgewater Twp. on October 1, 2001. Mr. Blaisure was also fined a total of $600 and must perform 50 hours of community service.
Elias V. Orfankos, 23, of Johnson City was given a suspended sentence of three months to 23 months and was placed on probation for 23 months for theft by unlawful taking in Great Bend on January 1, 2000. He was fined $500 and his probation will be transferred to New York.
Paul Daniel June, Jr., 24, of Endwell, NY, was sentenced to 8 months to two years minus a day and transferred to Broome County, NY, on charges of recklessly endangering another person in New Milford on May 3. He was fined $55 and must perform 100 hours of community service.
Kyle Williams, 16, of Susquehanna, one month to 15 months suspended, 15 months probation, and $150 fine for charges stemming from an incident in Susquehanna on September 2. Authorities alleged that Mr. Williams and two other juveniles assaulted a man in Susquehanna. And on additional charges, he was fined $100, ordered to make restitution and must be home by 11 p.m. every night.
Scott Brace, 22, of Hop Bottom, two months to 12 months suspended and placed on probation for one year on charges of recklessly endangering another person in Lathrop Twp. on May 1. Authorities said Mr. Brace pointed a rifle at an individual. Mr. Brace was also fined $300 and must perform 50 hours of community service.
Eric R. Sega, 18, and Jamie A. Scott, 19, both of Montrose, were placed on probation for one year, fined $200 each, and ordered to perform 25 hours of community service for possession of drug paraphernalia in Silver Lake Twp. on August 9.
The Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center has reached an agreement with Luzerne County Community College to take over the administration and running of programs offered in Susquehanna County. Mrs. Peggy Schefeller, who is currently working for the Center, will handle contact with potential students, as an admissions person.
Because the college didn't seem to be pushing the program which is a distance from its official campus, and because the Center wanted the program to not only continue but prosper, Alice Davis, Director of the Center, made contact and worked out an agreement whereby the college would pay for the Center to run the program. Davis hopes this will make it a stronger program, and allow local discretion to begin new courses where the need is evident.
The fees for the Center from the college will include money to cover 50 weeks at 20 hours a week at $7.50 an hour or $7500, which will bring money into the Center after deducting money paid for Schefeller to work some evenings. The Career & Technology Center's school board approved the agreement at its October 21 meeting.
The Career & Technology Center is also working on other projects. Davis got approval for an older building to be dismantled by the building trades students and replaced with a larger building which will serve automotive students, make space for supplies for the house which the building trades students will build, and provide areas for the Robotics team to work on their skills based projects.
The house which was to be built this year has been put on hold until instructor Al Urban, who is in Bosnia with the National Guard, returns after his tour of duty which concludes near the end of the current school year. In the meantime, a place is needed to store the lumber, and the new building will supply that space as well as "be a good start for the kids on doing the house," said Davis.
The new building should cost about $40,000, but donations will be sought for materials, as well as grant money to cover some of the costs. Davis said the building should be worth about $80,000 when completed, and will allow the program to expands its shop areas which are currently crowded.
The Center is also continuing to build sheds and will accept orders for gambrel and gable style units, with various options, including T1-11 or board and baton siding, windows and/or electricity. These projects provide students with practice on skills learned in the classroom.
In other areas of the Center, Davis indicated that the cosmetology clinic is open on Saturdays, and "A Touch of Class," the culinary arts restaurant has established its schedule for serving lunches to the public. The menu is appetizing and inexpensive for wonderfully delicious sounding appetizers, entrees, salads, sandwiches and specialties of the month. Generally they are open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays when school is open, with six special days designated for buffets only. Reservations are necessary and can be made at 278-9229, Ext. 785.
VICA, the organization of Career and Technology Centers and its students, will be holding its state competition at Elk Lake this year on December 6. Judges are needed in various areas.
During the Elk Lake School Board meeting, Sue Dyson retired as CDL instructor, Janet Coleman Brehm, third grade teacher, submitted her retirement effective December 31, and Patricia Shivock, who had been refused at the last board meeting for a leave without pay, submitted her resignation effective November 27. The board took a quick executive session and decided to approve her resignation, effective October 21, which means she needs to remain at the school for 60 days. Shivock will become an supervisor at the Intermediate Unit.
Approval was given for the amended student medication policy, but there were so many clarifications during the discussion prior to voting that a final copy was not immediately available. Issues involved prescription drugs versus non-prescription drugs, students being able to carry only inhalers (for emergency use) on their person and not other materials, use of non-prescription drugs for after school activities when a nurse wouldn't be available, and the need for doctor's authorization and parents' approval. Most medicines will be kept in the health office, and these must be delivered to the school by a parent or responsible adult (school bus driver), which caused some concern by one board member who thought it might be hard for some parents to get the materials there.
The varsity letter program was approved along with requirements for obtaining those letters. Discussion of where the letters should/could be displayed ended with no guidelines included in the approval.
Elementary Principal Chuck Pirone got approval for the 6th grade trip in May to Gettysburg, which had been requested with various options of fees to cover the additional costs. After much debate, including the value of a trip to that area, it was decided that the fee would remain at $20 with the schools picking up the rest of the costs. One point of discussion was the $150 paid to teachers to chaperone. Although it is scheduled for a non-school day, Tewksbury asked if people didn't do anything any longer just to do it. The idea of parents going as volunteer chaperones was discounted as not very feasible because of lack of "clearances" as well as lack of insurance coverage since they aren't employees.
A follow up to the issue posed at the last meeting regarding vulgar radio programs on buses made it obvious that nothing had been done. High School Principal Kenneth Cuomo said he hadn't had any complaints about specific drivers. Ann Copeland and Arden Tewksbury said that a notice should be sent out "right away" to all drivers reminding them to use discretion in their choice of stations.
After giving local residents the opportunity to know about their October 24 meeting, Dan Anthony, Graham Anthony and Jack Thomas, supervisors of Brooklyn Township, attended to the municipal township meeting that had to be postponed last week.
Linda Spinola, Secretary/Treasurer read the minutes from last months meeting which received approval from the supervisors. Spinola reported that there is a total of $79,997.54 in all funds for the township. A budget meeting is planned for November 7 and the date selected for the road inspection is November 3, at 7 a.m.
The supervisors went into executive session to discuss some matters, including those related to a township employee. A decision was made and then made public to terminate employment of one of the personnel.
Dan Anthony noted that the Alford Hill Project covering road work through a grant was completed. All the supervisors complimented Jack Bishop on the fine job he did on Alford Hill and on Quicks Hill roads.
The supervisors discussed the upcoming town Halloween party that is scheduled to start on October 31, at 4:45 p.m. with a parade of the ghosts and goblins down the Main Street of Brooklyn. Immediately after, there will be party that will include judging and prizes for the best of the scariest and most fun for all age categories. As per custom, the supervisors will be distributing candy to the Halloweeners.
There is a problem reported on two septic systems in the township. An attorney representing COG, as the township sewage officer, will be sent on the townships behalf.
The Kodiak dump truck was recently worked on; a new clutch was installed.
Graham Anthony will be looking into the purchase of movable soccer goals for the park. Dan Anthony noted a lot of kids are playing that sport these days.
The Brooklyn Township meeting is held at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the Township Building on Maple Street in Brooklyn.
All members were present at the October 22 meeting of the Susquehanna Boro Council, along with secretary Margaret Biegert, streets commissioner Steve Glover, codes enforcement officer Shane Lewis and police officer Phil McDonald. Councils two new junior members did not attend.
The boros 2003 contribution for fire protection will be $17,200, which may be made in two, equal payments. This is for protection only, and is separate from workers compensation and contributions to the firemens relief fund. A motion carried to accept.
A letter was read from Sally Iveson, executive director of Barnes-Kasson Hospital, informing council that, as of December 31, the hospital will no longer be offering Advanced Life Support services to the county, due to its financial hardship to the hospital. The hospital receives limited reimbursement for this service, which can no longer be sustained.
A letter was received from resident Grace Brown, inquiring about purchasing the lot adjacent to her home at 515 Church St. The house on this lot was torn down last year; since then, Mrs. Brown has maintained the property. Mrs. Biegert reported that the assessed value of the lot is under $1,500 (the legal limit for selling property without putting it out to bid). A motion carried to accept Mrs. Browns offer of $200 plus closing costs.
During public comment, Oakland Boro resident Doug Arthur had some questions on the proposed renters ordinance (Mr. Arthur owns rental property in the boro). He commented that he did not see where the ordinance would help; if at least half of the residential properties in the boro were to be inspected, they would not pass. Councilman Tom Kelly responded that the point of the ordinance is to find obvious, unsafe situations. Mr. Arthur asked, "Why dont you inspect everyones house?" Mr. Kelly replied that the only way to go into a private residence is if someone files an official complaint. The purpose of the ordinance is due to the number of absentee landlords who do not maintain their property. President Ron Whitehead said, "Youre involved with your tenants, you know whats happening (with your properties)." He added that the property owners who would be most subject to inspections are those who do not maintain them, and have no interest in their condition as long as they keep receiving their rental checks. "It has to be a blanket ordinance," he said, that includes all rental properties. "Were not going after those who take care of their properties; were trying to do this to go after those who dont care."
Mr. Arthur asked, "Why dont you just act on complaints?" Mr. Kelly said that many tenants were reluctant to file complaints, which require a signature. Mr. Arthur asked what would be done if a property failed inspection; Mr. Kelly said that the boro would be looking for basic health, safety and fire issues. "If its something minor, its a quick fix." In extreme situations, the tenants would have to be removed.
Mr. Kelly explained that yearly inspections would be conducted; during the time between those inspections, the CEO would follow through on any complaints. Mr. Arthur asked who would be held responsible if there were an accumulation of trash at a property, the landlord or the tenant. Mr. Lewis said that the landlord would be; he added that the boro would work with landlords, and allow a reasonable amount of time to clean up.
A motion carried to enact ordinance #428, requiring permits for rental properties.
Five bids were received for sale of the boros 1993 truck; high bid of $6,690, from Village Truck Sales, Lanesboro, Massachusetts, was accepted.
Discussion continued on the retaining wall adjacent to the Shauger property on Vine St.; council member Roy Williams had obtained a price for a cement block wall ($4,000) as well as for a solid concrete wall ($7,500). Estimated cost, materials only, to replace the wall with a wood one, is $1,480. Mr. Williams said that an additional amount of approximately $200 should be added for back fill to cover a drain pipe. The Shaugers have agreed to split the costs of the wall with the boro; Mr. Williams said that the cost for a wood wall would be agreeable to both parties. One problem, however, is that the footers would be a special order, and could take more than three weeks to get; it would be the end of November. Mr. Glover said that would be too late; it was agreed to wait until spring to proceed with the project. In the meantime, prices on material will be checked periodically as market prices go down during winter, when demand isnt so high.
Two public concerns were discussed. Mr. Whitehead reported complaints about drainage on High St.; Mr. Glover said that "Its in the works." And, complaints were received about parking on W. Main St. Mrs. Biegert reported that several residents have complained about a number of near accidents, when vehicles come off side streets onto West Main, particularly at the intersection with Third Ave. Mr. Kelly agreed that visibility is a problem and suggested that the police department check into it. Council member Todd Glover reported that results of an Altap study should be available next week, particularly regarding parking; more than likely, he said, there will be no parking allowed there, as mandated by the state. In a related discussion, council member Bill Kuiper said that he had contacted PENNDOTs county maintenance manager to find out who is responsible for painting "no parking" areas at intersections on state roads. It is, Mr. Kuiper said, the boros responsibility.
Mr. (Steve) Glover reported that the streets department has rebuilt catch basins on W. Main and Laurel Streets, fixed a drain pipe on W. Main; two more are scheduled for work. The contractor demolishing a structure on W. Main found another problem and tied a line into the storm drain. In response to a question, Mr. Glover said that storm drains on Franklin will be replaced as part of the boros sidewalk renovation project.
There was, Mr. Glover said, a situation with leaves and brush pickups that the boro conducts for its residents. Where the material is being stored is not boro property. "Since weve been going after other people to keep their properties up," he said, "it puts us in a tough situation. We could use a chipper." (It was reported that the owner of the site in question has not complained.) Mr. Lewis reported that other municipalities have concrete pads, where the material is chipped and rotated, and then sold. Although this practice is time consuming, it could make money. Mr. Glover said that some residents take the material for garden mulch, but there have been more and more branches in the pickups. "Its a good service, Id like to continue it," he said. "If the boro rents a chipper, then youve got to store it, but its got to be on our property. You have to store it until you have enough to rent a chipper." He suggested that a chipper be included in next years budget. "Then you wouldnt have to let it pile up," and the material could be sold. "Its been a good service for the people in town, and it helps keep (leaves) out of the drains." Estimated cost for a chipper is between $2,500 and $3,000. Mr. Kuiper suggested that landscapers be contacted to see if they would be interested in the material.
Mr. Glover reported that Penelec has completed replacing a utility pole on Main St., near the Methodist Church. While that was being done, the streets department took down the street light at the intersection of Main and Exchange Streets, painted it, and put on new lenses, and Penelec put the light back up. The new control for the light has also been installed. The timing has been set to allow 60 seconds for the green light on Main, and 30 seconds on Exchange. He asked for some input as to when the light should change over to blinking, cautionary lights. It was agreed to try this setting from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Mr. Kelly asked Mr. Glover (who is a member of the sewer authority board) about letters that had been sent to owners of property on Main St., from the sewer authority, regarding drainage (mostly runoff from roofs and drainage from basements). Why, he asked, was this not discussed with council? "Were just down the hall," he said. "They could have talked to us."
Mr. Glover responded that (this type of) drainage was never considered in the sidewalk renovation project, as the costs involved are too high. The property owners would have to file for permits and have lines put in, to the drainage system.
"Weve spent a lot of years on this project," Mr. Kelly said. "Why is the sewer authority going to Rep. Major?"
The project architect said the drainage would not be included in the project, Mr. Glover said. "Thats where it ended."
"This money we fought so hard to get is for improvements," Mr. Kelly said, "thats where its going. The sewer authority has known there was a problem for decades. This money is going for walks." Mr. Glover replied that it is up to the boro to enforce (the law). "The letter stated that buildings are illegally hooked up (to the sewer system)."
"Council, streets is not behind this," Mr. Kelly said. "Its our problem to enforce it... but its not our problem. It took five years to get this money, this doesnt stem from us."
"Somethings got to be done," Mr. Glover said, "but if its not feasible... four or five years ago, DEP said no more sewer hookups. No new development, too much is going in (to the treatment plant). The sewer authority made some changes. Our biggest concern was roof drainage going into the sewer lines. The sewer authority sent a letter to the housing authority, asking to (have the drainage) included in the project; they said no, it costs too much. PENNDOT said the property owners can file for a permit, and put in drainage. Another option is to put in gutters."
Mr. Kelly related that Mayor Kelly had gone to a big political rally, and that lots of important people were asking, whats going on here?
Mr. Glover replied that the request from the sewer authority to Rep. Major was to ask for help. "Thats what was said at the meeting. Its in the property owners hands. PENNDOT is overseeing the sidewalk project, theyre not involved. The proper way to do it is to put a line in so they could hook into the storm drains. Right now, the property owner has to go to the next basin. The (sidewalk) contractor was willing to run a line under the sidewalks, the architect said no. The housing authority is in charge; they said no. Rep. Major cant tell the housing authority what to do. They already said the money is not there to do it."
Mr. Williams asked, "When the study was done, why wasnt this included?"
"It was," Mr. Glover said, "the sewer authority requested the housing authority to put it in, they said it would be too expensive."
"I cant fathom that its gone this far with these issues (unresolved)," Mr. Williams said. "We need to let them know what needs to be done, and what the time frame is."
"The contractor was willing to go to each property owner," Mr. Glover said, "and put in lines, since hes already there, but the architect said no. He (the contractor) was told not to do anything. The majority of vaults have been blocked off. Its a big issue." He added that sump pumps cannot go into the sewer lines. "DEP can shut us down. If we go go over the rated capacity three times in one month, they can shut us down. PENNDOT said the only option is for property owners to file for a permit to dig, and put in lines before the sidewalk goes in."
Mr. Kelly suggested that Rep. Major, architect Gene Beautz, and contractor Bob Padula be asked to come to a meeting to discuss, in plain language what the situation is. Todd Glover added that every business owner involved should be asked to attend.
Steve Glover said that some buildings drainage could be directed to Drinker Creek; the streets drainage already drains into it. "Theyre putting new drainage all the way down Main St. Theres still time to do it. He wont be pouring the walks until next year."
"Were going to have to try to get a meeting set up right away," Mr. Kelly said.
Officer McDonald reported that things have been "pretty quiet" in the boro. "The kids are behaving." He did report one incident, where an irate gentleman threw rocks at the H-O Marts windows. The person in question had arrived just as they were closing, and could not get served. He returned later to throw rocks at the windows. Mr. McDonald said the incident had been taped by security cameras. The film is in the process of being enhanced to aid in identification.
The meeting adjourned to an executive session to discuss a legal issue.
The meeting reconvened briefly, with a motion carried to re-hire part-time police officer Joe DeMuro.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, November 12, 7 p.m. in the boro building.
Ted Place of Auburn Township was honored by the Susquehanna County Farm Bureau at its recent annual meeting, with the Distinguished Local Affairs Leader Award. Ted and his wife Becky own and operate a 300-acre dairy farm, but they are equally known throughout the county and state for their support of family, community and promotion of local agricultural activities.
Various elected officials were on hand to congratulate Ted for the honor, including Representatives Sandra Major and Tina Pickett. Major read a letter from their daughter who was in the hospital recovering from surgery, and a fax from their son in Florida (who they had just visited). Son Nick spoke of their kindness and service to others.
That thought was echoed by Representative Pickett who said that Ted "stands for everything we look for in our community."
Senator Roger Madigan, who now covers Auburn Township after redistricting, presented a citation to Ted that had been sponsored by Senator Charles Lemmond. U. S. Representative Don Sherwood, who had a previous commitment, sent a letter from the U. S. Congress expressing gratitude for their work for the agriculture community.
Susquehanna County Farm Bureau President Donna Williams, described Ted's faith in God, and Ted's strength and patience. Others who offered their congratulations and thanks included Susquehanna County Commissioner Lee Smith, Department of Agriculture Regional Director Russ Gunton, local Farm Bureau members, and Jeff Grove, state Farm Bureau liaison person.
Ted has served this rural community and county in many ways. He is well known as a long time member and Chair of the Susquehanna County Planning Commission and as past President of the Susquehanna County Township Officials Association. Along with Becky who acted as secretary for the county officials organization, Ted led the group of county officials for 12 years, bringing speakers and workshops to their meetings to keep them up-to-date on legislation and issues affecting their elected offices. He has served his own township as secretary for 17 years.
His activities with agriculture are equally impressive. He has been a Susquehanna County Farm Bureau member for 17 years, 12 of which he was a Director. During 15 years he served on the legislative committee, as well as regional Department of Environmental Protection coordinator to work with Farm Bureau and DEP to resolve farm problems before they got to be serious violations.
He's also worked with Ag Extension to increase sign-ups for Ag Security areas and with the Conservation District for clean water projects, dirt and gravel roads programs, tire clean-up and recycling.
He promotes agriculture though his work on Farm City Feast which is an annual event to bring farm and city/town people together to promote a greater understanding of the needs and concerns of both entities. He works on Dairy Day which brings farmers together to understand rural issues and be exposed to new products for their operations. He supports and sponsors the County Dairy Princess Program.
Besides all his continuing activities in these various programs, Ted and Becky operate and sponsor a Christian Pre-School for children who will be entering kindergarten the next year. It is run at no cost with two additional volunteers, and serves about 25 children.
According to the nomination form filled out by President Donna Williams, Ted is "a leader in the state legislative committee, cabinet director of county member services...having served Susquehanna County Farm Bureau and our county as a whole for so many years. Ted's modesty and humility have kept hidden this treasure. We are proud to honor him for his many services to local agriculture."
Ted's activities are the best example of what the Farm Bureau stands for. As Donna Williams said, "Farm Bureau is there for everybody. It doesn't just address ag issues. It also includes things like phone, electricity, water, and all other issues that benefit all." Ted has successfully served both the farm community and the general county community for the betterment of everyone.
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