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For their last meeting of 2002, formal approval of a budget for 2003 was almost an afterthought for the Harford Township Supervisors. Jim Ketterer was absent as Rick Pisasik and Terry Van Gorden voted on Monday, December 30 to accept the budget proposed the day before Thanksgiving. The year-end meeting schedule was a little out of the ordinary because the holidays fell on their normal Wednesdays this year. The Supervisors allowed themselves a total of just over $462,000 for the new year, of which more than half, $224,674, is designated the "Township" budget, paid for from local taxes. The budget calls for no increase in taxes. The rest of the budget is supported by state funds and sewer system subscribers.
Among a number of other matters, most of the meeting was occupied with a discussion of the condition of a section of Upper Podunk Road. Some years ago a resident in the area drew up an agreement with Mr. Ketterer and then - Supervisor Wayne Warren that allowed him to maintain the part of the road that fronted his house. Since then he has kept the road nominally paved with cold patch, occasionally applying calcium chloride at each end of the section, all of it to control dust, and all of it at his own expense and effort.
Recently there have been complaints about the condition of that section of the road. The resident who maintains it appeared at the meeting to reiterate his intention to maintain the section as he has in the past. He said that his regular schedule (late this past summer) was interrupted due to a family emergency. But he said that he was aware of no large potholes or other unsafe conditions at his location. The Supervisors were concerned that, although that part of the road is privately maintained, the Township remains liable for it. All agreed that the situation is manageable.
The Supervisors considered an application for a building permit on Tingley Lake. Mr. Van Gorden said that the property in question had not yet formally changed hands, so the Supervisors decided to hold the permit pending final settlement.
They also formally passed an ordinance that outlaws most forms of "public nudity" in the Township. The issue was first broached by Mr. Pisasik some months ago. A sample ordinance from the city of Erie was submitted to the Township's attorneys for comment. According to Mr. Pisasik the Erie ordinance has survived court challenges up through the state Supreme Court. The Harford ordinance, almost clinical in some of its wording, is virtually identical.
The Supervisors took a first look at a proposal out of the county that would create a new addressing scheme for all locations in the county, in order to support the county's emergency management system. The proposal would cause many roads to be renumbered to enforce some sort of consistency, and some of them might have to be renamed. All residences and other properties would get new addresses (separate from postal addresses) that would allow emergency response personnel to more quickly locate a structure. The county proposal is still in its early stages. Mr. Pisasik does not expect the process to be complete for several years.
Lastly, an observer asked the Supervisors if anything had yet been done about the measure passed two months ago to proceed with creating a ballot question on the disposition of the Odd Fellows Hall in the village. Mr. Van Gorden apologized for inaction so far, but promised to begin work on the issue after the beginning of the new year.
The Harford Township Supervisors will meet next only a week hence, to "reorganize" itself, on Monday, January 6, 2003. Further meetings will be subject to a schedule to be determined at that time. Traditionally, the Harford Supervisors meet at least on the second Wednesday of each month, at 7:30 p.m., at the Township building.
The entire contingent of the New Milford Borough Council, with Mayor Joe Taylor sitting in, met for its first meeting of the new year on a date that numerologists would have a lot of fun with. Council accepted last months minutes and this months treasurers report, and voted to pay the Borough bills.
It recognized Januarys Good Neighbor, Jim Carpenetti, who was introduced by junior councilperson Brad Warren. Warren recapped Carpenettis years of being a good neighbor not just to the Warrens, but also his years of service to the Borough, which included serving as former councilperson and president, as well as current assistant fire chief of the Columbia Hose Co. and emergency medical technician for the ambulance.
Building codes enforcement officer Shane Lewis was on hand to recap activity in the borough since last month. He reported that the new pizza shop opened up on the day of the meeting, with all its paperwork in order from Labor and Industry, as well as an occupancy and sign permit from the borough. Already, the handicap sign at the shop has been stolen, and the owner said he would replace it. Lewis said he told the owner that he could wait until the spring to paint the blue outline for handicap parking.
Lewis noted that he will be meeting with a representative from Labor and Industry and will take up with him several issues regarding the Youth Advocacy Center in New Milford, which is still not up to Code, including the lack of a handicap ramp.
Responding to a verbal complaint, Lewis checked out the Bickell house where he found a violation of failing to obtain a permit for a deck attached to a structure. He will also investigate whether someone is living on the Bickell property, allegedly in a structure that reportedly has no water.
Borough secretary Amy Hine showed Council members a completed grant application from the borough and the township for a new siren, and Mayor Joe Taylor reported on how well received this years Christmas in the Park was, with more than 100 children participating. He gave special kudos to Hine and council member Terri Gulick for its success. The Mayor also reported that the same six people have complained about snow plowing after the Christmas Day storm, while councilperson Mary Ann Warren noted that she received compliments from some residents about the boroughs snow removal efficiency in the wake of big snow.
Personnel issues got a lot of discussion at the meeting, with council member Jane Zick, speaking on behalf of the Personnel Committee, noting that the Committee would be meeting before Councils next work session to go over and revamp the boroughs policies. Council member Rick Ainey expressed his deep concern that the three part-time employees of the borough be treated equitably, something, he noted, which apparently isnt being done at the moment. Ainey cited such things as vacation pay, holiday pay, and sick days, which are given to one employee and not to the other two. He strongly urged that a standard for such benefits be developed and included in any proposed personnel policy manual. "It doesnt matter who is getting what and who isnt," Ainey said. "It just matters that it stops."
Currently, the borough has no written policy and/or standards. Gulick, another member of the Personnel Committee, said that the issue is important enough that the whole council have input to it. She said that the Committee would have something for the full council to discuss at its next work session.
In another personnel matter, council member Chris Allen made a motion to hire Good Neighbor Jim Carpenetti as a temporary, on-call, part-time street assistant, which Council voted to accept. Carpenetti will be paid $9.50 an hour. A motion was also made and passed to ratify the action taken by the Personnel Committee regarding Holiday bonuses for borough employees.
The borough is still waiting for its ice skating rink, which was ordered last December 9. The only problem is, is that the money order that was sent on that day still has not been received by the rink manufacturer in New Hampshire. Hine talked to Peoples Bank about this, and they suggested that she wait until the end of the week, and then put a stop payment on it. To avoid this situation in the future, Council thought it a good idea to obtain a debit card, with a limit of $1,500 to be used by Hine only, to purchase necessities on behalf of the Borough. This will ensure that no further paper payment for goods is lost in the mail.
Council president Scott Smith brought up the parking or lack of it situation in the borough office parking lot. "Its pretty bad when Ron Kowalesky has an office in this building and theres no room for him to park here." Hine noted that some employees of a doctors office across the street use spaces to park their vehicles while theyre at work. Council discussed various ways to address this problem, including putting up reserved parking signs for COG, borough office, and Kowalesky business, and directing people to the parking lot behind the borough building. Ainey suggested that before any of these things happen, he would go over and speak with the people at the doctors office first.
Reorganization appointments were also made, and will be made every year from here on out. For 2003, Council made motions to appoint Jason Legg as borough solicitor, Peoples National Bank as its banking institution, and the Transcript as its official newspaper.
The next regular meeting of the New Milford Borough Council is scheduled for February 6 at the Borough Building on Main Street.
David Peter Boner, 32, Springville Township, and Sarah VanDeBogart, 19, Springville Township.
James Harold Jump, 38, New Milford Borough, and Shana Lee Vavra, 24, New Milford Borough.
Kenneth Martin Blaisure, 49, Bridgewater Township, and Erin Blaisure, 36, Bridgewater Township.
Lance Alan Grof, 19, New Milford Township, and Shannon Lee Seigle, 20, Moscow.
PennDOT to Scott T. Long in Oakland Township for Highway Occupancy Permit.
James Wells and Muriel Wells to Pat-Mar Realty Co., Inc. in Forest City Borough for $500.
Pat-Mar Realty Co., Inc. to James Wells and Muriel Wells in Forest City Borough for $500.
Joann Conklin, as Administratrix of the Estate of Garry D. Conklin to Michael D. Conklin and Michelle D. Conklin in New Milford Township for $107,000.
Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., fka American's Wholesale Lenders, Inc. in Jessup Township for $1,121.90.
Thomas J. Lopatofsky, Jr. and Donna Fekette to Thomas J. Lopatofsky, Jr. in Harmony Township for $1.
Pearl Welsh to Calvin W. Smales and Joyce W. Smales in Bridgewater Township for $52,500.
Douglas L. Green and Joellen Green to Douglas L. Green in Clifford Township for $1.
Lynn C. Butler and Lola D. Zimmerman and John H. Zimmerman, Sr. to Scott M. Biddle and Marcella J. Schell in Harford Township for $173,000.
William Pyper, Jr., as Executor of the estate of Margaret C. Jenkins and William Pyper Jr. to Ruby Brower-Johnson in Harmony Township for $35,000.
Charles E. Mills and Elizabeth G. Mills to Charles E. Mills and Elizabeth G. Mills in Dimock Township for $1 (2 parcels).
Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Wachovia Bank of Delaware, National Association fka First Union National Bank of Delaware in Susquehanna Borough for $1,301.64.
Paul J. Kalasinski and Diane E. Kalasinski aka Diane Kalasinski to Paul J. Kalsinski (sic) and Kiane E. Kalasinski, Trustees of the Paul J. Kalsinski (sic) and Diane E. Kalasinski Revocable Living Trust Agreement in Forest City Borough for $1.
Mary L. Wood, nka Mary L. Wood Hunter to Stanley T. Meleski and Barbara J. Meleski in Friendsville Borough for $12,500.
John Grab and Mary D. Grab and Joseph M. Grab and Beverly A. Grab to Johnathan W. Taylor and Linda D. Taylor in Middletown Township for $65,000.
J. Voss McGuire and Edith McGuire to Gregory L. Myer and Eileen K. Myer in Montrose Borough for $31,000.
Curtis L. Eshbaugh and Pamela M. Eshbaugh and John P. Mocniak and Lori L. Mocniak to Curtis L. Eshbaugh and Pamela M. Eshbaugh and Brian D. McDonagh in Apolacon Township for $1.
Mary E. Snyder, Trustee for Charles Henry Snyder to Charles H. Snyder in Herrick Township for $1.
Mary E. Snyder, Trustee for Charles H. Snyder, Jr. to Charles H. Snyder in Thompson Township for $1 (2 parcels).
Robert J. Bumm and Pamela J. Bumm, Ralph Amice, Frederick Belser and Albert H. Jones to Ralph Amice, Frederick Belser and Albert H. Jones in Middletown Township for $5,000.
Charles E. Mills and Elizabeth G. Mills to Brian P. Gesford and Matthew Gesford in Dimock Township for $65,000.
J. Voss McGuire, Executor of the Estate of Glendora V. McGuire to J. Voss McGuire in Montrose Borough for $1.
Stephen F. Babock (sic) and Janice R Babcock to Charles B. Babcock in Silver Lake Township for $97,250.
Darrell G. Pierson to Jesse R. Benedict in New Milford Township for $68,000.
David Draper and Catherine Draper to Thomas E. Mangone and Dorothy M. Mangone in Herrick Township for $285,000.
William E. Walker and Patricia T. Walker to Christine Oakley in Lenox Township for $45,000.
On December 28, Michael Barucky, Carbondale, received minor injuries when his 1990 Chevy Beretta was hit by a 1993 Chevy Blazer, driven by Robert B. Matthews, RR1, Nicholson. The accident occurred when Matthews skid on snow in a driveway in Glenwood, Lenox Township, into Barucky's vehicle which was traveling south on State Route 92. Matthews was not injured, but both vehicles had major damage.
On December 21 between 4:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., the PA State Police investigated complaints of a vehicle "turfing" lawns on State Route 29 between the Montrose Borough area and Lawsville. The vehicle was described as a white four-door with a loud muffler.
William Conrad, 20, Uniondale, lost control of his vehicle on December 14 at 8:47 a.m. and hit an embankment on State Route 492, 1/4 mile east of Interstate 81. According to the police report, Conrad faced numerous vehicle code violations.
Ruth Salsman, 37, Montrose, was turning left from State Route 29, 4-corners in Dimock Township, into State Route 2024 when Michael Hibbard, 18, Springville, came over the crest of the hill on State Route 29, at a high rate of speed, according to the report. Hibbard rear-ended Salsman. Hibbard faces appropriate vehicle charges in this December 14 incident.
Raymond Bishop, 45, Kingsley, in a 1987 Ford pick-up, traveled into the lane of travel of a 1999 Buick driven by Walter Lindemuth, 59, Brooklyn Township. Lindemuth received minor injuries. Bishop was arrested, according to the report, for DUI, with this December 22 case continuing.
Jessica Mead, Montrose, was going around a curve on Williams Pond Rd., near State Route 1039, Bridgewater Township, when she lost control of her vehicle, because she was going too fast on snow covered roads. Her 1987 Toyota SR5 rolled onto its roof. Mead was not injured in this September 1 incident, but her car was severely damaged.
A 2000 Toyota driven by Joseph R. Casmus, Milford, went out of control on snow covered roadway on December 25 at 9:53 a.m. on Interstate 81, Lenox Township. The report did not give details of a traffic collision, but passenger Erin Casey, Nolanville, TX, received minor injuries.
Someone cut down and took approximately 15 Black Hill Pine trees from a property on State Route 171, 3 miles south of Susquehanna, Harmony Township, sometime between December 10 at 12:01 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. the next day. The property is owned by Leslie Lotz, 51, Pleasant Mount. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.
As a result of an investigation by PA State Police at Gibson, Brian Cook, 37, York, and Robert Cook, 40, Montrose, were arrested for their involvement in stealing mail from the mailboxes of Daniel White, 47, Montrose, and Cheryl Singer, 39, Montrose, and attempting to cash in on what they found. The incidents occurred on November 21.
TRAFFIC ACCIDENT DUI
Robert William Staff, RR5, Montrose was traveling north at Rafferty Rd., Bridgewater Township, on September 20 and lost control of a 1990 Geo Metro on the dirt road. The vehicle left the roadway and overturned. Staff was arrested for DUI, because his BAC was above the limit of 1.0%, according to the police report.
On January 1 at 4:15 p.m., Edward P. Snyder, 36, Woodlyn, was traveling south on State Route 267, 4 miles north of Meshoppen, Auburn Township. He apparently lost control of his 1989 Chevy Blazer on the wet road surface causing the vehicle to leave the roadway. It rolled several times, broke a utility pole, and finally came to rest blocking the southbound lane of 267.
Snyder received moderate injuries as did passenger Bobbie Joan Johnson, 8, Woodlyn. They were both transported to CMC Hospital in Scranton, while Lois Snyder, 38, Woodlyn, who was also a passenger, received minor injuries and was taken to Tyler Memorial Hospital, Tunkhannock.
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