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Strangely enough, the Great Bend Borough Council didn't have to field any complaints or questions about snow removal at its first meeting since two big snowstorms blew through town. A near-record six observers attended the meeting on January 9 and there was very little discussion of snow at all, a tribute to the efforts of the Borough's maintenance employee, Alan Grannis, who does the plowing on Borough streets.

Council members did get a little exercised about a building-permit application from the Mess family. The proposal is to replace the current structure housing the family's fireworks business at the south end of Main Street. A few Council members, led by Mike Wasko, wanted to look into what measures might need to be in place to protect the safety of Borough residents in case of a fire or other "catastrophe" at that location. Mr. Wasko suggested that the permit be held up pending review by the Fire Company. Conceding that the application's paperwork was "in order," Mr. Wasko nevertheless wanted to be certain that the business-owner's licenses with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were also in order. The Borough's attorney, Frank O'Connor, mediated between Mr. Wasko and other members of the Council who didn't think the Borough had the right to hold up a properly-submitted application based on what the property might be used for. The building-permit application does not require the property owner to disclose the purpose or possible use of a proposed structure. In the end, the application was approved. Mr. Wasko requested that the Fire Company be asked to research the matter.

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County Pension Fund Improving

Guess what? Susquehanna County’s pension fund made money in the last quarter of 2002. After three consecutive years in the loss column, thanks to an almost constant bear market, the pension fund finally made some forward progress.

They didn’t strike the mother load, but the county’s new investment management firm ended the year on a positive note pumping some $400,000 into the till and moving toward the request of the county Retirement Board that only 25 percent of the pension fund be invested in the stock market.

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