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Milford Twp. On Empty
There were a few people out to the New Milford Township monthly supervisors meeting on February 19. The meeting had been rescheduled and advertised to take place on this Wednesday over a month ago. Present at the meeting were supervisors Franklin Gulick and Jim Hunter. Roger King was out of town and could not attend.
Carol Smith, secretary/treasurer for the township reported there is $539.58 in the township's checking account, $1039.00 in the Money Market Account and $22,647.13 in the General Fund. Although that may sound like a good sum of money for an individual, it is not for a township. Gulick announced that almost of all of material that was put in for winter road maintenance has been eaten up because of the difficult winter we have had since the Christmas snowstorm. With money short, two of the township's men will be hired on an "as needed" basis and the township will be applying to People's National for a loan of $25,000. No one in the room disputed this has been a hard winter for this township. Normally, the township can make it through until Liquid Fuel money becomes available, but that is not the case this year.
Jack A. Kokavec, of Sweetland Engineering in State College was given the floor to introduce himself and his firm. He offered, on behalf of his firm to help with any future engineering projects the township may consider.
Dawn C. Watson, Coordinator of the Emergency Management Agency, Montrose, spoke at length about the necessity of identifying roads in New Milford Township and all the other townships in the County. The County will help with the erection of the signs, but there is no money available to help the townships (with the cost of the signs) at this time. She suggested the possibility of grant money from the DCED for the Single Application Grant Program. Property will be numbered every 5.28 feet for consistency; this will allow for the numbering of the houses. All houses will have to have numbers that are in compliance with the new regulations. It is the responsibility of the township to put up the signs and that of the individual property owner to post the number of their home.
Work for the signs is currently narrowed down between two contractors, Watson continued. The project should take no more than two years and she expects a good deal of the work will done by all townships with the written, formatted planning component to be completed by June 1, 2003. Upon completion of the plan and sign agreement, each township will received $500.00. She is available to help with the planning.
Correspondence was received from various state and local agencies. Among them was a letter from the DEP regarding the one-going project with New Milford Borough and Great Bend on the sewer work which has been much in the news. New Milford Sand and Gravel has received a new permit. Unfortunately, the application for a grant for a siren planned for emergencies that could be sounded for both New Milford Borough and Township had to be turned down. Sirens are no longer considered state of the art effective means for emergency signals for large areas. A Heavy Equipment Workshop will carry the annual meeting of the Conservation District slated for March 11, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Assessment Office will hear appeals from landowners Sandra Conklin and John Ward in March.
No road report was given from the supervisors or the roadmaster. However, it is a testament from this reporter that traveling from 14 miles South into New Milford Borough on Route #11 is a chore during bad (snowed covered roads) weather. It is apparent that New Milford is doing a very good job, as when you reach the entry point for New Milford Township, road maintenance is welcomed and observable for much easier driving.
The New Milford Township monthly supervisors meeting takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal building on Route #11 on the second Wednesday of each month. The public is invited.
The February 19 meeting of the Susquehanna Community School Board began with a discussion as to the timeliness of board members receiving their packets. Member Jack Downton related that he had not received his until the day prior to the meeting; couldnt they be sent out a little earlier? The other board members had all received theirs on the Saturday prior to the meeting, as usual. Mr. Downton noted that, although his packet was postmarked February 14, there was an additional postmark on the back, dated February 15, from Starlight (Mr. Downton lives in Starrucca). Agreeing that the packet must have been mis-directed, Mr. Downton nevertheless abstained from most of the motions brought to the floor, as he felt that he did not have sufficient time to review the material.
During discussion regarding the districts activity fund reports, business manager Ray Testa noted that a question had been raised at a prior meeting regarding inactive accounts, such as elementary Student Council. Mr. Testa said that he would bring more information to next months meeting for the boards further consideration on any action on these funds.
Elementary Principal Bob Keyes related that a "Kindness and Justice Challenge" presented in January had resulted in 1855 acts of kindness recorded in a nine-day period, an extraordinary outcome. During an in-service day held on February 14, the Math committee met to discuss realigning the districts curriculum with state standards. It was, he said, a "very productive" meeting. He also urged board members to read a Title I newsletter prepared by students, as it was pretty interesting reading.
Superintendent Stracka reported that the grounds were in pretty good shape despite recent weather; even as the meeting was in progress, workers were busy clearing away accumulated snow.
During public comment, bus contractor Ozzie Miller asked if the board would consider an adjustment in contracts due to recent fuel price increases, which have risen as high as 50¢ per gallon. Mr. Stracka responded that a request should be submitted in writing; it would be considered at next months meeting.
The board granted permission for the business office to begin soliciting bids for supplies for the coming school year, as well as for Mr. Stracka to file federal and state programs.
There was discussion regarding refinancing of 1997 and 1998 bond issues. Mr. Stracka recommended refinancing these, as lower current interest rates would result in approximately $45,000 in savings to the district. This approval is only to give permission to begin proceedings; final approval would be sought from the board at the March meeting. It was Mr. Strackas recommendation that the funds saved be used to enhance security. Mr. Downton asked, why not just apply the savings directly to principal, to reduce the debt quicker? Mr. Stracka responded. "I think we have a need for security." He cited a recent incident at the high school, where cameras and/or alarms might have been of benefit. The motion carried, with Mr. Downton opposed.
An amendment to the districts English as a Second Language program resulted in some discussion. Board member Pat Stewart wanted to know if there is a "big demand" for this program. Mr. Stracka said there is not, although it is a federally mandated program. He deferred the question to dean of students Bronson Stone, for elaboration. Mr. Stone concurred that the program is an unfunded federal mandate, requiring specialized instruction by a certified teacher. At the present time there are only two students in the program; their native language is Mandarin. The district has joined in a consortium with the IU to write curriculum. Right now, the district has one teacher attending this course, with two more slated over the summer.
Item 14 on the agenda was to consider approving the placement of milk vending machines within the district, a program sponsored by the county Farm Bureau. Mr. Stracka reported that the districts current dairy supplier also has a proposal, and recommended that any action be tabled for the time being until the board could hear both proposals.
Louis Hawley, representing the Farm Bureau, explained that the Bureau is promoting a milk vending initiative in the countys schools. The Bureau would be willing to help generate local funds and perhaps grant money to help offset the cost of the machines. The other proposal, he said, meets the bureaus goal, which is to offer healthy choices to kids, particularly after school. "The lack of calcium is our concern," he said, and added that statistics show that children are not getting enough calcium in their diets. A vending machine would most likely offer these products at $1 each for regular, $1.50 for premium. A milk vending machine can handle 45 different products, with 45 different prices; there are probably ten or eleven products available locally, including low fat and a variety of flavors.
Any program would involve a learning process, Mr. Hawley said; theres going to be a "curve" - more products will sell at first because its "new" and then most likely taper down. The approximate cost of a vending machine is $4,250; it will hold 360 units. Sales of about 300 per week would be needed to compensate its cost. Through the Bureaus program, the district would own the machine and subsequently be responsible for any labor costs as well as any parts not covered under warranty. Through the program offered by the districts current supplier, the machine would belong to that supplier and maintained by them.
Mr. Hawley noted that there is a safeguard against power failures. In this case, the machine would "lock up," and would need to be opened so that the interior temperature could be checked to determine if the products were still safe to consume. Whichever program the district might choose, either the food service or a booster club could assume responsibility to oversee. "Our aim is just to get more milk to the kids," he concluded, "to give them a healthy choice."
Two additions were approved to the substitute list, Sabrina Graves, non-instructional and Anthony Caudullo, emergency certification.
Four transportation contract changes were approved.
A resignation was accepted from Jeffrey Rhone, assistant boys track coach.
Hiring of the following was approved: Steve Nayduch, head boys track coach; Michael Reavey, assistant boys track coach; Brian Woodruff, (volunteer) elementary wrestling coach; and Bob Gilleran, assistant girls softball coach.
Homebound instruction was approved for one student; board member Mary Wescott asked, as a matter of curiosity, what the per-student cost is for homebound instruction. Mr. Testa responded that it is $25 per hour, for five hours per week.
Consideration of filing the audit report for the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 school years (with the Dept. of Education) brought a question from Mr. Downton, regarding irregularities in certifications cited by the auditor general in a recent report. Mr. Stracka responded that the district is in the process of appealing. Mr. Testa added that the auditor general makes a recommendation, but it is up to the Dept. of Education to make a final decision, which could take considerable time, with a variety of outcomes.
Audience member Allen Lloyd asked if the board had considered a request for an additional (fourth) wrestling coach for junior high. Mr. Testa replied that the request would be considered at budget time. Mr. Stracka explained that the request had been made (mostly) with a practical consideration, such as in the event of an emergency, particularly at an away meet. If only two coaches attended a meet and a situation arose where a student required transportation for medical attention, there would only be one coach left at the meet with the remainder of the team.
High school principal Mike Lisowski, who had arrived after the start of the meeting, reported that his staff has been working to create a feeling of "ownership," to make both kids and staff feel more involved in the school. To this end, his goal is to create a more homey, positive, comfortable environment. Inspirational posters and greenery have been used throughout the building, to help change from a "sanitized" environment.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, March 19, 7:30 p.m. in the administration offices in the elementary building.
Elects Officers, Talks Readdressing
Chiefly responsible for the small-ish turnout at the Council of Governments February meeting held last Tuesday was yet more snow, piled on top of an already-impressive winter accumulation of the white stuff.
And its too bad, since this meeting saw the election of a lot of officers, as well as a very informative presentation by Dawn Watson, County EMA director.
COG outgoing chairman Harold Shay opened up the meeting by asking for nominations for chairman, vice chairman and treasurer, to which the nominating committee proposed Elliot Ross, Charlie Fahringer, and Bill Bayne, respectively. Since no other names were proffered, these three were voted new COG officers.
Immediately after elections, EMA director Watson began giving a lot of good information to COG members. With Watson was EMA employee Kevin Petrick, described by Watson as the mapping and database person at County EMA who is researching any duplicate street names within municipalities and postal zones. Watson and Petrick are working with County municipalities to come up with optimum solutions in an attempt to assign every home a number which Emergency services can find quickly and efficiently.
Sometimes this means compromise. As Watson put it, "If we have a five-mile long road that goes though two or three municipalities, wed like to give the road the same name." Sometimes, she added, compromise can be reached with keeping a name on a multi-named road if there is a natural break in it such as at an intersection but not necessarily because it simply crosses over into another municipality.
What EMA is promoting is that an EMA address for someone who lives on a state route would be the number assigned to the home, as well as the state route number. For instance, an address might be 100 State Route 1020. The exception, she said, is for boroughs, provided there is no duplication of names within the borough.
When asked why it was different for boroughs, Watson replied that boroughs tend to have street names and names that have always been there. In many townships, she explained, some roads have street names, some have route numbers, and some are unnamed.
Liberty Townships Bill Bayne, while acknowledging how a number assigned to a route number would work for EMA, he wondered if the people on Riney Creek Road would even know they live on Route 1020. Bayne added that his township just put up new signs that say, for instance, Riney Creek Road. Watson asked if the state route number was also on the signs, and Bayne said they were, but not in letters as large as the name of the road.
That was good news to Watson. So long as the state route number is also on the signs, that will work. In the future, however, as signs need to be replaced, Watson said that EMA wants the state route letters to be larger than those of the street name.
She also admitted that the EMA readdressing alternatives were not going to make everyone happy. Several COG members noted that some names are historical such as Riverside Drive in Oakland Township. Said one, "People coming in from New Jersey may know they live on Route 92, but old-timers know they live on Riverside Drive."
Watson explained that EMA is starting at the southern or westernmost end of a road. She gave Route 29 as an example, of where its called Snake Creek Road from Montrose to the state line. For EMA, it will be Route 29, from where it starts to where it ends, period.
The gist of it is, said Petrick, in order for the emergency services personnel to know where theyre going and to get there quickly when called, people have to know what route number they live on. More than one member recalled an ambulance or a medical unit spending precious time trying to find a residence from which a call came for help. And Thompson Townships Mike Greene noted that new people moving into the area would become the volunteer firemen and emergency people of the future, and needed a point of reference to get them to their calls.
Helping with the mapping is a Global Positioning System (GPS). Once the EMA plan is effective, a phone call for help will also bring up the longitude and latitude within about three feet of its location for a quick find. Watson added that any building that has a phone will be in the system. As Liberty Townships Ted Plevinsky put it, "My phone number is going to be my address," and Watson agreed.
Bayne noted that EMA guidelines stated that a municipality had to put up signs within six months after a road change. Watson said that she would work with the municipalities on giving latitude on that time-frame.
Watson added that unnamed dirt roads will need to be named; that municipalities will need to adopt the plan and enforce it, determining any fines and penalties; that for the residents of some townships which dont have a post office, the system will pick up their address in the township in which they live (and not the one that has the post office); and that phone service or electricity will not be put into any new developments until developers go to EMA first for an address.
Municipalities are responsible for putting up the signs with the re-named addresses on them. Watson added that, "right now, if you have signs up, they are fine. As they need to be replaced," she continued, "I want them replaced according to the standard." This would be reflective lettering that is at least four inches high on a dark background, preferably green (although blue is okay, too).
As to when the system might be up and running, Watson said her best guess was a couple of years. She told the group that the EMA database is absolutely confidential. "We do not release names. It is against the law to do it, even if a state trooper calls and wants a phone number. We dont do it. We have the ability to print up map books and assign a house number to a road name. There are no names associated with it."
When another COG member noted that 32 roads cross into one township, Watson responded by saying, "Its not a simple process. Its time consuming, and at times will be intense. But its something thats been needed here for long time."
And while the information kit that EMA provided to municipalities did not include any sample ordinance wording for them to use to adopt the county plan, Watson said she will fax to COG offices samples of what other municipalities used when they adopted the plan, for distribution to its membership.
In other business, a website proposal from Phil Maywalt was received by the Website Committee and handed out at the meeting. Secretary Karen Trynoski gave a brief recap of its contents, which included links to conferences, meeting dates, forms, fees and a page for each COG member municipality with contact and other information on it. Proposed fee to develop 50-plus website pages for the three COG sectors is $1,600, with additional pass-along fees for a domain name and website hosting. Trynoski will research whether any of the cost of any COG website would be reimbursable, as well as other funding sources. In the meantime, the Website Committee will meet to review the proposal, determine its competitiveness and if it meets its needs, and get back to the group.
A follow-up report was sent in by Thompson Township secretary/treasurer Jerry Smyder, who hoped to get COG members to share some information about their major purchases in the hopes of getting economies of scale for members by way of volume purchasing. Unfortunately, only four municipalities sent in their information. Several members noted that the organization didnt get a lot of responses when they tried something like this a few years before. Nevertheless, secretary Cheryl Wellman will remind members about Smyders survey when she send them minutes of the meeting.
New Milford COG representative Rick Ainey thought that the cost of transporting some material figured into why some municipalities did not respond. Ainey said that, with the possibility of aggregate being unloaded at the New Milford rail site, group purchasing might result in lower, per-cost (including transportation) loads if a railcar load of material could be purchased. In the meantime, he asked COG to send a letter of thanks to Smyder, who put a lot of effort into his proposal and follow-up as a way to save taxpayers money. COG agreed.
Codes Enforcement Committee
The offices of Codes president, vice president, and secretary/treasurer were all up for reelection this year. And those who held them last year were nominated and elected to continue to do so. They are, respectively, Ted Plevinsky, Rick Ainey, and Charlie Fahringer. Plevinsky offered, "this should be my last term, because at the end of it we should have building codes up and running and as a result there will be a lot more members to choose from."
The first item to be discussed after election of the old-new officers was the status of a DCED grant. Secretary Karen Trynoski has been in frequent touch with a representative who is trying to find the grant money at a time when DCED is running out of it. Trynoski expected to hear shortly as to whether the funds would be available.
In his report on activity since the prior month, Codes enforcement officer Shane Lewis noted a lot of phone activity and office time, several meetings, four inspections, issuance of violations and various permits.
Plevinsky told members of a concern that some legal counsel for some municipalities in the County are reluctant to advise adoption of the new state code. Lewis added that some are concerned "with the seriousness of the Code. Its so technical and its so picky, that some attorneys are afraid to adopt it, and are reviewing it." Ainey noted that people can be leery about turning the guidance of their codes over to someone they dont know. "I think thats why its important that the municipality control that up to some point." For his part, Plevinsky wanted to think about how to get the importance of adopting the code across to various counsel.
In a clarification that was a surprise to some, Plevinsky also said that the property maintenance section of the new code did not have to be adopted by a municipality. Commercial and residential (new) building, however, must be adopted. Ainey noted, however, that a municipality that adopted the property maintenance section meant that it would be eligible for certain funding and grants.
With the effective date of new codes yet to be cast in concrete, the meeting adjourned.
Sewage Enforcement Committee
Members did not let outgoing and very long-time president Don Stone get out that easily. Before the meeting began, Stone was feted with a gift of appreciation, as well as cake and beverages, by members as a way to express a very large thank-you for all his hard work, and, as Liberty Townships Bayne stated, "putting up with us for ten years." Stone thanked everyone there, adding how great it was to work with them. "But, Im tired," he added.
Before he could join what secretary Trynoski called "the peanut gallery" (members who sit in front of the presiding officers table), Stone asked up nominations for his job. Harford Township representative Rick Pisacek was nominated and elected president.
There were not a lot of items on the agenda. Sewage enforcement officers Jim Tracy, Duane Wood and Ken Laurie were reappointed. Trynoski reported that: she is coordinating a hearing date with attorney Jason Legg and others involved; that Mr. Vidolvsky, a non-COG SEO, still hasnt paid a $500 penalty levied against him at a hearing held a couple of months ago; and that a notice of proposed assessment was sent to a property owner and contractor about a system that was installed without any Codes enforcement whatsoever.
With snow covering pretty much every inch of land, SEOs have not been able to do a lot. If theres any melt between now and March, perhaps they will have more to report at the next COG meeting, scheduled to be held on March 18, 7 p.m. at COG offices in the New Milford Borough Building on Main Street.
Craig Arcuri, 19, Susquehanna Borough, and Krystal Anne Williams, 19, Liberty Township.
Daniel E. Beddoe, 35, Franklin Township, and Susan Marie White, 39, Franklin Township.
Keith E. Brant, 39, Great Bend Township, and Pamela S. Joines, 31, New Milford Borough.
Christopher Clair Confer, 26, New Milford Township, and Wendy J. Sims, 22, New Milford Township.
William L. Hawley and Edna E. Hawley to Karen Van De Greik in Montrose Borough for $104,900.
Bremer Hof Owners Inc. to Steward White and/or Dolores White in Herrick Township for $100.
Donald J. Natishak and Dolores Natishak to Christine Giles in Forest City Borough for $1.
Lawrence G. W. Twardy to Lawrence G. W. Twardy in Herrick Township for $1.
Norma Chacona and Chris M. Chacona to William A. Szili and Tracie L. Szili in Harmony Township for $45,000.
Landview Properties, Inc., to Preston T. Hughes in Lenox Township for $27,900.
Robert K. Gerrity and Kimberly D. Gerrity to Paul J. Cook in Clifford Township for $86,200.
Christopher Lewis to Christopher S. Lewis & Patricia Ann Morgan in Silver Lake Township for $1.
John Smith and Josephine Smith to Terry L. Purdy and Christopher Arena in Brooklyn and Dimock Townships for $53,787.
Marian A. Nye to Marian A. Nye in Forest Lake Township for $1 ogvc.
Wells M. Bierly and Theresa Bierly to Wells M. Bierly and Theresa Bierly in Brooklyn Township for $1.
James J. McKane and Lucille C. McKane to James J. McKane and Lucille C. McKane and James P. McKane and Joseph K. McKane in Herrick Township for $1.
Jerry C. Weaver to Jerry C. Weaver in Oakland Borough for $1 ogvc.
Jeffrey T. Haberle to Neway Homes in Liberty Township for surface mining operations (two parcels).
Parcels from Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. in Herrick Townships to: Michael C. Purcell for $100; Robert R. Curry and/or Nancy A. Curry for $100; Robert Kenyon for $100; Mike Shyjan and/or Joan M. Shyjan for $100; James H. Deluca Jr. and/or Jeannette M. Deluca for $100; Frank Dimond and/or Nel Dimond for $100; Rhetta B. Rochna and/or Pamela S. Rochna for $!00; Karen Simpson for $100; Charles Higgins and/or Eleanor Higgins and/or Robert Michael Higgins and/or Debra Jean-Higgins-Bell for $100; Clifford L. Bennett and/or Mildred A. Bennett, Brett W. Fulner and/or Theresa B. Fulner for $100; James Coughlin and/or Joyce Coughlin, Larry Coughlin and/or Peggy Sims, Barbara Wasneechak and/or Terri Krieger, Steven Coughlin and/or Randy Combs for $100; James W. Sanders and/or Barbara L. Sanders for $100; Mrs. Gertrude Gambucci and/or Anthony J. Gamgemi Jr for $100; James Boney for $100; Conrad Swartz and/or Ellen O'Rourke for $100; Rockmond Dang for $100; Harold Antonson and/or Dorothy Antonson for $100; Francis Daley and/or Mary Ellen Woods for $100; Suzanne Laverdiere and/or Karen Laverdiere for $100; Richard A. Black and/or Rose M. Black for $100; Clifford Leinonen and/or Cynthia Lavine for $100; Robert Paniccia for $100; Suchland Reddy Pingli for $100; Clifford L. Bennett and/or Mildred A. Bennett and/or Karen B. Halaquist for $100; Reverend Dr. Alfred Liberatore and/or Winifred D. Liberatore, Dorothy A. Broadhead and/or Wendy D. Liberatore/Meale for $1500; Michael Broderick and/or Lisa Broderick for $1500; Therese Sepiol for $1500 (two parcels); Bernard Hydrick and/or Evelyn B. Hydrick, Bernard Hydrick Jr. and/or Aaron E. Hydrick for $1000; Willard Oakley and Debra White for $750; Bloch Family Living Trust for $750; Arthur Keyes and/or Adele Keyes for $750; Marcia Cope and/or Amy Cope for $600; Larry Hall and/or Suzanna Hall for $100; Paula M. Manseau for $100; Jason Chen and/or Lily Lin for $100; Michael Hubbard for $100; William C. Miller and Patrica (sic) J. Pitarra for $100; Jonathan Thurrott and/or Jamie Thurrott for $100; Daniel C. Iannicello and/or Cheryl W. Iannicello for $100; William C. Miller and/or William C. Miller (two different people) for $100; William C. Miller and/or Patrica (sic) J. Pitarra for $100; Sheila Hayes and/or Daniel Hayes for $100.
Denny Hartman to Bremer Hof Owners Inc. in Herrick Township for $100.
David T. Soltis and Mary Ann Soltis to Bradley A. Coleman and Deborah L. Coleman in Gibson Township for $48,000.
Barbara G. Hunt and Gary R. Hunt to David Parsons and Geraldine A. Parsons in New Milford Township for $199,000.
Gregory Strawn & Ann Strawn to David D. Florance & Lynette Florance in Hallstead Borough for $39,000.
THEFT & CRIMINAL MISCHIEF
Someone stole a 1985 Mack box truck from Donald Dean & Sons, Inc. plant #1, located on State Route 706, Montrose, and then drove the truck around between 4:00 p.m. on December 24 and 6:00 a.m. the next morning. The driver drove over a lilac bush belonging to Linda Gardner on State Route 167, Bridgewater Township. The truck was then left in a field off State Route 167 across from Township Rd. 699 (Mead Rd.). Anyone with information contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.
On January 30 at 8:35 a.m. someone drove to the Pump and Pantry, State Route 11, New Milford Borough, in a red Dodge car and pumped eight dollars worth of gas, then fled the scene without paying for the gas. Contact PSP at 465-3154 with any information.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
On January 17 at 1:50 p.m., Edward Goldsmith, Montrose, was driving a 1993 Nissan on State Route 167 , about 1/10 mile north of Sweeney Rd., Silver Lake Township, and while negotiating a curve, struck a 1992 Ford Ranger driven by Alex Frantz, Brackney. No injuries were reported.
Danelle Lynn O'Neil, no address, was traveling west on State Route 492, New Milford Township, when she lost control of her 1998 Chevy Cavalier and struck a guide rail post and utility pole. O'Neil was not injured, but an 11-year old passenger complained of pain. The incident occurred on Dec. 12 at 5:30 p.m.
A 16-year old, unnamed male operator, Hop Bottom, was not injured on Feb. 18 at 11:10 p.m. when he lost control of his 1987 Plymouth Sundance as a result of driving too fast on State Route 106, Clifford Township. The vehicle rolled several times before coming to rest in the eastbound lane. The driver was placed under arrest for DUI.
Cory Saucke, Rochester, NY, was traveling north on Interstate 81, Harford Township, when he lost control of his vehicle when he hit some ice. According to the police report, he was driving too fast for existing road conditions. The 2002 Dodge Ram 3500 went off the road and overturned. Saucke and two passengers with minor injuries refused treatment at this Feb. 13 incident at 1:14 a.m.
On January 24 at 9:55 a.m., Dennis Scion, 50, Mountville, was traveling on Interstate 81, Great Bend, and lost control of his vehicle on the bridge, crashing into the concrete abutment. Ronald Kohler, 47, Endicott, NY, then lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the guide rail. No injuries occurred.
Sometime between 7:00 p.m. on February 14 and 8:00 the next morning, someone removed a "Green Meadows Farm Bed & Breakfast" business sign that was posted along Brown Hill Rd., Jackson Township.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Chester Koskowicz, Dickson City, was traveling west on State Route 247, near Forest City, and swerved to miss a vehicle in his lane. Koskowicz' 1988 Subaru Legacy went up a snowbank and flipped on its side on February 15 at 6:02 p.m.
Edward W. Skowronski, 68, Johnson City, was slightly injured when he pulled out into the path of another vehicle from the Pump and Pantry, Great Bend Township. The vehicle on State Route 171 was driven by Matthew R. Smith, 36, RR1, Susquehanna. Skowronski was taken to Wilson Hospital for examination. Smith was not injured. According to the report, Skowronski will be cited for his role in the mishap which occurred on February 13 at 4:00 p.m.
THREE VEHICLE CRASH
Rae Thompson, 60, Niagara Falls, ONT., in a 1997 Freightliner, attempted to slow down on Interstate 81, Great Bend Township, and hit the rear of a 1999 Freightliner, driven by Robert Cole, 54, St. Catharines, ONT. This caused Cole to hit the rear of a 1998 Freightliner driven by Russell Freisen, 51, Niagara Falls, ONT. Thompson's unit then jack-knifed into the median in this February 9 incident at 5:15. No injuries occurred.
On February 17 at 11:50 p.m., Robert Krohn, Chadds Ford, was traveling south in his 2000 Ford Explorer on Interstate 81, New Milford Township, and lost control, resulting in his vehicle rolling over onto its roof. No injuries were reported.
The February 20 Brooklyn Township supervisors monthly meeting went thorough a quick agenda. Supervisors Graham Anthony and Dan Anthony were present, Jackie Thomas was unable to attend,
Secretary/Treasurer Linda Spinola reported there was $56,826.09 total in all funds.
The supervisors had a large amount of bids to get through in order to handle fuel supplies and other items that the township needs. Because of the closing of a local fuel company the supervisors asked for bids on their fuel oils at the January meeting. A number of bids were received with Airline Petroleum getting the nod. Airline bid $1.199 with a $1.249 cap on oil, off road (diesel) fuel $1.199 with the same cap and gas at (gas pump) price at $1.679 with no cap. The last figure reflects the high prices all have been paying at the gas pumps in the last few months. The jury is still out on just how high things will get in the future. However, prices are not expected to stabilize soon.
Powers Stone, South Montrose took the bid on two tons of 2A stone at $558 per ton delivered. The coarse black cinder bid went to Dan Warner with a price tag of $10.50 a yard. The calcium quote was awarded to Chemung Supply of Chemung, NY when they came in at $14.90 with no date restrictions. Restrictions appear to be common in this late part of winter with the heavy snows that have depleted supplies in most townships. Dan Anthony contacted Warner for an immediate delivery of 100 yards to tide things over for a while.
The Emergency Management Plan is currently being updated, reported Graham Anthony and will be ready by the County deadline.
A letter was received from DEP with a permit for non-coal mining to be awarded to Norman Holzman.
The Conservation District sent an invitation to a workshop for heavy equipment contractors and operators for March 11 at the Montrose Bible Conference Center.
The duties of coordinators and other staff will be given on Tuesday, March 18 by Mark Wood, the Emergency Management Coordinator for the County.
The supervisors discussed coverage for one of their maintenance people who will be out for a few weeks due to some scheduled surgery.
Brooklyn Township supervisors are in receipt of the 2002 COG report. It will be reviewed appropriately.
The Brooklyn township supervisors meet on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Brooklyn Municipal Building. The public is invited.
Bottom Meets For EMA Plans
The Hop Bottom Hose Company met on February 20 in the Fire Hall with members of the Hop Bottom Borough and the public in a meeting concerning EMA mandated plans for disasters and emergencies. Present at the meeting were Janice Webster, Joann Wesniewski and Mayor Paul Henry of the Hop Bottom Borough Council. Fire company individuals included, Mike Karhnak, Fire Chief, John Koshinski, President of the Hose Co., Lance Benedict and multiple other members of the fire company and interested members of the public.
Some of the highlights of the meeting covered equipment. One of the items for discussion was the possibility of sector leaders providing people with portable oxygen carriers. However, the cost for the Borough was prohibitive. Other equipment necessities that appear to be available with the cooperation of the hose company are portable scanners. It seems there may be 6 low band portables, 6 high band, and 9 high band receivers.
It was decided that a loud speaker and some bullhorns would be necessary in case of emergency evacuation. Mass care sites designated include Mountain View School, Lackawanna Trail and possibly Montrose. The latter is still under discussion. The public information officer will probably be Mayor Paul Henry or Fire Chief Mike Kahrnak.
Two local churches are being looked at as pick-up points for those who may need to be transported. It is planned that, when the plan is completed the public will be advised of multiple safe routes and centers. The sector leaders will probably come from the fire company. The line of notification will be first from the Borough, then to the Comm Center. After that, dispatches will be made appropriately to State Police who will aid the fire police taking first actions for public safety.
Hop Bottoms old EMA plan is being formatted to meet the new guidelines that dictate the plan should be completed by the end of March, 2003.
The next meeting planned for this subject will be on Thursday, March 27, 7 p.m. at the fire hall in Hop Bottom.
Borough Council Minutes
Lanesboro Council met January 7, with the following members present: Dan Boughton, Regina Dilello, Chris Maby, Bob Mireider, Paul Corse, Bob Page, and Roland Salamon.
Also present were Mayor Slater and Aileen Shay.
Visitors present were: Ray Barnes, Paul Fortune, Lesley Rivenburg, Joe Rivenburg, Jerry Benson, Sandy Benson, and Gail Hanrahan.
Vice President Maby called meeting to order. Motion carried to pass minutes as presented.
Visitors: visitor Ray Barnes stated the November minutes had an error regarding garbage being hauled onto a neighboring property. To clarify, he only answered a question asked by Vice President Maby. The minutes will be revised to reflect such. He asked about errors in the treasurers report. Visitor Lesley Rivenburg stated that books should be audited. Vice President Maby stated that books are audited every year, and the typographical errors in question were fixed. Mr. Barnes asked to see ordinances relating to building permits. Mayor Slater replied the ordinance book is available for review, Ray can look through it any time he wants to.
Visitors Lesley and Joe Rivenburg spoke next. Lesley stated that she received a letter from council asking them to attend this meeting. Vice President Maby explained the letter was regarding garage construction on their property. The council wasnt sure of the structures new use, and simply wanted to let them know of additional permitting and code compliance if they were opening a business. Lesley stated that half of the garage is a hobby area, and the other half a garage.
Visitor Paul Fortune stated that the borough should enforce national electric codes. He would like to know who the codes enforcement officer is. Councilman Corse responded that council does not enforce electric codes per-se, as the electric company inspects it before the electricity is turned on.
Visitor Sandy Benson (tax assessor) addressed council next. She provided a list of names and addresses of people who live in the borough. The names on the list comprise those who are billed for the municipal occupancy tax. She explained she has three months each year to make changes on her list. She also stated that it is hard to maintain a current list because many people move in and out, in between the times she does the tax assessments each summer.
Visitor Lesley Rivenburg stated that she had talked to Mrs. Hollenbeck at the courthouse. Mrs. Hollenbeck stated the name of Lanesboros CPA should be on record in Montrose. Secretary Aileen Shay to contact Mrs. Hollenbeck to clarify if Lanesboros auditor needs to be listed and also to see who is up for reelection.
Visitor Gail Hanrahan had a question on recycling. She stated that she saw people on the back of the garbage truck throw her recyclables in the back with the garbage. Mayor Slater stated that he would speak to the employees about this, since the borough recycles.
Vice President Maby explained the new numbering through Susquehanna 911. All houses will have to have a visible number, like 80 Main Street, rather than RR 2 Box xxx. There are questions about the new numbering system, and council would like to have someone from the Susquehanna County Communications Center come to the next meeting for further discussion.
Police Report: Mayor Slater gave the police report. There has not been too much activity. Mayor Slater stated that the police mutual-aided the Susquehanna police, and they chased a snowmobile.
Mayors Report: Mayor Slater gave the mayors report, stating that the new packer is on the garbage truck and working well. He stated that there is a TV in front of the truck to see and hear activity behind the truck. When backing up in the dark, the TV is so bright, you cannot see anything. The truck will be taken back to have this fixed. Mayor Slater went on to state more windows are broken where the recyclables are kept.
Treasurers Report: Motion carried to pay bills as presented.
Correspondence: letter from PSAB Unemployment Compensation Plan. This letter that as of January 1, 2003 all PA municipal employers have to begin collecting and paying a .02% tax on employee wages.
Letter from Myron DeWitt regarding staying on as borough solicitor for 2003.
Letter from county commissioners with a form to be filled out with tax information for 2003. Taxes were not raised again this year.
Carbon copy of a letter sent to Myron DeWitt for the problem with drainage by Mireiders Store.
Letter from Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association. This letter was regarding their donation for the year 2003. Susan Stone needed to know this information in preparation of their budget.
Letter from Susquehanna County 911. This letter was to appoint one delegate and one alternate for a Susquehanna County Communication Advisory Committee. Vice President Chris Maby appointed as the delegate and President Roland Salamon will serve as the alternate.
Other business: councilman Corse stated that he had talked to the District Justice to collect the back taxes and garbage bills. A letter will be sent to those with outstanding accounts for personal taxes. Letter to state that payment must be made by March 1, after which delinquent account will be turned over to District Justice.
Sandy Benson came back to clarify her role as a tax collector and what she does for paperwork. Jerry Benson asked why there was not anything underneath the picture donated by his wifes family to say where it came from. Mayor Slater explained a package from Jerrys sister-in-law with a plaque in it, to be put below the picture had just arrived that day and would be up after the meeting.
Vice President Maby read a letter from Greg Selke, suggesting different ways to raise money so council would not have to sell Luciana Park. After this letter was read, bids were opened for Luciana Park. The Rails to Trails bid was the only bid acceptable to the minimum price criteria previously established. Vice President Maby stated that he could get the landscaping, survey, and use of heavy equipment with little or no cost to borough to help build the playground behind the Community Center. Councilwoman Dilello stated that if enough money could be raised as suggested by Mr. Selke to accomplish building a playground by the community center, her preference would be to keep the park. After much discussion, it was agreed to invite Rails to Trails to the next meeting to discuss a potential sale with them if certain criteria could be met. The next meeting will be advertised indicating that a final decision regarding the park will be made, and that anyone interested should come to offer any opinion.
Council then went on to discuss about people being billed for municipal utilities (sewer and garbage). Secretary Aileen Shay stated she would like to have a work session to finalize a billing list. President Salamon will ride with Mayor Slater in garbage truck to make list of all people on the route.
Councilman Corse stated that Al Baker would like a signed copy of the contract for the bid relating to the community center roof.
Councilman Corse mentioned there are unshoveled sidewalks in violation of the snow removal ordinance. After discussing, Mayor Slater stated that police can give them a specific date to have them shoveled, or someone will be hired to do it by the borough and billed to the property owner. Councilman Boughton suggested that all employees get paid $7.50 per hour for shoveling snow, including the property maintained by the borough. Council agreed.
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