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Football Proposal Defeated
The Susquehanna Community School Board met on March 19 for their regular monthly meeting, held on this evening in the elementary gym rather than in the administration offices. All members were present with the exception of Terry Carpenter.
The minutes of the February 19 meeting were approved, with board member Jack Downton voting against; the minutes did not reflect a correction he had requested regarding his abstention on a vote at the January meeting. Secretary Evelyn Cottrell noted that the change should have been made, and said that it would be corrected.
The treasurers report was approved, with Mr. Downton opposed. The general fund bills were approved, as was the food service report. Approval was given to file activity fund and athletic fund reports as presented.
Two items of correspondence were read. The first, from the districts bus contractors, requested the board to consider an adjustment due to recent dramatic increases in gas prices, and to consider including an automatic increase in future contracts when prices rise by a certain percentage. Superintendent Stracka recommended that the board acknowledge the contractors concerns and approve an increase, but that it should be done in June after the school year is over. A motion carried to approve Mr. Strackas recommendation, with Mary Wescott opposed.
The second correspondence was from Ron Whitehead, president of the Susquehanna Boro Council, asking for the boards help with demolition projects in the boro. Two abandoned, dilapidated structures will be signed over to the boro so that grant funds can be used for demolition. However, there are delinquent school taxes for 2001 and 02, in the amount of $1,712. Council requested that the board forgive school taxes on these two properties for the years 2001 through 2003. Mr. Stracka recommended approving request; although the district would be giving up tax revenue, demolition will, hopefully put the properties back on the tax rolls. A motion carried to approve.
Elementary principal Bob Keyes reported that a recent Math/Science Expo had been very successful. In addition to providing a good opportunity for bonding between high school and elementary students, a total of 90 prizes had been awarded to elementary students.
High school principal Mike Lisowski began his address to the board by wishing "Good luck, God speed and success to our nations military" on this momentous day. In his continuing effort to bring current programs to boards attention, as a good example of improvements going on at the school, he introduced John Seigle, who teaches a speech and writing class, and oversees the SNN (Saber News Network) broadcast.
Mr. Seigle said that the purpose of the speech and writing program is to help students become active, successful adults and to provide character education, which is extremely important. Each morning, SNN broadcasts, with a different theme each week such as loyalty, trustworthiness, or any positive value. Broadcasts include news of the world, the nation, the state, and the local community. Each senior is required to do six broadcasts over the course of the year, and each broadcast must include entertainment, sports, human interest, weather, and an editorial.
Mr. Seigle introduced several of his students, who spoke of different aspects of the class and how it has been beneficial to them. Carrie DeWitt explained that students keep a speech journal, with two pages to be written on a given subject. Luke Barnes and Liz Leber discussed their experiences with the news broadcast (and differing political opinions); Patrick Robinson explained that he is learning to express himself through humor as a way of building confidence. And two eighth grade students, Jeremy Boerner and Cameron Arthur (who was not present this evening) work on the technical side of the broadcast by getting announcements, videos and music ready, and by manning the cameras.
Special segments are offered, such as Mr. Lisowski giving qualifying students prizes for perfect attendance, and "silly" things like candy tasting. Some teachers have appeared on the broadcasts, with more interested in participating. Mr. Seigle commended fellow teacher Mr. Fuller for being an outstanding asset to the program, and keeping everything working. Initially, Mrs. Weiss had helped edit material in the programs early stages, but the students have since learned how to edit. Mr. Seigle said that the station is going to start making Public Service Announcements, such as anti-drug messages, how students can protect themselves when they are alone, and encouraging them to take part in government, that their vote counts. "Its all about helping (students) to find their own voice," he said. The presentation concluded with a viewing of video segments highlighting what the students have done this year; broadcasts from October and November were shown.
Under old business, the board heard a presentation from two representatives from Crowley Foods, prior to considering approving the installation of milk vending machines within the district, most likely in the high school building. Proposal materials from Crowleys were made available to the board for review. Similar programs at Blue Ridge and Mountain View were said to be going very well, with an average of over 500 units per week being sold. Crowleys offers six varieties of products, including flavored milk, low fat and orange juice. The vending machine is provided at no expense to school; a local dairy distributor already used by the district would deliver the products. Crowley will repair the machine while it is under warranty; once the cost of the machine is recouped, the districts profit will be higher than at first. Crowley will assist and instruct staff on usage of the machine and provide support, free of charge. It will be up to the districts discretion to determine when the machine will be turned on so that it will be available for extracurricular activities and for night and weekend events.
Mr. Stracka said that his only concern is that there may not be enough (additional) room available in the storage facility; as the machine can hold up to 350 units, this problem may negate itself. Any additional arrangements can be worked out with the districts supplier. A motion carried to approve.
Under new business, the board approved exoneration of the District tax collectors from the collection of unpaid school taxes for 2002 (these will subsequently turned over to a collection agency).
2003-04 contracts for Special Education services with NEIU 19 were approved, cost estimate $251,959.79. Also approved was the 2003-04 proposed NEIU 19 budget of $2,752,360; the district contribution is $7,502.96, a projected increase of $357.28.
Updates to the policies regarding investment of district funds and tobacco were approved.
Concerning refinancing of 1997 and 1998 bond issues, the board heard a presentation by the districts bond counsel, requesting approval of the resolution needed for board to approve. The total figure is $2,100,000, a combination of the balances from the two issues, $1.2 million and $900,000. The refinanced bond will be basically at the same terms as the two existing bonds, with payment schedules remaining the same. The new bond will carry an interest of 2.76%, while the old bonds were at 4.75%, including a blended reimbursement from the state of 36.2%; the districts gross savings will be about $72,345. The district may realize an additional $1,200 in savings per year through refinancing. A motion carried to approve the required resolution carried.
With no discussion, a vote to consider approving a co-sponsorship contract with Blue Ridge School District for football did not carry, with a tie vote of four in favor, four against. Board members Bucci, Cottrell, McMahon and Kosko voted in favor, while Barnes, Wescott, Downton and Stewart voted against.
The following additions to the substitute list were approved: Meredith Reinhart, health and phys. ed.; Michalene Zack, guidance; Tammy Stout, non instructional; Benjamin Orner, emergency certificate; and Jodie Stanford, non instructional.
Transportation contract changes were approved for Bus 16B, effective March 10.
Resignations were accepted from Stephen Nayduch, girls assistant track coach and Debbie Benson, basketball cheerleading advisor.
Approval was given for the hiring of Richard Soden, assistant boys baseball coach; Arnold Terpstra (volunteer), junior high girls softball; Melissa Urbas, assistant girls track coach; Todd Cundey (volunteer), elementary wrestling program; Jennifer Rivera-Rockwell, Spanish/English teacher.
And, the customary requests for activities, workshops, and fund-raisers were approved.
The next meeting will be Wednesday, April 16, 7:30 p.m. in the administration offices in the elementary building.
Building Codes Enforcement Committee secretary Karen Trynoski has been coordinating the groups efforts to obtain a grant that would allow it to hire a full-time enforcement officer. She was advised by a contact who works for the state that COG had the best chance of obtaining funds through the states slum-and-blight program, and was told that the grant people for the program wanted COG to determine if 25 per cent of some of its member municipalities could be considered a slum area. As Committee president Ted Plevinsky put it, the survey "is a time-consuming and expensive thing in itself."
Trynoksis contact was not happy with the extensive criteria the state was seeking, either, and when he couldnt get this across to the folks in Harrisburg, he asked COG to put together the reasons why it was unreasonable for the State to ask for it. Once COG did, he would pass the information along to Harrisburg. Trynoski went to work.
She estimated that the survey would cost about $14,300; the COG Committee is hoping to get a $20,000 grant. It makes no sense to spend this kind of money on the survey, essentially netting $5,700 if the grant is, well, granted. Trynoski arrived at her figure by looking at four COG member municipalities, and figuring out the average number of houses per mile of road in them, the average amount of time that an assessor would need to asses each home (an exercise that would be required by the survey), and applying an assessors standard charges for work as well as mileage reimbursement to them. She wrote it up, and passed it along, and hopefully the funding group will agree with her logic.
From what her contact told Trynoski, "No one in the State has gotten this money yet, because no one has gone through the survey process of trying to get it." Perhaps her work will illustrate why this is.
In other business, the 2003 International Codes books are now available, and the Committee voted to order a full set (14 international codes) of them for the office, as well as ten copies of the Property Maintenance Code books for COG members at reduced rates. Codes officer Shane Lewis noted that the information in the 2003 book is good for three years. There was also discussion once again as to the date that Codes would be adopted. Someone heard November; another January. But until the State actually comes out and sets a date, no one is sure when the long-awaited effective date will arrive
This short meeting was ended after SEO Lewis monthly activity report which included meeting with the solicitor in Dimock Township; issuing a permit for a house and a garage in Gibson Township; for a storage trailer in Liberty Township; permits for two houses and a solicitor meeting in Springville Township; and issuing a junkyard permit and occupancy permit in New Milford Borough.
Council of Governments Meeting
This was Elliott Ross first meeting as president of COG and he addressed a lot of issues. The first was the questions that members still have about the County readdressing system. And while most members pretty well agreed on how it makes sense from an emergency-response as well as consistency point of view, they still had concerns. Such as numbering the state roads where their names changed to township road names; wondering whether the renumbering address would be the mailing address; and having to enforce the ordinance if their municipality adopted it. Others talked about putting up new signs with the renumbered, state route names on the signs as well as the townships road names underneath them, but in smaller lettering.
And while all members were sent a copy of the ordinance after last months meeting that featured a presentation by County EMA director Dawn Watson, some of them had not yet read it. Ross urged that they do so, collect any questions they had about it, bring them to the next meeting, and as a group express any concerns they had to the EMA and then see what could be done about them.
A lot of discussion also centered on a website that COG hopes to have and the proposal it has received from a website developer to do it. One member mentioned that he was contacted by someone who said he could do a website for less than $2,000, and another approached a member to offer his website maintenance services. And although some members acknowledged that they hadnt yet read the copy of the proposal that they received at the last meeting, discussion focused on what to put on the site, on starting small with no bells and whistles and then expanding the site. Ross thought that the Committee could pick and choose what it wanted on the site, and then expand it later on.
For his part, the website committee chairman told members that the committee spent a lot of time putting together the site requirements and which were addressed in the proposal it received, with no bells and whistles. He wasnt quite sure, then, what COG wanted to eliminate from that list of requirements.
The net result of this discussion was that COG will seek bids on the same set of requirements from at least two other website developers. References will be checked because, as one member noted, its very easy for someone with rudimentary skills to do a low-cost job on a site that might be difficult to expand later on.
All seemed to agree, however, that, once the website was developed and handed over to COG, it did not want to pay for site maintenance. Instead, COG personnel would update it on an as-needed basis using a common website program such as Front Page.
The lease-agreement committee reported not a lot of progress from last month. (COGs landlord is New Milford Borough.) However, it wants to make a proposal to the Borough for a five-year lease agreement with a five-year option to renew. The committee would like the Borough to maintain the equipment, such as the heating system, so that there arent any issues with who to bill for such maintenance. The committee acknowledged that they might have to pay a bit more on the rent for this, but felt it was worth it.
In other business, a motion was passed to reimburse members at the standard IRS mileage for any travel on COG-authorized business other than regular COG meetings.
Sewage Enforcement Committee
With Rick Pisasik chairing his first meeting as president, members heard about the results of a couple of recent hearings, both held on March 10. The findings of the Spencer hearing were a civil penalty against the defendants of $584 to be paid by July 1, with a $500 fine that will accrue if the penalty is not paid on time. The second hearing, Tator/Hawkins Homes, also found against the contractor, Hawkins Homes, for a $200 penalty and a $2,500 fine to be paid by them by June 15, with a $500 fine to be paid monthly until the violation on the Tator property is remedied to the satisfaction of the sewage enforcement officer.
A COG member noted the court costs being reimbursed in these fines and wanted to know if COG could also attach any legal costs it incurred in chasing down people who failed to pay their fines on time. COG couldnt, said secretary Karen Trynoski, because the court costs that are reimbursed are for those of any mediator or professional services, and not for any charges of the COG solicitor.
Pisasik told members that he took some time since his election last month to go over COGs financial condition, reporting structures, fee schedules, and so forth. And while he was not prepared to make a lot of changes, he said he thought COG needed to look at what it charges for subdivision fees. His feeling was that they are way too low, and should balance what COGs actual costs are. This item will be taken up at the groups next executive committee meeting.
And with the weather continuing to be particularly lousy for doing any sort of testing, sewage enforcement officers had little activity to report. However, Pisasik did have a proposal to make regarding the officers. "When we started," he said, "we had one SEO. We now have three SEOs and 22 municipalities and were getting larger." Because of this greatly increased activity, Pisasik recommended that the group appoint a supervising SEO to coordinate the activities of all three SEOs. He proposed that SEO Duane Wood be named the supervising SEO, with no change in hours or pay, and report SEO activities to the executive committee. Members as well as SEO Jim Tracy thought this was a good idea, and members voted to make it so. They voted to have secretary Trynoski report to the executive committee as well.
The last item discussed was how the global positioning system units were working out with the SEOs, who responded that they were jumpy and about four years old. Secretary Trynoski will look into the cost of new GPS units.
The next meeting of the Council of Governments is scheduled for April 15, 7 p.m. at COG offices in the New Milford Borough Building on Main Street.
Members of the Hop Bottom Borough community, people from areas adjacent to the Borough, officials and others attended the Tuesday evening, March 18, meeting for the Martins Creek Watershed Association held at the Grace Lutheran Church Hall.
In attendance were Mayor Paul Henry of the Borough, Charles Kilgore, Borough Council, Janice Webster, President of the Council, Mike Villanella, Susquehanna County Conservation District Officer, Bob Klim (an Alford farmer), John Clirehugh, New Milford, Tim Ericksen, Binghamton, NY representative for Shumaker Engineering, and Leon Allen, Springville. Also present were Robert Thomas, Kingsley, Science Teacher at Mountain View High School and Kevin Griffiths, one of his students.
On the agenda that evening under old business was the discussion of the Associations by-laws. It was announced that the contract has been signed through Growing Greener for the Martins Creek Assessment Grant. Work on the Creek will commence in late Spring.
It was decided that there would be no election of officers, until there is a larger showing from the public at the next meeting which is scheduled for the third week in April in the same location. However, an actual date for the meeting has not be selected.
Roger Thomas, science teacher at the local high school, is extremely interested in the Martins Creek Project which has the potential for a learning opportunity for his students. He offered information regarding some of his students accompanying the engineers and others while they are examining the professional aspects of working for the better of this local creek, which is part of the Tunkhannock Creek Watershed.
Henry and Mike Villanella will attend an April 1 workshop in Towanda at the Williamston Inn regarding 501 C (3) status information.
There was some discussion about the potential for a region-wide watershed conference which would include the RC&D areas of Susquehanna, Bradford, Tioga, Wyoming and Lycoming Counties.
A date for the next watershed meeting will be announced shortly, commented Janice Webster.
Matthew Ryan Bossard, 33, Forest Lake Township, and Kristin Beverly Updyke, 32, Forest Lake Township.
Thomas J. Lopatofsky, Jr, to Robert C. Walker & Robin M. Walker in Ararat Township for $24,450.
Deborah Bolles to Charles G. Cooper and Toni Ann Flanigan in Dimock Township for $13,500.
Grab, N, Go Gift Shop, Inc. to Mitchell Butruch and Anne Butruch in Harmony Township for $1 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $34,821).
Harry R. Klein and Josephine B. Klein to Harry R. Klein and Josephine B. Klein in Montrose Borough for $1.
Geraldine E. Thompson and Ronald L. Thompson to Ronald L. Thompson in Liberty Township for $1 and love and affection.
Larry W. Ogline and Nancy J. Ogline to Marion Lindsey and Martin Lindsey in Franklin Township for $2,000.
Anne M. Heitsman to Mark C. McCarey and Philip J. Wood in Springville Township for bluestone mining operation.
Rallg Associates to Theodore James, Jr. and Margaret K. James in Herrick Township for $12,000.
William J. McCormick to William J. McCormick and John P. McCormick in Forest City Borough for $1.
Henning's Supermarket, Inc. to Joseph G. Wrobleski, Jr. and Lori A. Wrobleski in Herrick Township for $95,000.
Edward Starzek, Catherine Starzec, George P. Starzec, Joseph Starzec, and Edward Starzek, Jr. to Northeast Stone Works in Bridgewater Township for surface mining activities.
Clifford Bailey to Shelly Travis in New Milford Borough for $4,000.
Walter E. Buechel to Walter E. Beuchel and William E. Beuchel in Liberty Township for $1.
Leon Scofield to Glenda Ball and Richard Ball in Lathrop Township for $1 ogvc.
Timothy J. McMahon and Sheila McMahon to Seamus P. McMahon and Linda McMahon in Silver Lake Township for $1 ogvc.
Walter J. Kaufman and Margaret Murphy to Michael J. Castellitto and Ann Castellitto in Apolacon Township for $185,000.
Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation to Dorothy L. Vanerson & Charles E. Vanerson, Sr. in Montrose Borough for $46,000.
Mary P. Andregg to Clifford P. Johnson in Franklin Township for $146,900.
Robert L. Mess and Karen I. Mess to Raymond Treible and Joann Treible in Oakland Township for $20,000.
Robert L. Mess and Karen I. Mess to Jean M. Deakin and Jay H. Deakin in Oakland Township for $1 ogvc.
Anne M. Heitsman to Philip J. Wood and Mark C. McCarey in Springville Township for bluestone mining operation.
Margaret Gamble to Richard Herbert in Lenox Township for $1.
Morton Franck and Jessica Franck to Susan C. Franck in Liberty Township for $1 ogvc.
Raymond R. Haynes and Kathleen H. Haynes to Shawn J. Bedford and James E. Bedford in Lanesboro Borough for $12,000.
Lawrence R. Lyons to Lucky Wayne Bedford and Colleen M. Casey in Springville Township for $8,200.
Between Subway Real Estate Corp and Vincent, James and Nicholas Grisafi in Montrose for memorandum of lease.
William Eden aka William E. Eden and Karen Eden to William E. Eden and Karen Eden in Clifford Township for $1.
Edward L. Kelley and Sandra L. Kelley and Fred Mack and Paula J. Mack to Terence W. Repine and Susan K. Repine in Friendsville Borough for $80,000.
Thomas J. Reilly, Executor of the Estate of Agnes M. Reilly to Thomas J. Reilly & Joseph Panzitta in Oakland Township for bluestone mining operation.
Lawrence T. O'Reilly and Christine M. O'Reilly and Thomas J. O'Reilly to Steven W. Furness and Susan C. Dooner in Oakland Township for $37,000.
Mary E. Snyder to Warren Stone in Oakland Township for surface mining activities.
Marice Barber to Arnold Bennett and Dawn Bennett in Silver Lake Township for $1 ogvc.
Robert J. Thiel and Lea Ann Thiel to Robert J. Thiel in Lenox Township for $1.
Bernie Sheldon, Executor of the Estate of Thelma Manning, aka Thelma Swisher Manning to Harry E. Fassett and Latrenda Fassett in Auburn Township for $1.
Alan D. Cameron and Deborah K. Cameron to Michael Rowan and Patricia Rowan in Lenox Township for $137,000.
Patsy B. Overfield nka Patsy B. Robinson to Patsy B. Robinson in Springville Township for $1.
Walter C. Broderick and Barbara J. Broderick to Michael Clark, Jr. and Paula A. Clark in Bridgewater Township for $59,900.
Karen A. Silverstrim to Walter A. Race and Robin L. Race in Dimock Township for $1 for corrective deed.
Harry Stewart and Bernice M. Stewart to Robert E. Stewart in Auburn Township for $32,000.
Tonya L. Roe and Michael K. Furman to Tonya L. Roe and Michael K. Furman in Liberty Township for $1.
Donna E. Hill and Richard C. Hill to Richard C. Hill and Donna E. Hill in Auburn Township for $1 ogvc.
Michael T. Freeman and Joan Freeman to Julia A. Pearson in Great Bend Borough for $1.
Walter A. Platek and Joan D. Platek to Walter A. Platek in Gibson Township for $1 aogavc.
Luis Lima and Lilia Lima to David T. Soltis and Mary Ann Soltis in Ararat Township for $66,000.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
On March 17 at 4:35 p.m., Chris Canfield, 26, was traveling east on a bicycle on State Route 706, Montrose Borough, when Samuel Finch, 53, approached from behind and attempted to pass. As Finch began to pass, Canfield swerved toward the center of the road and the two collided. Canfield was thrown off his bicycle, and transported to Endless Mountains Health Center for minor injuries.
RECOVERED STOLEN VEHICLE
A vehicle belonging to Scott T. McDonald, Greenwich, NY, was recovered after being stolen in Brighton Township, Rochester, NY on March 9. It was located at Power's Stone Quarry, Forest Lake Township, on March 17 at 5:30 p.m. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Gibson Barracks.
ONE CAR CRASH, NO INJURY
Sharon Geisenhof, Vestal, lost control of her 1987 Ford pickup on Donovan Rd., Silver Lake Township, and hit an embankment, then rolled over. She was not hurt in this March 14 incident.
THEFT OF SERVICES
William D. Keil, Jr., 32, White Haven, was arrested for theft of services when he ran a power cord from his motor home to one of the buildings at Elk Mountain, Herrick Township, on March 15-16.
FATAL TRAFFIC COLLISION
On March 13 at 3:40 p.m., Cassandra Lynn Blood, 16, died instantly in the passenger seat of a 1994 Mercury Sable when the driver, her mother, Kelly Lynn Fox, 36, Nicholson, failed to maintain control of her vehicle during a snow storm. Her vehicle crossed over the center line and into the oncoming traffic lane. Fox's vehicle was struck on the passenger side by Robert G. Evancho, 54, Carbondale. Fox was taken to CMC for unknown injuries, and Evancho was not injured.
HIT & RUN FATAL TRAFFIC ACCIDENT
The State Police at Gibson are asking the public for assistance in the investigation of a fatal hit and run accident on Interstate 81, New Milford Township, which occurred on March 13 at about 11:15 a.m. The decedent, Maria A. Kraus, 72, Wayne, NJ, was operating a 1994 Acura. As Kraus was traveling north she either lost control of her vehicle or was struck by another out of control unit. Kraus' vehicle was struck on the left side door, and the operator of the other vehicle failed to stop at the scene. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police at 570-465-3154.
DUI TRAFFIC ACCIDENT
Edward Smith, Uniondale, in a 1999 Ford pick-up, side swiped a 1990 Ford van, driven by Gerald Fowler, Carbondale. Smith was charged with DUI. The incident occurred on March 10 at 10:30 p.m. on State Route 374, Clifford Township.
FOUR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
An investigation continues into a collision which occurred when Tara Jean Upright, 19, Montrose, lost control of her 1984 Chevy, slid into the oncoming lane and struck Wendy Anne Keklak, 42, New Milford. Upright's vehicle was then struck by a 1999 Oldsmobile driven by Linda Mae Upright, 42, Montrose, and was pushed into a US mail truck driven by Robert J. Devaney, 52, Carbondale. Tara Jean Upright suffered moderate facial injuries while Keklak had a broken hand. Others were not injured in this March 13 accident at 3:00 p.m.
Michael G. Mead, Montrose, was traveling west on State Route 2030, Bridgewater Township, on March 14 at 10:25 p.m., and lost control of his 1989 Dodge pick-up. The vehicle went off the north berm and struck a ditch, then rolled over and came to rest on its wheels. No one was hurt.
Between February 12-18, someone entered the Peter Swawola residence at 305 Main St., New Milford Borough, and removed $2300. Please contact the State Police with any information.
Between 8:15 and 8:40 p.m. on March 14, someone stole a pair of skis belonging to Linda Zembreycki, Uniondale, at the Elk Mountain Ski Resort, Herrick Township. The skis were K-2 Skyes with Solomon bindings and were blue, yellow and white. Anyone with information, please call the barracks at 570-465-3154.
Kumar Sheetal, 30, Iselin, NJ, was cited for driving at an unsafe speed on March 13 at 1:45 p.m., when his vehicle left Interstate 81, Lenox Township, traveled onto the shoulder, then flipped over several times.
After removing a lock from a storage shed at Montrose Self Storage, Bridgewater Township, someone stole several compact discs, cassette tapes and 8-track cassettes from James Ainey, 47, Montrose. Anyone with information in this February 9-16 incident is asked to contact the Gibson Barracks.
Mary Steponaitis, 80, Uniondale, failed to maintain control of her vehicle during a snow event and crashed into a phone pole. She was taken to Marion Hospital in Carbondale, following this March 13 accident which occurred on State Route 106, Clifford Township.
Jodi Deninno, 21, St. Johnsville, NY, lost control of her vehicle while it was snowing and crashed into a guide rail on Interstate 81, Harford Township on March 13 at 1:50 p.m. Deninno was not injured.
Mark Roberts, Vandling, failed to maintain control of his vehicle during a snow event and crashed into a tree on State Route 171, approximately two miles north of Forest City. An investigation continues into this March 13 incident at 11:40 a.m.
On March 11 a white male with a black Chevy Lumina pumped $25 worth of gas from the Great Bend Exxon, State Route 11, Great Bend Township, then drove off without paying. Anyone with information of this incident is asked to contact the Gibson Barracks at 570-465-3154.
HIT & RUN CRASH
On March 4 at 10:45 p.m., an unknown tractor/trailer pulled under the gas pump canopy at the HO Mart Convenience Store, State Route 492, New Milford Township, and the top of the trailer hit the canopy light causing damage.
On March 11 at 3:00 p.m., Tracy Rickard, RR1, Great Bend, was washing her vehicle when she noticed several dents about the roof area. The dents were possibly made using a baseball bat. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Gibson Barracks at 570-465-3154.
Nathan Williams, Little Meadows, was traveling east on Township Route 693, Choconut Township, and Jeanne Rae Peck, Montrose, was traveling west. Both were traveling at about 10 mph. While rounding a slight turn in the road, both units locked their brakes and impacted with each other. The incident occurred on February 24 at 1:50 p.m. Peck received moderate injuries.
With James Gillespie being the only member absent, the Hallstead Boro council met for their regular monthly meeting on March 17. Also present were secretary Cindy Gillespie and maintenance supervisor John Gordon.
As part of an outreach program, two PENNDOT representatives addressed council to apprise them of PENNDOTs (county) organizational structure and to discuss any concerns council might have.
District 4, which includes Susquehanna County, has a regional manager as well as three assistant managers; each assistant manager oversees a different section of the county. One of these also covers the Agility program and is "well rounded" in traffic engineering.
During the recent winter, on Susquehanna County roads, PENNDOT used 36,300 tons of anti-skid; three-year average is 25,300; 22,000 tons of salt were used, well above the three-year average of about 20,000; and 183,000 gallons of salt brine was used, with the average being about 156,000 gallons.
PENNDOT has been advocating sound environmental management practices, and to this end has been cutting back on the amount of salt used on roads; the mix used is approximately 62% anti-ski, 38% salt. The amount of salt routinely used has been decreased to reduce erosion of sedimentation and blacktop, which in turn reduces repaving costs. During the winter, workers are kept on dual shifts, with radio operators available 24/7 for emergencies.
One council member remarked on the unusually high number of accidents on I-81 this year; only salt is used on this road, no anti-skid. Most accidents are the result of people driving too fast for existing conditions.
Overall, PENNDOT has received favorable comments for the condition of the roads this winter.
Handouts were made available, giving information on what can be done to prevent mailboxes from getting knocked down by a plow, and to show how to shovel out your driveway to reduce the amount of snow plowed in from the road.
The summer paving program in Hallstead includes the 171/Rte. 11 interchange, oil and chip on 1035, and the area near the new bridge on Rte. 11, which is scheduled for July. When this area is completed, the temporary traffic signal at the intersection of Rte. 11 and Franklin St. will be removed. The bridge project includes two wing walls, paving, curbing, and walks on Rte. 11, curbing, paving and drainage on Susquehanna Ave., and paving and guard rails on 1010. The schedule is not "set in stone" due to the harsh winter the area has been experiencing, but the projects will not be canceled; if the schedule is amended, these projects could be deferred to next year.
PENNDOT is looking for funding to complete the rest area off I-81 in Great Bend, as funds are not otherwise available at this time.
Information was made available regarding the Agility program, where municipalities share services with PENNDOT, including a list of which services qualify on both the boros part and PENNDOTs. Information was also made available on L-Tap, a transportation assistance program which offers free help with engineering studies, traffic studies, parking issues, signage, pipe installation, and work zone set-ups.
During a discussion on reducing speed limits, it was reaffirmed that an engineering and traffic study is required to reduce speed limits on state and boro roads, but speed limit signs are the boros responsibility regardless of their placement. And, an ordinance is required to reduce speed limits. Some municipalities have blanket ordinances, with the limit on all roads set at 25 mph.
Also discussed was what types of cold patch are available and where to get it, as well as whether or not a municipality could purchase materials at state bid prices; information will be sent to the boro on both topics.
In other business, council approved a driveway permit for a Rte. 11 property.
It was noted that the governor has authorized an early release of liquid fuels funds; the boro received $19,657.19 on March 14.
There was discussion about ice buildup on the sidewalk under the railroad viaduct; although the consensus was that it is the railroads responsibility, it will most likely be up to the boro to address the problem. Several options were discussed, including repaving to build up a low spot where ice and water accumulate, to make it slope to allow for proper drainage. Council president Franks agreed to contact the railroad; in the meantime options will be considered.
A motion carried to authorize maintenance supervisor John Gordon to purchase a sink for the downstairs bathroom at the boro building, as well as two new faucets for the upstairs sinks. Mr. Gordon reported that the boros big truck does not have a registration or license plate, although it is insured. Mrs. Gillespie will check into it. Mr. Gordon apprised council of repairs that the spreader will be needing once winter is finally over.
Council member John Giangrieco reported that he had received a complaint, along with a license plate number of a person or persons who have been causing a disturbance at the Route 11 park; the vehicle involved was identified as a blue Taurus. Mr. Giangrieco agreed to contact the State Police to find out what could be done.
Under unfinished business, the foundry property was discussed. The owner is reported to be waiting for money to tear the buildings down. Mr. Giangrieco predicted that, eventually, council would have to condemn it.
Under new business, council reviewed a communication from the county Planing Commission recommending that the boro consider a joint municipal zoning ordinance, along with New Milford Township, Great Bend Township, New Milford Boro and Great Bend Boro. The matter was tabled for further information.
And, Mayor Canfield asked if the summers road work included paving in front of the boro building, between the roadway and sidewalk; it is in the budget to pave that area this summer.
The next meeting will be on Monday, April 21, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
Brooklyn Supervisors Graham Anthony, Dan Anthony and Jackie Thomas spent time at their Thursday, March 20 monthly meeting discussing the condition of the Brooklyn-Kingsley Road. People traveling along Route #167 might be wondering why the detour signs were placed on the road signs. At the start of the meeting Secretary/Treasurer Linda Spinola reported that there is a total of all funds in the sum of $51,286.59
The supervisors noted that PENNDOT discovered that there is a very large, almost crater like, hole on the Brooklyn-Kingsley Road and the road has been closed by PENNDOT. The road will be reopened after repairs are completed on one section that washed out and sunk because of recent winter conditions. The supervisors announced that PENNDOT recommended people take Route #167, hence the detour signs people are now seeing on that thoroughfare. However, many of the local residents have been taking Potter Road as a short cut. As a result that road has been receiving more than its usual share of traffic. The supervisors would be receiving stone to strengthen that road over which they have jurisdiction and responsibility. Berms of the road need to be reinforced for the extra traffic and the straight will be repaired to accommodate more cars.
The supervisors noted that they are planning their Spring road inspection for Sunday, March 30, at 7 a.m. They commented that some of the new road signs were down. A few of them were directly affected by the recent winter weather and the softening of the soil from the accumulation of snow that is now melting.
The 1938 Class Reunion is scheduled for Saturday, July 19. It appears there are eight surviving members of that class. The Brooklyn Historical Society will have its annual meeting on July 26.
An additional employee is needed for road work. The supervisors will first look at their part-timer list before they seek help elsewhere. They like the people who work on the roads to live locally (in the township).
Brooklyn Clean-Up week is slated to take place the week of May 5.
Linda Spinola, the Emergency Management Coordinator for the townships attended the first of a series of three meetings with supervisor Dan Anthony recently.
Payment has been received from PENNDOT Bureau of Municipal services for Liquid Fuel money in the amount of $41,750.10 and $23,100.00 was received for "turn-back" road services over a stretch of 27 miles provided by the Municipality.
Further, the price of oil that was bid from Airline Petroleum has been discovered to be a monthly bid that may have to fluctuate with supplies of oil.
In conclusion, Graham Anthony, speaking for all the supervisors noted, "We want to go on record that we are supporting our troops in Iraq."
The Brooklyn Township municipal meeting takes place in the municipal building on the corner of Route #167 and Maple St. in the Village of Brooklyn on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
At the February 6 meeting of Lanesboro Borough council the following members were present: Paul Corse, Bob Page, Dan Boughton, Chris Maby, Roland Salamon, and Bob Mireider. Absent: Regina Dilello. Also present: Mayor Slater, Secretary/Treasurer Aileen Shay. Visitors: Nancy Ross, Lynn Conrad, Lesley Rivenburg, Jerry Benson, Sandy Benson, Bob VanFleet, Joe Canini, Dawn Watson and Rick Fabrizi.
President Salamon called meeting to order.
Motion to accept minutes passed.
Discussion of Luciana Park Sale: Motion to conditionally sell park to Rails to Trails; 1) must be kept open to the public, 2) name must be maintained, and 3) borough has first option to buy back if Rails to Trails decides to sell.
Visitors: Rick Fabrizi came on behalf of Rotorcast. Rotorcast is planning to erect a fence on their property and would like to know if there are any permit and/or setback requirements. Councilman Corse stated that nothing is needed, but they should consider fence placement and maintenance.
Lesley Rivenburg asked if there are any requirements for placing a business sign on her property. Council replied the sign should be placed outside of the state right-of-way.
Correspondence: From Attorney Lawrence M. Cramer regarding snow on Lois Kaiser property. Lois Kaiser is concerned with the buildup of snow that has been piled in front of her house. Council discussed and will provide a written response, content including that council has no control over where the state plows the snow or where the person she hired places the snow.
From Oakland Township with a resolution about the SOLIDA access road. Oakland Township concerned about turning a private road into a public road that needs to be maintained by the Township. Council decided to not pass the resolution or carry for further discussion, as the road in question is outside the borough.
Police Report: Mayor Slater gave the police report. A new policy has been implemented. While on duty, Officer Gow knocks on peoples doors to make sure they are all right during the frigid weather.
Mayors Report: The garbage truck was taken back to Hackers Packers to finish the uncompleted work. He also stated that the brakes are fixed so they dont freeze.
Treasurers Report: $10,000 is needed due to the new garbage and sewer billing system money coming in monthly, rather than a large sum at the beginning of the year. Motion to borrow $10,000.00 (line of credit) from Peoples National Bank, amended to include a resolution authorizing the mayor to open line of credit, carried.
Other discussion items: People who have paid extra (beyond the monthly bill) on their garbage and sewer bills will be getting a refund check. PAWC cannot collect money from people who are only on garbage. Council discussed this and stated that they should be sent out monthly, with the option of paying for the year. Motion carried to accept treasurers report.
Mayor Slater suggested moving the meetings start to 7 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. Motion carried.
Dawn Watson came to explain to the council how the countywide renumbering is going to work.
Lynn Conrad (Rails to Trails) came, at the request of the council to discuss Rail Trails purchasing the park. In response to conditions previously mentioned, she stated that it would be left open to the public, etc. Ms. Conrad asked if council is willing to wait, because DSNR only accepts applications for grants in October, which will be the primary source of funding for the purchase. Vice President Maby will work with them to get a deed of the property for use with the appraisal.
Councilman Corse stated that most of the sidewalks are shoveled. Mayor Slater asked for a letter that Kevin and John could present to the property owners when enforcing the snow removal ordinance. Letter to include a copy of the snow removal ordinance.
In last weeks issue of the County Transcript, the name of Darl Haynes, a candidate in the upcoming primary for Susquehanna Community School District, was misspelled. We apologize for the error.
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