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Issue Home April 8, 2003 Site Home

Great Bend Borough Ordinances
Wide Issues In New Milford
Gibson Barracks Report
Court House Report

Great Bend Borough Ordinances

"We have lots of ordinances," said Councilman Rick Franks in exasperation, and because the borough has no way to enforce them, said he, they just represent a lot of money going to lawyers. His frustration came out during a meeting of the Great Bend Borough Council on April 3rd when he and his colleagues considered adding yet 2 more ordinances to the files.

Mike Lonzinski, the Borough's Emergency Management Coordinator, put the first one on the list. He reminded Council that the County is pressing municipalities to develop plans to name streets and roads in a consistent manner, and to readdress all structures, in order to support the "enhanced 911" system for emergency response. He said that the measures were expected to be done up in the form of ordinances, preferably by June of this year, perhaps enabling municipalities to become eligible for $500 slices of grant money available for emergency support.

According to Mr. Lonzinski, Great Bend Borough will probably not have much trouble with street names, since the town doesn't have many streets to begin with. He said there might be some resistance to re-addressing homes, however, as there is resistance to the whole project in some areas of the county. However, the Borough will be the ultimate authority on street names and addresses, and Council will have to do something to meet the requirements.

The new system will depend to some extent on telephone numbers. That is, every place that has a telephone number that could call 911 will have to have an easily-determined location, or address. When Councilman Mike Wasko mentioned that he knew some people who had given up their wired phones entirely in favor of cellular telephones, the whole idea got more confused. In the Borough's location so close to the state line, a cell phone emergency call could reach into New York State. How would the location be passed along to Susquehanna County authorities? The Borough's attorney, Frank O'Connor, was asked to look into the matter further.

Curiously, another possible new ordinance was related to a street in the Borough that goes by several names already. Last month, the owner of a property on what is known locally as Orchard Road wanted to find out how to get a permit to install a driveway, and what to do about a guard rail that was in the way. At that time he was told that the Borough doesn't have the power to issue driveway permits, and that the guard rail belonged to the state, since the state put it there when Orchard Road itself belonged to the state. A search of the area by a stranger would find no evidence of Orchard Road in the Borough. According to locals, the official name of the thoroughfare inside Great Bend Borough is Hayes Street, for which there is at least one visible sign. Out beyond much of the settled town it has long been known as Lover's Lane, and there is at least one sign for that, too. Some say that Orchard Road proper is the extension of the same roadway into Great Bend Township. There may yet be room for making street names more consistent in the Borough.

Councilman Ray Holtzman did some research in the meantime and found out that the so-called Orchard Road now belongs to the Borough of Great Bend, as does everything attached to it, including the guard rails. So, as long as the Borough is agreeable, the property owner is permitted to remove the rails. He also determined that the Borough can indeed issue driveway permits for its own streets (all but Main Street and Randolph Road, which are state highways), but must have an ordinance in place defining its authority to do so. Since the Borough doesn't have such an ordinance, all driveways in the Borough are presumably legal; and, should Council develop such an ordinance, they would probably be "grandfathered" into the measure and remain so. But what would such an ordinance look like? How would it be enforced? Mike Wasko will begin researching a possible driveway ordinance.

A number of other items came up for discussion during the meeting, which was characterized, as usual for this friendly group, by 3-4 different conversations all taking place at once. The Borough's maintenance worker, Alan Grannis, noted the deteriorating condition of the siding on the new Borough garage from activities on the basketball courts in Memorial Park, adjacent to the structure. Council decided to try reconfiguring the basketball courts to move one of the baskets away from the side of the building.

There was some concern that the work on the basketball courts be completed quickly, in time for the annual Fun Day event at Memorial Park, to be held this year at the end of May. Council member Bea Alesky, who has directed Fun Day planning for the past several years, pleaded once again for more volunteer helpers to plan and run the program, which is a self-supporting family-oriented day of food, games, and community pride.

Council took note of the generosity of Scott Glezen, of S & D Lumber, who has offered to supply wood-chip mulch for the playground in Memorial Park.

Now that most of the winter of 2002-2003 is over, it's time to order cinders for next year. Mr. Holtzman told his colleagues that to be used on streets supported by state liquid-fuels subsidy, the cinders had to be "state approved." Councilman Joe Collins said that he and Mr. Grannis would verify that the Borough's suppliers were providing the correct cinders, as well as "state certified" material for patching the streets.

At that, Council President Louise Lonzinski noted that the streets would likely require some work after the severe winter just passed. Council will endeavor to find a contractor to seal street pavement, keeping in mind that many contractors will be very busy this Spring and Summer on similar jobs throughout the region.

Mr. Collins also asked approval to purchase flags and flagpoles for display along Main Street, replacing those that have gone missing over the past year. He also said he would be looking into what it would take to refurbish the tennis courts in Recreation Park.

The Great Bend Borough Council meets on the first Thursday of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the Borough Building at Elizabeth and Franklin Streets.

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Wide Issues In New Milford

New Milford Borough Council members, save for Teri Gulick who was unable to attend, addressed a variety of issues at it regular meeting last Thursday night. It opened with a Good Neighbor Recognition of Tom Chamberlain. Member Rick Ainey read a long list of the many ways he has helped the community over the years, summarized by, "If you need a donation, he’s always there. If you need a hand to fix, or build, or deliver, he’ll be the first one to tell you he’ll be glad to help."

In communications items, Council received a thank you note from a resident for the warm and caring welcome that greeted members of the National Guard when they arrived home. It seemed as though the entire borough was bedecked with yellow ribbons. Council member Jane Zick was thanked for organizing the effort.

Mayor Joe Taylor was at the meeting and in his report, he pointed out the sorry state of the sidewalk in front of the monuments in the park and asked what could be done about them. A few months ago, Council did go request bids to tear up and replace the broad swath of sidewalk; both bids that were returned quoted around $6,000 – a lot of money – for the job. No action was taken at the time the bids were received, and none was taken last night, although Taylor urged members to see if there was a less costly way to fix the problem.

He also filled Council in on discussion that took place at the recent Municipal Authority meeting. According to Taylor, the Authority’s engineer reported that the cost of materials required to put in the sewer line has gone up and he thought it would cost $1.2 million more than anticipated. This engineer also said that he was told that the Authority can’t get any more grant money and would have to raise fees from those hooked up to the system. If the Authority failed to make a decision about fees, then it fell to Council to do so.

Consensus among members was that such discussion was moot at this point until the bids come in, and the Authority can’t go out to bid until it’s received a technical review of the plan from the state, which has already approved the 537 sewer plan. Secretary Amy Hine reported that she was told that the municipal authority should have verbal approval of the technical review within a week or so, at which point bids can go out.

Resident Gerard Bevan asked whether the fees the borough paid to COG for codes enforcement were typical. Member and COG representative Ainey answered that Council discussed fees with CEO Shane Lewis at its last work session. Lewis gave a report on costs in various areas and reported that many municipalities do not require the comprehensive inspections that New Milford code does, and that some are, in effect, permitting by mail. Lewis told Council they have the option to go that way as well. However, that is not the direction it wants the Borough to take for enforcing its codes.

With the winter weather breaking, member Jim Carr said that Council could now get an estimate for implementing its paving plan. However, the plan may be postponed or amended to take into account those streets which will be affected when the sewer line is put in. As for some of the craters formed by the winter weather, only cold patch is currently available and some will be purchased to fill in the holes. Hot patch repairs will have to wait until hot patch is available.

Council also heard about preparations being made in a flood plain for a new storage facility in town. Ainey urged that the developer thoroughly review the Borough’s flood plain ordinance that explicitly lays out what needs to be done when a building sits on a flood plain. Prior to adopting the ordinance, Council could grant a waiver to build in a flood plain; not now. By adopting this federal law, the Borough received certain grant monies which it does not want to jeopardize, and those who wish to build on a flood plain must follow what it says.

Both Ainey and Zick reported on a field meeting with the Public Utility Commission, PENNDOT, and the railroad committee at the Montrose Street Railroad bridge which, it turns out, looks worse than it is. The Borough is responsible for maintaining; "When we went underneath the bridge," reported Ainey, "we could see where big chunks have fallen, but they are not affecting the structural stability of the bridge." Ainey said that PENNDOT would come back and study and check it further. Ainey asked those who were there to write up a report and send it to Hine, which they will do.

Member Mary Ann Warren told Council that she would like New Milford Borough, as a central County location, to host a Senior Citizen’s Fair that she and others are organizing. The Fair would inform seniors of items and resources that are available to them and which they may not know about – AARP members, for instance, who are available in the courthouse to help seniors prepare their tax returns. Senator Lemmond’s office has already agreed to participate as well. Warren has been speaking with various churches and groups about holding the event in their facilities, no sites have been chosen yet. Susquehanna Transport has agreed to pick up seniors, bring them to the event, and take them home. And while some members thought perhaps a County-wide fair might be a bit ambitious, they seemed to be supportive of the idea.

In other business, members Chris Allen and Jim Carr will develop specifications for a new roof for the front of the Borough building that Hine will advertise. Council also granted a per-capita tax exoneration for an elderly resident who applied for it, adding that it will get the word out to other seniors about this tax relief. It adopted the new format of the borough’s emergency operations plan, which was already reviewed by Jim Carpenetti, the borough’s manager of the plan, and gave permission to the Youth Soccer League to use the Borough building for sign-ups, waiving its fee. Council approved its usual donation of $150 to help fund the Blue Ridge Summer Adventure program for area children.

Council also heard that the distribution center that was looking at land close to the New Milford I-81 exit has decided to go elsewhere.

The next regular meeting of the New Milford Borough Council is scheduled for May 1 at the Borough Building on Main Street.

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Gibson Barracks Report


On March 23 at about 6:00 a.m., Mark Victor Birtch, Great Bend, arrived home and got into an argument with his wife, Nicola Birtch, Great Bend. He then loaded a 12 ga. shotgun and pointed it at Nicola Birtch. Mark Birtch fled the scene and was located at a residence in New Milford. He was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Recklessly Endangering Another Person and Terroristic Threats.


On March 30 at 12:30, Debra Blaisure, RR 4, Montrose, lost control of her 1989 Jeep Wagoneer on snow-covered State Route 3001, Bridgewater Township, and hit guide rails.


Andrea Kim Nelson, RR 1, Brackney, was eastbound on State Route 4002, Quaker Lake, Silver Lake Township, and lost control of her 1999 GMC pickup negotiating a snow covered curve. She traveled into the path of an oncoming 1997 Dodge pickup driven by Lois Carrington, RR 2, Brackney. No medical treatment was necessary in this March 30 incident.


Sometime between March 11 at 1:00 p.m. and March 28 at 3:00 p.m., someone entered the Cron Quarry, Auburn Township, and removed a large stainless steel oxygen tank, owned by Haun Welding Supply, Syracuse, then fled the scene.


Between March 30 at 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. the next morning, someone broke the rear window of a Ford Explorer belonging to Roger O. Sherman, 56, Springville, then fled the scene.


Larry Viteritto, 49, RR 2, New Milford, was arrested and charged with indecent assault, criminal attempt to commit indecent assault, corruption of minors, and endangering the welfare of children, then arraigned before District Justice Watson Dayton and released on $5000 unsecured bail.


On February 28 at 2:10 a.m., Shawn S. Brown, Susquehanna, was traveling north on Township Route 821, Great Bend Township, and fell asleep. His 1992 Chevy veered off the east berm and struck a ditch. It then flipped over, end over end and came to rest on its roof. He fled the scene on foot, and was cited with traffic violations.


Brian Koch, 26, Oakland, NJ, lost control of his 1993 Chevy Blazer, traveling off of State Route 3029, Bridgewater, and striking a tree, on March 29 at 3:00 a.m. No injuries occurred.


On March 29 at 9:15 a.m., Michael McGlynn, Montrose, lost control of his 2002 Dodge pickup as he was traveling south on State Route 3001, Auburn Township. The vehicle hit a tree along the berm. McGlynn was not injured.


Joseph Blaisure, 17, Tunkhannock, lost control of a 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer he was operating, while negotiating a curve in the roadway. The vehicle crossed the roadway and struck a parked Oldsmobile on the east berm of the roadway. Blaisure then left the scene without contacting the owner, returning about an hour later to exchange information with Ernest Cook, Montrose, the owner of the struck vehicle. Blaisure is charged with leaving the scene plus numerous other offenses. Blaisure was not injured, but two passengers each received minor injuries. John Strohl, 16, Tunkhannock, was not hospitalized, while Brandy Buckingham, 16, Meshoppen, was treated and released from Tyler Memorial Hospital. The accident occurred on March 30 at 1:00 a.m.


Marilyn Hartman, 53, Whitesboro, NY, lost control of her vehicle which flipped and ended up in the woods off of Interstate 81, New Milford Township, on March 16 at 8:45 p.m. Hartman was transported to Wilson Hospital. She'll be charged with careless driving, according to the police report.


Trooper Jeffrey A. Winters, PA State Police, Gibson, was traveling east on State Route 706, Bridgewater Township, and struck a deer that ran out in front of the vehicle. No injury occurred in this March 27 incident at 7:42 p.m.


Someone stole a spare tire that was affixed to the bed portion of a flatbed trailer while it was parked along State Route 11, New Milford Township. The tire belongs to Douglas Lewis Wood, New Milford. The incident occurred between 6:00 p.m. on March 27 and 9:00 a.m. the next morning.


Someone broke into the Pizza Place, State Route 11, New Milford Borough, and removed several items. Anyone with information on this March 27 incident is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.


An overhead door was forced open at the Hallstead Car Wash, Great Bend Township, between March 27 at 6:30 p.m. and 7:45 a.m. the next morning. The intruder smashed open the coin box/wash selector and stole coins valued at approximately $100.


Joseph Waresk, Thompson, crashed into a utility pole after failing to negotiate a curve in State Route 2077, one mile north of Dimock Corners, Herrick Township, on March 27 at 11:45 p.m. Waresk went to CMC for treatment of injuries.


Between 12:45 a.m. and 1: 10 a.m. on March 27, two people drove into the parking lot of the HOMART, State Route 171, Susquehanna Borough, and proceeded to smash the front door with a cinder block. They then entered the building and removed half the cash register and several cartons of Marlboro cigarettes. They fled the scene in a vehicle driving south on State Route 171. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police at 570-465-3154.


At the Stillwater Reservoir boat launch, Clifford Township, someone jumped on the roof and kicked the doors of a car belonging to Bernard and Patty Papocchia, Forest City, causing about $3900 in damage. The incident occurred March 15-16.


David Burke, 47, RR 6, Montrose, was driving east in a 1996 Chrysler Concord on State Route 706, Bridgewater Township, on March 26 at 9:00 a.m., while June Keller, 58, RR 2, Hop Bottom, was traveling west. Burke intended to turn onto State Route 29 and drove his vehicle into the west lane in front of Keller. Keller's vehicle then struck Burke's at the intersection. Both were taken to Endless Mountain Health Care Facility, Burke for minor injuries, and Keller for moderate injuries.


Megan England, 35, New Milford, was traveling south on State Route 11, Brooklyn Township, when she lost control of her vehicle on March 26 at 7:35 a.m. Her vehicle crossed the roadway two times, striking a tree. She was transported to Endless Mountain Health Center, Montrose, for minor injuries.


Manuel Lara, 56, Acton, NY, was arrested by PA State Police at Gibson after receiving complaints that he was walking up State Route 167, looking in cars and windows of a home. He was remanded to the Susquehanna County Jail in this March 25 incident, in lieu of bail.


Eric M. McHale, 7, Franklin, NJ, was exiting a private driveway onto Township Route 520, Bridgewater Township, and collided with a vehicle driven by Lori Farley, RR 1, Montrose, driving south on 520. McHale received moderate injuries. Farley was not hurt.


Ray Hardic, RR 4, Montrose, had his vehicle parked in his driveway off State Route 3023, Rush Township, when an unknown vehicle failed to negotiate a right hand curve, exited the roadway and struck Hardic's 1993 GMC Sonoma pickup. The unknown driver fled the scene. Anyone with information on this March 22 incident is asked to contact the PA State Police at Gibson and refer to RO5-0497264.


On March 22 at about 6:00 p.m., a 60-65 year old white male pumped $14.35 worth of gasoline into a gold car and fled west on State Route 171. The gas was taken from the Great Bend Pump-n-Pantry.


On March 22 at 5:50 a.m., Richard J. McNeill, 27, Montrose, was traveling north along State Route 4007, near Johnson Rd., Choconut Township, and failed to negotiate a curve, causing the 1996 Mitsubishi he was driving to leave the roadway. It then struck a guide rail before coming to rest in a creek. McNeill was taken to Wilson Memorial Hospital, Johnson City, for minor injuries.


A 14-year old juvenile female arrived at the PA State Police, Gibson, on March 8 and reported that she had been raped which was not true. A Juvenile Petition is being filed, according to the police report, charging the female with Unsworn Falsification to Authorities and False Reports to Law Enforcement Authorities. The incident location was listed as New Milford.

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Court House Report



Alice M. Docktor to Michael Camaere in Auburn Township for bluestone mining operation.

G. Randall Eckhart aka Randall Eckhart and Ruth A. Eckhart and Thomas P. Crouthamel and Barbara L. Crouthamel to Steven W. Sceranka and Margaret M. Sceranka in Lanesbaro Borough for $65,000.

Melanie R. McHale and John E. McHale to Nanette K. Bloxham in Clifford Township for $75,000.

Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Home Servicing Corp. fka TMS Mortgage Inc. dba the Money Store c/o Rosicki Rosicki & Associates P. C. in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $4,120.29.

Richard W. Derr and Jane V. Derr to Robert M. Simons and Heather M. Simons in Harford Township for $116,000.

Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Wanasa Holding Company LCC, Michael T. Davies and/or Marylou Davies, Raymond J. Davies and/or Michael A. Davies and Marissa M. Davies and/or Brigitte D. Davies in Herrick Township for $250.

Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to William G. Sampaio and/or Anne G. Sampaio in Herrick Township for $100.

Bremer Hof Owners Inc. to Kathy A. Grenon in Herrick Township for $100.

Bremer Hof Owners Inc. to Kenneth R. Pennington and Eleanor C. Pennington in Herrick Township for $100.

Robert J. Clark, Jr. and Victoria M. Clark to Robert J. Clark, Jr. in Jackson Township for $1.

Alexander Cosenza and Vanessa B. Cosenza to James M. White and Constance M. White in Susquehanna Borough for $79,900.

John M. Stahl and Diane Stahl to Ralph A. Miranda and Shannon L. Miranda in Forest Lake Township for $135,000.

David A. Stone and Gail M. Stone and Guy Parrish and Karen L. Parrish to Mark Powers and Ronald J. Powers in Bridgewater Township for $1.

John Ward and Pamela Ward to John Ward and Pamela Ward in New Milford Township for $1 ogvc.

Michelle VerBryck Kannenberg aka Michelle VerBryck Painter and Paul Kannenberg to Michelle VerBryck Kannenberg and Paul Kannenberg in Choconut Township for $1 ogvc.

James Carmalt, James Carmalt Estate, to Albert H. Stickney and Doris Stickney in Choconut Township by Adverse Possession.

Elmer and Connie Smales to Michael Ely in Springville Township for bluestone mining operation.

William L. Montgomery aka William J. Montgomery III and Jennifer L. Montgomery to William J. Montgomery III and Jennifer L. Montgomery in Silver Lake Township for $1.

Laverne Kuhn to Nancy Norton & Gregory Norton in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $1.

Timothy Lizotte to Richard E. Oswald and Diane L. Goodspeed in Liberty Township for $255,000.

Melvin Ramey and Eleanor Ramey to Sheryl H. Deboff in Springville Township for $145,000.

Shirley Roxina Spangenberg to Robert L. Spangenberg in Ararat Township for $1.

Robert D. Horner and Kim M. Horner to Michael Seletsky and Barbara Seletsky in Herrick Township for $134,000.

Doris W. Noaker to Gerard M. Washack to Middletown Township for $96,000.

Gary E. Fallon, Executor of the Estate of Marieta Fallon to James R. Glatzel and Lori A. Glatzel in New Milford Borough for $65,500.

Paul D. Hibbard and Anna M. Hibbard to Anna M. Hibbard in Auburn Township for $1.

Christine Baker to Keith E. Baker, Jr. in Harford Township for $1.

John Liepinis and Adele Liepinis to Pennsylvania Electric Company in Gibson Township for easement.

Daniel V. Kehoe and Norma R. Kehoe to Robert G. Sosolick and Ann M. Sosolick in New Milford Township for $105,000.

Judith A. Tompkins and Kenneth L. Tompkins to William B. Lapotofsky and Betty Lou Lopatofsky in Clifford Township for love and natural affection and $1.

Harriet C. Wilbur to Lee A. Wilbur, Jr., Evelyn L. Chapman and Janice E. Reynolds in Lenox Township for $1.

Lee A. Wilbur, Jr. and Evelyn L. Chapman and Janice E. Reynolds to Kevin D. Wilbur in Lenox Township for installment land contract for $60,000.

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