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Tuesday was craft advisory meeting night at the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center. During these annual meetings, area employers meet with instructors of the various shops to help formulate relevant curriculum, review equipment status, establish competency lists and in general, find out what businesses need from the Center in terms of students who are being prepared to enter the job world.
A new shop is being added in the fall, expanding the offering of "Graphic Communications Technology," which will prepare students with basic skills that could lead to jobs as bookbinders, printers, film flat inspectors, platemakers, offset duplicating machine operators, offset press operators apprentices, finish machine operators and desktop publishers.
Instructor Mike Faillace was joined by a half dozen men from the printing industry, who first heard what Faillace hoped for the program. He spoke of a potential three-year program where students would be able to learn a variety of skills associated with everything from basic printing to videography. Currently, Faillace is working with 23 students in crowded conditions, and sees the field expanding and needing more instructors.
Rather than have competency lists for specific tasks, Faillace said that he likes to see students who are motivated and who have problem-solving skills. The local employers saw the need for basic skills, even if on older and smaller machines, since the basics of operation and safety features, if once learned, can easily be up-graded to larger, more sophisticated, and sometimes easier, machines once the student is hired.
Alice Davis, Director of the Susquehanna County Career & Technology Center, thanked participants for coming and showing interest in their students, in the economy and in how the Center is training students.
Davis explained that the Center began in 1984 with some grant money, but has to wait 20 years, or until 2004, until additional money can be requested for expansion of the facility. A preliminary study is being undertaken to see if there are more needs within the community.
She explained how the new tech prep programs offer academic subjects for technical students. In one articulation agreement with Penn Technology College, for instance, students can get 9 college credits for their work at the Center.
Davis said that they teach work ethics, integrity, team work where students "agree to disagree agreeably," and diversity where students know various jobs so that they can work in different capacities and pitch in to make a deadline. Participants in the advisory group thought these were all important skills for a new employee.
Grants are being sought to link three shops, Graphics Communications, Coop where students go out in their senior year to work, and CAD or Computer Aided Drafting.
Faillace discussed pre-press, press and bindery jobs, with participants asking if students know the difference in paper quality and characteristics, or even if they know which side to print first to prevent excess curl.
Faillace asked for suggestions for additional equipment they might get to help the program. Currently they have A.B. Dick 350, 360 and 9910XCD presses. The school also has a spiral binder, a couple of folding machines and a cutter. Participants gave their opinions on suppliers for paper and equipment and some processes in which students should become competent.
A tour of the shop gave participants a view of the space and machinery which is available to students as well as samples of some of the work they had done. Currently, there was a stack of recently printed directories for the Susquehanna County Chamber of Commerce that had been collated, folded and stapled, waiting for the cover.
Additional advisory groups were meeting simultaneously with other leaders of other programs offered at the Center, including Automotive Technology, Building Trades I & II, Business Education/Data Processing, CAD, Cosmetology, Food Management, and Health Assistant. With annual reviews the Center is continually exposing their instructors to new needs that arise in the business world, and use the participants' advice to keep their graduating students' skills current.
I have gone to numerous township monthly meetings and have found a portion of some of them outrageous. Not usually the supervisors, mind you, but members of the public who come to the meetings. The meeting for Lathrop Township on April 8 left me searching for answers to make sure my account of what transpired would be timely and factual. Therefore, for the record, here goes.
All Lathrop Township supervisors, Dennis Phelps, Elwood Phelps, and Nick Sabuacak, were present. Ann Marie Shebchuk, township secretary, reported there is $3,200.14 in the General Account. Liquid Fuel money has been received and added to the sum of $46,2217.45 in the State Account.
Rosie Phillips reported that she sustained damage to her vehicle in the amount of $358.92 on Garford Williams Road. Dennis Phelps, Chair, directed that the damages be taken care of by the township. Approval was received from the other supervisors as well.
Phelps noted that this has been a particularly bad winter and spring for the roads. He noted that the road crews were working to maintain some of the hardest hit roads, but the real work will commence when the weather is more accomodating.
A draft of an ordinance regarding the naming of roads in the township as mandated by the new EMA guidelines will be reviewed and accepted in the future.
A letter was received regarding the disposal of tires in the county again this year.
The Susquehanna County Township Officials dinner will take place on May 8. Also, on May 8 and 9 a representative of the PA State Association of Township Officials is planning an itinerary in order to meet township officials from Susquehanna County. It was requested that all townships are represented.
A cleanup day for the township will take place in June, with a date to be announced at the next Lathrop meeting. R & L Salvage will do the collection. A plan is being developed. Dennis Phelps noted that the supervisors would like to assist people to get rid of junk cars, and old farm equipment in the future. The matter is under discussion.
Stone Bids and details for 2B and 2RC, 3 and 4 will be advertised in the next couple of weeks. Tom Button, the SEO, presented a subdivision for Roger Bennett.
It was after Button gave the papers regarding the subdivision that two people from the public who were in attendance became verbally abusive and made threatening remarks to the supervisors. It began with reference to a letter that one of them received and turned to the subject of road equipment and the condition of the roads. In addition to other threatening remarks, one of the men said, "I hope your life insurance is paid up."
Dennis Phelps warned the public, as he had in the past, that the meeting would be adjourned if this behavior continued and finally, having no choice after the abusive shouting continued, the meeting was adjourned.
Phelps was advised by the township solicitor to press charges against those who were making threats. As of the time of this report, Mr. Phelps felt that he would be taking that advice.
CRASHONE VEHICLENO INJURY
Cheryl Crayton, 50, no address given, lost control of her 2001 Ford while traveling on State Route 11, Great Bend Township, on April 1 at 9:15 a.m. According to the police report she lost control due to icy road conditions, which caused her vehicle to strike a guide rail. She was not injured.
On April 6 at 8:50 a.m., Joshua Petrilak, 24, Clifford, was traveling west on State Route 374, Herrick Township, in a 2002 Acura RXS CPE. He lost control of the vehicle due to excessive speed, and went off the roadway, striking a dirt embankment. According to the report, charges are pending.
Someone pulled into Lockhart's General Store, Bridgewater Township, on April 6 at 4:20 p.m., and pumped $28.50 worth of fuel into his maroon Ford pickup truck and drove away without paying for the gas. He is approximately 6'0" tall, between 25-30 years old, has a shaved head, was wearing sunglasses and a grey hooded sweat shirt. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.
Between 5:00 p.m. on April 4 and 10:30 a.m. the next day, someone smashed the side garage window of the Mirabito Fuel Group, State Route 171, Oakland Township, gaining entry to the garage. Once inside, the office window was smashed and a Compaq computer hard drive and $10 in US currency were taken. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at Gibson.
Someone slashed 9 out of 10 tractor tires on a 2000 Kenworth belonging to Shager's Supply Co, Inc. South Gibson. The incident occurred at Bennett's Spring Shop, State Route 547, Harford Township. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at Gibson.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
James Whitman, Susquehanna, driving a 1979 Ford pickup, ran into the rear of a 1991 Ford Taurus, driven by Mary Baumann, Forest City, who had slowed down to make a right hand turn. The incident occurred on April 5 at 12:30 p.m., on State Route 92, 1/10 mile south of Bowman Rd., Jackson Township. No injuries were noted on the police report.
On April 4 at 8:00 p.m., someone pumped approximately $22.58 worth of gas and left the scene without paying at the Pump-n-Pantry, Great Bend Township. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson, at 570-465-3154.
Someone bent a door handle on a detached garage at the Carpenetti residence, Lathrop Township, between April 1 at 10:30 a.m. and April 4 at 9:30 a.m. Then, two small screens were broken and one of the windows was smashed. It did not appear that the person entered the garage, and nothing was missing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at Gibson.
Jennifer Armondi, Great Bend, had her 1997 Pontiac Sunfire vandalized as it was parked in the Blue Ridge High School parking lot, New Milford Township, on April 4 between 7:30 a.m. and 11:05 a.m. The right rear tire was slashed.
On April 3 at 10:00 p.m., someone left a Chevy Lumina burning on River Road, Brooklyn Township. The vehicle has yet to be identified as it was severely burned. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson.
Someone broke into the Country Lounge, State Route 11/Main Street, Great Bend Borough, and stole approximately $20.00 in loose change from the cash register. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson.
Clarence N. Sherman, 15, Clifford, was reported missing on April 4 at 8:03 p.m. He was located and returned home at 11:20 the same evening.
Scott David Rickert, 23, Hop Bottom Borough, and Kerry Marie Jackson, 20, Hop Bottom.
Joseph J. Monahan and Gertrude G. Puglisi to Bernard J. Monahan in Town of Binghamton (NY) and Township of Silver Lake for transfer between estate and a beneficiary.
Tax Claim Bureau to Victoria Garrett and Jason Garrett in Bridgewater Township for $28,000 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $44,676).
Tax Claim Bureau to Thomas J. Lopatofsky and Donna M. Fekette in Brooklyn Township for $4,700 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $11,169).
Tax Claim Bureau to Angela Rapisardi in Gibson Township for $13,000 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $18,177).
Tax Claim Bureau to Thomas J. Lopatofsky and Donna M. Fekette in Harmony Township for $5,500 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $10,950).
Tax Claim Bureau to Mildred Graham in Clifford Township for $2,700 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $12,921).
Tax Claim Bureau to Mildred Graham in Susquehanna Borough for $1,712.29 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $12,921).
Tax Claim Bureau to Christopher T. Tracy and Skip M. Tracy in Forest Lake Township for $4,840.45 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $46,647).
Tax Claim Bureau to Melissa Demcevski in Harmony Township for $1,224.62 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $21,243).
Tax Claim Bureau to Robert Bizon in Herrick Township for $6,000 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $15,111).
Tax Claim Bureau to Lawrence M. Grasso Revocable Living Trust in Liberty Township for $3,000 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $24,528).
Tax Claim Bureau to Michael Bodie in Montrose Borough for $3,005.31 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $24,966).
Tax Claim Bureau to Laren F. Curtis and Joyce Marie Curtis in Oakland Borough for $1,655.66 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $14,892).
Tax Claim Bureau to Michael F. Grossmann in Silver Lake Township for $2,832.64 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $27,375).
Parham Industries, Inc. to William L. Kittmar and Frederick R. Kulikowski in Silver Lake Township for $338,000.
Linda Carpenter to Stephen Carpenter and Cheryl Mills in Clifford Township for $44,528.41.
Francis Flynn and Patricia Flynn to Francis Flynn and Patricia Flynn and Brett Flynn and Christel Flynn in Rush Township for $1 ogvc.
Jeffrey S. Bechtel, dba Flynn's Stone Castel to Francis Flynn and Patricia Flynn, Brett Flynn and Christel Flynn dba Flynn's Stone Castle in Rush Township for $1 ogvc (tranfer tax paid on fair market value of 22 percent of $33,507).
Stanley J. Wolk, Jr. and Francine M. Wolk to Stanley J. Wolk, Jr. in Clifford Township for $1.
Robert A. Burke and Maria G. Cutrona aka Maria G. Burke to Robert A. Burke and Maria G. Cutrona in Bridgewater Township for no consideration.
Dominick Novitski to Candace M. Jones in Montrose Borough for $75,000.
John J. Puzo and Kimberly L. Grace to Kimberly L. Grace in Bridgewater Township for $1 ogvc.
Sandra M. Conklin to Sandra M. Conklin in New Milford Township for $1 ogvc.
William E. Shager and Rowena J. Shager to Jeremy Wood and Katia I. Wood in Herrick Township for $140,000.
James A. Savich to John M. Frederick and Emma B. Zavada in Silver Lake Township for $4,500.
Algerd Choplosky, Jr. to Algerd Choplosky, Jr. in Choconut Township for surface mining activities.
Robert G. Koehler, individually and as Executor of the estate of Duane E. Koehler, Dawn Koehler, Paul M. Koehler and Susan Koehler and Andrew D. Koehler to Mary Jane Verboys in Hallstead Borough for $80,000.
Wells Fargo Bank, Minnesota, N. A. to Ryan Wilcox and Elizabeth Wilcox in Apolacon Township for $82,000.
Theresa A. Lucas and Nadine Lucas nbm Nadine Durst to Eileen Cantor in Forest City Borough for $50,000.
Samuel J. Cosmello and Christina Cosmello and Donna M. Cosmello in New Milford Township for $40,000.
Joseph H. Morris to Larry E. Rockhill and Katherine L. Rockhill in Herrick Township for $126,000.
Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Gerald Burke and Gail Burke in Auburn Township for $13,000.
Ronald Morcom to James W. Barber in Lenox Township for bluestone mining operation.
John Tohanczyn, individually and as Trustee for Leslie Jean Tohanczyn, John Tohanczyn III and Linda Jo Tohanczyn to Bradley G. Gates and William C. Gates in New Milford Township for $42,000.
Matthew S. Wambold to William Magdin and Jacqueline A. Magdin in Rush Township for $85,000.
Houshold (sic) Finance Consumer Discount Company to Angelo J. Guzzi, II, in Forest City Borough for $61,900.
Richard K. Norris and Linda L. Norris to Marc Culver and Nancy Culver in Susquehanna Borough for $1,500.
Richard K. Norris and Linda L. Norris to Marc Culver and Nancy Culver in Susquehanna Borough for $50,500.
David Dukerich to Heather L. Wierzbicki in Clifford Township for $81,000.
Lisa M. Harris and Wayne W. Harris, Co-Administrators of the Estate of Mark Krolak aka Mark F. Krolak, Joyce Krolak, Lisa M. Harrris and Wayne W. Harris to Wayne W. Harris and Lisa M. Harris in Clifford Township for $1.
John W. Christensen, Jr. and Christine A. Christensen to Andrew Elzinga and Charlotte A. Elzinga and Arthur C. Stephens and Melissa J. Falk to Howard L. Updyke, Jr. in Auburn Township for $1 for deed of correction.
Arthur H. Summers to Arthur H. Summers and Cyrena M. Summers, trustees, under the Summers Living Trust in Choconut Townshhip for quit claim deed for $1.
Mary Helen Booth to Gerald B. Sullivan and Jeanne M. Sullivan in Franklin Township for $1.
Eudora S. Bennett to Donald H. Bennett and Michele R. Bennett in Rush Township for $1 ogvc.
Christeen D. Gnad and Jeffrey David Gnad to Christeen D. Gnad in Lenox Township for $1.
Judith Leamon and Robert J. Kime as Executors of the Estate of Pauline L. Kime to Ada Lema in New Milford and Franklin Townships for $1.
Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company in Oakland Borough for $2,942.28.
William J. King to Geoffrey P. Ross in Harmony Township for $145,000.
Gary A. Shields and Gail M. Shields to James A. Bunnell and Ruth Ann Bunnell in Dimock Township for $2,000.
Emanuel P. DeLarco and Janette D. DeLarco to Thomas C. Cramer, Sr. and Linda L. Cramer in Bridgewater Township for $100,000.
Florence Coppola to Peter Coppola & Barbara Coppola in Ararat Township for $60,000.
Henry Joseph Soth aka Henry J. Soth and Doris M. Soth to John G. Mulhern in Silver Lake Township for $9,000.
Alison L. Radus to Alison L. Radus and Todd J. Radus in Springville Township for $1.
Pledged Property II, LLC to Gene Kase Jr. in Lenox Township for $37,000.
Proclamations, Public Comment
Two proclamations, a hiring, and three bid awards were the highlights of the items on the official agenda of the Susquehanna County Commissioner's most recent meeting. But, as usual, public comment time said a lot about the county.
April was proclaimed as "Environmental Awareness Month," with Toby Anderson of the Friends of Salt Springs saying we "can't overestimate the importance of environmental education." At Salt Springs, they are moving into a larger environmental education program in the schools and hope to get it into all the county districts in the future. He looks for support from the community, in this vital program, which is also mandated by law. "We're supplying things badly needed," he said, adding he "hopes all will join Salt Springs State Park" because it takes support and money to continue programs.
The county also plays a part in recycling and education in public schools, and "we're probably one of the leaders in the state."
Kathy Shelly spoke as the Vice President of the Susquehanna County Farm Bureau saying they are involved with the SEEC (Susquehanna Education in Ecology and Conservation) program, important because agriculture is part of it and is also the number one industry in the state.
A second proclamation, speaking of the regular armed services and reserve units of the country that have been mobilized, expressed "gratitude and support of these men and women for their commitment to the well-being of our nation and to the defense of the principles that define a free people." It also wished "them a safe journey...."
One audience member said she supports the troops, but objected to the connection of the current war with 9-11. Additional comments asked if the county was going to exonerate those serving from taxes on their homes, to which the commissioners responded that they didn't think they could do that legally. Additional suggestions included waiving penalties for late payments, or setting up payment plans, which have been done in the past.
Bids awarded during the meeting included one to John Witiak d.b.a. Yogi's of Clifford, on the 2003 Waste Tire Collection. His bid was lower than last year's holder of the contract. Witiak will recycle the tires rather than landfill them.
Ken Rauch was the only contractor to bid on additional equipment for use by the county. Regular equipment such as trucks, loaders, etc. are bid by the hour for use when needed, but auditors advised bidding additional equipment that could be used in special circumstances in case the need arises. Since there was only one bid, the award was given, with prompting by Commissioner Lee Smith to get it done and over with.
E-town Chevrolet of Elizabethtown was awarded the bid for a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu for $11,412 with trade-in. These bids were opened at a previous meeting.
Dan Kelly was hired as the new payroll clerk, replacing Sue Kipar who resigned a couple of weeks ago. The commissioners did not advertise the job, and said they conducted four interviews. Kelly's experience was questioned, probably because of rumors circulating throughout the court house. Did he have payroll experience? Marcho said he had computer experience. Again the question was asked. Did Kelly have payroll experience to which a more direct answer revealed he did not, although he had plenty of accounting. During Salary Board his pay was set at $9.89 an hour, with benefits.
Public comment time dealt with various topics. What happened at an earlier meeting when a couple of bidders asked to see the other bids once they were opened in public? The commissioners said they'd have to contact the county solicitor, Michael Giangrieco. The commissioners said Giangrieco told them not to allow the viewing of the bids, although apparently it is done in other counties.
Justin Taylor, Economic Development Director, was asked if there was any additional information on who/what was going into the vacant and sold Ames building. He said that they are hoping for an announcement the second week in May with an opening date of December 1. Apparently the development company knows who will be located there, but they are not releasing the name yet.
Another reporter brought up Clean & Green and asked if there was a possibility it could be changed at the local level. Since it is a state law, that possibility doesn't exist. However, there is obviously some interpretation by county. This reporter asked Commissioner Smith how his parcel of less than ten acres can get into Clean & Green with an affidavit saying "land can generate $2000 annual gross income from the production of Agricultural commodities."
"I'm glad you brought that up," was Smith's reply. He said, "I went in against better judgment," and Rick Kamansky (Chief Assessor) has a letter saying Smith wants out. He also said that the state law does not allow those in Clean & Green to get out unless there is a change in use which also means paying a penalty. The question remains: how did he get in with an affidavit, and if it is legal, why hasn't everyone in the county signed an affidavit saying their less-than-ten-acre areas are capable of making $2000 in gross income (as in a high value crop or a greenhouse).
One more question concerned the solicitor and his efforts to research setting up a Railroad Authority. After not having information as requested by the last meeting, the commissioners said that Giangrieco has established that a railroad authority cannot be established by the county under the 6th Class County code rules. That may leave it up to a township or borough or combination to try to get the project moving ahead.
Work in Harford
Spring mud slowed down the Harford Township Supervisors at their meeting on April 9. For a few minutes it looked like the session might set another record. Supervisor Terry Van Gorden and Township Secretary Sue Furney had just returned from a conference downstate and the agenda was brief. The condition of the roads following the severe winter, however, became a concern, along with skateboards and bicycles, so they took a little extra time to consider.
Along with a couple of routine building and driveway permits, the Supervisors heard the annual auditors' report, which simply stated that the Township Secretary had all records available and in order. It was also mentioned that the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors is planning a tour of Susquehanna County and is apparently expecting to be furnished with breakfast and the company of at least one official from each township.
Spring weather (however little of it we've had yet this year) brings out mud in the roads and children on them. The Supervisors discussed the condition of various roads, and the methods used to repair potholes that appear as the ice breaks up. Some of the roads undergo more punishment than others, from heavy truck traffic. Supervisor Jim Ketterer said that in the past some truck operators have agreed to pay modest sums to the Township to help offset the cost of repairs caused by their operations during the mud season.
Mr. Ketterer also reported that he had received calls of concern about youngsters skateboarding and riding bicycles in the village, particularly down Fair Hill Road and Main Street. Everyone shared in the concern, but conceded that there is little the Township can do without enforcement authority of any kind, especially since those streets are state-owned thoroughfares.
The Harford Township Supervisors meet at the Township building on the second Wednesday and fourth Tuesday of each month, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Borough Council Minutes
The Lanesboro Borough council met March 4 with the following council members present: Dan Boughton, Regina Dilello, Chris Maby, Bob Mireider, Paul Corse, Bob Page, and Roland Salamon. Also present: Mayor Slater and Aileen Shay. Visitors: Ray Barnes, Jerry Benson, Sandy Benson, Joe Canini, Bob VanFleet, and Gail Hanrahan.
President Salamon called meeting to order. Motion to pass minutes after changing $10,00 to $10,000 in the treasurers report and clarifying that officer Gow is only going to elderly peoples houses carried.
Visitors: Visitor Jerry Benson had some questions about the new municipal utility billing system. He also asked about having the trailer property removed from the sewer billing because there is no running water. Council replied that the trailer must be removed from the property and a formal request made. The property can be removed from the garbage billing, as no one is living in the trailer.
Officer VanFleet spoke next with his police report. He stated that they are investigating a break in that occurred at the high school.
Correspondence: James Luciana sent a letter regarding "An Open Letter to the Citizens of Lanesboro" article published in the Susquehanna Transcript regarding "the blessing of Peter and Bea Lucianas living relatives." A letter will be sent clarifying that the living relatives mentioned in the article were their grandchildren and not siblings.
Letter from the Auditor General stating Lanesboro has to reimburse $13,486.00 to the liquid fuels fund, and send the deposit ticket as proof. The reimbursement is required because the snow removal for 2000 and 2001 was not bid properly. The remainder of 2003 will be advertised for bid. Paul Corse stated the borough needs a loan. Page suggested calling the Auditor General and checking with the Errors and Omissions insurance regarding this.
Mayors Report: Mayor Slated stated that everything is running smoothly. Regina Dilello and himself have been working at the bottle drive.
Treasurers Report: A motion to transfer $3,000 from the garbage account to the Motor license account and pay bills as presented carried.
Unfinished Business: President Salamon addressed the council about the discussion he had with Solicitor Myron DeWitt regarding the copier lease. Myron explained to him that the lease ran out in March and Lanesboro sent a letter in April stating they no longer wanted to lease it. Myron believes we should pay the $700 the leasing company feels it is owed. President Salamon read the letter from Myron DeWitt. Councilman Paul Corse stated that Lanesboro should send the copier back immediately. Vice President Maby stated the borough did try to go through the proper channels, just a little too late. Motion to make counter offer of $350 and return the copier immediately carried. Bob Page suggested investigating if the errors and omissions insurance would cover this.
President Salamon turned the meeting over to Vice President Maby so he could go get some pieces of China that he brought to donate to the community center. President Salamon stated that there was a 600-piece set and a lot of other pieces put into this on e-bay.
Secretary Aileen Shay stated that she had spoken to Traci Follmer (from PAWC). Traci stated for PAWC to collect all the people on the sewer account, an ordinance needs to be passed reflecting a flat fee of $27 per month per single-family house. After discussion, Council to have Solicitor Myron DeWitt write the ordinance and then advertise it in time for a vote at the April meeting.
Councilman Dan Boughton asked a question regarding the garbage pick up. He wanted to know where the business garbage was going. Vice President Maby suggested that rather than identifying a particular business, send a letter to all business owners asking them for proof that their garbage is being disposed in the appropriate manner. Mayor Slater stated that he feels there has not been a problem so far with the garbage, why make an issue of it now. He also stated to Vice President Maby that if Chris thought he could do a better job with the garbage he would be more than happy to turn it all over to Chris. Council discussed this and decided to leave it as it is right now.
President Salamon returned with several pieces of china, part of a restaurant set he purchased. The cost was $375 for the set. President Salamon, Mayor Slater, and Councilwoman Dilello each contributed $125 and donated the china to the borough. Vice President Maby and council thanked them for this donation.
Vice President Maby asked about the delinquent taxes. Tax Collector Gail Hanrahan stated that there were a few people who have paid them. Councilman Corse stated that only a few be delivered to the magistrate at a time since Lanesboro has to pay the court costs up front. Tax Collector Gail Hanrahan offered to make more phone calls in an effort to get more people to pay them. She also offered to collect the delinquent garbage bills. Council thought that was a good idea. Secretary Aileen will get her the list.
The borough map now has all the streetlight pole numbers included so if a light is out any one can call it in.
Vice President Maby did some follow-up research on a question asked by a visitor a few meetings ago. The question was regarding the use of a CPA to audit borough books. He went on to state that he found an ordinance (number 1981-3A) requiring borough books be audited yearly by a CPA registered in the state of Pennsylvania. Mayor Slater will check with his accountant to see if he would do it.
Vice President Maby stated he also checked the ordinance book to find something relating to dog dropping cleanup. It has been brought to councils attention there are several problem areas along North Main and Main Streets. Mayor Slater will have Officer Gow investigate and take the proper action as dictated by state law.
Vice President Maby went on to discuss the phone line recently added. He realizes the extra phone line was put in at the request of PAWC but thinks it is not needed as the computer it is attached to is on only intermittently. Some of the council members think that you have to keep it for one year before you can disconnect it.
Vice President Maby asked how large a donated building or shed would be acceptable to replace the school bus as the storage spot for recyclables, realizing that something smaller would potentially require more trips. He felt that transporting recyclables more frequently than every other, or third month was not unreasonable. Mayor Slater responded the building had to be as big as the school bus. Vice President Maby became upset, turned the meeting back over to President Salamon and left.
President Salamon took over the meeting again. Council discussed bidding snow removal for the rest of the year. Mayor Slater will write the bid and give to Secretary Aileen to put in paper but will wait to see what is found out when President Salamon calls the Auditor General.
Guard Building For N. M. Twp.
The municipal meeting room in New Milford Township drew a large crowd on Wednesday, April 9 at the monthly meeting. Franklyn Gulick, Jim Hunter, and Roger Smith, the township supervisors were all in attendance. Among the figures quoted by the township treasurer, Carol Ames, is $130,039 in the State Money Market Account.
Gulick quickly turned the meeting over to Brian Oram, a Professional Geologist and Environmental Consultant. Oram had put together plans for the site of the new, one story National Guard Building that is planned in the Township. He was particularly reporting on the small flow irrigation unit that would be part of the new water system required at the site. He presented for review of the supervisors a maintenance agreement between the township supervisors and the Department of General Services regarding the inspection of the facility. After their review the final agreement would be put in place.
At least ten residents came to speak about a rock tumbling operation that is run by Cliff Grosvenor in the township. The residents were particularly concerned about the noise level from his operation. A local resident and contractor spoke on behalf of many present and noted that they had tried to speak with Mr. Grosvenor, but he would not respond to them. Gulick said that he spoke with the owner of the business who indicated he would cooperate with the residents and would do that again before they took the matter to another level of County Government and their attorney, Michael Gaffney.
Another item greatly discussed at length by the public, particularly Steve Rudowsky who appeared to be speaking on the behalf of a good number of people, was the condition of Sutton Road. Gulick admitted that the road was in bad shape and that they had tried to fix the deep ruts in the road. The quarry owner on that road would be approached to see if he could help with the maintenance of the road and the township will work to see what they can do regarding the deplorable situation of this road that is severely responding to our last winter and spring rain and snow conditions. It was apparent that Rudowsky had spoken to state policemen and Sandra Majors' office concerning this problem.
After numerous remedies were suggested, including putting large rocks into the mud, all were in agreement that something needed to be done. One woman complained her car had been hung-up on the road and she had to abandon it to get help to move the vehicle.
The supervisors indicated they would do what they could until the roads can be addressed properly and when help is needed by individuals the supervisors have responded numerous times in the past.
Residents of Watson Hill had the same complaints, minus the quarry trucks that were going over Sutton Road. The supervisors were taken aback by remarks made by one of the residents from that road regarding the taxes they pay to keep the roads repaired. After a review of the amount of taxes in the township and the fact that they have not been raised in many years, that remark could not be substantiated. The basic fact is the roads in our county are really victims this year to Mother Nature. They are "terrible," as Gulick was finally quoted to say at the end of that discussion.
Among the other items of interest and correspondence received, the supervisors reported the Emergency Management plans for the township are still being finalized. Although, Gulick indicated they would work on them after the meeting was adjourned, it did not appear that would happen after the long meeting that started at 7:30 p.m. and was not over until 9:45 p.m.
The Pyramid Network applied for a permit for two towers to be erected in the township. Brian Bell's land development plan was reviewed, but it was noted that the sewer planning needed DEP approval.
A permit for construction activity was submitted by engineer Todd Schmidt on work being done at the South New Milford Baptist Church. The Casonella subdivision received approval from the County Planning Commission. An E & S plan was filed on behalf of American Asphalt, the Conservation District reported.
Invitations were extended to the supervisors for the Annual Township Supervisors meeting and dinner slated for May 8. It was also noted that representatives from the State Township Supervisors Association would be in New Milford Area on May 8 and supervisor representation was requested from every municipality in the county. There will be more meetings on May 9 to discuss issues of importance.
PSATS is offering reasonably priced Municipal Liability and other insurance. Blue Ridge Recreation can depend on the township to help with some of their plans during nicer weather this spring and summer.
The next meeting of the New Milford Township supervisors will take place at the municipal building on Route #11 at 7:30 p.m. on May 14. The public is invited.
PAWC Issues Caution Against Impostors
Wilkes-Barre, PA Pennsylvania American Water cautions customers to be wary of individuals who try to gain access to their homes by posing as utility personnel.
"We want customers to feel secure when our service personnel visit their homes and businesses," said Lorri Lewis, communications manager for Pennsylvania Americans northeastern region. "Residents should be aware that all legitimate water company employees, authorized to enter homes, will be dressed in company uniforms and carrying proper identification." She added that most service calls are scheduled in advance for the convenience of the customer.
Pennsylvania American recommends customers take the following steps to ensure their safety against impostors.
Ask for proper identification. Do not open the door to anyone who cannot provide an ID card.
Thoroughly inspect the identification card. The front of a Pennsylvania American ID card will display the persons picture and the companys logo.
Check the service persons vehicle. All Pennsylvania American vehicles have the companys logo clearly displayed on the side.
If there is still some question about the persons identify, the customer should contact Pennsylvania American at (800) 565-7292 to confirm if the service person is working in the area.
"There is no need to feel uneasy about making someone wait outside until youre sure the person is a legitimate utility worker," said Lewis. "Pennsylvania American employees care about your safety, and they dont mind the wait. We believe its worth your peace of mind."
Boro Very Busy
Oakland Boro Council met for their regular meeting on April 10 with all members present.
Council member/police officer Bob VanFleet reported that he and the CEO had attended a hearing on a codes violation scheduled for April 8; the property owner was not present. A continuance was given for the following week.
Council President Ron Beavan has been reviewing the boros sidewalk ordinances for further discussion at a later date.
Secretary Cindy Cordner had met with two insurance representatives; the boros current agent and a new one, DGK. Mrs. Cordner discovered that the boros present policy had inadequate coverage in several areas, such as the water tank, some of the boros equipment, and Act 477 (police) coverage.
DGK provided a proposal that included these coverages in addition to those the boro already has. An additional proposal with the same coverage was obtained from the boros current carrier. After review, a motion carried to accept DGKs proposal, the lower of the two, with the provision that one line item, an "umbrella" clause be removed. It will be considered for inclusion in next years budget. The increased coverage will be slightly higher than the budgeted allocation, but includes the cost for bonding boro employees, which had previously been paid separately from insurance premiums.
Councilman Leon Dubanowitz gave an update on the boros emergency management plan. He recommended that the boro have its own, more localized plan rather than sign on to the county plan. If the boro opts to put its own plan in place, it will still be eligible for assistance through the county and the Red Cross. Basically, he said the plans are similar; the boro plan meets county standards. There were some questions, though, such as would the boros eligibility for grant funding be affected by this choice. Mr. Dubanowitz had made some inquiries to find the answer to this question and others, but was still waiting for more information. The matter was tabled until next months meeting.
Mr. Beavan reported that further inquiries into refinancing the water company loan seemed to indicate that, due to the amount outstanding, a bond counsel would be needed. Although this service could be expected to be about $9,000, it is believed that this cost could be recouped through a lower interest rate than those obtained by dealing directly with a bank.
What used to be known as the Green Thumb program is now called Experienced Workers. The boro could offer training, at no cost to the boro, for an older or low income person. Approval was given to file an application for an office worker to research the boros ordinances. Possibly, at a later date, another worker could be obtained for road maintenance.
At last months meeting, council had reviewed information from a concern interested in putting a cell tower on the water company property. Mr. Beavan reported that he had not received a response from requests for more information. It was agreed to get more information from other companies who might be interested.
Mrs. Cordner reported that the water companys auditor had some questions, such as whether the water company was required to maintain a separate tax identification number from the boros. The solicitor will be consulted.
Mr. Beavan reported that part-time police officer Eric Brush has resigned.
Council member Chad Crawford reported that he has received favorable comments about the improved condition of the ball park. The little league has scheduled a "work bee" to repair fencing at the park. And, he had contacted shop teachers at the high school about repairing the merry-go-round. If the boro supplies the necessary materials and transports it to the school, students will work on it as a class project.
Berkheimer Associates, which collects delinquent taxes, had reported that a resident owed approximately $150 from occupational per capita taxes from 1995. However, the resident claimed that they had been paid and could provide some documentation. But, obtaining additional documentation from the bank would cost $20/per hour. It was agreed to notify Berkheimer not to take further action.
Mr. Crawford reported that sluice work on Second Ave. is almost complete; all that remains is some pavement work and reseeding.
It was agreed to authorize Mrs. Cordner to pay standard bills received each month, such as utilities, as they become due rather than waiting until monthly meetings for approval. Other bills will be held for review at the meetings.
There was discussion regarding banning use of all burn barrels within the boro; burning of leaves and brush (in ditches) would still be allowed. Mr. Beavan relayed that council has received numerous complaints about residents burning plastic and other unacceptable items, but that such complaints were difficult to follow through on; it was noted that the boros current ordinance already bans such burning, but residents do not always comply. There were several opinions; some council members thought the ban was a good idea while others thought it was not. Still others felt that it should be left up to residents to decide. After further discussion, the matter was tabled for further review.
Several applications have been received to replace public works employee Leo "The Commish" Fisk, who has resigned. Applications will be accepted until April 17; a special meeting will be held on April 17, 7 p.m. to review the applications and make a decision.
Council member Cynthia Beavan reported that River Bounty has obtained a money judgment against American Hydro, which operates the electric plant on the river. A sheriffs sale of 18 acres along the Susquehanna River has been scheduled. It is expected that Susquehanna Boro will purchase the property with the intention of using it for a park. And, at the request of SOLIDA, a resolution was approved declaring that the road at the industrial park is a public highway; this designation will require that the railroad be responsible for maintenance of the crossing on the site.
Council member Doug Arthur reported that a resident has suggested that the boro hold an "Oakland Day," where community yard sales could be held. A suggestion was made that the boro could sponsor sale of refreshments on this day, proceeds to be used for the park. Mr. Arthur agreed to put a committee together to work on it.
Oakland Township will be contacted, to request that they address a number of potholes on High Street.
Mr. VanFleet was pleased to report that he had witnessed a four-wheeler on boro streets and had issued a citation. Other frequent violators, he said, have been warned that they, too will be cited if they continue to ride their vehicles on the boro streets.
Mr. Beavan has been in contact with the county Housing and Redevelopment Authority to discuss a grant application submitted by resident Marilyn Hand. There is an excellent chance that the boro will be receiving $10,000 for ditch work on State St. The application has been approved by the county commissioners, and has been sent to Harrisburg for approval.
During public comment, a resident complained about an unsightly, potentially dangerous situation in a neighbors yard. Mr. Beavan stated that only signed complaints would be investigated. These complaints were kept confidential, and were kept on file in the boro office. The resident was not happy that the form included a provision that the complainant would be willing to go to court, if necessary, to testify. The situation, she said, had been in existence for years; it should be councils responsibility to take action. Mr. Beavan explained that there are procedures to follow to ensure that a violation was not dismissed if it were to go to court.
Another audience member suggested that an inventory of boro equipment should be taken whenever a boro employee left his/her position; he cited a previous incident where equipment was reported to be missing. Mr. Beavan said that forms had been drafted, but Mrs. Cordner pointed out that such inventories are very time consuming.
Another question concerned the amount of time allowed before action was taken for nonpayment of water fees. Mr. Beavan said that in some instances, liens were placed on properties. In other cases, legal action was pursued. Usually, he said, one year was allowed before any action was taken.
And, a recent "water advisory" was discussed. The resident stated that he had not seen TV newscasts advising that water should be boiled. How were residents to know of such things if they didnt happen to see the news reports? Mr. Beavan said that several suggestions had been made, such as having a police officer drive the boro streets and make an announcement over the loud speaker. Mrs. Beavan added that in this instance, there was no contamination but that DEP regulations required that an advisory be issued.
The meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m. to an executive session.
The next regular meeting will be on Thursday, May 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
Susquehanna Boro Council took care of business in short order at their regular meeting on April 8. All members were present with the exception of Tom Kelly; also present were Mayor Roberta Kelly, CEO Shane Lewis and a number of residents.
During the first item of discussion, payment of bills, council member Todd Glover relayed that the streets department is seeking reimbursement for a bill for emergency service for the new truck as it is under warranty from Ford.
Mayor Kelly reported that Den 6 of Boy Scout Pack 81 had spent the previous Sunday putting in stone benches in the garden area in front of the boro building. Stone for the project had been donated by Endless Mountains Stone; the Susquehanna Community Development Association had coordinated the project. An effort is underway to decorate Main St., along with Legion Post 86, to show support for our military. Sidewalk construction, scheduled to resume on Monday, April 7, but had been delayed due to snow but would hopefully resume soon. And, a representative from DCED will be visiting the boro in May to discuss more plans to enhance Main St. as part of the Downtown program.
Requesting time on the agenda was Ted Brewster, treasurer of the county chapter of Habitat for Humanity. He reported that a house on West Main St. has just been completed with the exception of the front walk, which was postponed due to weather. The group has committed to its completion, which will be attended to as soon as winters freeze is over.
So far, Habitat has finished two houses within the county (one in Montrose, one in Susquehanna), although the group is struggling, with little resources to draw on. But, he said, "Were here, wed like to stay here and work here."
Mr. Brewster asked for help with finding additional properties in the boro to work on, as there is a need for programs of this type in the area. Mayor Kelly asked if Habitat is specifically looking for older homes to work with; Mr. Brewster replied, "Anything thats cheap to begin with." Some of Habitats members would like to do a "bare lot" project, "but well take whatever is available." He added that there is no restriction on lot size or home size, although the home recently completed in Susquehanna is larger than Habitats usual project.
Habitats focus is on single family homes for families who need better housing. Qualified families must commit from 300 to 500 hours to help rebuild the homes, which not only benefits the family but the municipality as well, as the homes, once complete, are put back on the tax rolls. The homes are sold to eligible families at cost, interest free, with the typical mortgage term of twenty years.
He explained that Habitat is both the builder and the bank for project homes. Typically, he said, it is very unusual for Habitat families to sell their home. Habitat offers a family support committee that encourages families to maintain their homes, as well as giving financial guidance to help them keep them.
Mrs. Kelly asked if Habitat would be interested in condemned homes; Mr. Brewster replied that demolition would make the project more expensive. Structures are typically donated or purchased through a tax sale. If there was a large lot, it could be divided, with an additional home then being built. Mr. Lewis said that there are several structures the boro will be addressing that could be discussed further with Habitat.
Mrs. Kelly concluded that the boro would be willing to work with Habitat, and that council would definitely be in favor of future projects.
Next to address council was Derrick Smith, county coordinator for the West Nile Virus, tire remediation and household hazardous waste programs. He began by thanking council for agreeing to be a host site for a tire recycling drive in May. He asked for a representative from council to meet on the following day to discuss the site chosen for the collection. It would involve a 45 trailer, with all tires to be collected that day. Although volunteers would be greatly appreciated, the county most likely would not need any. The drive would be set up, organized, and cleaned up by the county; details will be advertised in advance of the drive. The meeting on April 9 would be with Bill Zick, county recycling coordinator as well as a representative from DEP. The purpose would be to ensure that the site chosen would pose no problems with traffic; Mr. Smith was confident that the site chosen, adjacent to the boro building, would not present any problems. The DEP rep., he said is also involved with a state recycling program and would conduct an on-site inspection if boro is interested in pursuing its own recycling program. Council president Ron Whitehead agreed to meet with them.
Under old business, council member Pat Frederick requested that council adopt a resolution for PEMA, stating that the boro is in compliance with mandates, and is working on updating its emergency plan which includes response procedures in case of an emergency or disaster. The plan is to be reviewed every two years. There were, she said, only some minor details remaining in the plan to work out. A motion carried to approve the resolution.
Council member Bill Kuiper reported that the boros solicitor has sent a revised cable franchise contract to Adams Cable for their review and approval. Once Adams approves, there will be time allowed for public comment, after which council will vote to approve. The new agreement, he said involved only a few minor changes from the existing agreement. "Its just a formality," he said.
Under new business, John Bronchella reported that St. Johns Mens Club will be rebuilding the brick pavement on West Church St. during the week of June 16-21. During this time, emergency vehicles will have access but the street will be closed to ordinary traffic. And, he reported the streets department has been busy, "plowing in springtime" due to the winter weather.
Mr. Whitehead reminded those present that there will be a support rally held on April 19, 6:30 p.m. in the plaza. Boro residents are asked to display yellow ribbons in support of our military personnel. During the rally, goods will be collected to send directly to local troops.
As the parks and rec. committee meeting was scheduled for the following week, there was no report; committee member Dick Hennessey mentioned that new sewer lines and a shed have been ordered for the Prospect St. Park. Installation is on hold until the weather breaks.
Mr. Glover reported that the Sesquicentennial committee has been sprucing up the old memorial park at the intersection of Main and Willow Streets. An old, concrete cannon base had presented an obstacle, but resident Butch Coleman had assisted by using his machinery to break it up. The committee leveled the site, and is working on fencing and ground cover, which should be completed before the festivities planned for April 19, the actual incorporation date of the boro. A flag raising ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at the boro building.
The meeting adjourned to an executive session to discuss police scheduling.
When the meeting reconvened, a motion carried to appoint Tom Golka as (police) officer in charge.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 13, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
Bottom Purchases Property
Although there was a full agenda, it took longer than expected for the Hop Bottom Borough monthly meeting on April 1 to complete its business.
Janice Webster, Borough President reported that a delivery of Mulch was ordered for the Park. John Koshinsky the owner of some local property and a contractor, reported that he was addressing the work to be done at "Tubs," the pizzeria, as requested by the council last month.
There was no update regarding the culvert. Although, with Spring here, the story concerning it could be enlarged in the near future.
The announcement was made that the borough had sent a check for the purchase of the Stout property. Further, regarding this matter, the demolition grant that the Borough applied for was approved. It is expected that the Borough would be in receipt of the money some time in the late spring or early summer.
Webster noted the Martins Creek Watershed Association met on March 22 at the Grace Lutheran Church on Greenwood Street. A presentation was made by an attendee of a recent workshop. The major topic of that workshop had been watersheds and those in attendance were interested in what he had to say.
The Emergency Management Association meeting in Hop Bottom on March 20 was very well attended. A letter had been sent to all the people who would be involved with an emergency situation in the Borough, and a request was made for their attendance. The Red Cross advised that no shelter be established for an emergency unless it was necessary, as it must then be maintained for a couple of weeks. There was information shared on the Vial of Life, which will be given to people who are ill or handicapped who might need to be evacuated.
Although there is a mandate for renumbering street addresses for Emergency Management, the Borough tabled this for the future after much discussion.
The Borough is looking into paving in one section of town that has been having a great deal of problems with run-off water.
The local Hop Bottom humanitarian and community aid association, "Ma Barkers Community Association" received a $200.00 donation from the Borough to help defray the cost of their purchasing yellow ribbons in support of our troops in Iraq. This association will be highlighted in the town newsletter and an article describing what this organization does will be in a future edition of the Transcript.
The Hop Bottom Borough Council meets on Forest Street at 7:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month. The public is invited.
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