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Members Must Adopt Codes
Latest word has it that the new and much-awaited international building codes will likely have an effective date round about January or February. With COGs codes enforcement officer Shane Lewis grandfathered to perform inspections under the new Code and enforce it, COG Codes members will not need to deal with the choices that some municipalities will find themselves facing, come the effective date. And those are to wait for the state to do/assign the inspections, or to hire a certified Codes inspector on their own to do them.
However, the luxury of having a grandfathered CEO goes away if a municipality including COG Codes member municipalities has not adopted, and is not administering or enforcing, building codes, prior to the new code effective date. This important piece of information was provided by Codes secretary Karen Trynoski, as provided to her by Karen Peck, a Labor and Industry representative who reviews the certification credentials of codes inspectors.
Basically, Peck told Trynoski that "any municipality that hasnt been enforcing an adopted code prior to the effective date cannot use a grandfathered CEO; they have to use inspectors certified under the new code." Peck did not give Trynoski an exact time frame by which a municipality needed to adopt and enforce code; if it was adopted last year, thats fine. If its adopted now, thats fine. But a municipality that waits until after the effective date to adopt Codes cannot use a grandfathered CEO.
Already, said Codes president Ted Plevinsky, representatives from companies in Scranton and in the southeastern part of the state are vying to get the business of municipalities who dont have a certified or grandfathered codes enforcement officer. "It gives you kind of an idea of what some municipalities will have to deal with later on."
Some COG Codes municipalities have adopted the Code in the past few months in anticipation of the effective date. Some have not. As one put it, "I would prefer to wait until the last minute so that we dont have a situation where we have to have inspections six months before theyre required under the new code. I would back-track from the anticipated January or February date." Another member thought that some municipalities would decide to opt out of participating in codes enforcement, which Plevinsky thought would be a real cop-out for the municipality. Others that a homeowner be the one responsible for compliance and inspection.
Asked which Code needed to be adopted and enforced before the effective date, Trynoski told members she would send them samples of ordinances adopted by some municipalities that would pass. Liberty Township has adopted all three of the sample ordinances for various kinds of inspections.
Because several questions arose about this new and, for some, worrisome information, Trynoski will see if she can get "chapter and verse" about this new development from L and I, will speak with PSAT representatives about it, and get back to the group at its next meeting. Plevinsky will also try to get COG counsel Jason Legg to attend a meeting and provide input on the legal aspects.
As part of its preparation for the Codes effective date, COG will also be hiring additional enforcement officers in addition to Lewis. Plevinsky said that the executive committee expects to interview two candidates this week. For the building code inspector position, he reported that Codes is also speaking with someone whos trying to get his credentials switched from New York State to Pennsylvania, but its unclear if that will be possible, depending on which states rules are more stringent. Another candidate is currently going through the process of becoming certified in residential enforcement.
The activity report from CEO Lewis that followed this discussion indicated that warm weather has indeed arrived. Among other permits he issued were those for a log home in Dimock, a garage in Liberty Township, and a modular home and new house in Springville Township.
Sewage Enforcement Committee
President Rick Pisasik reported the results of an executive committee meeting last month that included work on updating the fee schedules, principally for subdivisions. The committees recommendations increase the fees "at least to accommodate our costs," said Pisasik, adding they are charged to the person applying for the sewage permit and not to the municipality. Members approved the new schedule. Pisasik also reported that the executive committee would continue to meet on a monthly basis for the near future, and that any COG Sewage member was welcome to attend.
Like Codes CEO Lewis, sewage enforcement officers Tracey, Wood and Laurie reported increased activity, but nothing out of the ordinary. All will be attending a Wastewater Technology Expo in Doylestown, PA next month to stay up-to-date on latest techniques.
In other business, an appeal hearing is scheduled for August 1 at the courthouse in Montrose regarding the Vadovsky situation. A few months ago at a hearing, Vadovsky was found to be in violation of sewage code and paid his fine although not in the time period set forth at the hearing. He is now appealing the decision made the hearing. Pisasik hopes to attend the appeals hearing and asked that other executive committee members try to be there as well.
SEO Tracey noted that the case is very important, because the law says that you cannot repair or alter a system the way Vadovsky had, and hes waiting to see what the Department of Environmental Protection will say about it. Secretary Trynoski reported that COG counsel Legg expected to have all three SEOs at the meeting, as well as issuing a subpoena for a now-retired DEP representative who was involved in the situation, along with his successor.
With the hearing pending, Pisasik reported some good news. SEOs Tracey and Wood noted that COG attorneys fees are 85 percent reimbursable when they are part of a hearing in which a violation is found and damages/fines assessed against the violator.
Council of Governments
Because members still had a host of questions about County EMAs readdressing plan at last months meeting, COG president Elliott Ross invited EMA representative Kevin Pietriyk to this one to help answer them. Unfortunately, the COG member who had the most questions was not at the meeting to ask them. Nevertheless, Pietriyk provided updated information, and hear the concerns of the members present.
In general, the County readdressing plan would require that state route numbers replace street/road names in the townships that adopt the plan. The main objective of the plan is to decrease the response time of first-responders in the case of an emergency by making the location of every home and businesses easily identifiable by those taking the 911 call and those responding to it. This is made difficult when an address is a rural route number, or the name of a road thats common to other municipalities in the county.
Pietriyk reported that, since EMA last addressed COG this past winter on the night of a major snowstorm, it had met with two vendors about the addressing project. He found that the system would be able to accommodate street/road names as "aliases" in the system meaning that the name as well as the route number will come up when its punched into the system. This doesnt mean, however, that its okay to keep using the road names if the home or business sits on a state route. State route numbers will prevail in signage, although Pietriyk emphasized that signs do not have to be replaced immediately. However, as municipalities replace signs due to damage or general deterioration, the new ones must reflect any state route readdressing.
Of course, this means that road names in some townships will have to be changed to state route numbers; other roads that are not state routes cross over into other townships. Pietriyk noted that hes seen abutting townships work together to rename a road they shared, with the decision based on either the fact that more of the road is in one township, or has more historical significance in a township, more people live on it, and so forth. "We give suggestions," said Pietriyk, "and are available to sit down and discuss issues with township representatives. There are still some issues to be worked out, but thus far weve had good luck working with these representatives."
The readdressing will affect mailing addresses as well, and Pietriyk pointed out that everyone in the County will be mailed an information sheet that will contain their old and new address and everything EMA knows about their house. He added that the post office will deliver mail to the old address for one year.
While COG members appreciate the need for a system that is better able to respond to emergencies, some have problems with the fact that boroughs seem to be exempt from renaming their streets and roads, even when a state route runs through them. As one put it, "Im more comfortable if the county allowed townships to retain the names of the roads. We as townships are treated differently. I have an issue with it. I believe the naming of roads is the duty of the municipality and not the county. Were willing to work with other municipalities around us to change things to make for faster emergency response. But the boroughs get to keep their names, and thats bothersome." He added that hed appreciate it if Pietriyk took up his shared concern with EMA.
Pietriyk acknowledged his concern and noted that while the problem with same, or same-sounding, road names was not as acute in townships that were separated by significant miles, EMA also wanted a system where the margin for error in getting a call from a certain location was as minimal as possible, when a name said by a child, elderly person, or person in distress was understandable and as clear and separate from any other name as possible. He gave some examples: Lake Street, Lake Road, Lake Avenue. Johnson Road versus Johnston Road. Lynne Cemetery Road and East Lynne Road. Bob Johnson Road and Mary Johnson Road. "When you call 911," Pietriyk said, "we want the first call to be the right call, for EMA to do it fast the first time and not waste precious time trying to find you." He has a point, but so, some townships feel, do they.
Thus far, Pietriyk said that he believed four municipalities have passed an ordinance adopting the county plan. "Its not an overnight project," he said. "It takes a long time to pass an ordinance." For its part, EMA is working on the road names as fast as they can. "Were looking towards the summer and fall to get out and do mapping." And while he said there is no deadline for municipalities to pass the ordinances to become part of the plan, EMA would like to see the process started, and has a standing offer to attend any township or borough meeting and address any questions.
The next meeting of the Council of Governments is scheduled for June 16, 7 p.m. in COG offices in the New Milford Borough Building on Main Street.
Following last week's business meeting, and a legislative information session a few days later, a Blue Ridge School Board workshop on May 19 didn't hold much promise. In fact, however, the Board learned of some changes in the proposed budget that should keep taxpayers happy for at least another year.
Board President Alan Hall held the budget announcements until after reports by the various committee chairs and administrators. Activities chairman Lonnie Fisher said that there may be three more coaching positions open by Fall, in Junior High soccer, girls' eighth-grade basketball, and perhaps in girls' varsity soccer. High School Principal Michael Thornton, with his fingers and toes crossed, told the board that there is a chance that 100 percent of the senior class of 87 will graduate this year. He also reported a "very successful Spring [athletic] season." John Manchester, Principal in the Middle School, reported a "very positive effect" of a recent policy rule that students are allowed to fail only one core subject in three years. And a new behavioral management program, now undergoing development, will focus on homework, and incentives to improve attitudes toward homework.
It was the budget, however, that consumed most of the discussion. A week ago, the Board passed a "preliminary" budget of over $13 million that called for a two-mill increase in property taxes, and that would also draw down the district's accumulated "fund balance." Mr. Hall set all of that aside this time. "We don't really need to increase taxes this year," said he.
The remarkable turnabout is the result of a recent proposal by the district's bond underwriters, and what appears to be a rosier year-end picture for the current fiscal year. In fact, Mr. Hall introduced the budget discussion by telling his colleagues that he had asked for another $12,000 in spending to be added back into the budget. $6,000 will be available to continue the successful Read-to-Succeed program in the Elementary School. The popular program was started three years ago as a pair of state- subsidized summer reading-enrichment sessions, but state funding has now run out; to continue, the district must fund the program itself. Another $6,000 was restored to Mr. Ketchur's technology budget to provide replacements for 2 aging servers. So where is the money coming from to make all this possible?
Business Manager Loren Small presented the Board with a detailed briefing on sources of funds that will help to ease the squeeze on the budget caused in large part by the failure of the state government to come up with a budget of its own. Mr. Small reported that the cafeteria accounts this year are not requiring transfers from general funds as expected. He said that transportation subsidies from the state are higher than projected. And recent changes in maintenance and custodial staffing and organization seem to be showing early savings. He said those items will boost the size of the year-end fund balance (read, surplus) higher than expected.
But the really important money will come from refinancing a bond issue. For the school renovation some years back, the district issued nearly $20 million in bonds, at varying rates of interest. Paying back those loans constitutes a heavy burden on the budget, only part of which is subsidized by the state. Interest rates are at near historic lows right now, so the district's bond underwriters, now known as RBC Dain Rauscher, of Lancaster, just within the last week, proposed refinancing the remaining portion of a 1999 bond issue, action that should result in substantial savings, enough to fund the slack in the budget that necessitated some difficult cuts and a projected tax increase. The 1999 issue was originally for $9.3 million, of which $7.18 million is still outstanding, at 4.44 percent. The new proposal would refinance $7.55 million at somewhere between 1.1 and 3.4 percent, for a savings (net of closing costs) of up to $324,000 over the life of the bonds (to 2014). The largest part of the savings comes up front. For the 2003-2004 fiscal year, the bond refinancing could save the district as much as $282,000.
According to Mr. Small, the debt refinancing, along with the other savings in the current fiscal year, should remove the necessity to draw down the accumulated fund balance or even to increase taxes. He said he would also ask the Board to create two new fund accounts. One would be a debt-service account, based on some $233,000 provided by the state. The other would be a capital reserve account. At the end of each fiscal year, the Board would decided what portion of any surplus would be set aside into the capital reserve account to fund future capital projects.
All of this good news on the budget allows the district to breathe a little easier while it awaits a final budget from the state that will determine what money the Governor and the Legislature will make available for public schools in the coming year. Superintendent Robert McNamara said he had met with the state Secretary of Education, who told him that she was concentrating now on focusing the government's attention on funding education. Once that is cleared up, she hopes to form a task force to study the issue of charter schools in the Commonwealth.
And finally, Mr. McNamara reported that the local Rotary club had presented the district with a plaque and its appreciation for the support of Blue Ridge for the Rotary's International Youth Exchange program.
The Blue Ridge School Board will meet next for a business meeting on June 9, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria in the Elementary School.
CORRECTION TO EARLIER LISTING:
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Mindy Orourke, Montrose, in a Pontiac, was struck by Heidi Sisson, Friendsville, in a Dodge truck, at a traffic light on State Route 267 at State Route 4016, Choconut Township on May 9 at 5:17 p.m. Minor injury was noted, but not who sustained it.
Between February 25 and May 5, someone removed an old Towne Canoe from a dock at a cabin belonging to Chris Tracy, New Milford. The cabin is at Tingley Lake, Harford Township. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at Gibson.
Someone entered the concession stand on the ballpark, State Route 29, South Montrose, by prying away the siding. The building was ransacked with the contents of the rooms being thrown to the floor. Also, holes were smashed into other parts of the concession stand which belongs to the Bridgewater Township Athletic Association. The incident occurred between May 16-18. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at Gibson.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Geoffrey Groover, South Montrose, lost control of his 1999 Dodge on May 17 at 2:00 a.m. and struck a utility pole on State Route 29, Bridgewater Township. According to the police report, Groover was cited for various traffic violations.
Between May 14 at 4:00 p.m. and May 16 at 7:00 p.m., someone entered a summer residence on Dream Lake, Gibson Township, belonging to John S. Costa of Scranton. Taken were a Sanyo TV, a Sharp VCR, 4 fishing poles (two being Ugly Sticks and two being Garcia, along with reels attached), a bottle of Johnny Walker scotch and a tackle box containing various amounts of lures, etc. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at Gibson at 570-465-3154.
THEFT BY UNLAWFUL TAKING
Someone stole a stereo system, valued at $400, from a 1991 Ford Tempo belonging to Frederick M. Edwards, 24, Binghamton, while the vehicle was parked on State Route 11, Marv's Towing, Great Bend Township. The incident occurred between March 14 and May 14.
MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISION
Eleanor V. Eigenbrods, 72, Nexford, received minor injuries while she was traveling east on State Route 2046, Gibson Township, and fell asleep while driving. Her vehicle left the roadway and collided with a tree on May 15 at 3:20 p.m.
Someone removed a tedder belonging to Roger Sherman, Srpingville, that was parked in an open hayfield on Lynn Cemetery Rd., Springville Township, either by hooking it to a tow vehicle or loading it on a truck. The incident occurred between April and May.
On May 15 at 1:10 a.m., Diego R. Inacio, 23, Waterberry, CT, lost control of the 1998 Volvo tractor/trailer he was driving, resulting in the vehicle overturning. The vehicle damaged approximately 300 ft. of guide rail on Interstate 81, New Milford Township, closing both northbound lanes for about an hour. The vehicle was carrying municipal waste, which was dumped along the highway when the vehicle overturned.
THEFT OF MISLAID PROPERTY
Mary Jo Rusinko, Great Bend, left her purse in a grocery cart while at Rob's Market, Great Bend Township on May 14 between 3:00 and 3:15 p.m. When she returned to retrieve the purse, it was gone.
A 16 year old male, Pittston, received moderate injury on May 3 while traveling south on Fuller Rd. when his 1985 Honda ATV struck a 1989 Subaru which was unoccupied and legally parked. The juvenile was life flighted to Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre.
Someone shot a hole in a 2000 F450 pick-up truck when it was parked at the H & H Pallet Co., South Gibson between April 21-22. It belonged to Frank Holtsmaster, 56, Thomson.
Matthew Garrett Wheeler, 42, Liberty Township, and Susan Elaine Scott, 45, Liberty Township.
Kevin Reuss, 30, Harford Township, and Diane M. Van Ahnen, 31, Archbald Borough.
Robert S. Pierce, 25, New Milford Township, and Maura D. Hannigan, 23, New Milford Township.
Christopher T. Lepkoski, 34, Harford Township, and Christina Marie Tur, 31, Harford Township.
Colleen Raub to Ralph T. Fruehan and Sarah Fruehan in Silver Lake Township for $2,000.
Mildred Graham, James J. Swedrek, and Jack F. Dymond to William Burke and Clara Burke in Auburn Township for $12,000.
Alfred Maass and Eleanor Maass to Alfred Maass and Eleanor Maass in New Milford Township for one dollar and love an affection.
Nelson Corey, Jr. to Marie Alexander in Herrick Township for $1.
Joseph Lawrence Tudisco, II to Linda Tudisco in Ararat Township for $1.
Janet Eucker and William Eucker, Jr. to Charles M. Walton and Jean H. Walton in Gibson and Jackson Townships for $184,000.
Ann C. Corrie and Robert D. Corrie to Ann Cameron Corrie, Trustee of the Living Trust Agreement of Ann Cameron Corrie in Dimock Township for $1.
Harold E. Lynch and Janet V. Lynch to Steven M. Lynch and Patricia A. Lynch in Great Bend Township for $1.
Steven M. Lynch and Patricia A. Lynch to Steven M. Lynch and Patricia A. Lynch in Great Bend Township for $1.
Shirley Hawk Derrick, Executrix of the Estate of Doris J. Galloway to Judy M. Galloway in New Milford Township for $1.
Shirley Hawk Derrick, Executrix of the Estate of Doris J. Galloway to Janet Vangorden and Shirley Derrick and James Galloway and Judy Daiely in Great Bend Borough for $1.
Janet Vangorden and Alvin Vangorden and Shirley Derrick and Andrew Derrick and James Galloway and Wilmay Galloway and Judy Galloway to Roxane Smith and Walter J. Davis in Great Bend Borough for $55,000.
Josephine Swawola to David Swawola in New Milford Borough for $1.
George W. Berg to Nancy A. Hazlett in Franklin Township for $99,000.
Nancy A. Hazlett to Nancy A. Hazlett and Jennifer Steele in Franklin Township for $1 ogvc.
Harry Torney to Gerald Ellis in Jessup Township for bluestone mining operation.
Jeffrey M. Hart aka Jeffery M. Hart to Ruth A. Cohen in Apolacon Township for $120,000.
Stanley Bobowski and Patricia Bobowski to Carl C. Hensel in Silver Lake Township for $14,000.
James P. Kuruts and Kimberly A. Kuruts to Frank Shema and Sandra M. Shema in Forest City Borough for $95,000.
J. Elise Talboys and Thomas R. Talboys and Marilyn J. Talboys to James A. Hinds and Lisa J. Hinds in Bridgewater Township for $160,000.
Charles E. Cooper and Wilma M. Cooper to Corinne E. Brooker in Harmony Township for $81,500.
Corinne E. Brooker to John Hendricks, Jr. and Hulda Hendricks, and Christopher Marcum in Harford Township for $90,000.
Lawrence C. Sariti and Margaret A. Sariti to Leroy Dingee and Beverly Dingee in Clifford Township for $1.
Warren G. Handy and Linda Centofante to Linda Centofante and Graham E. MacDonald in Dimock Township for $1 (transfer tax paid on one half fair market value of $64,824).
John A. Kunsman, Jr. and Imogene Kunsman to Ronald J. Beckler & Darlene J. Beckler in Silver Lake Township for $40,000.
Bertha LeBorgne, Mary Ann Morisi and Hector J. Morisi to Mary Anne Morisi and Hector J. Morisi in Forest Lake Township for $1.
Bertha LeBorgne, Barbara J. Struyk and Donald M. Struyk to Barbara J. Struyk and Donald M. Struyk in Forest Lake Township for $1.
Thomas McGrath and Cynthia McGrath, Jeffrey W. Tellez and Susan Tellez and Ronald J. Renninger and Carol Renninger to Gary P. Franchak, Robert Hemak, Albin Hemak, Robert F. Tokarczyk and Paul Hemak in Harmony Township for $8,700.
Katherine M. Lista to Frank A. Lista in Gibson Township for $1. ogvc.
Christopher T. Tracy and Cathleen A. Tracy and Skip M. Tracy to Skip M. Tracy in Forest Lake Township for $1.
Linda L. Matias to Gary R. Colwell, Jr. in Great Bend Township for $64,000.
Mary E. Boris to William N. MacDonald in Jackson Township for $19,000.
Joseph L. Deorio and Virginia M. Wojciechowicz to First Energy in Ararat Township for easement.
Alfred Fidler, Jr. to Rebecca E. Smith in Dimock Township for $1.
Edmund S. Beautz and Carol Beautz aka Carol S. Beautz to Robert J. Scherer and Elizabeth B. Scherer in Ararat Township for $28,350.
B. Twp. Questions Boundary
The Great Bend Township meeting came to order on May 19 with Chairman Squier, Vice-Chairman Banko, Supervisor Haskins, and Secretary/Treasurer Sheldon in attendance.
The first item of business for the evening was the approval of the agenda, which came with several additions.
Approval of the minutes for the meeting on May 5 was the next item that occurred.
Justin Taylor of the Susquehanna County Community and Economic Development Agency addressed the supervisors on a key issue regarding the removal of all property taxes from a 17 acre stretch of land surrounding the Hallstead Foundry. Even though Great Bend Township contains most of the land that comprises the Foundry, the business office resides in Hallstead Borough, so all taxes on the Foundry are paid to the Borough. The supervisors discussed their interest in removing the property tax from this stretch of land if it would provide for positive economical development in their township. They were interested in the exact boundary lines of the 17 acre stretch, due to Mr. Taylors inability to provide any survey maps at the current time. Further communications between Mr. Taylors office and the township will continue before any deals are made regarding development or tax breaks. While Mr. Taylor talked about the need for further economic development in Susquehanna County, and the need for tax free property that businesses could build on, Chairman Squier questioned whether or not the township could receive grants to repair Old Lackawanna Trail, so future business development could occur alongside this road, which offers easy access to rail, water, and (someday) sewer.
During the time period in which citizens can state their cases before the board, a Great Bend Township resident requested permission to park a recreation vehicle on his property, and connect it temporarily to their sewer system. Permission was granted for this action, as long as the sewer connection remains temporary and the wheels are not removed.
Under the road masters report, the spelling of TWP # 824, Tarzen Road was discussed. According to several maps, road signs, and other documents the road has been called Tanzan Road, Tarzan Road, and Tarzen Road. Further research will be done regarding the proper title for this route. Discussions regarding the reopening of a township road that was neglected, not legally abandoned, drew several comments from the audience. The township has determined to extend the current road to service the remaining property on the Pennsylvania side of the boarder. Due to the fact that construction projects are currently under way, the township is limited to six weeks to complete this project. A decision needs to be made whether or not to hire the work out.
Positive letters were received from the State regarding the Bridging Communities Project, after several representatives viewed the plans that Hallstead Borough, Great Bend Township, and Great Bend Borough had in mind.
Building permits for Donna Fekette, Tara and Douglas Parker II, and Richard Chamberlin are all ongoing. Thomas Donlick received a permit to construct a storage building on his property.
Great Bend Township temporarily hired KBA Engineering to perform the duties of Sewage Enforcement Officer and Alternate Sewage Enforcement Officer. The issue regarding DEP, forcing the township to find a SEO (Sewage Enforcement Officer) was discussed. The representative from KBA was on hand to answer any questions regarding fee schedules, conflicts of interests, information that needs to be passed on to DEP, etc. Another item that was discussed in-depth with KBA Engineering was the DEP National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to discharge storm water from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). Due to the fact that Great Bend Township neither owns nor maintains the aforesaid system, a waiver was requested. DEP refused their request for a waiver, so a letter will be sent to them informing them of the reason why the waiver was requested. If this does not work, further action will be taken. Further communication with KBA centered on the blueprints for the new township building, which supervisors hope will be completed by voting time in November.
With further discussion revolving around old business, most of which was discussed earlier in the meeting, the agenda came to an end, the meeting closed, and the public in attendance were dismissed.
Milford Supers Field Concerns
Supervisors for New Milford Township, Franklyn Gulick, Roger King and Jim Hunter had quite a crowd at their regular monthly meeting on May 14. There were at least 35 people present and the meeting had to be taken to the large meeting room in the township hall. It took a few minutes to get everyone settled. Carol Ames read the treasurers report which included $59,344.76 in the general checking account.
An insurance presentation was provided by Annie Jenkins of DGK Insurance. She noted that there would be some changes in the township policy which will include, at no additional cost, Terrorism Coverage. There was no change in the Liability portion of the policy. However, the equipment list was reviewed. A bond of $150,000. was renewed for Carol Ames, the township secretary/treasurer.
A representative for nine families in the township who had concerns about a noise problem was present again with a number of his neighbors in evidence. The supervisors have spoken with the owner of noisy stone grinding machinery. That individual has indicated he will put up a building to muffle the noise, but the people present would not be mollified, and will be taking the issue up with what they termed to be "a higher source." The supervisors could not address the issue, as there is no noise ordinance in the township. However, they might be looking at something like that in the future.
Pat Baker was present that evening. She is applying for a menagerie license. The Department of Agriculture is requesting a washing station for any who handle the animals. She has permits for each of the wild animals who are on her property. It is expected that the matter will have a reasonable conclusion in the near future when all requirements are suitably handled.
The road that accesses a local quarry brought more people out again to this meeting. It was noted that the owner of the quarry will help with the repairs and upkeep of the road. Calcium and gravel will be applied to its surface. In the future, the quarry trucks will use another access road.
Numerous people at the meeting discussed dissatisfaction with the road situations in their areas of the township. In once instance people talked about a tanker that goes up and down their road to a local landfill. A number of people expressed further concerns about local quarry issues and the roads accessing them. As has become common lately in this township and others, road issues are primary on the mind of local residents. Bids will be advertised for aggregate road mix materials.
In other matters, Bob Lee is purchasing four acres and there appears to be some confusion about the forms he needs to complete to be in compliance with this purchase. Planning Modules on the Appleton, Posaski, Canute and Lawrence subdivisions were covered in discussions.
Preliminary plans on the So. New Milford Baptist Church were accepted. Further correspondence on that plan is expected. The Solicitor reviewed the new National Guard plans and a matter regarding Lake Chrissan.
The supervisors reported that there is some money available for various projects in the township. That matter is being investigated.
The New Milford Township Supervisors public meeting takes place at the township building on Route #11 at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month. The public is invited.
To Condemn Foundry Property
Hallstead Boro Council met on May 19 for their regular monthly meeting; present were council members Michele Giangrieco, James Gillespie, John Giangrieco, Joseph Franks, Mayor Canfield, Maintenance Supervisor John Gordon and Secretary Cindy Gillespie.
Justin Taylor, director of the county Department of Economic Development, was listed on the agenda as a scheduled guest. It was expected that Mr. Taylor intended to address council regarding the old foundry property, to discuss the possibility of its being enrolled in the KOEZ program. As Mr. Taylor had not arrived at this point in the agenda, the meeting proceeded.
Mr. Franks relayed that he had received a complaint, about a noxious, sewage-like odor. He was unable to find the odor, and checked with other residents to see if there were other complaints; none could be found. If further complaints are made, he will investigate further.
Mr. Gordon reported that he had received complaints about the area near New York Avenue and Park Avenue. There had been some near-misses with oncoming traffic. He suggested that a "right turn yield" sign would solve the problem. As some of this area is a state road, and some is a boro road, there was some discussion as to what could be done. It was agreed to contact PENNDOT for more information or suggestions.
Council discussed whether or not to do any road paving this year. It was agreed that there is a section of Pine St., on either side of the viaduct, that should be repaved. Since it is a small area, perhaps 70 or 80 feet, phone bids will be obtained; action will be taken at the next meeting.
The next topic of discussion was the foundry property; specifically, the buildings that have not yet been demolished. After some discussion, it was agreed to contact the boros solicitor to discuss further action as there is concern that the buildings are a safety hazard. A letter will be sent to the owners, giving a time frame in which the demolition must be completed. If it has not been done at the end of this period, action will be taken to condemn the property. The boro will then demolish the buildings and place a lien on the property for the amount of the demolition.
The nets at the tennis court have been put up. There was some discussion as to whether or not the park should be locked at night. Mr. Gordon said that he has been opening it in the morning, if it is locked, on his way to work. He agreed to continue; Mayor Canfield will see that it is locked at night.
Mr. Gordon reported that a piece of playground equipment, a spring-mounted horse, is missing.
Discussion continued from last months meeting; a resident had complained that a portion of boro property was being used as a thoroughfare. The solicitor will be contacted regarding the procedure to lease the property in question, for a nominal fee, to an adjacent business.
Correspondence received included a notice that the PA American Water Company has requested a rate increase, and a letter from a resident commending Mr. Gordon for his conscientious work.
Mr. Taylor had not yet arrived by the end of the meeting; council discussed whether or not to remain in session. As there was no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned.
The next meeting will be on Monday, June 16, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
for May, 2003
Sentencings handed down in the Susquehanna County Court of Common Pleas (and as supplied by the DA's office) on May 22 included:
William R. Roeland, 35, Nicholson, was given 3-12 months at the local jail, with credit for time served, followed by 5 years probation, costs of prosecution, $300 fine, evaluation for drug and alcohol abuse, restitution to victim, must be in approved residence by 10 p.m., and transfer of supervision to Wyoming County. He was charged with Criminal Trespass on June 9, 2001 in Bridgewaer Township where he stole food and money from the victim's home.
Mark Anthony Rohan, 20, Montrose, was sentenced for Criminal Conspiracy/Robbery on Dec. 8, 2002 in Forest Lake. He must serve 11 to 23.5 months in Susquehanna County Jail. Credit was given for time served. He must pay cost of prosecution, $500 fine, pay restitution, have no contact with co-defendant or anyone else under supervision, have a DNA testing sample cost, 10 p.m. curfew, become employed. Also for a charge of Theft by Unlawful Taking in Rush on Nov. 1, 2002, he received a sentence to run concurrently, 12 months state probation, costs of prosecution, $200 fine, 50 hours of community service, no contact with co-defendant or anyone under supervision.
Jason Adam Cook, 22, New Milford, was sentenced with 48 hours to 11 months in the local jail, costs of prosecution, $200 fine, $10 EMS, $50 CAT surcharge, drug and alcohol evaluation, $100 Substance Abuse Education Fee for a DUI in Bridgewater Township on April 20, 2002. He also got 1 year probation, costs of prosecution, $300 fine, drug and alcohol evaluation, 25 hours of community service. He is not to transport, consume, or possess any alcoholic beverages stemming from the charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in Bridgewater Township on April 20, 2002.
Julie A. Moe, 45, Tunkhannock, received 5 to 23.5 months in Susquehanna Jail, which was suspended, with 23 months probation transferred to Wyoming County. She is to pay costs of prosecution, $500 fine, $16,956.90 restitution, 50 hours community service. She cannot transport, consume, or possess any alcoholic beverages, must continue to attend drug and alcohol treatment, is disqualified from public welfare benefits while under supervision and is not to enter any establishments whose sole purpose is to sell alcohol. She was charged with defrauding public welfare on Nov. 1, 1998.
Shawn W. Conroe, 43, Kingsley, was sentenced to 48 hours to 12 months in jail with credit for time served, payment of costs of prosecution, $300 fine, $10 EMS, $50 CAT surcharge, must attend safe driving school program, be evaluated for drug and alcohol abuse, $100 Substance Abuse Education fee for a DUI in Lenox Township on Sept. 29, 2001. Defendant also received 1-15 months in jail, costs of prosecution, credit for time served, to run concurrently, $500 fine, $10 EMS, $100 CAT surcharge, 25 hours community service, attend safe driving school, be evaluated for drug and alcohol abuse, PA Ignition lock program, $100 Substance Abuse Education fee, not to enter any establishment whose purpose is to sell alcohol, and not to transport, consume or possess alcoholic beverages, for a DUI in Lenox Township on Sept. 15, 2002.
Carron Terrell Young, 25, Scranton received 5-18 months in Susquehanna County Jail, credit for time served, costs of prosecution, $250 fine, 50 hours of community service, restitution to victim, no contact with co-defendant and anyone else under supervision. Supervision is transferred to Lackawanna County, for Theft by Unlawful Taking on Dec. 24, 2002 in Lenox Township where the defendant stole guns from the victim.
Daniel Patrick Ervin, 17, Susquehanna, must pay costs of prosecution, $250 fine, get a diploma, 10 p.m. curfew, random drug and alcohol screenings, continue with drug and alcohol treatment, continue to work, for Possession of a Small Amount of a Controlled Substance in Susquehanna on Jan. 23, 2003.
Albert A. Baker, 32, Susquehanna, was sentenced to 3.5-15 months in the Susquehanna County Jail with credit for time served, costs of prosecution, $350 fine, $500 mandatory fine, $10 EMS, $100 CAT surcharge for Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer in Lanesboro on Dec. 31, 2002. He also received 3 months to 12 month in Susquehanna County Jail, with credit for time served, pay costs of prosecution, $300 fine, drug and alcohol evaluation, 25 hours of community srvice, is not to transport, consume, or possess any alcoholic beverages, and have no contact with anyone under supervision, for False Reports to Law Enforcement Authorities on Dec. 15, 2002 in Jackson.
Joshua T. Brown, 21, Tunkhannock, received 1-23 months in Susquehanna County Jail, with credit for time served, costs of prosecution, $500 fine, drug and alcohol evaluation, restitution to the victim of $5113.06, 50 hours of community service, 6 months extensive supervision with random drug and alcohol screenings, for Receiving Stolen Property on Jan. 19, 2003 in Springville. He also received 48 hours to 12 months in Susquehanna County Jail, to run concurrently, with credit for time served, costs of prosecution, $300 fine, $10 EMS, $50 CAT surcharge, restitution, attend safe driving school, 6 months extensive supervision with random drug alcohol screenings, $100 Substance Abuse Education fee for DUI in Springville on Jan. 11, 2003.
Brain Schmidt, 39, Binghamton, got 6-12 months in Susquehanna County Jail, with credit for time served, costs of prosecution, $500 fine, continue with drug and alcohol counseling, pay $100 Substance Abuse Education fee for Acquisition or Obtaining Possession of a Controlled Substance in Susquehanna on Jan. 11, 2002.
Patrick E. Morris, 25, Binghamton, got 1-5 months in Susquehanna Jail to be served on weekends, pay costs of prosecution, $300 fine, $10 EMS, $50 CAT surcharge, drug and alcohol evaluation, restitution, attend safe driving school, abide by rules of Pennsylvania Ignition lock system, pay $100 Substance Abuse Education fee for DUI in Bridgewater on Aug. 4, 2002.
Rebecca Ann Eldred, 19, Johnson City, received 4-18 months in Susquehanna Jail, suspended, 18 months probation, costs of prosecution, $300 fine, 50 hours community service, no contact with co-defendants, become employed in 60 days for theft by unlawful taking in Oakland on Oct. 19, ,2002, when she entered the Oakland Inn and stole alcohol and money.
Jesse James Barnum, 19, South Montrose, got 12 months to 5 years in Susquehanna Jail, suspended, 7 years state probation, pay costs of prosecution, $500 fine, 100 hours community service, restitution to victim, no contact with anyone under supervision, pay $250 DNA testing for a Burglary of the Little Meadows Store in Little Meadows on Nov. 9, 2002.
Michael Robert Seana, 19, Forest City, received 1-15 months in Susquehanna County Jail, costs of prosecution, $250 fine, restitution to victim, 50 hours community service, no contact with victim, co-defendants, or anyone under supervision for Theft by Deception in Forest City on Nov. 20, 2002. Seana signed and cashed a check he knew was stolen.
Christopher Ronald Sweeton, 18, Greenfield, got 1-12 months in Susquehanna Jail, suspended 1 year state probation, costs of prosecution, $300 fine, 50 hours community service, restitution to victim, no contact with co-defendants or anyone under supervision, 9:30 p.m. curfew, obtain GED, for Theft by Unlawful Taking in Forest City on Feb. 14, 2003. He stole a 1987 Suzuki Quad Racer.
Kitty L. Watson, 35, Binghamton, was sentenced to 1-12 months in Susquehanna County Jail, with credit for time served, costs of prosecution, $250 fine, restitution to victim for Bad Check in Susquehanna on Jan. 26, 2002. Defendant also received 1-23 months in the Jail, to run concurrently, restitution, $150 fine, costs of prosecution, for Theft by Deception in Susquehanna on Jan. 26, 2002.
Kevin Joseph Murray, 36, Springville, received 3 months probation, costs of prosecution, drug and alcohol evaluation, $150 fine, no contact with the victims, no firearms while under supervision for disorderly conduct. He also received 3 months probation to run consecutively, costs of prosecution, $100 fine, drug and alcohol evaluation, 25 hours of community service, no contact with victims, for Disorderly Conduct. Finally the defendant received 3 months probation to run consecutively, costs of prosecution, $100 fine, drug and alcohol evaluation, no contact with victims, no firearms, for Harassment/Stalking. All of the above were a result of an incident in South Montrose on May 6, 2002.
Richard C. Tingley, 37, Meshoppen, got 48 hours to 11 months in Susquehanna Jail, with credit for time served, $300 fine, $10 EMS, $50 CAT surcharge, drug and alcohol evaluation, 25 hours community service, restitution, attend safe driving school, $100 Controlled Substance Abuse Education fee for a DUI in Bridgewater on March 10, 2002.
View Board Sets Budget
The Mountain View Board of Education met on Monday, May 12, with all 9 members in attendance. The Board quickly moved to unanimously approve Peoples National Bank, NBT Bankcorp (Penn Star) and Plgit as alternate depositories for short term investment purposes for the 2003-2004 school year.
Carolyn Price (Business Manager) continued by explaining the 03-04 proposed District budget is still in the process of being fine-tuned. She was careful to point out that the budget as proposed would need to change rather drastically should Governor Rendells "Plan for Pennsylvania" pass as proposed. The Mountain View School District could see a rather dramatic increase if it did pass and she would be watching it very carefully. The budget as proposed, did not and could not, yet take this into account.
The budget as proposed and described is at 12.3 million dollars with a total salary cost of 6.5 million and benefits cost of 2.0 million. These figures reflect both an increase in costs for health insurance and retirement benefits. Mrs. Price went on to state that she, and Mr. Chambers (Superintendent), would most likely recommend a 1 mil tax increase (271/2 to 281/2) and approximately $370,000 in fund balance transfer to cover the increased costs. Official public notice of the budget will be made in the press the week of May 26th and will be available for public inspection on June 3rd and adopted on June 23rd and filed with the PDE by 7/8/03.
The Board went on to approve the Districts Special Education Plan for 2003-2006 and Mr. Chambers congratulated Mary Hvezda (Director of Special Education Services) on the balance of the rights of all students and the "responsible inclusion" demonstrated within the plan.
Edward Sullivan was added to the maintenance substitution list, Karen Voigt was approved as Mentor Teacher for JoAnne Cuiccio, the resignation of Mary A. Ketterer was regretfully accepted and Ron Gardoski, Will Norton and Roger Zapolski were approved as volunteer coaches.
Arthur Chambers started his report by congratulating members of the Environthon Team facilitated by Roger Thomas, HS teacher. They had recently been entered in a non-competitive Environmental Forum in Scranton that Mr. Chambers had witnessed. The team had also performed well enough in the regional Environthon Competition to be asked to the State competition. Mr. Thomas and his team presented a shortened version of their project to meeting attendees. Mr. Chambers finished up by congratulating everyone on the elementary play and discussed the idea of using the HS auditorium next year.
The meeting concluded with parent Joan Lewis voicing a concern over traffic in the lower end of the elementary parking lot. Board President James Zick, concurred this had been an issue for a number of years and a reminder will go out to parents about proper protocol for dropping off students.
The MVSD Board meetings are held the second and fourth Mondays of the month at 8:00 p.m. in the Elementary Board Room; they are open to the public.
Race A Total Upset
Susquehanna County's two incumbent Commissioners, Lee Smith (R) and Cal Dean (D), will end the year in office as a lame duck administration along with Gary Marcho, who decided not to run again for commissioner. An upset vote took Smith and Dean out of November's race.
Jeffrey Irving Loomis, a former commissioner who lost his bid for re-election four years ago, received the most Republican votes with 2044, with a close second by Roberta Kelly, Mayor of Susquehanna Borough, who had 1942 votes. Smith came in third (which isn't good enough to get on the November ballot) with 1313, followed by Tom Jurista (1033), Fred Baker, II (865), James Jennings (839), and William H. Wolfe, Jr. (836).
The Democrats chose Katherine M. Shelly (Vice President of the Farm Bureau and Ararat Planning Commission) with 1049 votes, and MaryAnn Warren (Council person for New Milford Borough) with 1006. Both of these will run in the November elections. Also running for that position were Leon Allen, who received 843 votes and Dean, with 826.
The other major contest at the county level saw incumbent County Treasurer Catherine R. Benedict win by a large margin with 3109 votes over challenger, Ellen M. O'Malley with 1956.
The following seeking county offices ran unopposed: Jason Legg (R) for District Attorney; Anthony J. Conarton (R) for Coroner; Mary F. Evans (R) for Register & Recorder. Three County Auditor positions saw incumbents Clara Jane Brown (D), George P. Starzec (R) and Holly H. Tyler (R) without challengers.
Voter turnout was 35 percent of registered Republicans and 31 percent of Democrats. As usual the last precinct to bring its ballot box to the Court House for counting was Bridgewater Township.
In municipal races, Auburn Township electors chose Berton Hollister, Jr., for the November Republican Supervisor's candidate with 122 votes to challenger Kern Dibble's 99.
Clifford Township also had a Republican Supervisors race with incumbent Randolph E. LaCroix (170) winning against Thomas R. Williams (91).
Dimock voters chose Esther Rayias with 116 votes over 47 for Melinda S. DeLouisa for Tax Collector.
Forest City Borough had to choose between four Democrats running for three slots on the Council. Ruth Ann Fitzsimmons had 144 votes, Bernard F. Scalzo came in with 142, Paul J. Amadio had 121 and all three will be on the November ballot. Bernadette M. Twilley will be left out of the November election with only 92 votes.
Hop Bottom Borough elected Tim Hortman (54), Donna Johnson (45), and Mike Ainey (37) for the three open Council spots on the Republican ticket, while Janice K. Webster was dropped from the list with only 21 votes.
Lathrop Township selected Russell E. Malina, Jr. with 84 votes over Elwood Phelps with 50 votes as their Republican Supervisor's candidate for the fall.
Oakland Borough had to choose four of five Republican candidates to be on the November Republican ballot to serve on the Council. John Agler with 61 votes will be joined by Douglas Arthur and Dale Rhone, both with 59 votes, and Randy Glover with 55. Cynthia Beavan will not make it for the fall vote as she had only 37 votes.
In Rush Township, Republican Kendall Mitchell beat Michael Redding with a vote of 67 to 45 for that party's candidate for Supervisor.
In school board contests, Susquehanna Community School District will see Terry Carpenter in Region 1 on both the Democratic and Republican ballots in November. James Bucci with the second highest votes on both tickets had only a one vote lead each on both party totals over Penelope K. Sherman (so since the results aren't official, it could change). Two slots were open.
In Region 2 Evelyn A. Cottrell and Jack Downton will be on the Republican ticket in November, while Cottrell and Barbara Fenescey will be on the Democratic ticket.
At Mountain View School District, Susan Christiansen won heavily over Thomas E. Salansky for the Republican nomination. Salansky received 34 votes on the Democratic ticket, but had 39 write-ins, so the outcome is unknown.
Borough Council Minutes
Starrucca Borough Council met on May 5 at the Starrucca Community Hall. The following members were present: Pete Downton, Andrew Bennett, Ruth Lunt, Helen Haynes, Lou Gurske and Mayor Wendell Swartz. Paul Downton and Paul Everett were absent. Council President Pete Downton presided.
Motion to accept the previous minutes carried.
Motion to approve the treasurers report and pay the bills carried. A motion to ask Mr. Carson Helfrich to submit an itemized bill carried. A motion to close two borough accounts in an effort to streamline the accounting books carried.
Correspondence was read. A letter from PENNDOT indicates a pipe on SR 4039 will be replaced.
Persons to be Heard: Roger Glover requested use of the Community Hall by the Starrucca Civic Association for a bluegrass event. Motion to allow carried.
Old Business: The council will look into the possibility of getting a grant to extend the curbing from the new bridge through the center of town.
New Business: The Bag Ladies asked permission to store the Christmas luminaries in the Town Hall. Motion to accept carried.
Ruth Lunt asked permission for the Starrucca History Group to use the Community Hall to present historical programs. Motion to allow carried.
Comprehensive Plan: Ruth Lunt presented an overview of goals and objectives for the comprehensive plan.
Community Hall: Mayor Wendell Swartz will contact the Sheriffs Department to see about the possibility of getting the Community Hall repainted.
Ballfield: A motion to reject all bids for summer mowing carried.
Roads: The council will look into finding calcium to use on borough roads.
There being no further business, meeting adjourned at 8:39.
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