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Ducks Have Lame Meet
Now that we have a lame duck administration for Susquehanna County Commissioners, public meetings may be coming to a short, sweet and lack-of-issues occurrence. Or at least it appeared that way at the most recent, June 11 meeting.
Re-appointments were made to the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council for another year beginning July 1. They included Clara May Benning, Kingsley; Florence Downer, Montrose; Josephine O'Peka, Forest City; Donald Rittner, New Milford; Rita Tiffany, Kingsley; William Wagner, New Milford; and Harold Wegman, Montrose.
In a related matter, a resolution was approved to a joinder agreement between the counties of Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Tioga for the Aging Agency's program, also beginning July 1.
Another resolution provided a letter of agreement between Alliance Management Group, Inc. and the county to provide the Health Information Privacy & Portability Act (HIPPA) for $2,500. According to Chief Clerk Suzanne Brainard, this company has done similar work for 11 counties, and can offer this service to bring the county into compliance with the new privacy act for a much more reasonable fee than others. It will be done once, unless additional legislation changes the rules, which would then need to be re-evaluated.
The commissioners re-appointed Michele Suchnik and appointed Alice Deutch to the Endless Mountains Visitor's Bureau for two years. Al Aronowitz, in the audience, noted that appointments can only be made to people who are members of the Bureau.
An tax exoneration was given for delinquent taxes on a property in Susquehanna Borough where the assessment office had erroneously combined two parcels.
During public comment time, James Jennings asked what had been determined regarding the bid specifications that requires bidding companies for bottled water to belong to a specific bottled water association. Although the lowest bidder was a member of the association, a local bidder was not. It had been asked at the bid approval what the association meant in terms of water quality, or didn't it have any relevance. Brainard apologized, saying she hadn't looked into the matter, but would, stressing that the winning bidder was the lowest bidder.
President Alan Hall introduced item 15 "with great pleasure" at the Blue Ridge School Board meeting on June 9. Buried among 33 other items on the agenda, the district's budget for the next fiscal year beginning July 1 was a relief for Board members in that it balances without an increase in local property taxes. The Board's formal approval allows the district to spend a total of $12,899,897 next year, at the current tax millage rate of 43.
They were able to achieve this surprising result even though the state budget so far is unknown, by refinancing some outstanding bonds. The financing package itself was removed from the agenda because the underwriter had not yet finished the paperwork. The Board's next gathering, on June 23, will be a combined workshop and business meeting, at least in part to consider the final form of the refinancing of some $9 million in bonds.
The rest of the meeting was a mixture of routine actions, highlighted by the hiring of two teachers in the Elementary School, Tracy Whitehead and Dominica Felici, both of whom were present to accept the Board's welcome. They both will also teach in the summer Read-to-Succeed program, which begins in barely a week. Elementary Principal Robert Dietz added a fifth teacher to the program to accommodate additional students recruited for this last session financed under a state grant. The Board has already approved funds to continue the program from local resources next year.
Other items of interest from the meeting:
* The Child Evangelism Fellowship was permitted to solicit students for religious instruction in the coming year. According to the Fellowship's request to the Board, the program served an average of 25 children each week over the past school year.
* The Board's Treasurer, Harold Empett, will be paid $1,200 for his services next year.
* Dr. Alan Hinkley is retained as the school dentist, continuing the current rate of $7.50 per exam.
* The Foster Grandparent Program will receive a $100 donation for each Foster Grandparent placed at Blue Ridge next year. Last year one Foster Grandparent participated. According to Mr. Dietz, she worked the whole year, and "she does a fabulous job."
* The Board hired John Loomis to conduct driver education this summer. According to High School Principal Michael Thornton, 37 students have signed up for the training, which consists of 30 classroom hours, and six behind the wheel. The District will try to fill an open position in physical education with a faculty member certified in driver education so that the training might be offered during the regular school year.
* Suzanne Seamans is retained as the coordinator of the gifted program for the next school year.
* A list of instructional substitutes was approved. Among the names was the recently retired and very popular former president of the local teacher's union, Harvey Zelkowitz.
* At the request of Business Manager Loren Small, the Board set up two new reserve funds. A "debt-service" fund is established with over $233,000 received from the state over a year ago to help pay interest on construction bonds. And a "capital reserve" fund is created to help manage resources for future capital projects. According to Mr. Hall, the first transfers to capital reserves will be made from the year-end "fund balance" (surplus) once the auditor has approved the books.
* The Board approved an expensive list of major capital projects for this summer, including blacktop repairs, replacing and repairing water heaters, drilling a new water well, and replacing the cafeteria dishwasher. The dishwasher alone could cost over $50,000. Mr. Small was given authority to award contracts based on bids to be received by the end of June. Board member Lon Fisher expressed some concern that the Board would not have a direct say in selecting winning bidders for such costly projects. Mr. Small hopes to have all of the work done before the start of classes in the Fall, including also the installation of a new sewer line in anticipation of the municipal sewer system connection.
* The Board approved Mr. Dietz's request for a new series of science textbooks for grades K-5. According to the Elementary School Principal, the books will cost approximately $39,000.
* The Board retroactively expelled three students for about ten days each, and ordered that they be on school probation for a year and perform two hours of community service.
* A compensation plan was adopted for the Business Manager for 2003-2006. No details were offered for this salary package. Each of the administrators thanked and commended their staff for a successful end to what Superintendent Robert McNamara called an "exceptional school year."
The Blue Ridge School Board will meet once more in June, on the 23rd. In July, they will meet only once, on the 21st. All meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria in the Elementary School.
MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH
On June 3, Ronald L. Newhart, RR 5, Montrose, was driving a 1996 Chevy on State Route 267, one mile south of State Route 706, Rush Township, when he lost control of his vehicle for unknown reasons, causing it to collide into the guide rail. The vehicle then rolled over. Newhart received minor injuries.
Sheryl Huss, 44, Penn Field, NY, received minor injuries when she stopped in the south bound lane of Interstate 81, New Milford Township, and was rear-ended by a 2001 International rollback driven by William A. Daehling, 33, Philadelphia. Daehling received minor injuries also. Huss's passenger Jeffrey, Howell, 32, Rochester, NY, had unknown injuries in this June 10 incident at 2:00 p.m.
Daniel E. Bentz, 22, Great Bend, was stopped in a 2003 Pontiac Sunfire on May 10 on State Route 848, New Milford Township, after being observed driving in the oncoming lanes of travel. Bentz became combative after being arrested and received additional charges for resisting arrest, terroristic threats, persisted disorderly conduct, along with several traffic violations. According to the report, charges will be filed at District Court in New Milford. Passenger Charles T. Perry, 22, Susquehanna, was transported to Barnes Kasson due to several abrasions he received when he jumped out of the moving vehicle prior to being stopped.
An attendant from Montrose Pump & Pantry reported that an individual drove off from the pumps without paying for fuel. An investigation revealed that David Strohl, 17, Montrose, was responsible and he was charged on June 9, according to the police report, with retail theft. The incident occurred on May 20 at 1:50 p.m.
On June 9 at 10:00 a.m., Alexander N. Sukhonos, 28, Toronto, ONT, was traveling south on Interstate 81, Lenox Township, in a Mack truck hauling a lube oil additive. Sukhonos took his eyes off the road to read a map, and his vehicle traveled into the median and came to rest on its roof. Sukhonos sustained minor injuries.
Matthew Shadduck, 25, Rushville, pulled out of a private driveway onto State Route 858, near Middletown Township, and was too close to a vehicle driven by Mark Goodman, 46, Apalachin, NY, and a crash occurred. The incident occurred on May 20 at 6:25 a.m.
On June 6 at 11:28 p.m. a confrontation took place between Eugene R. Zawisky, 47, Union Dale, and Morris L. Babcock, 40, Simpson, at Zawisky's residence, at the Stillwater Village Trailer Park, Union Dale. As a result of the confrontation, Zawisky fired several gunshots from a .22 caliber gun striking the victim, killing him. Zawisky, 47, Union Dale, was arrested for one count of Criminal Homicide and arraigned before District Justice Gene Franklin.
Mark Overmiller, RR5, Montrose, was traveling north on State Route 29, Franklin Township, on June 8 at 8:00 p.m. Overmiller lost control of his vehicle resulting in its traveling off the roadway, and then it struck a telephone pole. No injuries were reported.
Kevin Winkler, 21, Scranton, was traveling north on Interstate 81, Lenox Township. Another vehicle, possibly a Dodge or Chrysler, brown mini-van with tinted windows, was also traveling north. Apparently the driver of the second vehicle, an unknown 6-foot male, in his 20's to 30's, with a thin build and dark brown or black hair parted in the middle, became upset with Winkler's driving. When Winkler reached his exit, the other man followed. When they reached State Route 374, the unknown man cut Winkler off, then pointed a weapon at him. Winkler stopped and a slight physical altercation occurred, then Winkler drove from the scene. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident may contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.
Loretta Sanders, Hallstead, received minor injuries when she lost control of her vehicle on State Route 2046, Gibson Township, and the 1995 Plymouth Neon traveled off the road and down an embankment. The incident occurred on June 8 at 7:00 p.m.
PROPULSION OF MISSILE
Mary Donovan, Harford, was driving her car southbound, on State Route 11, Harford Township, and her car was struck by an egg thrown from a northbound pick up truck with lights on the cab. The incident occurred on June 8 at 10:00 p.m.
Someone pumped 18.21 gallons of gasoline into his silver Jeep Cherokee and failed to pay the required $28.75 at the Pump & Pantry, New Milford Borough, on June 9 at 1:03 p.m.
Joann Ashley Zamorski, Montrose, lost control of her 1999 Plymouth resulting in the vehicle traveling off of State Route 167, then struck a tree. Zamorski sustained minor injuries in this June 6 incident.
Someone entered the garage of Donald Button, New Milford, and removed a Aiwa mini stereo system between June 1-8.
Between June 7 at 11:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. the next morning, someone entered a garage on Smith Street, New Milford, belonging to Walter Grundman and removed the following: 1 black canvass satchel bag, 3 sets of Craftsman metric sockets, 7 Gear Wrench open end wrenches, 8 Craftsman open end metric wrenches, 5 long nose pliers, 1.5 inch 75th anniversary Craftsman electric drill, 3 Craftsman Robo Grip locking pliers, 1 Coleman power inverter, and 1 Coleman Battery pack. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.
On June 8 between 1:00 and 7:00 a.m., someone went to Washington Ave., Great Bend Borough, to the property of Timothy Raub, and broke the rear window of his 1991 Ford Tempo. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.
Between June 5 and 6, someone punctured the tires of several vehicles on Main St., Hallstead Borough, overnight. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.
Between May 31 and June 1, someone slashed the truck tires of Maddox Dombrowski on State Route 247, Clifford Township. Contact the PA State Police at Gibson with any information.
Between June 3-4, someone approached a 1976 Chevy pick-up truck belonging to Maddox Dombrowski, at the intersection of State Routes 247 and 2014, Clifford Township, then opened the hood and cut the ignition wiring harness. Call 570-465-3154 with information.
A 1997 Volkswagon, driven by Jared C. Tennant, 19, Little Meadows, was traveling south on State Route 4013, Apolacon Township, and lost control of the vehicle, causing it to skid off the road, striking a tree. Tennant was treated at Lordes Hospital, Johnson City, NY, for minor injuries.
Phillip Corba, Johnson City, NY, reported a theft of a gasoline push mower from Randolph Rd., Great Bend Township, on May 14 at 4:00 p.m.
William Donald Eggleton, 43, Herrick Township, and Danita Marie Davis, 42, Forest City.
Randy Allen St. Clair, 40, Clifford Township, and Sherri Lee Rose, 33, Clifford Township.
Christopher Brian Robinson, 23, Brooklyn Township, and Jennifer Lynne Lasher, 24, Brooklyn Township.
Thomas Bale Beane, Jr., 42, Gansevoort, NY, and Geraldine Mae Cooper, 48, Gansevoort, NY.
John Eric Hendrickson, Executor of the Estate of Joan Hendrickson and John Eric Hendrickson, individually, and Timothy Hendrickson to John Eric Hendrickson and Timothy Hendrickson in Thompson and Ararat Townships for $1.
John Eric Hendrickson to Timothy Hendrickson in Thompson Township for $1.
John Eric Hendrickson, Executor of the Estate of Joan Hendrickson, and John Eric Hendrickson and Timothy Hendrickson to John Eric Hendrickson and Timothy Hendrickson in Clifford Township and Greenfield Township (in Lackawanna County) for no consideration.
Timothy Hendrickson to John Eric Hendrickson in Clifford Township and Greenfield Township (in Lackawanna County) for $1.
Elbert Guy Vanhorn to Cindy Brotzman in Thompson Township for $5,475.
Catherine Capwell, Administratrix of the Estate of H. D. Stephens, aka Hamlin D. Stephens and Catherine Capwell to Catherine Capwell in Harford Township for $1.
Floyd W. Roe and Esther M. Roe to Stephen C. Roe and Victoria L. Roe in Liberty Township for $1.
Florence Wester-Simons to Gary Leon VanVleck in Brooklyn Township for $62,500.
Tax Claim Bureau to Anthony Manuel Alejandro in Brooklyn Township for $30.
Jose A. Ocampo and Graciela M. Ocampo to Kurt Paschke and Colleen Paschke in Ararat Township for $33,000.
Arthur R. Kennedy & Bozena T. Kennedy to Julie A. Hill and James B. Costello in Dimock Township for $270,000.
Carolyn Rooney to Bradley W. Soden and Joanna L. Soden in Thompson Borough for $1.
Richard Kurey and Suzanne Bernard to James Christian and Laurey Christian in New Milford Township for $115,000.
Lloyd M. Pease and Denise Pease to Donald E. Pease and Geraldine M. Pease in Jackson Township for $1 ogvc.
Donald E. Pease and Geraldine M. Pease to Mark C. Pease and Susan L. Pease in Jackson Township for $1.
Kurt Schultz and Sandy Hum-Schultz aka Sandra Hum-Schultz to Jerry Falk and Bonnie Falk in Herrick Township for $38,250.
Delsie Springer to Delsie Springer, Betty Jean Ferguson, Robert J. Springer, William George Springer, Barbara Ann Herchel and James R. Springer, Jr. in Springville Township for $1.
Albert W. Little and Elizabeth M. Little to James B. Kerr and Susan M. Kerr in Clifford Township for $129,000.
Pennstar Bank to Michael Robinson in Clifford Township for $1 (transfer tax paid on fair market value of $68,109).
Vt Realty, Inc. to Grecco's Supply Company, Inc. in Clifford Township for $155,000.
Kurt Schultz and Sandy Hum-Schultz aka Sandra Hum-Schultz to Robert Burke and Patricia Burke in Herrick Township for $38,250.
Marianne Geyer to Donna Carson, Thomas J. Keene and Earl J. Schirra III, and William Eden and Karen and Thomas Inscoe and Mary Inscoe and Thomas J. Meagher and Susan F. Meagher in Clifford Township for easement agreement.
Kathleen Z. Shows and R. Alan Shows, Richard A. Zick and Patty Zick, Jennie E. Neira and O. Robert Neira, William E. Zick and Brenda J. Zick, Maryanne G. Teed and Raymond L. Teed to Zick Falls, LLC in Brooklyn Township for $1.
Carl F. Pease and Ethel D. Pease, to Michael S. Henry, Sr. in Franklin Township for quarry lease agreement.
Carl F. Pease and Ethel D. Pease to Michael S. Henry, Sr. in Franklin Township for surface mining activities.
Gerald Brunori and Nesta Brunori, Leo Brunori and Ann Ellen Brunori and Richard Brunori and Ann C. Brunori in Herrick Township for $1.
Gerald J. Brunori and Nesta Brunori, Richard M. Brunori and Ann C. Brunori, Leo J. Brunori and Ann Ellen Brunori to Richard M. Brunori and Ann C. Brunori in Herrick Township for $1.
Ronald Palmer to William R. Brown and Nance J. Brown in Forest Lake Township for $60,000.
Edward W. Ochse and Judith A. Ochse to David J. Dowdell and Edythe A. Dowdell in Forest Lake Township for $100,000.
Ruth Y. Casterline & John H. Casterline & Michelle L. Casterline to Ruth Y. Casterline in Little Meadows Borough for $1.
Joseph W. Talcott to Nancy J. Talcott in Little Meadows for $1.
Conrad J. Gemmer to William Conrad in Gibson Township for quarry lease.
Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to LaSalle Bank in Herrick Township for $1,355.97.
John D. Jordan and Patricia A. Jordan and Carolyn S. Jordan to John D. Jordan, Jr., Dorothy Anne Jordan and Catherine Mary Jordan in Liberty Township for quit claim deed.
Arthur W. DuBois, Jr, and Alice S. DuBois to Deborah L. K. Guy in Great Bend Township for $25,000.
Arthur W. DuBois, Jr. and Alice S. DuBois to Elise D. Seymour Trust c/o James D. Seymour in Great Bend Township for $12,500.
Nicholas A. Schiavarelli and Angela R. Schiavarelli to Peter M. Crist in Springville Township for $46,000.
Paul D. Carpenter and Donna M. Carpenter to Dean R. Holbrook in Jackson Township for $2,200.
Paul D. Carpenter and Donna M. Carpenter to Dean R. Holbrook in Jackson Township for extinguishment of easement.
Clifford D. Fasset, Jr. and Carlene Fasset to Clifford D. Fasset, Jr. and Carlene Fasset in Rush Township for $1.
Herbert Kilmer and Elsie Kilmer to Herbert Kilmer, Thomas Kilmer and Jeffrey Kilmer in New Milford Township for $1 ogvc.
Herbert Kilmer and Elsie Kilmer to Herbert Kilmer, Thomas Kilmer and Jeffrey Kilmer in Harford Township for $1 ogvc.
Jennifer McPherson and Erin McPherson to Erin McPherson in Silver Lake Township for $1.
Carol Smith to William Brewer in Franklin Township for bluestone mining operation.
Thomas J. O'Reilly to First Energy in New Milford Township for easement.
Donald J. and Mary Ellen Griffin Trust to Dominion Exploration & Production Inc. in Apolacon Township for lease.
John Michael Griffin, Executor of the Estate of Joseph R. Griffin to Dominion Exploration & Production Inc. in Apolacon Township for lease.
Gerald J. Griffin and Kirsten A. Griffin to Dominion Exploration & Production Inc. in Apolacon Township for lease.
Richard S. Jellick and Nancy A. Jellick to Dominion Exploration & Production Inc. in Friendsville Borough for lease.
Kenneth Trimble, Paul Sheehan, Glenn Abrams, and David T. Videon, Administrator of the Estate of Helen Y. Mason, to Amy J. Gawron in Clifford Township for $12,900.
Federal National Mortgage Association aka Fannie Mae, to Rachel L. Wood in Montrose Borough for $14,500.
Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Citifinancial Mortgage Co., Inc. in Clifford Township for $3,278.82.
Sewage Needs Revising
Clifford Townships updated Act 537 Official Wastewater Facilities Plan needs a number of revisions before the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection approves it.
In fact, because of the extent of the revisions needed, James A. Ridgik, a DEP sanitary engineer, suggested that the township may want to formally request withdrawal of the plan in favor of a new one. The update was completed by David Klepadlo and Associates at a cost of $18,000. DEP approval is required for the township to qualify for a state grant covering one half of the cost.
Ridgik said if the township does not wish to withdraw the plan, it should respond to the departments comments within 45 days. The deadline for the response has been set for July 18.
A copy of Ridgiks June 2 letter to the township surfaced at last weeks meeting of the Board of Township Supervisors. Arlene Zablotsky told the board she was faxed a copy of the report from an anonymous source.
"The Independent (another county newspaper) said it (approval of the plan) was a done deal," Mrs. Zablotsky said, "but according to this we have 45 days to make revisions in the plan." She accused the supervisors of trying to hide the report.
"You dont want the public to know about this," she said, waving a copy of the report. "I wouldnt want to be in your shoes."
However, while Ridgik was professional in pointing out a number of areas where revisions are in order, he was extremely polite in his eight-page letter to the township. In many instances he prefaced his request for revisions and/or additional information by asking the township to "please explain" things in more detail. At no time did he threaten the township or, David D. Klepadlo and Associates, the engineering firm that completed the Act 537 update.
Ridgik asked the township for more details on the plans conclusion that a centralized sewer system is needed for the Crystal Lake/Dundaff areas.
"What is the dividing line between the Crystal Lake area and the Dundaff area?" he asked. "Because of different site conditions, please justify Crystal Lakes need separately from Dundaffs need, when applicable."
Ridgik also asked the township to explain why a centralized sewer system is proposed for the Crystal Lake and Dundaff areas but none of the other study areas.
"The plan should contain a more detailed evaluation of sewage management specific to Clifford Township," he wrote. "Would a sewage management program be a viable alternative in some of the study areas? Is establishment of a sewage management program necessary or desirable for those areas of the township that will continue utilizing on-lot sewage systems?"
One of the more significant items noticeable in Ridgiks letter is the need for more information in the townships legal advertising regarding the proposed sewering of the Crystal Lake/Dundaff areas.
"The project summary," said Ridgik, "and the user fees ($5,200 hookup fee to the Greenfield Township Sewer Authority, $1,000 hookup to Clifford Township, and an estimated user fee of $41 per month) needed to be included in the public notice. In another section of the lengthy letter, Ridgik said the hookup cost to provide centralized sewer service to the Crystal Lake/Dundaff area is quite high.
Additional pages in the letter suggest a number of revisions and/or additions to the plan. Other than acknowledging that he had received a copy of the letter, John Regan, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, would not discuss the matter, obviously preferring to first discuss it with David Klepadlo.
In other business, the supervisors hired Rene Reynolds as township secretary/treasurer and agreed to pay her a starting wage of $9 an hour for the part-time position.
"She has excellent computer skills," Regan said. Reynolds has been a township resident for more than 30 years. She will replace Supervisor Randy LaCroix who had been handling both positions for a number of years.
The supervisors gave the township firemen approval to hold their annual carnival and picnic next month. The events will begin on July 22 with a car show and continue through July 26 at the firemens grounds on Route 106. The annual parade will be held on Wednesday, July 23.
Joins COG Codes
The Harford Township Supervisors, or two of them anyway, covered a lot of ground in an orderly and efficient manner at their meeting on June 11. No one issue dominated the evening, which started with an executive session that resulted in a raise for the Township's newest employee, George Sansky.
Last month the Supervisors debated a proposal to reroute a portion of the sewer main line. The proposal was drawn up by the Township's sewer consultant in response to a requirement from PENNDOT that would prepare the way for PENNDOT to replace the bridge in Harford Village. Since the proposal included an estimated $28,000 engineering cost, Supervisor Jim Ketterer at the time objected that the proposal should not be accepted without more consideration. Presiding Supervisor Rick Pisasik acceded and tabled the matter for a month, noting, however, that the proposal was just that: it was not a contract, and did not obligate the Township in any way. A month has passed with no word from Mr. Ketterer, so the other two Supervisors agreed to go ahead and allow the proposal to be sent to PENNDOT. Mr. Pisasik said that a timely response to PENNDOTs demand for a proposal was necessary to ensure that the Township could get the maximum reimbursement for the project.
Some time ago, a Township road crew apparently displaced a corner pin for a property and the property owner requested that the Township help to have the survey pin replaced. The Township hired a surveyor with the understanding that all that was needed was a single corner pin. The property owner, however, apparently decided to have a full survey done at the same time. A bill for $1,700 was presented to the owner, who then forwarded it to the Township. The Supervisors are reluctant to pay for the cost of a full survey that they did not require. A letter will be sent to the property owner to try to reconcile the matter.
The Odd Fellows Hall (AKA the Town Hall) in the village has been closed for some months now, ever since the Township's insurer refused to cover the building until some repairs were done. The Township asked the insurer to send an inspector to detail what would need to be fixed to ensure coverage. After repeated inquiries from an interested citizen, the Township finally contacted the insurance company for the status of the request for an inspection. According to Mr. Pisasik, the Township was told that the insurer couldn't do that sort of thing, not being engineers. They won't insure the building, but they won't tell you why. Mr. Pisasik directed the Township Secretary to get clarification from the insurer, and try to arrange a meeting or inspection of some kind.
The annual "cleanup" program is proceeding, with as many as 97 pickups scheduled, a new record. The Township has had to hire extra labor to help out. And Supervisor Terry Van Gorden himself has been working with the crew. For that he wants to be paid, so the Supervisors - including Mr. Van Gorden himself - appointed him to the job. They left his wage rate to be determined by the Township's auditing committee.
The Township will purchase a water cooler. It seems the well water at the Township building is heavily flavored with sulfur, and may be biologically contaminated as well. So a water cooler, with regular deliveries, will be purchased from Endless Mountains Water for about $200. The water is priced at $4.25 for a 5-gallon jug. The Supervisors discussed adding a hot-water feature, but decided against that in favor of a future purchase of a microwave oven.
Eventually the state will begin to require that all construction throughout the Commonwealth conform to nationally-accepted building codes. Until now, rural areas like Harford didn't have the infrastructure (trained staff) to demand construction to the strict BOCA codes. They still don't have the infrastructure, but once the requirement goes into effect, perhaps by next year sometime, local municipalities will have to either employ their own inspectors, or require that builders contract with a certified outside inspector. According to Mr. Pisasik, who also chairs the Council of Governments (COG) Sewage Committee, COG will be starting a program to support code inspection. Mr. Pisasik recommended, and Mr. Van Gorden agreed, that Harford join the COG Codes Committee in order to take advantage of the program, rather than having to ask builders and property owners to rely on outside services.
Lastly, Mr. Pisasik asked for a change in the Supervisors' meeting schedule to accommodate a conflict with his school schedule. The Supervisors will henceforth meet on the second Tuesday of each month (instead of the second Wednesday), as well as the fourth Tuesday. The first meeting in July will therefore be on the 8th. All meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. and are held in the Township office on Route 547.
Escalates In Oakland
Oakland Boro council met on June 12; all members were present with the exception of Jack Agler.
The first item discussed, approval of the minutes of last months meeting, brought about some discussion. Councilman Dubanowitz had some questions about the format. Secretary Cindy Cordner had not attended the last meeting, and had prepared the minutes from notes taken by councilman Crawford. After it was clarified which items should be under "old business" and which should be under "new business," Mr. Dubanowitz commented that, according to state boro codes, the mayor should be furnished with monthly financial reports as well as council members, and that a municipalitys secretary should attend every meeting. President Ron Beavan pointed out that council had been aware, ahead of time, that Mrs. Cordner would not be at last months meeting.
Approval of the treasurers report brought about further discussion; Mr. Dubanowitz asked why a monthly report had not been available at a prior meeting. Mr. Beavan and Mrs. Cordner explained that during this period, the boro had switched all of their accounts from one bank to another, and that all of the boros bookkeeping records had had to be changed; council had been aware of the lack of report in the month in question, and it had been subsequently provided.
The monthly police report included a number of instances of vandalism; equipment at the park had been destroyed, garbage had been dumped into the bleachers; a number of vehicles had been broken into and items stolen. Other incidents included police attendance at a hearing, where three individuals had been found guilty; taking photos of codes violations; a report of a naked male on the Oakland side of the Veterans Memorial Bridge; a family altercation; a dog running into a vehicle, causing damage to the vehicle; a drunken individual on the highway; a car theft (the vehicle was later recovered in Endicott, NY); kids throwing rocks; kids fighting; ATVs on Westfall Ave.; and one mutual aid call to Susquehanna Boro. And, the police department has painted speed lines on boro streets to aid in catching speeders.
Mr. Beavan reported that an appraisal of the boros water company shows its value to be $859,750. The appraisal was conducted by the PA Rural Water Association and USDA. This information was needed to decide whether or not to continue discussion on refinancing an outstanding loan that the boro had taken out to finance improvements to the system. In a related matter, Mr. Beavan reported that the water companys annual audit report was not available as of the date of the meeting.
Council has been discussing the possibility of having a cell phone tower erected on boro property. A proposed contract has been sent to the boros solicitor for review before any further action is taken. Council member Cynthia Beavan pointed out that, even if council does decide to sign the contract after approval from the solicitor, this does not guarantee that a tower will be placed in the boro.
At a previous meeting, Mr. Dubanowitz had strongly suggested that a proper American flag be purchased for the council room, price approximately $94.00, which is for a gold-fringed flag with an eagle on top, and a stand. There was some discussion as to whether that much money should be spent on a flag, and where in the budget the funds should come from. It was agreed to get prices from other sources, and discuss it further at the next meeting. In a related matter, Mr. Beavan noted that Mr. Agler and his family had donated a flag and a flagpole for the area outside of the boro building, and had installed it as well as a timer for an existing light.
Resident George Smith, who has agreed to be the boros emergency management coordinator, brought documentation for the boros files. He is in the process of obtaining unlisted phone numbers for residents so that there is an accurate calling list in case of emergencies. Twenty residents have volunteered to be "callers," with specific lists assigned of residents to be called in case of an emergency, so that all residents can be aware of any occurrence and what should be done. Mr. Smith is looking into government programs where supplies, such as chain saws and generators, can be obtained for use in an emergency. Because the boro has complied with regulations and implemented a plan, it qualifies for a grant of $500, to be used for emergency preparedness.
A claim had been submitted to the boros previous insurance carrier, after a malfunction of the pumps at the water company. Mr. Beavan reported that council has been notified that the insurance company is still compiling information, and has not yet made a determination regarding the claim.
There was some discussion regarding disposal of unwanted items at both the boro building and the garage. If there were a considerable amount of metal items, it could be hauled away at no cost, with a possible reimbursement to the boro if more than 10,000 pounds of metal were to be removed. As there is no doubt that there is not this much metal to be removed, it was agreed to get prices from several haulers for a dumpster.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has contacted the boro to let them know that the churchs youth will again be available for community service on June 28.
Mr. Beavan has met with CEO Shane Lewis, to discuss a "priority list" of codes violations. It was noted that one ongoing violation involves a resident who moved to another nearby location; it was stressed that the person(s) involved are still responsible for the situation that exists at their former residence.
The state Auditor Generals office will be conducting an audit of the years 2001 and 2002 in the near future. In a related matter, Mrs. Cordner has been sifting through boro records that were packed in bags and delivered to the boro office by a former secretary, in preparation for the audit. Mr. Dubanowitz took this opportunity to question Mrs. Cordner about her comp. hours, specifically how many she averages during one week. Mrs. Cordner responded that she averages two or three each week, although she had accumulated as many as ten hours in a recent week. Mr. Beavan added that, in recent months, among other projects Mrs. Cordner has spent considerable time on preparing records for the water company audit, information for refinancing the water company loan, switching accounts and various insurance matters.
It was agreed to form a committee, consisting of Mr. Crawford, Mr. Dubanowitz and Doug Arthur, to assess the boros streets, to see which are in immediate need of paving work.
Mr. Beavan reported that five water line leaks have been found; two on Westfall, one on State, one on Prospect, and one on High Street. And, the boros tractor needed repairs.
Continuing a discussion from prior meetings, Mr. Arthur relayed that the local Little League organization would be willing to conduct fund-raisers to help finance the purchase of a trailer and a tract of land adjacent to the boros park that is for sale. Although the Little League is prohibited from purchasing the property, they would be willing to assist in raising funds for its purchase by the boro. Mr. Crawford suggested that a committee be formed, consisting of representatives from council, the Little League and the boro Parks and Rec. Committee to discuss options. Mr. Arthur agreed to get more information from the owner of the property as to the price, and whether he would be willing to wait until financial arrangements could be made.
Mr. Crawford reported that the parks merry-go-round is once again in the boros keeping; high school shop students had volunteered to make needed repairs, but had been unable to get to it. Mr. Crawford said that he would repair it as his schedule allows.
Recent incidents of vandalism were again discussed; Mrs. Beavan was recruited to draft a notice, to be published locally, asking residents for any information they may have about these incidents, including license numbers if they witness any destructive acts, and to remind boro residents that repairs resulting from destruction of boro property will be paid out of tax dollars. There was some discussion of other solutions, such as increasing police patrols or forming a crime watch organization.
Mr. VanFleet reported that a number of boro residences do not have a house number displayed, which could cause a problem if emergency workers are unable to locate the address. Some options were discussed as to how to address this problem, such as placing ads in local papers, or sending postcards to the residences in question.
Mayor Towner reported that the tenant who rents space in the boro building basement is reportedly moving out. It was agreed that Mr. Towner should contact the tenant to discuss terms to convince him to remain. A motion carried to authorize Mr. Towner to offer a reduction in rent.
Council will compile cost information to submit a claim for damage caused to the building from vandalism; the lock had been broken on the back door with repair costs $109 to the door itself, plus the cost of a locksmith and time spent by boro employees. Possibly, after the deductible amount, a small reimbursement may be obtained.
Mrs. Cordner stated that, as there had been questions regarding the number of hours she works during the week, there were several projects that she could use some assistance in completing, such as paperwork for the Agility program, documentation for the states One Call program (mandated; regarding excavation); and preparation and distribution of annual water company reports. The ensuing discussion between Mr. Dubanowitz and Mrs. Cordner was becoming rather heated; at one point he stated that he wanted to review the boro office phone bills dating back to January. As this was clearly a topic that should be addressed during an executive session, this reporter and at least one member of the audience left the meeting, which adjourned shortly afterwards.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, July 10, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
Milford Roads And Quarries
Supervisors Roger King and Franklin Gulick held down the fort for the New Milford Township meeting on Wednesday, June 11. Jim Hunter was unable to attend because of a death in his family.
It appeared that in anticipation of a larger than normal crowd, the supervisors held their meeting in the community room of the township building. Carol Smith, secretary/treasurer reported that there is $70,000. in the business growth account, $73,000. in the State checking account and $40,000. in the general account.
As there were a number of people from the public present, Gulick opened the meeting to the public in the beginning of the meeting. Doug Lattner of the Gibson McDonald's Restaurant was accompanied by the owner of the Flying J business which is at the same crossroad off Route #81. The reason for his appearance that evening was to report about the bad condition of the road in front of their businesses. Lattner related he has personally patched some of the places on Oliver Road for easier access for customers.
The supervisors explained to the men that like the other roads in the township, the last winter really gave that road a beating. The supervisors assured Lattner they would be addressing the road there as the road crew is moving down their repair list.
John Clirehugh asked to see the work log. The supervisors advised Smith to give him the book for review. In other matters, George Houghton noted that the plans are gearing up quickly now for the long awaited sewer lines and the supervisors awarded the stone bid to Montrose Materials.
Patti Baker's facilities met the Department of Agriculture's guidelines for her projected petting zoo and her plans received approval.
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Hausser and one of their neighbors spent a good deal of time talking with the supervisors about the 100 acre tract across the way from the Hausser's home. It appears a business speculator bought that property, did some clear cutting and now was engaging in some quarry work that was extremely disruptive to the neighborhood. The supervisors were up to see the properties in question and were able to get the individual to move commercial truck trailers from the end of that property which is directly across from the Haussers. A conversation by the Haussers and the supervisors revealed that an old ordinance, number 1185, would probably not hold up in today's courts.
This was a difficult situation for both the supervisors and the homeowners. The State Police indicated that the speed limit on that road was still 55 mph and both the Hausser's and their neighbor were upset by that judgment. During the discussion, Gulick noted, "I understand what you are saying. Legally, there is nothing we can do." In order to seek some sort of understanding as to how to best address this situation, there will be a meeting with the township's solicitor, Michael Giangrieco, which will be attended by the supervisors and the Haussers. The supervisors will get back to Mr. and Mrs. Hausser with a date.
As Gulick noted there were no pros and cons on the sewage treatment that will be on the new National Guard Readiness Center property, a motion was made to accept the plan without the township assuming responsibility, if the property is no longer occupied for U. S. Army purposes. A bond for this situation was discussed by King. King pointed out there needed to be consistency in looking at occasions such as this across the board in the township.
On Act 537 regarding Bridgewater Township, and Hart, Chrissann and Raylene Lakes, the supervisors will not accept any responsibility for the sewer system and will get involved only by default to make sure that a delinquent bill is brought up to date.
A complaint about Waste Management was unfounded, according to the supervisors. A sewage complaint at East Lake was checked out and several violations were found. Mike Fortner spoke with the DEP about the condition and the solicitor was notified.
An appeal on an assessment for Sandra Conklin was denied. Still under review is the Eleanor Lawrence subdivision. Information on the Beverly Canute subdivision was acknowledged by the Planning Commission. Work under progress at the So. New Milford Baptist Church has been approved.
The supervisors shared that the final payment was made on the 2001 truck owned by the township.
The New Milford Township Supervisors meet on the second Wednesday of each month at the Municipal Building on Route #11 at 7:30 PM. The public is invited.
Board Tables Library Donation
The Forest City Regional Board of Education last week tabled action on a request that the school district consider a contribution to the Susquehanna County Library System.
Director Fred Garm made a pitch for the donation stating that the state budget is not finalized and that the appropriation to the county library will probably be cut. He pointed out that many Forest City students use the Forest City Library which is a branch of the county library system.
"We have no idea what we will get (from the state)," Garm said, "but whatever happens it will impact on the Forest City Library. Some schools have contributed one dollar per student per year and I will ask the board if it is willing to contribute."
"I would definitely consider it," said Director Robert Trusky, "if the money we contribute would go to the Forest City or Pleasant Mount libraries. I do not want to contribute if the money goes to Montrose."
"As far as I know," Garm responded, "the money will go to Forest City."
Trusky said there has been a number of upgrades to other county library branches and noted that "Forest City is always last."
Director Joseph Farrell said he would support the donation providing it is earmarked for Forest City.
Director Henry Nebzydoski said that there is a Democratic governor and a Republican legislature in Harrisburg and, as a result, he doesnt not believe the Forest City Library will get much state money.
"I think," he said, "we will be lucky to get what we got last year."
In another matter, the board accepted a quote from Martin Stone Quarries Inc. to provide infield mix for the softball field at a cost of $5,940.
Director Tom Heller said the district is trying to bring the field up to proper specs. He noted that Forest city is the only softball field that has a sod infield.
The Board approved the following extracurricular positions: Brian Durkin, athletic director; John Majdic, varsity boys basketball; Carl Urbas, varsity girls basketball; Michael Cook, varsity boys baseball; Stephen Durko, varsity girls softball; Matt Nebzydoski, JV girls softball; Lorne Elliott, junior high boars basketball; and, Pam Kresock, junior high girls basketball.
Also, Jack Pisarcik, JV boys basketball; Michael Heck, JV girls basketball; Joseph Malicky, JV boys baseball; Melissa Masankay, boys volleyball; Matt Nebzydoski, girls volleyball; Jeremy Snyder, JV boys volleyball; Charlene Collins, JV girls volleyball; Ron Richards, boys varsity soccer; Joseph Malicky, girls varsity soccer; and, Lorne Elliot, JV girls soccer.
Also, Steve Fonash, timekeeper; Mary Alice Remus and Linda Fitzsimmons, ticket collectors; Dave Costanzo, ski club; Matt Nebzydoski, student council; Terri Erdmann and Sandy Morahan, junior prom; Mary Ferraro, choral music director; John Olcese, band director; and Ann Brown and Bob Smith, senior class advisors.
And, Cynthia Washine, National Honor Society; Amy Orasin, cheerleading; Gene Corey, cross country; Jessica Corey, JV cross country; Charlene Collins, band front; Sandy Morahan, SADD advisor Linda Corey and John Klimkiewicz, drama club; Teri Nebzydoski, yearbook; Michael Heck, golf coach; Harold McGovern, 5th & 6th grade basketball; Daniel Nebzydoski and Mary Jane Hoffmann, junior academy of science; and, Ann Brown, math counts.
Noticeable motions approved by the board completed the following business-
-accepted the resignations of Ryan Bonham, technology assistant; Joan Reifler, part-time cafeteria worker; and, Leroy Rotherforth, transportation coordinator.
-approved Forest Citys participation in the NEIU 19 consortium for Safe and Drug Free Schools and
Communities Act for 2003-2004.
-approved the participation of the school district in NEIU 19Title II for the 2003-2004 school year.
-accepted the student accident insurance rates for 2003-2004 school year at $36 for school time coverage, K-12; $125, 24-hour plan; $7.50, dental plan (with school time or 24-hour plan); and, $14, dental plan if purchased separately. The rates are the same as 2002-2003.
-hired the law firm of Sweet, Stevens, Tucker & Katz of Doylestown as district solicitors at an hourly rate of $110. Director Joseph Farrell opposed the motion and stated he believes there are qualified attorneys in this area who could do the job.
and Out at Lathrop
According to township secretary/treasurer, Ann Marie Shevchuk, the recent Lathrop Township Supervisors meeting on June 11 at the Grange Hall in Lathrop was sparsely attended by the public and only two supervisors were able to be present. With Nick Sabauchak in a soft cast for his knee, he was out of the ball game for this meeting. In attendance were Dennis Phelps and Elwood Phelps.
Shevchuk reported that total receipts for the township for the month came to $10,742.35.
There was no SEO report given. However, correspondence of approval from the County Planning Commission went to the Roger Bennett subdivision.
The supervisors reported that they had a Road Renaming Ordinance drawn to cover the mandate from the EMA regarding road naming and it was approved that evening, according to the secretary/treasurer. It is noted that the County is really in the driver seat in the naming of streets and numbering of lots. However, the way this sets up, this allows for naming of roads that may cross township lines, thereby eliminating the problem of a road on one side of the line having one name and on the other side of the line, another.
In another matter concerning the roads, the roadwork is reported to be on-going and is being addressed as well as possible with the rainy Spring we have been having.
The recent clean-up week had nine households taking advantage of having a truckload of things that needed disposal available.
Shevchuk reported that there were only four members of the public present. However, she did comment on Paul Himka speaking briefly on wanting to briefly state and go on the record regarding the recent primary election. Himka felt that some of the latest campaigning was more defaming of the other candidate running. He felt that things needed to be done in a more positive manner.
The Lathrop Township supervisors meeting will take place next on July 8, at 7:00 p.m. It is open to the public.
Parking Committee Makes Recommendations
Susquehanna Boro Council met on June 10 with Roy Williams presiding due to the absence of president Ron Whitehead and vice president Todd Glover. Present were council members John Bronchella, Pat Frederick, William Kuiper; mayor Nancy Hurley; secretary Margaret Biegert; CEO Shane Lewis and a number of residents.
Mayor Hurley reported that she is looking forward to working with council, the community and the police department, and to the many changes underway in the borough. The day following the meeting, she was scheduled to meet with representatives of DCED, the county Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the Susquehanna Depot Area Historical Society and the Susquehanna Development Association, as well as former mayor Roberta Kelly to discuss the Main Street program. A walking tour was planned, concluding with a discussion of what opportunities and options are available to the borough through the program.
Mayor Hurley also reported that she is looking to restructure the police department, including scheduling and procedures; to this end, she has met with the police committee. Members of the committee have met with the State Police, who have a plan in motion to contact local police departments, to work to keep communities safer. And, the county sheriff has been receptive to working with the community; all, she said, very positive news.
The meeting adjourned to an executive session to discuss a personnel matter. When the meeting reconvened, a motion carried to hire John Record and Jerry Gow as police officers, subject to the usual probationary period.
Requesting time on the agenda were members of the West Main St. Committee, Andy Francis and Andy Whitehead. Mr. Francis gave a brief rundown of the committees purpose to keep Mrs. Hurley "up to speed" on the reason for its formation and its subsequent actions. After research and discussion, Mr. Francis said, the committee had concluded that the obvious solution to the parking problem would be to widen the street. But, as there are many concerns that would need to be dealt with, such as location of utilities and the costs involved, this is not an immediate option. To get the boro placed on PENNDOTs twelve-year project list would not be an easy task, and would undoubtedly take considerable time.
One solution that had been suggested had been for West Main St. residents to park downtown during snowy weather, to allow for plowing. This, Mr. Francis said, was not practical as there are many elderly residents who would have difficulty getting to and from their cars. The committees suggestion is that signs be put up, clearly outlining the parking ban; if cars remain and get plowed in, it would be the owners own fault; implementation of the parking laws should be more strictly enforced. During snow emergencies, Third and Fifth Avenues should be designated for parking, as they are not arterial routes. Washington Street Park could also be used for parking; anywhere from 20 to 30 vehicles could be accommodated. Mr. Francis stressed that the park would only be used during winter snow emergencies, and not for permanent parking places.
The committee plans to invite all affected West Main Street residents to their next scheduled meeting to discuss these alternatives, after which a "formal" proposal will be made to council.
During public comment period, a Washington St. resident told of a situation where a car has been continually parked within the right-of-way at an intersection, limiting sight distance and creating a hazard. Even though the area has been posted as a "no parking" zone, the vehicle has not been ticketed. Mayor Hurley promised that the situation would be taken care of.
Under new business, council discussed a request from the Sesquicentennial Committee to use the council room for three nights during the July celebration for (non-smoking) bingo. There were some questions, such as who would furnish tables and chairs, and what would be done with the council table during the bingo. The biggest question was regarding occupancy allowances. It was agreed to send the committee a letter, conditionally granting permission with the provision that these concerns are addressed.
Council reviewed a list of residents requesting exoneration from the boros occupancy tax; Mr. Kuiper stated that he could not vote on this matter, as there was a relative on the list. As there would not be enough votes with only three other council members present, the matter was tabled until the next meeting.
Boro tax assessor, Virgil Testa, submitted a letter of resignation due to health reasons. Mr. Testa recommended that his wife be appointed to assume his duties for the remainder of his term. Mrs. Testa is reportedly seeking placement on the ballot in the November election. A motion carried to accept Mr. Testas resignation, and to appoint Mrs. Testa to the remainder of his term.
CEO Lewis reported that he has received a number of (minor) complaints that have not yet been addressed. As there are three condemnations still in progress and several landlords in violation of the renters permit ordinance, these items will be taking precedence. All complaints, he said, will be investigated as time permits, with the more serious being investigated first.
Mrs. Biegert reported that the parks committee is still in discussion with the insurance company regarding the condition of the equipment in the park on Washington St.
The next meeting will be Tuesday, July 8, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
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