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In the absence of Carolyn W. Price, Business Manager, Eileen Hartman was elected by the Mountain View School Board to act as the Secretary Pro Tem for the board meeting on July 14.
After the reading and approval of the last board meeting and the Treasurer's Report given by Sondra Stine, Marie Diaz asked during the first hearing of visitors how many car/van contracts were approved for the summer program. The response from the board was 16; the names were given later as the agenda moved along.
Under Financial Reports, the disbursements and confirmation/ratification of the June 2003 bills included general fund bill list, capital reserve fund bill list, cafeteria fund bill list and ratification of payment for employee payroll, transportation contracts, fringe benefit payment and fund transfer. Total reported was $2,655,956.61. Total for June general fund bill list, cafeteria fund bill list and capital reserve fund bill list was $193,727.21 and the July general fund bill list and cafeteria fund bill list showed a total of $12,296.53. Project cost payments were approved with the exception of $25,000.00, which was being held back until construction is fully completed.
PDE non-reimbursable submission project application for the elementary office for a window and door and including cost for renovating Room #300, which will hold the emotional support program, comes to $2,800.00 Margaret Foster, Elementary Principal, reported that the window will allow the persons in the office visibility to the front of the school.
Superintendent Art Chambers reported that the policy manual is being revised and will be a major task for the school Board. The school is receiving major help in numerous areas from the PA School Board Association. The policy committee, which includes Bryce Beeman, Ron Phillips and John Halupke, will be closely involved with this portion of the revision.
Ron Phillips reported that negotiations are on-going with support and school staff.
Regarding the building and site report, the high school work is going along very well. Chambers had some questions about the dedication plaque that will be displayed. The Board decided it should be bronze.
Conference attendance was approved for Margaret Foster and Patrick Heaton. Four field trips that will be headed by Charles L. Wilson were given the nod.
Under personnel items, Julie Goff was hired as the elementary emotional support teacher and Diane Slick was brought on board as the home-school counselor teacher. This will be under the program called F.O.C.U.S. This program will allow the district to keep all students under one roof, instead of sending them out for special supports elsewhere. The home-school counselor will make a strong connection between home and school for the students and parents.
Resignation was accepted from Nathaniel Sorochka as a high school custodian effective July 18. Added to the substitute list pending receipt of all documentation is Margaret Parsons of Susquehanna, PA.
The high school learning support teacher, effective September 2, will be Susan Schaefer. Julie Beach has been appointed the foreign language teacher. Charles L. Wilson will be teaching a maximum of 200 hours at a rate to be determined for the 2003 summer music program. Supplemental coaching positions were given to Mike Molenko, Mel Lasher, David Jagger, Jason Richman, Linda Stephens and Robert Clementoni.
A letter of resignation for the end of the 2002-2003 school year was accepted from Janet Adams, high school math position. Letters of resignation with the intent to retire at the end of school year 2003-2004 were received from Nancy J. Burdick, Dennis Holbrook and Stewart Slocum.
The Mountain View School Board meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 8 p.m. in the elementary school board room.
At a special meeting held on July 16, the board of the Susquehanna Community School District appointed Dean of Students Bronson Stone as interim/acting superintendent. All board members were present as well as Superintendent Stracka, the districts solicitor, James Kelly, business manager Ray Testa, and a number of audience members.
But, first there was considerable discussion between the audience, board members and administration.
The resolution for consideration read (in part) as follows:
"Whereas, on notice given William Stracka, Superintendent of the Susquehanna Community School District will retire from that position effective December 21, 2003; the Board of Directors of the Susquehanna Community School District deems it prudent to have in place a transitional plan towards the permanent appointment of a qualified individual as Superintendent of Schools; therefore, be it resolved after due consideration the Board of Directors does hereby nominate and appoint Bronson Stone to serve as Interim/Acting Superintendent at an annual salary of $85,000 effective November 24, 2003 and limited to one year pending further action by this Board, all in accordance with law, 24 PA Code 49.1 et esq, 24 P.S. 310-1079. Mr. Stone reserves the right to return to the position of Dean of Students at the end of his one-year term."
During public comment, Robert McNamara, superintendent of the Blue Ridge School District, asked what circumstances existed to make it impractical or impossible to hire a superintendent at this time; according to the state code, he said, an acting superintendent could be hired if it was impractical or impossible to hire to permanently fill a vacancy.
Superintendent Stracka responded that seven of the boards members had discussed the situation, and had decided to speak with Mr. Stone, after which it had been decided that he was the best candidate at this time. Mr. McNamara had some more questions, to which Mr. Stracka responded that the board could hire anyone it wanted.
Board member Johnine Barnes asked if the board could read that section of the school code. Mr. Kelly stated that hiring of personnel is at the discretion of the board; the law allows for it. Mr. Kelly cited a case where a similar occurrence had been brought to court; the court had concluded that the decision was a discretionary matter for the board. Board member Mary Wescott noted that 18 applications had been received for the position. Mr. Kelly reiterated that hiring of personnel is the boards province.
Board president Jim Bucci stated that what the board is doing is within the code. Mr. Kelly added that the boards actions will not violate the code as it stands.
Board member Jack Downton asked, "How does this come about without board (members) being notified that this is what were going to do?" Mr. Bucci responded that it had been discussed at a work session, with seven of the boards members present. Mr. Stracka added that there had been eight members present at an interview with Mr. Stone at the last board meeting. "I didnt realize it was an official interview," Mr. Downton responded. He asked why the board couldnt have interviewed two or three candidates. "We put money out to advertise... we should have gone through proper procedures." Mr. Bucci replied that the board did not see any other candidate that met the districts needs. Mr. Downton stated that the board should have reviewed a proposal made by Mr. McNamara (to serve as superintendent of both districts). An assistant superintendent could be hired, with Mr. McNamara receiving less than the salary budgeted for superintendent; including the dean of students position, there could be three people in these positions for the same salary allocation.
Mr. Stracka responded that the district will save by hiring Mr. Stone, as the salary budgeted is below the current superintendents salary. He added that the seven board members present at the work session had discussed the applicants, and agreed to proceed by speaking to Mr. Stone. He noted that Mr. Downton had not been present.
The matter came to a vote, with members Barnes, Carpenter, Kosko, McMahon, Stewart, Cottrell and Bucci voting yes. Mr. Downton abstained. Although he is confident that Mr. Stone would do an excellent job, he said, he believed the wrong process had been used. Mrs. Wescott also abstained, saying that it was because no other applicants were interviewed for the position. A motion carried to appoint Mr. Stone.
In other business, the board approved the resignation of Dean Rhone, Starrucca Borough Tax Collector, effective immediately, and approved appointing April Rhone to this position, effective immediately.
The board also approved amending the collection dates for Starrucca Borough as follows: discount, August 1 through September 30; face, October 1 through November 30; penalty, December 1 through December 30. This action was taken due to the tax duplicates having to be reprinted.
Mr. Testa reported that the bills have not gone out yet as they had been printed wrong; they will go out on August 1.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, August 6, 7:30 p.m. in the administration offices in the elementary building.
On July 13 at 7:45 p.m., someone in a Chevy Tracker pumped $10.00 in gas and failed to pay for it at the New Milford Pump and Pantry, New Milford Borough.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Daniel Wenger, Hallstead, was driving on Pine St., Hallstead Borough, under the railroad bridge. He was not paying attention, and struck the concrete bridge pier with his 2000 Chrysler Cirrus on July 14 at 10:15 p.m.
Someone broke into the residence of Ruth J. Knighton, 64, State Route 2023, Clifford Township, between July 12-13 and stole approximately $2400 worth of jewelry. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police.
Two white males on an ATV rammed an aluminum garage door with the ATV doing extensive damage. They then drove from the scene which was at the Lyle Place residence, at the intersection of Township Routes 354 and 327, Auburn Township. The incident occurred on July 13 between 2:00 and 4:30 p.m. Call 570-465-3154 with any information.
THEFT OF A MOTOR VEHICLE
A red mini bike (possibly a Rupp) that was parked under a carport belonging to Richard T. Wagner, Old School House Rd., Clifford Township, was taken between July 6-9. Contact the PA State Police with any information.
Several victims had items stolen from their unlocked vehicles in the Village of Springville on June 22-23. Items included a Kenwood CD player and 4 pairs of safety glasses.
On June 25 at 12:25 a.m., someone in a grey Ford pumped $19.00 in fuel at the Great Bend Pump & Pantry, and took off without paying for it.
After being served with a court order directing Daniel Lindsey, 49, New Milford, not to be at 20 Union St., New Milford Borough, he defied the order on June 22 at 11:00 p.m., and was arrested for trespass and placed in the Susquehanna County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.
The Gibson Barracks is investigating a burglary that occurred about June 7 on State Route 3004, just east of State Route 367, Auburn Township. Taken were a Campbell household gas pressure washer (value $550), a silver metal jewelry box, 2 gold rings with garnet and diamonds, a gold necklace ($200), a gold necklace ($180), a silver avon ring, 8-10 band metals. Anyone with information is asked to contact Trooper Deutsch at 570-465-3154 and refer to RO5-0507148.
Robert Clark, 59, Craigsville Rd., Auburn Township, had the following taken from his yard on June 21 between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.: a Scott riding mower with 42-inch deck, a Billy Goat vacuum mower, a Dewalt drill, a Craftsman 60-piece tool set and a gas can.
Robert Cook, Uniondale, was making a left turn onto State Route 106 from State Route 2065, Lenox Township, while Alan Heron, Kingsley, was traveling west on State Route 106. Cook entered the path of Heron's vehicle, resulting in a collision on July 7 at 4:01 p.m. Both drivers received moderate injuries as did Carol Ann Heron, Kingsley, passenger.
HIT & RUN COLLISION
An unknown driver was traveling north on State Route 167, Bridgewater Township, attempting to negotiate a right hand turn in the road. Sandra Ann Babuka, Brooklyn Township, was traveling south on State Route 167. The unknown driver failed to negotiate the curve and entered Babuka's lane, sideswiping her 2002 Chevy pick up. The unknown driver continued north, failing to stop, and the vehicle should have damage to the driver's side. It was described as a smaller vehicle. Babuka was not injured. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.
A 1989 Suzuki ATV was stolen from a shed at Johnson Hill Rd., Clifford, on May 18.
Tammy Jenkins, 25, Kingsley, had a blue Ford Escort damaged while it was abandoned at Township Route 650 near Claverack yard, Bridgewater Township, between July 10-11. The accused threw an empty beer keg and damaged the windshield. Contact the PA State Police with any information.
MISSING PERSON DISABILITY
On July 10 at 3:30 p.m. Linda Higgins, 34, and her three children, aged 9, 9, and 6, were reported missing by husband/father, James Higgins. The last he saw them was on June 20. Linda Higgins and children were last seen in a 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage, maroon, with PA license plate DFA-2946. Any information on their whereabouts should be reported to the Gibson Barracks at 570-465-3154.
Between 5:30 p.m. on July 9 and 11:00 a.m. the next morning, someone used a large rock to break a storm window and damage a screen at the Stitchery, intersection of State Routes 11 and 492, New Milford Borough. Contact the police at 570-465-3154 with information.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Charles R. Rauch, S. Montrose, lost control of his 1993 Ford Escort on July 8 at 12:18 p.m., when he moved his vehicle into the berm of State Route 167, just north of the Hop Bottom Borough line, Lathrop Township. He struck the guide rail and spun clockwise, coming to a stop in the south lane of State Route 167.
Side view mirrors were removed from a Saturn belonging to Danica Otasevic, Hallstead, at the intersection of Williams and Franklin Street, Hallstead Borough, between July 9-10 while the vehicle was parked in her driveway. Contact the police at 570-465-3154 with information.
Priscilla Malenchak, 69, Thompson, was attempting to turn left from State Route 11 onto State Route 371, Herrick Township, on July 6 at 10:50 a.m. Frank Peck, 23, Jackson, was traveling south on State Route 171 and could not stop to avoid a collision. No one was injured.
A crash occurred on July 6 at 2:22 a.m. when Robert Smith, Jr., 23, Conshohocken, was traveling south on Interstate 81, New Milford Township, as he was attempting to negotiate a right curve and lost control of his 2000 Hyundai Tiburon. He hit an embankment, then a guide rail, causing the car to roll over. Smith was not injured, but one of his passengers, Chase Harpster, 12, Conshohocken, was taken to Barnes-Kasson Hospital with minor injuries.
Bruce M. Schofield, 51, Binghamton, NY, and Charlotte D. Colwell, 35, Binghamton, NY.
Jeffrey H. Plochocki, 28, N. Syracuse, NY, and Maureen R. Manjerovic, 30, Leraysville.
Community Bank & Trust Company to John J. Wallace, Jr. in Lenox Township for $99,500.
Joanne L. Zick and Judy Zick Mitchell, as Co-Trustees of William F. Zick and Elizabeth L. Zick, Irrevocable Trust, and James W. Zick and Carol M. Zick to James W. Zick and Carol M. Zick in Lenox Township for $1.
Montrose Partners of Albany to Family Dollar Stores of Pennsylvania in Bridgewater Township for short form lease.
James G. Lai and Theresa Lai to Walter Drab and Eileen Drab in Middletown Township for $225,000.
Philip Edwards and Susan Edwards to John R. Martin IV and Elizabeth L. Martin in Brooklyn Township for $115,000.
Philip G. Coffey and Mary H. Coffey to Cendant Mobility Financial Corporation in Liberty Township for $92,000.
Marsha Jane Testa to Gregory Stewart and Jennifer Stewart in Hallstead Borough and Great Bend Township for $65,000.
Joseph Sodon and Betsy J. Sodon to Mark Lockett in Silver Lake Township for $50,000.
Franklin C. Tindale to the Tindale Family, LLC in Rush Township for $1.
Marjorie A. Walker to Kevin L. Ahner and Linda S. Ahner in Jackson Township for $130,000.
Nancy J. Talcott nbm Nancy Talcott-Nagy and Ronald C. Nagy to William D. Gow, Jr. in Little Meadows Borough for $74,300.
Borden-Gerber, Inc. to Michael D. Whitbeck and Anne C. Roeder in Herrick Township for $26,000.
Paul Andrews, Douglas Andrews, Lucille Bunnell and Edwin Bunnell, Pauline Foote and Ralph Foote to Robin A. Bunnell in Bridgewater Township for $1.
Lucille Bunnell and Edwin Bunnell to Paul Andrews, Douglas Andrews, Pauline Foote in Bridgewater Township for $1.
Angela M. Albano to Gerard Booths and Charlotte Booths in Lenox Township for $220,000.
Garey N. Stanford aka Garey Norman Stanford and Eleanor A. Stanford aka Eleanor Ann Stanford to William Norton in Gibson Township for $140,000.
Harry C. Sikora and Emily J. Sikora as Trustees of the Harry C. Sikora and Emily J. Sikora Joint Declaration of Trust to Harry C. Sikora and Emily J. Sikora in Silver Lake Township for $10.
Theta Land Corporation to James J. Cleary and Mary Joan Cleary in Ararat Township and Preston Township (Wayne Co.) for $400,000.
Gladys Compton to John M. Snopkowski and Lisa A. Snopkowski in Dimock Township for $104,900.
Gerald A. Buda and Patricia A. Hall to Patricia A. Hall in Thompson Township for $1.
Lawrence Monahan, Jr. and Iona Grace Monahan to Dane E. Howell tdba Laurel Lake Tire & Battery in Silver Lake Township for $30,000.
Donald T. Salvia to Richard Naylor and Linda Naylor in Springville Township for $15,400.
Carlton R. Hawley and Nadene L. Hawley to Gene R. Robinson and Linne M. Robinson in Forest Lake Township for $68,000.
Richard Naylor and Linda Naylor to Donald T. Salvia in Springville Township for $1400.
Tara L. Towner aka Tara L. Burlingame, Executrix for Carol Ann Towner aka Carol Ann Perry aka Carol A. Towner to Glenn Costanzo and Susan Costanzo in Thompson Township for $95,000.
Eleanor T. Surdykowski to Eleanor T. Surdykowski and Joseph Surdykowski in Herrick Township for $1.
Trails Conservation Corporation to Rail Trail Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania in Harmony Township for $179,000.
Washington Mutual Bank, F.A. to Federal National Mortgage Association aka Fannie Mae in Herrick Township for $1.
Federal National Mortgage Association aka Fannie Mae to Bernard A. House Sr. and Iona E. House in Herrick Township for $79,250.
Nancy D. Sackman Lifetime Trust Number One by Nancy D. Sackman, Trustee, George L. Sackman and Nancy D. Sackman to Ivan Fras and Inge M. Fras in Silver Lake Township for $220,000.
Nadine H. Gavazzi to Gregg Gavazzi & Shirley Gavazzi in Auburn Township for $1.
Donald E. Blaisure and Joyce M. Blaisure to Christopher L. Cole in Bridgewater Township for $83,000.
Federal National Mortgage Association aka Fannie Mae to Allen R. Strawn and Violet Strawn in Springville Township for $42,900.
John P. Simon and Mary C. Simon to John Anthony Stugus, Sr. in Clifford Township for $60,000.
John E. Bodnar and Donna Bodnar, Maryann Whelan and Gene Whelan, Thomas Bodnar, Kathleen Pantzar and Edward Pantzar, Margaret E. Borosh and Joseph Borosh, Emma Deprato and Angelo Deprato, and Patricia E. Lucchesi and Joseph Lucchesi to Mary T. Bodnar in Forest City Borough for $1.
Kenneth Shipley and Linda Shipley to Allan Strasser and Kristina Strasser in Ararat Township for $39,000.
Alfred J. Chapman to Alfred J. Chapman and Mark R. Chapman Sr. in Bridgewater Township for $1 ogvc.
David Bruce Goerlitz and Deborah Goerlitz to Scott M. Zimmerman in Montrose Borough for $67,000.
Edward J. Smith and Karen C. O'Grady to Karen A. Brittingham and Kenneth R. Brittingham in Springville Township for $48,580.
Edward J. Smith and Karen O'Grady to Edward J. Smith in Springville Township for $1 ogvc.
Timothy P. O'Brien and Michelle L. O'Brien to Michelle L. O'Brien in Dimock Township for $1.
Lois Grow to John A. Burgess and Joelle M. Burgess in Auburn Township for $18,000.
Matthew P. Davis and Donna Davis to Anthony Neri in Lenox Township for $144,200.
Carlo G. Baccile to William C. Tracy and Rosalyn G. Tracy in Gibson Township for $28,000.
Arthur Max Straway and Sharon Straway and Arthur Max Staway, Jr. and Laura L. Straway to Arthur Max Straway, Jr. and Laura L. Straway in Ararat Township for $1.
Joyce L. Roe and Donald M. Phillips and Mary Jane Phillips and Larry J. Phillips and Roseann Phillips to Carole R. Phillips in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $32,000.
Robert S. Warriner and Katherine B. Warriner to Duncan Cameron and Cecilia Cameron in Dimock Township for$71,750.
Stephen J. Gana, Jr. and Joanne M. Gana to Daniel J. Comfort in Apolacon Township for $165,000.
Russell J. Balmer and Donna L. Balmer to William J. Sparks, III in Ararat Township for $28,000.
Ramon E. Tingley and Linda M. Tingley to R. Scott Tingley in New Milford Borough for $1 ogvc.
Borough Council Minutes
The Lanesboro Borough Council met June 3, with the following council members present: President Roland Salamon, Dan Boughton, Regina Dilello, Bob Page, and Vice President Chris Maby. Absent: Paul Corse. Also present: Mayor Slater, Officers Canini and Gow, Secretary Aileen Shay. Visitors: Ray Barnes, Jerry Benson, Stanley Rockwell, George Cernusca, and Tax Collector Gail Hanrahan.
President Salamon called meeting to order.
Motion to pass May minutes carried.
Visitor George Cernusca came to the meeting to explain that he has not had the surveying done for the property behind the Viaduct Inn that he is purchasing from the borough. He had Myron DeWitt draw up an extension, until August 31 if the survey is done before this date they can close early. Motion to approve the extension passed.
Visitor Gail Hanrahan stated how much past due has been collected from the garbage account. She stated that she would like to have a work session to make sure everyone is being properly billed.
Officer Canini stated that there were 37 vehicle arrests and four non-traffic arrests. He also stated that Lanesboro was lucky for not having anyones tires slashed. Vice President Maby asked if there could be extra police patrol out on graduation night.
Mayor Slater stated that he has talked to several people about the rat problem and everyone referred him to someone else, except Bill Zeck from the Susquehanna County Recycling Center. He is really pushing this issue. Mayor Slater received a fax from Attorney Davis that stated George McClure is concerned with the problem and wants to fix it. Mayor Slater went on to state that the fire company is just waiting for word from council to have a controlled burn and to burn the bales of hay. Mayor Slater stated that he feels this will fill Lanesboro with smoke, because the bales of hay will only smolder instead of burn. President Salamon asked how many bales there were. Stanley Rockwell stated that he counted them one night and there are over 150 bales. Vice President Maby said to refer this to the lawyer and explain to him what is going on. He also asked to have Attorney DeWitt respond to the letter giving them 20 days from the date of the letter to clean all bales off the property, even the ones that have been relocated downstream. Maby stated that, according to the code book council is responsible for this and can charge them the cost of cleanup plus ten percent. Officer Gow stated that even if council takes care of the bales, there will still be a rat problem. Councilwoman Dilello stated that there will still be different animals in town that will call the rats, but they can only do one thing at a time.
Mayor Slater reported the plywood is almost done on the school bus and when it is completed it will be painted black.
Mayor Slater stated that the quarry man from B & S Quarry will fix Jefferson Street intersection. Councilman Maby stated that they would have to get a permit from the state to move the sidewalk. Mayor Slater will check into this. Also, he has a signed easement from Herman Maffett to do the work on his property to fix the road.
Mayor Slater stated that he tire pickup would be Saturday, July 12, starting at 2 p.m.
Mayor Slater stated that Officer Gow was approached by Susquehanna Borough to become a part-time police officer over there. This would not affect his performance for Lanesboro. Officer Gow stated that he would take Lanesboro calls first. He also stated that he would be patrolling more during the day. Council didnt see a problem with this.
Secretary Shay stated that she had to take money out of the general fund to cover the garbage bills for the month.
Councilwoman Dilello stated that she had paid for the painting in the community center and would like to be reimbursed. Council stated that this was already approved at the last meeting.
Motion to pay bills as presented carried.
President Salamon stated that he has talked to Myron DeWitt about the copier. Solicitor DeWitt stated that he has sent out two letters to the company and thinks the company will drop the issue, but to keep checking with him to see if anything has come up.
Vice President Maby stated that PSAB is coming up with a capital improvement program that would include grant writing and feels council should wait on this.
Council would like Shane Lewis to come to a meeting so council knows how to adopt the building codes through COG and have him as a CEO.
Resolution 2003-06 to adopt the emergency operation plan passed, with Maby and Salamon abstaining.
Councilman Boughton has talked to someone about sweeping Main Street in Lanesboro. All he has to do is talk to Susquehanna Borough to see when they can do it.
Twp. Re-Joins COG Codes
The Oakland Township supervisors met for their regular monthly meeting on Saturday, July 12 with all members present.
Supervisor Cowperthwait reported that a representative from the auditor generals office would be conducting an audit of accounts from 2001-02 on July 14 and 15.
Repairs to the townships truck are expected to be approximately $1,000.
Road repairs on Panther Hill are in progress; sluices have been opened and brush cut. A local quarry operator offered shale to complete the road at no cost, delivered. The Game Commission was notified that the township is cutting brush and asked that cutting of some trees be included. Colwell Road has been bermed, drainage is running okay and modified has been applied to Kookish Road.
Scheduled pothole patching has not yet been completed, most likely delayed due to the rainy beginning of spring. There was some discussion regarding the payment to the contractor who is doing the patching; whether the supervisors should pre-approve a check, call a special meeting (all checks are signed at meetings), or wait 30 days until the next meeting. The estimated cost for the work is $2,500.
The supervisors will put out requests for quotes to tar and chip Erie Ave. and High St.; once prices have been obtained, they will then discuss whether or not to proceed.
During review of bills payable, Mr. Cowperthwait noted that supervisors get paid out of three different township accounts; from the highway fund, from the elected officials fund, and from the road improvement account. This last category, which includes work for the township requires that deductions be made for workmens compensation.
Mr. Cowperthwait reported that the amusement tax is "all up to speed." Last month, a letter had been sent to one of the two businesses subject to the tax, inquiring about a period of time omitted from the operators previous report; the operator did respond, and turned in fees for the missing week.
Discussing codes violations, Mr. Cowperthwait reported that he had spoken with the owner of a property who is installing a trailer; the proper procedures for permits and such were discussed with him. And, the SEO has determined that septic is not being emptied into the open.
In discussing another violations case, Supervisor Ross said that the owner is working on it, and has requested to see the complaints against him. "He knows he is in violation," Mr. Ross said, "but would like to know more details." Mr. Cowperthwait responded that the only time you have to reveal a complainant is in court; when a complaint is received, the supervisors are obligated to investigate it. The supervisors concern should be what it would cost the township if the case is brought to court. In this instance, the property owner had previously been given a court order. Mr. Cowperthwait said that he would be very happy to point out the complaints to him, as the supervisors had received four complaints from four different individuals.
Discussing rejoining the COG Codes committee, an application was reviewed for such, as well as a sample ordinance needed for adopting PAs international building code.
After review of the materials, Mr. Ross asked whether the CEO would be directly brought in to investigate all complaints, or whether the supervisors would first try to handle them themselves, and only call on the CEO when there was no progress. It was agreed that if a supervisor speaks to a property owner and he/she agrees to address it, the CEO would not be called, but if there are no results, then the matter will be turned over to the CEO. A motion carried to rejoin COG Codes.
Two land development permits were approved, for the Deakin and Tribel properties. In response to an inquiry from Bob Briar, it was determined that a permit is not required for his property, as he will be replacing an existing porch.
Correspondence reviewed included notice of judicial sale of a property in the township; no action was required. It was noted that the township does have a tax lien on the property. Other items of correspondence included a copy of the minutes from a recent meeting of the county Department of Economic Development. Also included with the correspondence was a definition of the word "ethics" or, Mr. Cowperthwait said, "rules that cover the operation of our business." No further explanation was given.
Continuing discussion on the countys efforts to readdress (rename) roads, Mr. Cowperthwait stated that the county commissioners had clarified that the readdressing plan is a policy, not a law. If township roads are identified by number, as the proposal requests, Mr. Cowperthwait noted that incidents of stolen street signs might decrease. He would like to see the signs with a larger route number on top, and the roads name in smaller lettering beneath. And, what would need to be done in the case of private roads? Mr. Ross said that they would have to comply with what the township decides to do. It was agreed to contact the Emergency Management Center to ask Dawn Watson to come to the next meeting to discuss these and other questions. (Mr. Cowperthwait noted that Ms. Watson may not be willing to attend a meeting on a Saturday.)
The supervisors are compiling information as to which local access areas on the river have restrooms, to support their request to the Game Commission to provide facilities at the townships access.
Continuing discussion on whether or not to rescind the vacating of a portion of Hillborn/Kookish Roads, Mr. Cowperthwait said, "To go further Id like to have some reasons... I wont go along with it just for a shortcut... If we want to take it back, weve got to be prepared to face the potential costs and risks." Taking the road back would obligate the township to maintain and plow it, he said, and the costs to upgrade it would be prohibitive. He added that this particular road is unusable six months of the year. More information will be gathered before any further action is taken.
Under new business, the supervisors reviewed a county comprehensive plan proposed by the county Planning Commission in accordance with the PA Municipal Planning Code. Municipalities are given a 45-day review period, after which it will be adopted.
The lack of a yearly financial statement, as required by law, from SOLIDA was discussed; it was noted that there had been financial activity this year, a piece of property had been sold. It was agreed to send a letter to SOLIDAs secretary requesting the report.
The next meeting will be on Saturday, August 9, 9 a.m. in the township building.
Selects Ray Smith
In a regular monthly meeting with no work session following it, the Montrose Area School District Board of Directors made short work of a mid-summer-vacation agenda.
The first item it addressed was choosing a replacement for Philip Coffey, who recently resigned because of work-and-time conflicts (a job in Syracuse, NY), until the end of the year. Three candidates who wanted the position were at the meeting to tell the Board why they wanted to be a school board member. All addressed their commitment to provide District children with the tools to succeed, while keeping an eye on the financial aspects at the same time.
By ballot, the Board chose Ray Smith from Bridgewater Township and himself an MASD graduate. The position also means that Smith will chair the Curriculum Committee of the Board.
In preparation for the upcoming school year, the Board approved several infrastructure-related and personnel-related motions. Regarding transportation, it voted to grant permission to Grisafi Brothers Transportation, Inc., bus contractor, to update bus #3 (a 72-seater), and approved extended-school year summer 2003 transportation contracts.
Stipends paid to advisors of various extra-curricular groups yearbook, newspaper, student counsel, drama club, SADD and others were also increased. This voted will increase the total amount paid for all stipends from $6,200 to $14,000. Some club advisors such as those to the Key Club, and the Literary Club were paid no stipend prior to the vote. High school principal submitted the stipend amount for each club, and Board president Ken Gould noted that the thinking behind this measure was that more children would get involved in these activities if teachers were more involved.
Personnel items included hiring part-time summer student workers/custodians Jonathan Rounds and Victoria Marlowe at an hourly rate of $5.15. John Bender was hired as technology assistant effective July 28, at an hourly rate of $12.50, and Kathryn Benninger, beginning August 27, will start as lunchroom/playground aide at the Lathrop school at an hourly rate of $6.50.
Votes were also taken on hiring teachers and substitute teachers. Laurie Andre will be fifth grade teacher at the Lathrop school at a salary of $36,850; Kim Forys will be a full-time contracted health/physical education teacher at the high school at a salary of $38,367; Jeffrey Norris will be a full-time contracted English teacher at the high school at a salary of $36,850; and Laurie Papi will be a full-time contracted guidance counselor at Choconut Valley at a salary of $57,301.
The Board approved a two-tier substitute teacher pay scale, based both on days worked during a school year, and number of years as a District substitute. It created positions for a daily substitute every day school is in session for the upcoming year, at both elementary schools. It also hired Tracy Dunn as a long-term substitute first-grade Lathrop Street teacher at a salary of $26,500; Jamie Smith as a long-term substitute math teacher at the high school for the first semester at a salary of $13,250; and Mary Gesford as a daily substitute math teacher at the high school from about September 12 to January 5, at the substitute teacher pay scale. It also voted to hire Kristina Truman as a daily substitute teacher for the district, effective immediately after she completes employment requirements.
In the final piece of hiring business, it approved Mary Gesford as a teacher for the 2003 summer school program at Choconut, replacing Alice Walsh, at the hourly rate of $21 to a maximum of 30 hours.
Board members also left with some pretty important reading its district policy manual as constructed specifically for it by the Pennsylvania School Board Association. Not only does it reflect MASD policies, but it ensures as well that everything required by the state is in it, too. After the Board finished its first reading, the manual will be available for review by the public in the High School library, as well as on the District website.
The next regular meeting of the Montrose Area School District is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on August 15 at the Choconut Valley Elementary School. A work session will immediately follow.
Supervisors Graham Anthony and Jackie Thomas were present at the Brooklyn Township monthly meeting on July 17. Linda Spinola Secretary/Treasurer and Dan Anthony were not in attendance.
Anthony acted as secretary for the meeting. He read the last month's minutes, which were approved as read and gave this month's treasurer's report. Included in the report he read was the total of all funds of $81,292.40.
PENNDOT advised State Road #2024 (Brooklyn-Kingsley Road) is now open. The supervisors have decided to use salt brine on the roads this summer at a cost of $.10. It will be applied to the roads three times this summer and is still saving the township 2/3's of it's road maintenance cost and is reducing the need of personnel on this job to a one man operation. It appears to be a cost effective treatment all around.
Dan Anthony applied for two Dirt and Gravel Roads Grants. One grant is for $2,800 for Wright Road and the other will cover Baker Crossroads for $9,500.
Graham Anthony research making the signs that prohibit 4-wheelers to operate on municipal property. D & A testing for the State, for all drivers who handle the township's vehicles, showed all passed.
A new grader was purchased as approved at last month's meeting for $23,000. It required two new batteries, but is working very well.
The 1939 Brooklyn Class and School Reunion will take place on July 19 and the Historical Society meeting will take place the weekend of July 26/27. Both will be conducted in the municipal building, which used to be the Brooklyn School.
Lathrop Township supervisors have contacted the supervisors in Brooklyn regarding storing and distributing salt brine on their roads. An agreement was made for $40.00 an hour for the Brooklyn men to spread the brine in Lathrop. The 1989 Ford one ton truck will be getting a remanufactured motor. The work is anticipated to cost around $4,000. $3,277.38 was received in addition to the regular payment made to the municipality for maintenance of PENNDOT roads because of the severe weather this winter.
The COG Sewage Committee advised Brooklyn had been granted permits for three sand mounds, and the Susquehanna County Planning Commission manual, which was sent to all townships in draft form had been briefly reviewed by Graham Anthony.
The Brooklyn Township supervisors meet in the municipal building on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. It is open to the public.
Waiting For DEP
John Regan, chairman of the Clifford Twp. Board of Supervisors, would like to see a sewer system in the township. But first things first and his priority right now is collecting money due the township from the State Department of Environmental Protection.
Last year, when the township authorized an update of its Act 537 plan, the cost was $18,000 and the township was assured that DEP would pay one-half of it. To date, the township has not received a cent but the townships revised plan has not yet been approved by DEP.
Nevertheless, Regan appears concerned about the states share of the update and he leaves no doubt in anyones mind about it.
"The first step," Regan said, "is to collect $9,000 from DEP."
The subject surfaced when a women in the audience asked the supervisors if the updated sewer plan addresses the entire township or just the Crystal Lake area.
"It pertains to the whole community," Regan said. He said the supervisors have not discussed the issue but the feedback he is receiving indicates a majority of the people want to see a township sewerage system.
"For some reason," Supervisor Randy LaCroix said, "we did not get past DEP yet. But we are working on it."
The reason, according to James A. Ridgik, a DEP sanitary engineer, is because of the extensive revisions needed. Ridgik said in the letter to the township that it may want to formally request withdrawal of the plan in favor of a new one. "We have a lot of different avenues we could take," Regan concluded. "We will go in the right direction."
In another matter, Regan said the townships police department is shorthanded but the supervisors will address the issue. He said the township currently has three part-time officers, Owen Price, Tom McGraw, and Paul Fortuner.
"McGraw will be the contact person for anyone who needs the police," Regan said.
Regan also pointed out that there is a shortage of help for the townships recycling program. He said the supervisors will be joined by volunteers from the community alliance, boy scouts, and boys baseball league.
Employees Share Pool
Eleven Forest City Regional employees will share a salary pool in excess of $500,000 plus benefits in the 2003-2004 school year according to action taken by the Board of Education at its last regular meeting.
The lions share of the pot goes to the administrative staff with School Superintendent Bernice Lukus at the top of the heap with a salary $85,8816, followed by High School Principal Anthony F. Rusnak, $78,750; Elementary Principal Janice Joyce, $67,336; and, Ken Swartz, assistant principal, $61,675.
Other noticeable salaries include: Technology Coordinator, $60,050; Business Manager/Board Secretary, $58,400; CEO secretary, $31,726; administrative assistant, $20,800; maintenance supervisor, $32,000; housekeeping supervisor, $23,920; and, cafeteria supervisor, $18,841.
In another matter, Lukus reported that Cafeteria Supervisor Barbara Richards would like additional kitchen help in order to provide a variety of menu items and a soup and salad bar. Lukus said Richards would like a second cook and an additional floor person. She also has two vacancies she would like to fill.
Lukus said the additional positions are not budgeted and that it is difficult to hire kitchen help because the pay is too little. She said some of the part-time help work four hours a day for $7 an hour and no benefits.
"If you have to hire, you hire," Director Tom Heller said. He said the complaints he heard last year were that employees were retiring and the ala cart was cold.
In a related matter, Lukus read a letter from the US Department of Agriculture indicating that school districts will soon be required to provide irradiated meat for the students who eat in the school cafeteria. She said the USDA reported that the irradiated meat is healthier for students .
"I will vote for it," said Director Henry Nebzydoski. "It is the right thing to do."
"This may not go into effect until 2004," Director Fred Garm said.
The board held off on any formal action pending additional information relating to funding the added cost. Board members expressed concern that the issue could develop into another unfunded mandate that could impact on the districts tax rate.
The board approved the following motions:
Awarding a contract to Stafursky Paving for paving the elementary parking lot at a cost of $21,175.
Appointing Kelly Svecz as intramural volleyball coach for grades 7 and 8.
Appointing LeRoy Smith as part-time custodial worker at a rate of $8.64 an hour.
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