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The Mountain View School Board meeting on October 27, was well organized, as usual and went very quickly. With the exception of Ronald D. Phillips, all members of the school board were present. Among administration present were Arthur J. Chambers, Superintendent, and Margaret S. Foster, Elementary School Principal.
With only one minor change suggested by board member John Halupke, the minutes of the last meeting were approved. There were no comments made from the public during the first hearing of visitors.
The daily tuition rate of $53.68 was announced and approved by the board for the partial hospitalization program for the 2002-2003 school year. The rate is determined after the completion of each school year.
The student activities financial reports for the Mountain View Elementary School and High School were accepted and approved by the board.
The snowplowing bid was awarded to Feduchak Construction of Kingsley. Lynch Bus Co. took the bid for the 2003-2004 Washington trip. George Dombrowski of Tunkhannock was awarded the bid for wood chips and Agway of Syracuse was awarded low qualified estimated fuel bid for the 2003-2004 school year.
A motion was made and approved to participate in the NEIU #19 Fuel Consortium with a fixed fuel price of $.8961 per gallon as awarded to Petroleum Traders, Fort Wayne, IN.
The board provided authorization to the Susquehanna County Tax Bureau to accept any price negotiated by the Bureau as a minimum bid on a repository property sale in Hop Bottom Borough.
There were no legislative, transportation, or building and site reports on this evening. However, Bryce Beeman announced a policy committee meeting on Nov. 4. Ordie Price gave the negotiations report in the absence of Ronald Phillips. There were meetings on Sept. 28 with support staff, Oct. 15 with teachers and another is scheduled for Nov. 6. All negotiations are on going.
Conference attendance was approved for Melody Haley and Pam Burt, Cindy Reynolds, Julie Beach and Roger Thomas for various conference subjects. Field trip attendance was approved for Karen Voight (4-8th grade students), Eliza Vagni and Peter Regeski for a food service show, Roger Thomas for numerous ski trips, envirothon matters, and a forest/wildlife study, and Charles Wilson, Jr. received the nod for District 9 pre-auditions and the Scranton Santa Parade.
The superintendent did not give a report, nor did the capital projects committee.
Three supplemental salary positions were approved. They included co-coaches of boy's basketball, Corey Gesford and Dan Morgan, and Mary Ann Cranovich, as the 5th and 6th grade representative.
Additions to the substitute list, pending the receipt of all documentation, included Sherry Cornell, Melinda Ide, Emily Darrow, Eliza Furhey and Terry Madas. Corey D. Gesford was appointed an instructional aide. Tenure status and a professional contract were granted to Stephanie Griffis for completing three years of satisfactory service. Steven Pennay of Kingsley was appointed as custodian.
In the second hearing of visitors, Maria Diaz apologized to the Board about a recent issue she raised regarding a magazine subscription. It was brought to her attention that the pertinent magazine subscription has not been renewed for two years.
During the second hearing, John Halupke, who follows Pennsylvania's school budget issues, did not feel that much was being accomplished as yet in Harrisburg on these matters.
The next meeting of the school board will take place on the 2nd Monday of November, at 8PM in the Elementary School Board Room
Funding Cut Is Still In Place
Despite an outpouring of support for library services across the Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania education budget still includes a 50% funding cut for state aid to public libraries. The House recently passed a bill which restores cuts made to other programs, but not to libraries! Despite the assurance that library supporters have received from their representatives that the library cuts were a mistake that will be fixed, there is as yet no sign of this happening, and time is running short.
The budget is overdue; schools are starting to feel the pinch; and the Susquehanna County Library is already seeing reduction in services from the district center in Scranton. "We are trying to figure out how we can cut $150,000 from our extremely tight budget for 2004," says Administrator/Librarian Susan Stone. "If these funding reductions go through, we will have to reduce materials, programs, and hours. We've been told that the next few weeks are crucial, as the Senate considers proposals for finally agreeing on a budget."
You can help by writing your State Senator (again, if you've already done so!) and expressing your support for the restoration of library funding. The Susquehanna County Library has made this as easy as possible by setting up a form that will generate a letter. Simply visit your local library. You'll fill in your name and address and customize the letter, print it for free, and receive an envelope to mail it in-all you need to do is add the stamp. If you have Internet access at home, visit www.susqcolibrary.org and click on "write a letter."
"There is widespread misunderstanding about how important libraries are to education and to helping people in financially difficult times," says Mrs. Stone. "In fact, there are a number of myths about library funding going around, and we want to help set the record straight. Short letters work best, so we've set up the letter to plug in one of eleven different paragraphs about the damage that these cuts will do."
In Susquehanna County, and in all parts of Pennsylvania, libraries provide crucial services to individuals, families, and businesses. The proposed funding cuts would land Pennsylvania's libraries even farther back than they were when the Philadelphia Inquirer's landmark award-winning series, "Libraries in Distress,"dramatically portrayed the miserable plight of library service in Pennsylvania. Despite the fact that library funds are only 1% of the education budget, 40% of the total cut is coming out of that 1%. "This would be a disaster for library services in this county and across Pennsylvania," says Mrs. Stone. "Please visit your local library as soon as possible, or go to www.susqcolibrary.org/letter.php, and take two minutes to create a letter. Thank you for your support!"
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Ralph Orr, Pittston, turned left on State Route 29 at Checkered Express, Springville, into the path of Carol Lewis, Montrose, on October 22. No injuries occurred, but both vehicles had to be towed.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Carol Ramey, Springville, was pulling out from her driveway on State Route 3004, Springville, on October 27 at 7:15 am when James Ramey, Springville, who was traveling west, struck Carol Ramey who was still in the west bound lane. No injuries were noted on the report.
TRAFFIC CRASH - FATALITY
On October 19 at 12:24 am, Thomas Flood, Vandling, was traveling south along State Route 171, just north of Forest City in Clifford Township, and swerved to the right of the road and impacted with the embankment.
Flood was ejected through the side window of the vehicle. He was stabilized at the scene and subsequently flown to CMC for treatment, but died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.
Someone entered the unlocked garage at the Wood residence on State Route 29, Springville, sometime between 9:00 pm on October 22 and 5:00 pm the next day. Removed were a 5500 watt generator, a battery charger and a radio. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PSP Gibson at 570-465-3154.
HIT & RUN
Christopher Six, Great Bend, was parked in the McDonald's lot, Great Bend Township, while he went inside to eat. When Six returned about 20 minutes later, he discovered that someone had struck his vehicle, a green,1996 Dodge Neon. It received damage to its left side mirror, door and quarter panel. Anyone with information on this October 24th incident which occurred between 2:30 and 2:50 pm is asked to contact the PSP Gibson at 570-465-3154.
HIT & RUN
On October 11 between 8:00 and 8:30 pm, an unknown vehicle struck an unattended 2003 Chevy Silverado truck while it was parked in the Mt. View Restaurant parking lot, Clifford Township. Anyone with information, please contact the PSP Gibson at 570-465-3154.
Clyde Bills, 55, Montrose, attempted to stab Suzanne Wood, 23, Montrose, with a knife outside his residence at Montrose Terrace Park, Bridgewater Township, on October 18 at 9:50 pm. Bills then choked and struck Wood in the face, with his hand before a neighbor stopped the assault. Wood had minor injuries.
Bills turned himself in to police at Gibson Barracks, and was arraigned before District Justice Peter Janicelli. Bail was set at $5,000 and the accused was placed in the Susquehanna County Jail on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats and harassment.
HIT & RUN CRASH
An unknown operator in a dark colored Ford Ranger pick-up struck a 1998 Honda Civic owner by Holly McGuire-Hodge, Virginia Beach, VA, on October 14 at 9:55 pm. The Honda was parked in front of the Kime Apts, Main Street, Great Bend Borough. The Ranger then left the roadway and struck the porch at 319 Main Street, fleeing the scene south on State Route 11. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PSP Gibson at 570-465-3154.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Michelle Palermo, Pleasant Mount, swerved to miss a deer on State Route 171, Ararat Township, on October 17 at 9:00 am, and drove off the road. She was not injured.
ONE VEHICLE CRASH
On October 12 at 8:00 am, Dawn Bell, 34, Susquehanna, lost control of her vehicle after attempting to avoid striking a deer. As a result her vehicle overturned onto its right side. The incident occurred on State Route 92, about one mile north of South Gibson, Gibson Township. Bell received minor injuries.
On October 21, someone entered Wilma Hunsinger's residence on LaFrance Rd., Auburn Township, and removed her purse. An investigation continues.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Fred Brooking, Lakewood, drove his 1996 Ford Taurus off of State Route 171, Clifford Township, and struck a utility pole. Charges are pending.
A 30-40 year old black male, 5'6" about 250 pounds, distracted attendants at the Great Bend Sunoco, State Route 11, Great Bend Township, and opened the cash drawer, stealing about $460 in cash. The incident occurred on October 1 at 11:00 am. The accused was driving a green Lincoln Town Car, approximately 1990s model.
HIT & RUN COLLISION
Brent Vanteger, Great Bend, was traveling south on Old Route 11, GreatBend Township in a 1989 Buick on September 5 at 3:45 pm. He began toback up and collided with a juvenile male on a bicycle, then continuedsouth. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PSP at570-465-3154.
Someone entered Christopher Snedeker's residence in Choconut Township, between September 2-6. A plastic jug filled with US currency was removed. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PSP Gibson at 570-465-3154.
Daniel Laude, 25, Great Bend Township, and Emily J. Buckland, 25, Great Bend Township.
Gary Norman Blewett, 56, Windsor, NY, and Barbara J. Ellis, 47, Windsor, NY.
Jeffrey John Stulack, 30, Bedminister, NJ, and Leigh Atkinson, 31, Bedminster, NJ.
Heather Lynn Antal and Wayne Antal to Walter E. Welch and Joyce A. Welch in Silver Lake Township for $19,500 on Oct. 10.
Edward M. Sidorski and Charlotte E. Sidorski to Daniel J. McGowan and Barbara A. Ross and Andrew Zudans and Nancy Zudans in Jackson Township for $63,000 on Oct. 17.
David J. Snyder and Arline E. Snyder to Michael C. Murphy in Oakland Township for $1 on Oct. 16.
John McAllister and Joyce McAllister to John McAllister in Lenox Township for $1 on Oct. 21.
Barry Larner, Montrose Partners of Albany, LP, to Pennsylvania Electric Company for easement in Bridgewater Township on Oct. 14.
Catherine Molero, Trustee of the Juenger Living Trust, to Daniel M. German and Mary Ellen German in Bridgewater Township for $95,000 on Oct. 17.
Adriana M. Lalor aka Adrianna M. Lalor and Robert T. Lalor to Andriana M. Lalor in Little Meadows Borough for $1 on Sept. 10.
Chad M. Silverstrim and Laura L. Silverstrim to Mark A. Hewitt in Forest Lake Township for $62,500 on Oct. 21.
Kara J. Zimmerman and Michael J. Zimmerman, John J. Syron and Colleen McKinney-Syron, Teresa McKinney-Haynes and Christopher P. Haynes, Kathleen A. Turney and Monty S. Turney to Kathleen A. Turney and Monty S. Turney in Forest Lake Township for $1 on Oct. 20.
Timothy J. McMahon and Sheila McMahon to Michael Villanella in Silver Lake Township for $75,000 on Oct. 20.
Susquehanna County Industrial and Commercial Development Authority to Hallstead Associates in Great Bend Township for $1 on Dec. 4, 2002.
The Estate of Henry Dobrosielski by Casimir Dobrosielski to The Estate of Theodorsia S. Dobrosielski by Dorothy Hendershot and Sheila M. Dobrosielski, Co-Executrix, in Auburn Township for $1 on Oct. 22.
The Estate of Theodorsia S. Dobrosielski by Dorothy Hendershot and Sheila M. Dobrosielski, Co-Executrices to Steven J. Dobrosielski and Marguerite S. Dobrosielski, in Auburn Township for $1 on Oct. 22.
Driveway agreement between Steven J. Dobrosielski and Marguerite S. Dobrosielski and Alan M. Caines and Deborah A. Caines in Auburn Township for $1. on Oct. 17.
The Estate of Theodorsia S. Dobrosielski by Dorothy Hendershot and Sheila M. Dobrosielski, Co-Executors, to Alan Caines and Deborah Caines in Auburn Township for $111,000 on Oct. 22.
Lucy A. Sweeney to K. Burr Gould and Catherine Gould in Silver Lake Township for $24 on Sept. 15, 1965.
K. Burr Gould to John R. Demaree & Elizabeth Demaree in Silver Lake Township for $48,000 on Oc.t 17.
Anthony Cantone and Christine L. Cantone to Allen H. Kohler in Harmony Township for $62,000 on Oct. 8.
Paula Freundlich to Scott Freundlich, Victor Freundlich and Terry Freundlich in Ararat Township for $1 on Oct. 10.
Sandra Mirando-Hermann, Executrix of the Estate of Adele Hermann, and John A. Hermann and Sandra Mirando-Hermann, as Co-Trustees of the Adele Hermann Trust, to Erwin Hermann in Jackson Township on Oct. 15.
Robert M. Whitney and Linda T. Whitney to Burton Decker and Roseann Decker in Gibson Township for $155,000 on Oct. 22.
John E. Tait & Erlane D. Tait to Allen Decker & Sherry Decker in Harford Township for $28,500 on Oct. 14.
Andrew Condon to Dawn L. Davis in Middletown Township for $25,000 on Oct. 22.
Irvin G. Davis and Dawn L. Davis to Dawn L. Davis in Middletown Township for $1 on Oct. 22 (3 parcels).
Peter S. Watrous and Pamela J. Walker to Peter S. Watrous Lifetime Trust Number One in New Milford and Franklin Townships for $1 on Oct. 3.
Peter S. Watrous and Pamela J. Walker to Peter S. Watrous Lifetime Trust Number One in Franklin Township for $1 on Oct. 3.
Another brief meeting of the Harford Township Supervisors (Rick Pisasik and Terry VanGorden) on October 28 covered only two topics, willingly. A third, the perennial Odd Fellows Hall situation, was appended to the agenda from the floor.
Presiding Supervisor Rick Pisasik announced the hiring of Wayne Federici to augment the Township's labor force. Mr. Federici attended the meeting to receive his welcome, and commented that in his many years in the neighborhood he'd never seen the roads look better. What were once two-rut tracks have become "highways," he said.
The Supervisors also entertained an update on the project to relocate part of the sewer line in anticipation of PENNDOTs replacement of the bridge over Leslie Creek in the village. Carl Shiner of Klepadlo & Associates, the engineering firm that built the sewer system originally, laid out drawings showing the changes required. He said the cost to the township should be no more than about $1,230, since most of the work is reimbursable by the state. Two more small easements will be required of landowners in the vicinity of the bridge. Mr. Shiner said that PENNDOT expects to begin work on the bridge by June, 2004, and hopes to finish by Thanksgiving next year. Plans to relocate the sewer in advance of the bridge project are "in good shape" according to Mr. Shiner. Questions were raised about the impact of the project on traffic to the Harford Fair in the third week of August, so the Township Secretary was asked to contact the Fair Board and PENNDOT about that.
Before the Supervisors could adjourn, they were asked about the status of the Odd Fellows Hall in the village, a.k.a., the Town Hall, which has been locked to the public for several months since the Township's insurer refused to cover it for public use in its current condition. One observer asked what was being done to ensure that the more than $3,000 the township spends every year to keep and maintain the building would not be wasted. Another observer remarked, "You're not doing anything about it, one way or the other." Mr. Pisasik replied that "Nothing has changed since the last time we talked." There is a difference of opinion about what should become of the old place. Some want to tear it down as an eyesore; others would like to renovate it so it can be used again. Tearing it down apparently would require a referendum; renovating it would cost money the township either doesn't have, or doesn't want to spend. The impasse seems to ensure that the status quo will remain for the indefinite future.
The Harford Township Supervisors meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Township building on Route 547 west of Interstate 81.
Holds Special Meeting
Oakland Borough Council met for a special meeting on October 30 with president Ron Beavan presiding. Members present were Cynthia Beavan, Chad Crawford, Doug Arthur, Leon Dubanowitz, and Bob VanFleet.
The first order of business was to decide on whether or not to refinance the water system loan. Council has been working with a bond counsel out of Harrisburg; Mr. Beavan reported that the best offer is at three and a half percent interest for the first five years, with an increase to five percent for the next five years and a final increase to five and a quarter percent for the remainder of the loan. This would result in a savings of approximately $38,400; out of this, the bond counsels fees and legal costs, total of approximately $20,000 would be taken, resulting in a savings of about $18,000 to $19,000.
USDA currently holds the loan; to refinance through them at a lower interest rate would only result in a savings of about $3,000. The refinanced loan could be paid in quarterly installments in conjunction with receipt of water fees, whereas USDA payments are made twice a year.
Mr. Crawford asked if there were any other options that could be looked into; Mr. Beavan explained that this type of loan could only be obtained through a bond counsel. A motion carried to proceed with the refinancing.
As the result of the heavy rains the area has recently experienced, several immediate water problems needed to be addressed. After a lengthy discussion, it was agreed to authorize Mr. Crawford to determine what action could be taken immediately, within budget constraints. Immediately following the meeting, Mr. Crawford, Mr. VanFleet and streets employee Jeff Wayman went to inspect the area and to discuss remedies.
The final topic discussed was the resignation of boro secretary/treasurer Cindy Cordner. For the last several months, Flo Brush has been working with Mrs. Cordner through the Experience Works program. Mrs. Brush, who will only be with the boro until the middle of November, has declined the position. Mr. Beavan reported that he has been approached by two individuals who are interested in the position; however, both of those presently have other employment that would put some restrictions on their availability. It was agreed that the position requires eighteen hours a week, with daytime hours. Mr. Beavan suggested that council also consider exploring the possibility of sharing these services with neighboring Susquehanna Boro. After some discussion, it was agreed to advertise the position, with salary to be determined according to the applicants experience. Details as to the positions hours will be worked out once an applicant has been accepted. Resumes may be submitted until the date of the next regular meeting, November 13. In the meantime, Mrs. Cordner has agreed to help out as much as she can.
Commission Schedules Forum
The Susquehanna County Planning Commission has scheduled a community forum, dealing with zoning for November 12, at 7:00 p.m. in the County Office Building Conference Room, 31 Public Avenue, Montrose. This is the first of several forums that the Planning Commission is developing as a result of the updated Comprehensive Plan. This forum will address questions such as: how does zoning work in Pennsylvania; is zoning right for the county municipalities; and does zoning protect or limit property rights?
Six municipalities in the county have adopted zoning, and the Comprehensive Plan being undertaken by the Northern Tier Coalition and the Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership will have zoning presented as a choice among many proposed ordinances for land use development. County Planning Director Robert Templeton says, "The public participation is very important and everyone is encouraged to attend and discuss zoning; its pros and cons, and its use in Susquehanna County."
With many months of concentrated effort, the Comprehensive Plan is now finished. Public comments on the Plan have been addressed and it will go to the County Commissioners for ratification on November 12. This having been accomplished, the Planning Commission has now applied for a Land Use Planning and Technical Assistance (LUPTAP) grant for updating the County Subdivision and Land Development ordinance.
Templeton reported on the October 17 meeting in Dunmore where discussion was held on PENNDOT Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). ITS is the term used to describe an item or a group of items that work together to provide transportation services to the public. One such item is the Vehicle Message Sign (VMS), which is a permanent, lighted overhead sign that announces traffic conditions, accidents or amber alerts. A VHS is scheduled to be installed on Interstate 81 near the Welcome Center some time during 2003.
The Planning Commission heard several land use proposals, one of which was a one-lot minor non-residential subdivision to create a stone yard. While this was not a problem, the Planning Commission wanted to be sure that the owners realized that they would be subject to a tax rollback on 189 acres for a seven year period because the property was enrolled in Clean and Green.
The Commission concurred with staff recommendations on all other land use proposals.
The next meeting of the Susquehanna County Planning Commission will be held on November 25. The workshop is at the Montrose House at 5:30 and the regular meeting is in the County Office Building at 7:30. Both meetings are open to the public and the public is encouraged to attend.
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