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Issue Home November 11, 2003 Site Home

Locals Asked To Reform Healthcare
Big Decisions In Montrose
Kelly Will Chair Board of Commissioners
Gibson Barracks Report
Court House Report
Thompson Gets Sewage Updates
New Milford Unveils Budget
Great Bend to Lose Lonzinskis
No Tax Hike In Forest City

Locals Asked To Reform Healthcare

New Milford, PA – Dr. Bryan Bordeaux, a physician practicing in New Milford, is organizing a letter writing campaign to help persuade our elected officials in Washington, DC to better address the healthcare needs of all Americans.

The first major event will be held on Thursday, November 13, at the Blue Ridge High School auditorium starting at 7:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. After a brief talk about the current healthcare system, Dr. Bordeaux will have letters available for interested people to sign and personalize, if they choose. He will also be recruiting volunteers to extend the letter writing campaign.

Americans are becoming increasingly discontent with the current healthcare system, as almost 44 million people are without insurance, tens of millions more have inadequate insurance and the rest are facing double digit rises in health insurance premiums for the past five years. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll indicated that 62% of Americans are in favor of adopting a universal healthcare system like that used in every other developed nation in the world. Despite spending more on healthcare than any other nation, the American healthcare system was recently ranked 37th in the world by the World Health Organization.

According to John Goodman from the National Center for Policy Analysis, who was quoted on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition on September 30, 2003, "Congress is not dealing with the problems of the uninsured because Congress is not hearing complaints from the uninsured." This interview, combined with the experience Dr. Bordeaux has had treating people with limited or no insurance have set in motion the organization,, which will launch a website soon.

Dr. Bordeaux intends to start with a local campaign, and has already had almost 100 letters signed and mailed to elected officials in Washington, DC. He has a growing number of volunteers who have pledged support. He will be attending the national Physicians for a National Health Program conference in mid-November and will be working with their over 10,000 member physicians toward the goal of one million letters being sent.

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Big Decisions In Montrose

The center of attention at the Montrose Borough Council meeting held on November 3 was its Municipal Authority; specifically, its sewage treatment plant and system.

Mark Catalano from Miles Engineering, a consultant to Bridgewater Township and New Milford Township, was there to make the case for obtaining the necessary permission to allow treatment at the Montrose plant of waste from systems that will be built by the townships in the lakes area (including Hart Lake and Lake Raline). Approximately 225 households in the lakefront communities would be involved in the hook-up, which will take approximately two years to put into place, with hook-ups taking a few months after that.

Catalano provided Council with his firm’s study and analysis that concluded the townships’ request was a win-win situation. He reported that linking the lakeside communities would amount to about 50,000 gallons of additional waste water a day. Currently, the Bridgewater Township Municipal Authority currently has an agreement with the Montrose Borough one for 120,000 gallons, of which they are using about 30,000 a day. Catalano said that the difference is still available because it was reserved for Bendix, and the capacity didn’t get used.

Thus, the plan involves transferring this excess capacity from one sewer district to another and allowing it to be used to sewer the lakes.

Last March, Catalano reported that Miles Engineering and representatives from the townships met with members of the Montrose Borough Municipal Authority, who "thought it was a good plan, liked certain features, and were supportive. They sent their consulting engineer in to take a look at it," he said.

One of the features the Authority liked was the additional revenue it would bring to the Montrose system. This is expected to be about $74,000 in connection fees, with ongoing annual revenues of $65,000 from monthly user charges, assuming current rates.

Catalano said the new system would avoid entirely the sewer infrastructure that Montrose owns and operates. "We know they are periodically overloaded – stormy vents, deteriorating conditions. Our proposal is to bring the lines all the way form the lakes via the Post Pond Road and then south to the treatment plant, across undeveloped property, east to Hart mobile home park and get it to the plant without connecting to the Montrose system."

He said the plan would also divert South Montrose waste water into the line the townships expect to build, eliminating ongoing problems with that connection, so there would be no connection point at all into the Montrose system.

Both New Milford Township and Bridgewater Township adopted the plan. It was sent to the Department of Environmental Protection, which replied that the Montrose Authority and Borough Council must accept the plan and its conclusions before DEP will approve it. Catalano said that he believes the Authority will agree to it if it gets positive feedback from the Council.

Council member Elmer Taylor noted that maintenance problems have arisen from time to time at the plant, involving very expensive equipment. He wondered if putting more water into the system would cause yet more problems.

Catalano responded that he didn’t think so, because the problems are mechanical, rather than related to capacity. He acknowledged that certain "linear" costs would be involved, one of them being chemicals to treat more wastewater. "Electricity is not a linear cost," he said, "because it’s running all the time now, as is operator labor. Some of the cost will increase, but the majority will not." He added that some equipment would wear because of age and not because of the amount of waster water; this equipment turns all the time now. He acknowledged that the plan would cause the Montrose system’s sludge press to work a little harder.

Council member Jack Yeager brought up the occasional dumping of sewage into streams during heavy rainfalls. "Wouldn’t the plan exacerbate this?" he asked. Catalano noted that the engineer the Montrose Authority brought in thought the same thing as Yeager. However, Catalano didn’t agree with that assessment. "Water that is dumped is not raw sewage; however, it hasn’t been fully treated, either. Rather it’s been settled out and disinfected," he said, adding he thought that during heavy rains, the bypass, or dumping, would be incrementally greater. Overall, he said that because the system he is proposing would be a low-pressure system and not a gravity one, the flow would be relatively constant from a dry day to a wet day; there wouldn’t be any manholes or sewers that accumulate rain water.

David Coddington, representing Bridgewater Township, also noted that the vast majority of the homes in the lake communities are occupied two to three months out of the year. "So," he said, "these residents will be paying the revenue without having the flow."

Yeager thought that, on the surface, the idea was a good one. However, he was concerned about radically increased charges down the road because of problems outside the borough. He proposed forming a committee representing the borough, the townships, and the plant operator to look at the plan from all angles. "I think this sort of thing is coming, and if we wait for the state to force it, we’re probably wise to have done something beforehand," he said.

Council president Craig Reimel also noted that council members would discuss the plan with the Municipal Authority before bringing it to a vote.

Following Catalano’s presentation, David Coddington of Bridgewater Township’s Municipal Authority, asked why the two municipalities don’t have just one authority. "We act as an arm of the Montrose Municipal Authority. We make the same decisions, do the same things," he said.

Coddington pointed out the advantages and efficiencies of consolidating both systems, which together serve approximately 1200 people (500 from the township, 700 from Montrose). These include billing and operation of one office, instead of two separate ones; one computer program for billing and customer base operation; better customer support with a full-time office position and input of meter data to the billing program; a meter-reader for the entire, larger customer base; better work schedules for employees and plant operators; a larger customer base which helps when applying for grants; one solicitor and one annual retention fee; one engineering firm; fewer phone lines and 911 charges per line; an insurance plan for employees; and insurance coverage of municipal vehicles.

Reimel asked about the township’s billing unit charge. His concern about a joint authority was that at some point, a budget would be adopted resulting in an increase to fees for Montrose users. Coddington replied that over 30 years, a good deal of the debt included in its current fee would be retired. He asked, "Of what value is cleaning up the area around Montrose if we can’t build more houses and bring maybe more jobs? If we can’t provide adequate sewage, they are not going to come."

Coddington concluded by saying, "Growth is happening in Bridgewater. Do you want to join with us, and grow with us? Because we are going to grow. If we don’t grasp the growth potential, our whole area is stagnated. For the most part, we don’t like change. But when you’ve got a flat tire, you have to get down and change it. So I’m asking that we change it together."

So, in the next few weeks, it would appear that Council will do a lot of discussing on this key component of its, and its neighbors’, infrastructure.

On hand to give his report was streets foreman Ken DiPhillips. He wrapped up blacktop and patching, did some final grading, winterized summer equipment and vice versa; worked on catch basins in the park; got the plow on the Dodge Ram and prepped the leaf machine. He’s hoping for some mild winter days to take care of other outstanding drainage clean-ups. For winter roads, DiPhillips reported that two loads of salt were delivered and 300 yards of cinders are stockpiled.

After reviewing bids, Council voted to purchase the borough’s diesel fuel and unleaded gas from Pump & Pantry, and its #2 fuel oil from Hinds.

It addressed a complaint from a Cherry Street resident about a neighbor’s ongoing yard sale that also seems to go on sometimes five days a week. In the past, secretary Annette Rogers provided council with sample yard sale ordinances that weren’t acted upon. And while Taylor noted he wouldn’t be against an ordinance if it were the kind that regulated these perpetual yard sales, he liked Reimel’s idea better, which was to speak with the offending neighbor, and they’ll ask Codes enforcement office Shane Lewis to do so.

It also addressed the concerns of a disabled resident who lives on Mitchell Hill, which the resident says, is fraught with parking problems – especially the ability to turn around on this dead-end street – because of two unlicensed vehicles that have been there for some years. This situation is made worse in the winter. The resident relies on friends to drive her, and is concerned about the ability of an ambulance crew or fire truck to reach her home and others on the street. "I believe it’s in your power to exercise your legal right of way at the end of the street, to clear the end of the street, and to do it," she said.

DiPhillips agreed with her assessment of the situation. "It’s an ongoing problem. It’s difficult. Our vehicles and snow plows have to back down the hill, yet there is room to turn around if the parked vehicles weren’t there," he said. Apparently, DiPhillips and a police officer spoke with the owners of the vehicles some time ago; they kept their vehicles off the road for a short time, "and then they were back where they were." DiPhillips noted, in response to a question from Reimel, that there is room for the vehicles to be parked on their owner’s driveway or lawn.

Borough solicitor Jason Legg suggested that council would agree to put a temporary "no parking" restriction in the right of way, and, if they chose, work on an ordinance to make it permanent. This is what Council voted to do, the temporary "no parking" restriction starting immediately.

DiPhillips will also respond to a resident’s complaint about severe drainage problems on High Street and see what can be done to correct the situation.

Council members also heard a presentation from Kevin Pietryk, database analyst with EMA who’s handing the mapping and addressing project in the County. This was part of Pietryk revisiting municipalities to update them as to progress on the project, and solicit their participation in it.

In other business, Council voted to pay the fire company $25,000; pay the Library $700; accept an audit proposal for $3,200 (same amount as last year) from Bill Owens; give County Treasurer Cathy Benedict permission to negotiate a sales price on 30 Grow Avenue; and approve a check to the IRS for the amount of Social Security taxes due on amounts paid to council members for their service and which were previously and inadvertently not withheld. It also charged Rogers with checking on the availability of sidewalk grants from the Susquehanna County Housing/Redevelopment Authority.

The next regular meeting of the Montrose Borough Council is scheduled for December 1, 7 p.m. in the Borough Building.

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Kelly Will Chair Board of Commissioners

Former Susquehanna Borough Mayor Roberta Kelly will chair the Susquehanna County Board of Commissioners in 2004.

In her first campaign for a county elective office, Kelly amassed 5,639 votes to top the field of four candidates who were vying for three seats on the Board of Commissioners. Kelly and former commissioner, Jeffrey Loomis, who piled up a respectable 5,246 votes, carried the Republican banner to a comfortable win over Democrats MaryAnn Warren and Katherine Shelly. They will be joined on the three-member by Warren who won a squeaker over Shelly, 3,589-3,448.

The Republicans, who many believe have maintained control of county government since its inception, have rewarded the candidate who garners the most votes in the commissioners’ election with the chairmanship. That tradition will not change in 2004.

Loomis told The Transcript he is prepared to give the reigns to Kelly and Kelly said she is prepared to accept them.

"We haven’t spoken about it," Kelly said, "but I believe that is pretty much the way it will be and that is OK with me. I don’t mind taking charge and being in charge of meetings.

"I intend to lead us into a path of progress. It is going to be a challenge, but I cannot wait to sink my teeth into it."

"I am fine with that," Loomis said of Kelly’s willingness to accept the chair. "I have no problem with that at all. She had the most votes. She should be chairman. I am going to be a team player."

Kelly summed up her victory in a word – exciting. "I am still kind of floating," she added, "and I certainly appreciate all those people who voted for me."

"I think we will get a lot done," Loomis said. "I am looking forward to working with Roberta and MaryAnn. I am happy with the (voter) turnout and I am glad that I won."

As expected, Loomis will be focusing much of his attention on finances. He said his first chore would be to review the 2004 budget that will be presented by the current Board of Commissioners. Loomis is respected as a financial whiz, having graduated from Penn State University with a degree in business administration and having served as controller of Irving Loomis & Sons in Montrose for 19 years.

Warren also expressed appreciation for the support she received and said she is ready to help move Susquehanna County forward. Warren is no stranger in the county courthouse, having worked in the voter registration office for a time. As director of the Susquehanna County Chamber of Commerce, she also occupies an office in the county office building on Public Avenue.

In a subject seldom addressed by county officeholders, Warren said her first objective would be to bridge the gap between county and municipal governments.

"I look forward to working with local government," she said. "There is a need to maintain a line of communication between local and county government and I intend to address that need." Warren is a councilwoman in her hometown of New Milford Borough.

Other candidates for county office, all of whom ran unopposed, and their vote count, included: District Attorney, Jason Legg (D/R), 8,992; County Treasurer, Catherine R. Benedict (R), 8,106; Mary F. Evans (D/R), 9,224; Coroner, Anthony J. Conarton (D/R); and, County Auditors, George R. Starzec (R), 6,056; Holly H. Tyler (R), 5,617; and, Clara Jane Brown (D), 3,724.

The County Return Board did not have completed municipal election results at press time. Look for a wrap-up of the municipal elections in next week’s edition of The Transcript.

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Gibson Barracks Report


Someone threw a pumpkin at a mailbox belonging to Deborah Loomis, on Lake Roy Rd., Franklin Township, between 9:10 p.m. on November 2 and 7:30 the next morning, causing the mailbox post to break and damage to the mailbox. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson, at 570-465-3154.


On November 1 at 4:15 a.m., a 5'10" male with dark hair, a goatee, thin build and driving a gold Nissan, pumped $24 of gas from the Pump & Pantry, New Milford Borough, into his vehicle without paying for it. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson, at 570-465-3154.


On November 1 at 3:20 p.m. Tammy Doe Kipp-Belcher, Uniondale, discovered unauthorized charges on her credit card statement.


On November 1 at 9:38 a.m., Trooper Glen Whitney, in a PSP marked patrol car attempted to pull over a motorcycle at the intersection of State Routes 1035 and 1033, Hallstead Borough. The motorcycle was operated by Richard T. Chapman, 19, RR2, Hallstead, and he was being pulled over for traffic violations. The cyclist fled from the patrol vehicle. A chase ended after the patrol car got in front of the motorcycle and the Chapman hit the rear of the patrol vehicle, with the cyclist going over the handle bars and into the rear window of the patrol car, smashing the window with his face and head. Chapman was taken to Wilson Hospital, Broome County, treated for facial cuts and bruises and released. A check determined the motorcycle to be stolen. According to the report, Chapman will be charged with fleeing and eluding as well as other charges.


Terry C. Stone, 47, Brackney, lost control of his 1990 Ford pickup truck which then struck several trees before coming to rest in a field off State Route 167, Bridgewater Township, on October 31 at 8:00 p.m. Stone then fled the scene prior to police arrival and was cited with several traffic violations.


At the intersection of Township Roads 452 and 546, Brooklyn Township, someone proceeded onto Steven Gillman's property on October 30 and removed a UPS package from his rear porch which contained a Direct TV satellite dish, 3 satellite dish receivers and a package with two engine pistons for a 1958 BSA motorcycle. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson, at 570-465-3154.


On October 30 at 9:08 a.m., a white male, approximately 50 years of age drove into the Pump & Pantry Convenience Mart, Lenox Township, and pumped $4.97 of gas into his green Chrysler Concorde and then drove away without paying for the fuel. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson, at 570-465-3154.


Robert Reynolds, State Route 171, Hickory Grove, Great Bend Township, reported that someone blew up his mailbox during the night of October 29 at about 10:30. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson, at 570-465-3154.


Video King, Hallstead, is missing approximately $2480.62 from the store in Hallstead. Cash was apparently stolen from an office between October 25-27. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson, at 570-465-3154.


Someone in a green and white older Ford full size pick up pumped $20.38 in gas, then fled on State Route 171 without paying for it. The incident occurred on October 26 at 12:20 a.m. at the Pump & Pantry, Great Bend Township.


Someone struck a legally parked vehicle in the Flying J parking lot, New Milford Township, on October 19 at 8:50 p.m., then left the scene. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson, at 570-465-3154.


On October 30 at 12:30 a.m., a 2001 Volvo, owned by FLS Transport, Inc., Mont-Royal, Quebec, was hit by someone who fled the scene at the Flying J Parking lot, New Milford Township. The hit & run vehicle was described as a White tractor pulling a white semi trailer, and was last seen traveling south on Interstate 81. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson, at 570-465-3154.


An investigation into an armed bank robbery at the Community Bank and Trust, Clifford, on October 21 at 11:45 a.m. is continuing. At the time of the report one suspect, Charles Scalamonti, 49, Jessup, had been arrested and charged in relation to this case. According to the police report Scalamonti is being held in Susquehanna County Correctional facility pending a preliminary hearing.


Samuel Whitney, 17, Great Bend, was traveling on State Route 171, Great Bend Township, on October 29 at 8:10 a.m., at an apparent high rate of speed when John Miller, 34, Carbondale, turned onto 171 in close proximity to Whitney.

Whitney hit the front of his vehicle into the rear of Miller's. No serious injury was reported.


Derek L. Degraw, 22, Montrose, was driving a 1984 Buick Regal on State Route 267, Rush Township. Two persons were walking in the northbound lane. Degraw struck both people with the passenger side of his vehicle. Both were thrown off the road into a yard. According to the report, the pedestrians' names were withheld pending further investigation. It was dark, foggy and raining at the time of the crash, 6:10 a.m. on October 29. Both persons were taken to Wilson Hospital with injuries that are believed to be non-life threatening. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson, at 570-465-3154.


Alexander Reece, 45, Vestal, NY, was southbound on State Route 267 at Smokin Joes, Choconut Township, and attempted to turn left into the business. Reece failed to see William Hudy Jr., 31, Endicott, NY, who was in the northbound lane of the road, and a collision occurred. No serious injury was reported in this October 26 accident at 4:00 p.m.


Frederick Spinola, Jr., Hop Bottom, was arrested for suspicion of DUI on State Route 106, Lenox Township, on October 18 at 7:00 p.m., after troopers observed him driving erratically. Charges were filed with District Justice Gene Franklin, according to the report.


Joseph J. Blaisure, 18, Meshoppen, operating a 1985 Toyota Celica at a high rate of speed on State Route 3001, Dimock Township, lost control, crossed the roadway, and traveled about 500 feet on the berm before striking a tree. He was cited for driving under suspension and driving a vehicle at an unsafe speed, in this October 31 incident.


Someone removed a 9MM Bersa pistol from Theresa Price's residence on Wolf Hill Rd., Harford Township, between October 1-3. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson, at 570-465-3154.


Patricia J. Falcone, Owego, NY, and an unknown person got into a verbal argument that lead to the two pushing each other on October 11 at 3:40-3:50 a.m. The unknown was a white male with dirty blond hair. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson, at 570-465-3154


Someone damaged a door, on October 11 at 9:00 a.m., on a seasonal residence at Township Route 594, Bridgewater Township. It belonged to Thomas Carney, (no town given) New Jersey. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police, Gibson, at 570-465-3154.


Curtis Rudock, 17, South Gibson, traveled into the intersection of State Routes 106 and 92, Lenox Township, on November 3 at 3:45 p.m. He was struck by Andrea James, 49, Clarks Summit.

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Court House Report


Michael Scott Schwenk, 36, Montrose Borough, and Sandy D. McCollum, 34, Montrose Borough.

Ronald Kieth Corbin, Sr., 43, Conklin, NY, and Elizabeth Fay Barrett, 31, Conklin, NY.

Justin Aleric Slofkosky, 22, Liberty Township, and Andrea Christine Shugart, 21, Kingsley.

Ernest Quackenbush, 45, Grover, and Tracy Beth Sechrist, 40, Grover.

Corey Dean Brewer, 19, Montrose Borough, and Kristy Lee Jones, 19, Montrose Borough.

Robert David Curley, 35, Middletown, and Theresa L. Griffiths, 37, Middletown.

Scott Philip Bennett, 28, Franklin Township, and Stacy Lorraine Roberts, 26, Franklin Township.

Timothy Paul Lowrie, 24, Hop Bottom Borough, and Nicole M. Strelecki, 19, Hop Bottom Borough.


Peter S. Watrous and Pamela J. Walker to Peter S. Watrous Lifetime Trust Number One in Franklin Township for $1 (2 parcels) on Oct. 3.

Judith Hargadon and Matthew Hargadon to Robert C. Langman and Barbara Langman in Herrick Township for $72,500 on Oct. 21.

Patricia A. DeLorme to Jayne Marvel Deverell in Silver Lake Township for $30,000 on Oct. 13.

Elizabeth H. Griffin to Brian P. Griffin in New Milford Borough for $1 on Oct. 3.

Easement agreement between Robert A. Taylor and Raybelle Taylor and Angelo Scarfalloto and Jacqueline Scarfalloto, and Bridgewater Township Municipal Authority on Sept. 11.

Helga Kannenberg and Donald Kannenberg to Douglas G. Kilmer in Apolacon Township for bluestone mining permit on Oct. 20.

Wachovia Bank of Delaware to Richard A. Banker in Susquehanna Borough for $13,000 on Sept. 11.

Rights of way given to Claverack Rural Electic Cooperative, Inc. by the following: Randy or Dianne Robbins in Jackson Township on July 23, Charles Alexander and Darlene Alexander in Jackson Township on Sept. 17, Robert D. or Gloria J. Anderson in Silver Lake Township on June 9, Andrew and Ruta Smithson in Rush Township on July 3, 2001, Jackson Township Supervisors in Jackson Township on Sept. 26, 2000, Stateline Quarries, Ltd. in Apolacon Township on Nov. 9, 2000, Francis J. Romanowski in Auburn Township on May 19, B. S. Quarry in Silver Lake Township on September 26, 2000, Kenneth W. Jr. or Kathy Mason in Brooklyn Township on July 7, Rosalie Kish & Donald W. Crawford in Franklin Township on Sept. 29, 2000, David Sisco in Jackson Township on Sept. 25, 2000, Terry M. White in Jackson Township on Sept. 26, 2000, Marshall and Maryellen Tompkins in Jackson Township on Sept. 26, 2000, Jeffers Farm Inc. in Harford Township on Aug. 30, 2000.

Francine E. Black nbm Francine E. Schroer to David W. Schroer and Francine E. Schroer in Apolacon Township for $1 on Apr. 9.

PennDOT to Mark E. & Joyce G. George in Harford Township for highway occupancy permit on Oct. 22.

Duane L. Jerauld and Jane F. Jerauld to Kenneth C. Small in Choconut Township for $100,000 on Oct. 22.

Marlene L. Howard, nbm Marlene L. Robinson and Charles Robinson to Marlene L. Robinson and Charles Robinson in Springville Township for $1.

Mark J. Lippolis, Administrator of the estate of Shirley E. Lippolis to Mark J. Lippolis and Kimberly A. Lippolis in Herrick Townhip for $47,000 on Sept 25.

Irene Palfrey to Daniel J. Herlehy and Sharon L. Herlehy in Herrick Township for $29,900 on Sept. 26.

Thomas J. Lopatofsky, Jr. to Joseph Radick in Lenox Township for $7,500 on Oct. 23.

Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Wachovia Mortgage Corporation in Bridgewater Township for $5,960.63 on Oct. 7.

Maybelle A. Oakley to Andrew F. Steitz & Theresa M. Sullivan in New Milford and Harford Townships for $157,500 on Oct. 23.

C. C. Coleman Jr. to Robin Salsman in Rush Township for bluestone mining operation on Sept. 9.

Ireno Monteforte to Pennsylvania Electric Company in New Milford Township for easement on June 5.

Joseph Monteforte to Pennsylvania Electric Company in New Milford Township for easement on June 5.

Brian D. Dreher to John S. Aldrich in Franklin Township for $75,000 on Oct. 24.

Deutsche Bank National Trust Company to Diane P. Steneck, Lawrence Steneck and Carolee Steneck in Lenox Township for $6,000 on Aug. 19.

Lawrence and Carolee Steneck to Diane P. Steneck in Lenox Township for $1 on Oct. 10.

PennDOT to Ann M. Hawley in Silver Lake Township for highway occupancy permit on Oct. 27.

Mary Karen Polednak and Robert A. Polednak to Mary Karen Polednak in Clifford Township for $1 on Oct. 8.

Angelo J. Guzzi, II to Robert J. Chudzinski and Helen Chudzinski in Forest City Borough for $70,000 on Oct. 24.

Pamela Wasnock nka Pamela Green to Pamela Green in Forest City Borough for $1 on Oct. 26.

Paul Colombo, Executor of the Estate of Carmelo C. Colombo aka Carmelo Charles Colombo, and Charlotte A. Colombo, individually, to Charles J. Colombo in New Milford Township for $1 ogvc on Sept. 19.

Kathy Wildoner, aka Cathy Wildoner, and Edward S. Darling to Cathy Wildoner and Edward S. Darling in Auburn Township for $1 on Oct. 1.

Frederick T. Fry and Jean Ann Fry to Frederick T. Fry and Jean Ann Fry in Hop Bottom Borough and Lenox Township for $1. on Oct. 26.

Earl E. Cottrell and Barbara L. Cottrell to Earl E. Cottrell in Thompson Township for $1 ogvc on Oct. 29.

John M. Warnero and Karlyn S. Orazi, nbm Karlyn S. Warnero to John M. Warnero and Karlyn S. Warnero in Springville Township for $1 on July 22.

Cecil Space and Charlotte Space to Scott Johnson and Mary Beth Johnson in Choconut Township for $42,000 on Oct. 14.

Spyrol Dimatos and Nicole Dimatos to Daniel J. Cole in Silver Lake and Liberty Townships for $7,000 on Oct. 1.

Allen D. Fitch III to Pennsylvania Electric Company in Springville Township for easement on Sept. 19.

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Thompson Gets Sewage Updates

Thompson Boro Council met for their regular monthly meeting on November 3 with president Dennis Price presiding and all members present, as well as secretary Diane Sheldon, treasurer Marge Whitney, mayor Jim Delaney, police chief Tom Rivenburgh and several guests.

During reading of the previous meeting’s minutes, Mr. Price noted that a guest had been incorrectly identified as Robin Komar; it was, in fact Robin Holmes who had addressed council regarding the fire police.

Mrs. Whitney reported that the boro has received a reimbursement from the Army Corps of Engineers for the sewage project in the amount of $194,557.66. A motion carried during reading of the bills to pay Pioneer, the project contractor, their next installment, covering September 19 through October 22, in the amount of $169,405.43. Mrs. Whitney noted that the boro’s reimbursement from ACE has been almost used up, with only $46,000 remaining. The boro was eligible for a total of approximately $725,000, minus about $55,000 for administration costs. Subsequent costs of the project will be taken from the construction loan obtained for the project.

Pioneer is in the process of doing some cleanup and some sidewalk restoration, after which they will concentrate on construction of the plant site. Mr. Price has been trying to find information regarding what types of snow/ice removal products may be used on the new sidewalks; salt is not approved as it will deteriorate the concrete. An audience member suggested that several local concrete companies be contacted to see what is recommended, after which notices will be posted to let homeowners know what can be safely used. Homeowners will be responsible for damage caused by use of salt.

The boro is eligible for a $5,000 reimbursement, to be used for administrative supplies for the sewage project; it was agreed to submit the bill for the computer purchased several months ago as well as for the costs for a new copier, fax machine and file cabinet.

During the previous month, Mr. Price had authorized several change orders for the plant site; the changes covered such items as drainage around the tank, a bypass connection for the pump station for maintenance purposes, a pump to eliminate freezing, upgrade of the electrical panel, additional circuits required for the generator, an air valve at the holding tank for the blowers, and a pad with a roof and a drain for the sludge bag storage area.

Pioneer is checking into determining if a (sewage) backup at a property on Jackson St. was caused by repair of a prior problem. If it is determined that the repair is not the cause of the backup, it will be the homeowner’s responsibility.

It was noted that a handicap ramp will be placed at the Methodist Church; work was expected to be completed by week’s end. In a related discussion, it was reported that an individual had fallen at this site but had not sought medical attention. Mr. Price said that if someone were to be injured as a result of the construction a complaint must be submitted, in writing, to Pioneer.

And, council stressed that homeowners may not connect sewer lines from residences to the main line until they have been notified that it is okay to do so; the lines must first be inspected and approved before the hook-ups can be connected. Any lines that have been connected to the main line before notification has been received must be disconnected until clearance is given; later in the meeting, Mr. Price answered questions from an audience member about how homeowners are made aware of the procedure that must be followed. He said that a number of public meetings have been held for the purpose of keeping residents informed about the progress of the project, and what they may expect. And, notices have been sent to property owners to keep them up to date about the project’s progress. In cases where there is a tenant at a property, the property owner has received the notices.

In other business, Mr. Gardner has been in contact with Penelec regarding moving two street lights. Penelec will move the lights, at no cost to the boro. One will be moved from Erie Ave. to Water St., with another at the corner of Erie and Willow moved to a pole closer to the road.

Council reviewed the agreement with Thompson Township for plowing and cindering, which covers the period from November 1 to April 30. Among other provisions, at any area where a vehicle is blocking the road, that area will not be plowed. Residents are not to contact the township with complaints or requests for plowing/cindering. Councilman Allen Lloyd is designated liaison between the boro and the township, with Jeff Sheldon serving as alternate.

Council’s agreement with the fire company, for use of the building for meetings, was reviewed; terms remain unchanged, a $50/month donation.

The boro’s solicitor is in the process of reviewing a proposed setback ordinance.

Mr. Gardner updated council on the last meeting of the Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership, which he and Ms. Sabatelli and Mr. Lloyd had attended. ESCP is a group of local, neighboring municipalities who have joined together to draft a comprehensive plan. Funding for the cost of the plan has been proportionately divided among the six municipalities, with Thompson’s share approximately $1,000 over the next two years, an item that will need to be considered in next year’s budget. ESCP will be applying for grant funding for 80% of the plan’s costs, estimated to be about $56,000. In the meantime, a prospectus will be prepared to send to consultants who specialize in drafting comprehensive plans. Immediate cost to the boro will be about $15.00, for incidental expenses, such as postage and copies.

Mr. Price reported that he and several members of council had attended a meeting with the fire company to discuss several concerns. It had been agreed to form a committee with the fire company, with Mr. Sheldon and Mr. Halesky representing council. The committee will meet as needed to address any concerns that arise.

In a related subject, a sample resolution was reviewed outlining the procedure for new appointments to the fire police. A motion carried to adopt the resolution.

Information received indicates that the new, statewide building codes will most likely go into effect some time in mid-April, after which municipalities will have a period of ninety days to determine how codes matters will be handled, whether through an entity such as COG, or through the services of a privately hired CEO/inspector.

A representative of the PA American Water Co. will be asked to attend the next meeting, to discuss some concerns with the water system, especially since some questions have arisen with the sewage project construction. In particular, there was a question of whether PAWC would need to be notified before the hydrants could be used in the case of an emergency, such as fire, or whether the notification could take place after the occurrence.

Mr. Gardner gave a summary of a Planning Beyond Boundaries workshop which he and Ms. Sabatelli had attended, which mainly dealt with inter-municipal planning particularly with land development and how a municipality’s ordinances could be legally challenged, and how to continue to provide public services without increasing real estate taxes.

Mayor Delaney reported that local business owners will be participating in a Christmas open house, where local merchants will keep their doors open late on an as yet determined date.

After hearing a monthly report from Mr. Rivenburgh, council resumed work on next year’s budget.

The next meeting will be on Monday, December 1, 7:30 p.m. at the fire house on Water St.

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New Milford Unveils Budget

The proposed 2004 budget for New Milford Borough does not, like its 2003 budget, include a 10 percent decrease in taxes. However, there’s no tax increase, either. What there is, is a very ambitious plan to begin paving New Milford’s streets next year, with the budget seeming to back it up, and with the majority of streets expected to get new blacktop in 2004, and the remainder the following year. Also set aside is a fund to act as a kind of seed money for the borough’s next focus, which is to put in new sidewalks, once the paving is accomplished.

Council member Jim Carr reported that he is working with PENNDOT’s Randy Decker in putting a dollar figure on the paving cost for each street so the borough can prioritize where to start the paving project. It has built a cushion into the paving money as well, to take into account any unpredictability of petroleum prices when the time comes around to purchase blacktop.

The borough will advertise its proposed budget, and where and how residents can review it. Council president Scott Smith, and members Terri Gulick and Rick Ainey hammered out the budget which was well received by the full Council at its meeting last Thursday evening.

CEO Shane Lewis reported to Council that Eric Tichtman, a COG inspector, is no longer with COG. Thus, Lewis reinspected the Youth Advocate property according to Tichtman’s requirements, and things have been taken care of there. He reported that Mrs. K. Plevinsky, owner of a building with two businesses, is filing with Labor and Industry on the whole structure; an update was not available. As for the Bovenkamp building, Lewis reported the building permit for it was revamped; plans have been downsized and Borough secretary Amy Hine will take care of reimbursing Bovenkamp the difference between a permit for the revamped structure and the amount paid for the original permit for a larger one.

Ainey brought up a couple of questions that arose from his review of COG’s latest bill to the borough. He noticed that it was being charged by the quarter-hour for administrative work, reminding other council members that he made a motion for quarter-hour billing a few months ago at a COG Codes meeting, and no action was taken. He requested that Lewis ask Codes whether it will now bill as well for other services, such as inspections or meetings, by the quarter-hour.

Ainey also pointed out that Hine was appointed Codes contact for COG, with all calls and all contacts funneled through her office. Items on the latest bill included several calls, which Ainey chalked up to the "one municipality, one COG contact" transition. In the meantime, he asked Hine to keep a log of calls she received regarding Codes, and to compare her log with what COG bills.

The Council swore in and warmly welcomed its newest junior council person, Beth Giangrieco, a student at Blue Ridge High School. Giangrieco takes the non-voting, but fully participatory, seat held by Brad Warren for the two years prior to his graduation.

November’s good neighbor recognition went to Al Vogel. Vogel, according to Ainey, "has always been a person who helps; probably everybody in town has called Al for help," adding that he is, like others who have been recognized, a person who helps make New Milford a good small town. Vogel has been running his business in the town for about 25 years, and council member MaryAnn Warren pointed out that he moves the cannons from the park every fall.

In other good deeds, Richard Pfeister, representing the New Milford Rotary Club, was at the meeting to speak with council about putting up a new flagpole in the park. The Club is purchasing the new pole and two flags for the borough, but it needs people and funds to do the installation, which they’re willing to pitch in on, too. He asked the borough to remove the current pole and base, and set a new base into which the new pole will be placed.

He also recommended removing the current light and placing it as high up on the back of the monument as possible to illuminate the flag and minimize vandalism to the light. (The new pole has an internal halyard so no one can fool around with the flag). So, an electrician will be needed, too. Pfeister noted that the Rotary Club is ready to start now, and that’s what the borough will do. Hine and Allen will work with Pfeister, and contact an electrician as well as speak with Ronnie about getting rid of the concrete.

In the Streets Committee report, Chris Allen reported that Ronnie would be getting down to Cobb Street to look at the catch basin there (the proposed budget includes money to repair the problem). He will also get hold of the resident who complained about the Maple Street bridge, see what it is, and do something from there.

For Buildings and Equipment, Allen also reported that the roof and siding have been done, so there was nothing to report. He did suggest, however, that council might want to put up some lettering on the front of the building, identifying it as New Milford’s office building. Hine will call Rosencranz signs in Great Bend, ask them to take a look at the building, and make some suggestions as to how to enhance it with lettering.

Other committee reports were as follows: Planning Commission – will meet on November 12; Economic Development – not much is going on with the economic incubator; Parks Association – hasn’t set a date for representatives of the three sponsoring groups to meet.

Ainey reported on two ideas that came out of the most recent of two meetings of the Endless Mountains Business Association, a group that is open to, and invites, officials from area municipalities. The first is to work on developing a communications network among municipalities; the other was to work hard on getting the Welcome Center up and going. Ainey noted that other coalitions were forming in the County to plan and to set strategy for economic development. The next meeting of the Association is on November 24, 7 p.m. at the Blue Ridge High School.

Santa will be coming to the Park on November 29 from 11 to 1. This year, the Men’s Club will be helping with the festivities. Hine noted that town residents and businesses donate all the fixings for this event that’s always welcomed by the borough’s youngsters.

And in a holiday that’s passed, Carr wondered why it was that the Halloween parade was rerouted this year. Apparently, it was thought two trucks with trailers with parade participants in them exceeded the weight limit for a bridge. It seems the people who thought this were misinformed; the bridge in question was not the one that the parade would have crossed, had it been allowed to.

The next regular meeting of the New Milford Borough Council is scheduled for December 4 at 7 p.m. in the Borough Building on Main Street.

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Great Bend to Lose Lonzinskis

The December meeting of the Great Bend Borough Council may be the last that will benefit from the work of the Lonzinski family, at least for a while. Louise (Dolly) Lonzinski, Council President for the past few years and long- time servant of her town, did not run to keep her seat on Council at the recent election, and so will be stepping down.

Her husband, Mike Lonzinski, a long-time active fireman and for the past many years the Borough's Emergency Management Coordinator, surprised Council with a letter tendering his resignation from that position, effective at the end of the year. As one of his last important acts in that role, he ensured that the Susquehanna County Emergency Management Agency didn't forget his home town when distributing grant money.

The popular and visible couple will be missed in their official capacities, but Council members vowed to ensure that they would be kept busy anyway. Mike Wasko said that if an emergency situation comes up, Mike would get the first call.

The emergency operations grant - all of $500 - was provided as an incentive to county municipalities to participate in updating their local emergency management plans. The money may be spent only on emergency management operations, and Council asked Mr. Lonzinski to offer a few suggestions for putting the money to use.

One potential emergency in the making, in the eyes of some on Council, is the presence of a large fireworks warehouse at one end of town. To a question from Councilman Mike Wasko, Mr. Lonzinski replied that the fire company had no means to deal with a fire involving magnesium, which cannot be suppressed with water. It appears that the Borough has no information about what is stored in the warehouse, or how the materials are protected and handled. The Borough secretary was asked to try to find out from Federal agencies and from the state Bureau of Labor and Industry about licensing of the facility.

Vandalism in the parks, particularly Memorial Park, is a long-standing concern in Great Bend. The Pavilion in the park has experienced damage from young people climbing in the rafters, and there is some worry that such activities could expose the Borough to a liability problem. So Council approved the expenditure of up to $400 to install a plywood ceiling in the structure in an attempt to cut down on some of the depredations. Councilman Ray Holtzman also said that he had spoken with State troopers about some known perpetrators.

Mr. Holtzman reported that all paperwork is signed, and the Borough's new truck should be delivered on or about December 1. Council expressed a fervent hope that the truck would arrive before the first significant snowfall.

Interest in developing a new budget for the Borough was notably absent at the meeting, but Council decided to get together on Thursday, November 20, to work one up.

Regular meetings of the Great Bend Borough Council take place at the Borough Building beginning at 7:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month.

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No Tax Hike In Forest City

There will not be a municipal tax increase in Forest City Borough in 2004 according to a tentative municipal budget approved last week by a 6-1 vote of the Borough Council. The lone negative vote came from Council President Jim Lowry.

The 2004 spending plan totals $523,000 which is some $8,000 more than the current budget. More than 50 percent of the total reflects fixed costs, such as salaries for the full-time police officers, utilities and insurance.

Lowry said he could not support the budget because it does not provide a salary increase for Susan Coleman, borough secretary/treasurer.

Finance Chairman Paul J. Amadio said the only borough employees getting pay raises next year are the two full-time police officers and those are mandated by their union contract. Amadio said all borough employees were given pay increases in 2003.

As usual, the largest expenditure in the new budget is for police protection. In 2004, the police budget will be more than $180,000. The amount includes $122,000 for salaries and wages; health insurance for the two full-time officers; and, workman’s compensation insurance premiums.

Other noticeable budget appropriations include $36,000 for engineering costs on the proposed Dundaff Street sewer project; $25,000 for street paving; an estimated $30,000 for a new truck for the street department; fire department, $23,000 plus workman’s compensation insurance premiums; and, Kennedy Park, $9,700 plus workman’s compensation insurance premiums.

Incoming revenue is anticipated to be $534,000. The largest ticket items in this category includes $228,000 in real estate taxes and, $110.000 in wage taxes. Some other sources of revenue include $15,000, delinquent real estate taxes; $12,000, cable franchise fees; $12,000 in local and state police fines; $6,000 in meter collections and fines; and, $10,000 in rent.

In another matter, council unanimously passed a curfew ordinance designed to keep minors under 18 years of age off the streets late at night unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Parents can be held accountable if their children are found guilty of violating any provision of the ordinance.

According to the ordinance, it is unlawful for any minor to be on any public street, park or other public place in the borough or in any enclosure or vehicle in the borough between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday,

Violators of the ordinance can be fined up to $600 and, in default of payment, can be jailed for 30 days. The ordinance will become effective on December 1.

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