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Harford Township once again has a full Board of Supervisors. Township Secretary Sue Furney made history when she put on her brand-new second hat on January 5 to become the first known female Supervisor in the Township's more than 200 years. The Board reconstituted itself in the first of two consecutive sessions, that began with Rick Pisasik nominating himself temporary chair and calling for nominations for a permanent chair. He got that, too. And since Ms. Furney is already Secretary-Treasurer, the only other real choice among the three was to make Terry VanGorden Vice Chair.
Most of the other requirements of township reorganization were met simply by reestablishing the status quo. Legal counsel remains the same, Bob Simon remains Roadmaster, the treasurer's bond remains at $450,000, Dorothy Hagenbuch agreed to continue as chair of the vacancy board, the meeting schedule remains unchanged (second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, at 7:30 p.m., at the township building), and the township's funds remain on deposit at Peoples National Bank. PennStar bank is soliciting municipal business, and Mr. Pisasik was willing to hear their pitch, but for now the money will stay put. Employee wages and holidays were to be discussed at an executive session later in the evening, with results to be announced at a meeting later in the month. Ms. Furney's salary as Township Secretary will be determined by the township's auditors.
Later, during the second meeting, all three Supervisors announced that they would be accepting the Supervisor salary of up to $1,500 per year. For the last year or so Mr. Pisasik and Mr. VanGorden have served without compensation at their choice.
Having organized themselves for another year, Mr. Pisasik opened the regular business meeting. As Treasurer, Ms. Furney reported that the books for 2003 are not yet complete, pending receipt of final bank statements. The reports as presented, however, show that the township had about $374,000 in the bank at year's overall, including township, state and sewer funds.
Ms. Furney also reported that the county is still disappointed that Harford doesn't have a tax assessor. She said that four people received votes for the office in the recent election, but none accepted the challenge. Municipalities throughout the county have had difficulty finding people to accept this all-but-thankless position.
At the last business meeting, the Supervisors had to set aside three subdivision applications for lack of sewage planning documentation. The three were taken up again, this time "tentatively" approved, pending receipt of such documentation. Mr. Pisasik told one of the petitioners who attended the meeting, that all that was needed was for the Council of Governments (COG) office to notify the township that the paperwork is in order. COG now handles all of Harford's sewage enforcement matters.
The Supervisors accepted an estimate for electrical work in and around the township building from Lou's Repair Service of Montrose. Several licensed electrical contractors were contacted for the project, but only two responded. Of those two, the lowest estimate was from Lou's, for about $6,000.
Near the close of the evening, Mr. Pisasik asked the indulgence of the meeting to make a statement about the Odd Fellows Hall in the village. Saying that the issue had been "weighing on me very heavily," he outlined a position that he thinks could lead to a resolution of the matter. Mr. Pisasik's proposal has several parts:
1. During the first phase, local residents are invited to submit suggestions for possible uses for the building. Mr. Pisasik said that unless the hall had a purpose, there would be little benefit from fixing it up. Mr. Pisasik, among a number of others in the community, consider the building a viable structure that could be renovated and once again made available for public use.
2. Assuming that the community has identified a purpose for the hall, an effort would be made to determine what needs to be done to renovate the building - to put it back in "reasonable" shape - and how much the work might cost. Mr. Pisasik said that the Township might be willing to contribute to the reconstruction of the building, but could not shoulder the entire burden, particularly if the cost is in six figures.
3. Next, the community would have to show a willingness to contribute "time," "effort," and "dollars" to fix up the building. Mr. Pisasik said that community involvement would decide his own participation and support as a Township Supervisor.
Mr. Pisasik said that these steps should be completed by mid-July, so that a final determination could be made. If community support is lacking, the Supervisors have the option to put the disposal of the building on the ballot at a referendum. (According to Mr. Pisasik, the township's attorneys have advised that the restrictive deed covenants that bind the township's hands could be removed in a court proceeding. Mr. Pisasik said that he is not willing to take that approach.)
One of the concerns Mr. Pisasik has expressed about a referendum is the form such a ballot question would take. He said that, if community support is not forthcoming, he would support a ballot measure that, if passed, would remove the restrictions from the deed and give complete control of the building and adjoining property to the Township Supervisors. Final determination of the building's future would then be the responsibility of the town's elected officials.
Asked if he had decided on a plan for carrying out these steps, Mr. Pisasik said that his statement was as far as he was willing to go at this time. At least one of his hearers at the meeting pronounced his position statement as "a step in the right direction."
The Harford Township Supervisors will next meet in public session on January 27, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The Susquehanna County Commissioners said at last weeks reorganization meeting that they would spend the next few weeks working on the 2004 county budget. It will not be an easy task.
In order to keep the tax rate stable, the outgoing administration left the new commissioners with a budget that is well below the appropriations needed in several county departments. To meet these financial needs, the commissioners will have to increase real estate taxes and they are working feverishly in an attempt to keep the increase at one-half mill.
"We arent a bit satisfied with the budget," said Commissioner Roberta Kelly, new chair of the Board of Commissioners.
The commissioners have even gone to the bullpen for some additional help. They will bring in the countys longtime accounting firm, Snyder & Clemente of Kingston, to help with some of the more complex line items such as 911 and Domestic Relations.
"We need to have them come out and work with some departments on the budget," said Commissioner Jeff Loomis. "We have letters from many departments complaining about cuts in their budgets."
Loomis, who is an accountant, said that while he was looking through the budget he found an outstanding bill from Lackawanna County for $125,000. He said it dates back to the mid-1970s when the county was linked to Lackawanna Countys 911 emergency system. He said it was the first time Lackawanna County billed the county but the bill still must be paid.
"It was not done with malice but just neglected," Loomis said. "We have to pay it."
Loomis said the new Board of Commissioners inherited many financial problems. He said the roof on the county annex building on Public Avenue needs replacing at an estimated cost of $50,000; the total budget for maintenance was cut by $200,000; the county court system was cut $35,000; the district attorneys budget was cut; and travel expenses were slashed in many departments where out-of-area seminars are required for certification.
Loomis also said the outgoing administration awarded a bid for overhauling the monument in the square but failed to appropriate the countys required share of $7,500. He said much of the work will be paid for by grant money but the county will not qualify for grants if it does not come up with the $7,500.
The county has until mid-February to pass the 2004 budget. A resolution at the January 14 meeting will allow the commissioners to reopen the budget. The budget will probably be ready for adoption at the February 11 meeting.
In accepting the chair, Kelly said her administration will have "an open door policy." She said she wants more detailed information in the minutes of the meetings.
"I want to have the general public know what is going on," she said. "I want to get in and do the job. We have three separate personalities who are here for the right reasons."
"We are here because of you," Minority Commissioner MaryAnn Warren told the audience. "We look forward to working with you."
Appointments approved by the board included: Michael Giangrieco, county solicitor; Suzanne Brainard, chief clerk; Linda Labarbara, public defender; Mark Darmofal, assistant public defender; and, Catherine Benedict, director of the tax claim bureau.
The commissioners will continue to meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 10 a.m. in the county annex building on Public Avenue, and the Assessment Board will conduct reviews on the first Thursday of the month at 10 a.m. in the assessment office.
There was a quiet change of government last week in Great Bend Borough. On Monday, January 5, the Borough Council reconstituted itself following the departure of long-time stalwart Dolly Lonzinski, and named Ray Holtzman its new Chairman. Council also welcomed back Jerry MacConnell after a long hiatus.
Mr. MacConnell may add a slightly more confrontational tone to Council's deliberations, if his participation at the body's first regular meeting of 2004 on January 8 is any guide. The very first topic to come up under old business was what to do about the Borough's ordinances; or, more properly, where are they? According to the minutes, the issue was broached at the reorganization meeting, but it has been an ongoing concern of Council for some time, and Mike Wasko harshly criticized the Borough's solicitor, Frank O'Connor, for failure to come up with them. Most of the Council members chimed in that they were disappointed with Mr. O'Connor's lack of attention to the matter. Perhaps, it was suggested, the Borough ought to consider finding another solicitor.
It was at about that time that Mr. O'Connor himself arrived. He has served as the Borough's attorney for more than 20 years, and has collected most of the Borough's official documents in his offices. Nobody seemed to know why the Borough office itself hasn't kept copies of the documents fundamental to its existence and operation.
Mr. MacConnell loudly demanded a commitment from Mr. O'Connor to a date by which the documents would be delivered. For his part, Mr. O'Connor reminded Council that he hasn't been paid by the Borough for anything for over two years, and said he would have his staff search the files as time permitted. That wasn't good enough for Mr. MacConnell, who insisted on a date, a date that Mr. O'Connor wasn't inclined to specify. And, having weathered hostile fire for a brief spell on one front, Mr. O'Connor retired to a Boy Scout meeting.
Mr. Wasko then asked his colleagues to consider reviewing the Borough's agreement with Barnes-Kasson Hospital for the use of the Borough Building for the Blue Ridge Senior Center, with an eye to raising the rent. Three years ago the Borough raised the fee to $450; shortly thereafter, the hospital completely renovated the building's interior. Now it appears that the hospital's payments are no longer covering the cost of operating the building. Mr. Wasko estimates that the senior center is responsible for about 94% of the building's space, and the hospital has preferred that the facility not be made available for general public use. The Borough will notify the hospital of its intention to raise the fee; the size of the increase will be determined later.
Mr. Holtzman reported that the Borough took delivery of its new truck, a large Ford equipped (in timely fashion) with a plow and cinder spreader. The Borough's worker, Alan Grannis, pronounced it "great." Mr. MacConnell claimed to have received some complaints that Mr. Grannis was driving the truck too fast while plowing, but was told that 20 miles per hour was about as fast as you could plow on the town's streets.
The bill report and treasurer's report this month were hand-written. Borough Secretary Mary Jean Fleming has been complaining for some time about the performance of the computer acquired a year or so ago through a state program. Council agreed to proceed immediately to purchase a new computer from budgeted funds.
Great Bend Borough may not know where its ordinances are, but when Council decides on a new one, they do it at their meetings on the first Thursday of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Mayor Nancy Hurley presided at the reorganization of the Susquehanna Boro Council on January 5. The first order of business was to administer oaths of office to returning members Ron Whitehead, John Bronchella Mike Matis and Roy Williams, as well as to newly elected Chad Haley.
A motion carried to elect Mr. Williams to the position of council president. The meeting proceeded with Mr. Williams presiding. Mr. Whitehead declined nomination for vice president, and in turn nominated Mr. Matis, who was then elected. Motions carried to reappoint Margaret Biegert as secretary/treasurer and Steve Glover as streets commissioner.
It was agreed to return to a schedule of two meetings monthly, to be held on the second and fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m. in the boro building.
The meeting adjourned briefly for an executive session to discuss a personnel issue.
When the meeting resumed, discussion continued (from prior meetings) regarding the boros acquisition of railroad cars. Mrs. Biegert reported that the owner of the Starrucca House would be willing to enter into a three-year agreement with the boro, to keep the cars at the siding adjacent to the Starrucca House. The agreement would be re-negotiated after the three-year period. However, he would like to see a financial commitment from council for restoration of the cars. Council member Pat Fredericks niece is taking a college course on technical design and would be interested in creating a plan to restore the cars, which would include approximate cost as well as design.
A motion carried to accept the three-year agreement. After some discussion, it was agreed to allocate $500 towards refurbishing the cars. A committee will be formed to get estimates on the cost of the project and perhaps organize fund-raisers. The committee will be comprised of Mrs. Frederick, Mr. Matis, Mr. Williams, and interested citizens.
Council adopted a resolution to enter into an agreement with the county Housing and Redevelopment Authority; the authority will submit a grant application on the boros behalf for additional funds, to extend the Main Street sidewalk restoration project to Center Avenue.
A motion carried to retain Myron DeWitt as boro solicitor for the coming year.
A motion carried to join a team program available through the PA State Association of Boros, which will entitle the boro to legal services pertaining to employee issues.
Two bids were received for heating fuel; a motion carried to accept the lower bid, with Benson Brothers.
Mayor Hurleys report included a request for council to consider a resolution to create the positions of chief of police and lieutenant, and to appoint officers Golka and Record (respectively) to those positions. It would, she said, help the department to operate more effectively. A motion carried to approve.
Continuing her report, Mayor Hurley noted that there has been an increase in DUI arrests. The police department now has a website and an e-mail address where residents may send tips or information directly to the police. The department has some concerns about the boros curfew ordinance; Mrs. Hurley suggested that it would be more efficient if curfew time is the same for every day of the week, rather than different times for weekdays and weekends. Council will review the ordinance and discuss any recommended changes at a future meeting.
And, Mrs. Hurley reported receiving several complaints about street lights that are not working. Mr. Bronchella said that both he and Mr. Glover had reported outages several times to Penelec, but that they had not been addressed. Mr. Glover added that, traditionally, police officers have taken note of the pole numbers, as they are on duty at night when the lights should be on. There is a form that must be faxed to Penelec, listing the pole numbers. After some discussion, Mr. Williams stated that he would call Penelec.
Codes Enforcement Officer Shane Lewis gave his monthly report; two verbal warnings had been issued and three buildings inspected. There had been less activity than usual during the previous month because he had taken time off.
Mrs. Biegert reported that the river front property is in the process of being surveyed, which could take several months. And, the boro solicitor has encountered a problem with transferring title of the Washington Street property, which had been sold to Burman and Crawford Construction. The property consists of two lots, one of which has a clear title. The other, however, requires a quiet title action in order for the boro to sell it; this will cost approximately $900. Mr. Williams asked Ron Crawford if his company would be willing to split the cost with the boro; after some discussion, he agreed. A motion carried to approve.
Continuing discussion from a previous meeting, Mr. Glover said that it would be feasible for the streets department to remove snow from the business section of Main St. when accumulations from clearing the walks amount to two or three feet or more. It would not be possible to put machinery on the walks themselves, the property owners would have to be responsible for getting the snow out into the road. This would have to scheduled to be done at night, when there is less traffic and police officers available to assist.
Mr. Whitehead asked if the snow removal could be included in the boros Agility agreement with PENNDOT. Mr. Glover explained that the approved project list covers a five-year period. The boros present agreement is in effect until 2005 and covers partial paving of High St., Front St., and the entrance to the boro garage on PENNDOTs part, and catch basins and street sweeping (on state roads) in Susquehanna and Lanesboro on the boros part.
Next came the question of where to put the snow once it has been removed. There are restrictions regarding dumping it within a certain distance from the river. Mr. Glover is confident that a place, on boro property, can be found.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 27, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
On Dec. 31, at 8:20 p.m., Michael M. Beaudry, 45, Quakertown, was traveling north across the Elk Mt. parking lot, Herrick Township, and made a sharp left curve causing the 1998 Chevy Suburban to roll over. Baudry received injuries to the head and neck. Among passengers, three received minor or moderate injuries.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Moguinan Ndotoumbaye, Corona, NY, lost control of his 1995 Ford Van on Dec. 14 at 11:20 a.m. on snow-covered Interstate 81, New Milford Township, and the vehicle flipped several times. Minor injuries were noted, without specifying which persons were injured.
Derrick Christopher Smith, Hallstead, lost control of his 1986 Honda Accord on Jan. 1 on State Route 171, Great Bend Township. The vehicle left the right side of the road, re-entered the road, crossed both lanes, left the left side of the road, continued over a high steep embankment and came to rest along the railroad tracks. Smith suffered minor injuries.
Samantha Kuhn, 21, Lanesboro, was driving toward Hallstead on State Route 171 in Oakland Township on Dec. 24 at 6:30 p.m. when a dark blue Chevy Corsica pulled along side of her vehicle and then swerved over and struck her vehicle in an attempt to force her off the road. The hit & run vehicle may have damage to the passenger's side. Anyone with information is asked to contact the PA State Police at Gibson.
Mark Lawrence Lepay, 45, Middletown Township, was accused and arrested for harassment, disorderly conduct and driving a vehicle without a license, after allegedly pulling up to the home of Edward Dudock, 53, Middletown Township, and blowing the horn and yelling at him on Dec. 24 at 11:30 p.m. The incident occurred on Township Route 621, Middletown Township, and citations were filed with District Justice Watson Dayton's office.
Susan Blanchard Popeck, 48, Clarks Summit, drove her vehicle into a ditch on State Route 2023, Clifford Township on Dec. 27, stating that a deer crossed in front of her, causing her to crash. She was arrested for DUI and taken to Marian Community Hospital, Carbondale, where she was asked to submit to a blood test to determine her BAC. She refused to submit to the blood test and was released on her own recognizance.
Sometime between 6:00 p.m. on Dec. 26 and 9:00 a.m. on Dec. 29, someone got into the fenced secure area of Ken's Garage & Body Shop, State Route 11, New Milford Borough, and removed items from inside of a 1997 Chevy Cavalier Z24. Contact the PA State Police with any information.
Charges will be brought against Candice Castrogiovanni, Scranton, after she stopped at the intersection of State Routes 106 and 11, Kingsley, but failed to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle. Castrogiovanni fled the scene, but was later identified. No injuries occurred in this Dec. 19 incident.
On Dec. 26 at 6:20 pm, Richard Gallo, Jr., 50, Linden, NJ, died as a result of a crash at the intersection of State Routes 370 and 171, Ararat Township, when Gallo failed to stop at a posted stop sign, then traveled into the path of Sharon L. Carey, 41, Waymart. The severity of Carey's injuries were not known.
HIT & RUN
Melissa Sue Phillips, 21, Hallstead, was not injured when a dark silver sedan suddenly pulled out of Dobb's Restaurant, Great Bend Township, and struck Phillips who was traveling on State Route 11. Phillips pulled over, but the other driver never made an attempt to stop. Anyone with information on this Dec. 28 incident which occurred at 11:15 p.m. is asked to contact the PA State Police at 570-465-3154.
Kevin McNamara, Susquehanna, was not injured when he pulled out from State Route 92, onto State Route 106, Lenox Township, into the path of Francesca Buopastore, Rutland VT. Buopastore received minor injuries in this Dec. 21 accident.
Tyler Singleton, Montrose, PA, lost control of his 1994 Honda Civic when his vehicle struck a patch of ice located on both lanes of State Route 29, Bridgewater Township, on Dec. 25 at 7:00 pm. The car traveled down an embankment, but Singleton was not injured.
Between Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 someone arrived at a vacated residence on State Route 4008, approximately two miles west of State Route 29, Franklin Township, and threw two rocks through two storm windows. Anyone with information, please call the police at 570-465-3154.
Between 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 26, someone broke into a garage on Township Route 769, Franklin Township, at the Lewis stone quarry, and removed an Ingersoll-Rand compressor motor. Please contact the police with any information.
TRAFFIC ACCIDENT--HIT & RUN
On Dec. 24 at 5:30 p.m., an unknown vehicle struck another vehicle in the Lenox VFW parking lot. Anyone with information is asked to contact the police at 570-465-3154.
Between Nov. 3 and Dec. 24, someone removed two Mercury Tracer mag wheels, 1 Dewalt cordless drill, 2 nickel cadmium batteries and a charger for the batteries from a 1990 Ford van at State Route 2048, Gibson Township. Call police with any information.
On Dec. 20 between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. someone removed $300 from a beauty salon owned by Darlene Preston, Hallstead. Contact the PA State Police with information.
Michael Allison, 39, Laceyville, received moderate injuries when he lost control of his 2001 Ford Focus after passing another vehicle on State Route 267, Auburn Township. His vehicle traveled over standing water, slide sideways, went off the road, struck a utility pole and rolled three times. Allison was flown to CMC Scranton, via Guthrie One, in this Dec. 23 incident.
Someone entered the Basil Leaf Motel, Route 706, Bridgewater Township, between 10:00 p.m. on Dec. 12 and 8:00 a.m. the next morning and spray-painted obscenities on the hallway.
Jennifer L. Dewike, 22, Clifford, had neck and head injuries after she failed to negotiate a left curve causing the 1994 Ford Probe to travel off the road and roll. The incident occurred on Dec. 22 at noon on State Route 106 and Township Route 457, Lenox Township.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Stephanie Bouch, 36, Herkimer, NY, and Bernadette Macca, 30, Elmira, NY, were each traveling south on Interstate 81, Great Bend Township, on Dec. 19. A collision occurred when Bouch's vehicle struck Macca's. Bouch and a passenger were taken to Wilson Hospital with minor injuries.
ONE CAR CRASH-MINOR INJURIES
Kelli Gorton, RR1, Friendsville, lost control of a 1991 Ford Explorer on Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. on snow covered Township Route 4016, Choconut Township, then hit an embankment.
Mathew Currie, Afton, NY, had his vehicle parked along Stone Crop Rd., Liberty Township, on Dec. 12 while he was logging in an area adjacent to the road. Someone stole a toolbox from the truck containing several pieces of logging equipment. Contact the police at 570-465-3154 with any information.
On Dec. 16 at 5:00 p.m., Brent Vanteger, Great Bend Borough, was arrested on fugitive charges for a bench warrant issued out of Broome County, NY. Vanteger was remanded to the Susquehanna Count Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.
On Jan. 3 at 10:00 p.m., an investigation of a suspicious person by the Montrose Police officer resulted in a report that gunshots were fired at the Alfred Koziel residence, Cruser St. Subsequently, a fire was reported at the same residence a short time later. Koziel was located at the scene after the fire was brought under control, and arrested on an outstanding warrant, arraigned before District Justice Watson Dayton and incarcerated in the Susquehanna County Jail. The incident is under investigation.
Alexander L. Koshinski, 45, was found deceased at his residence on Buckley Rd., Franklin Township, by a friend. The cause of death is an apparent gunshot wound, according to the police report. The incident is being investigated by the PA State Police and the Susquehanna County District Attorney's office. An autopsy will be performed.
On Jan. 8, Lindasu Hutchinson, 30, Springville, was traveling south on Township Route 356, Springville Township, and lost control of her 1993 Dodge Caravan on snow covered roads. The vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree with its left side. Hutchinson received minor injuries.
An investigation into $300 worth of missing deposits at the Subway, Liberty Truck Stop, Harford Township, revealed that Miranda Lee Decker, 24, New Milford, was responsible, according to the police report. The theft occurred while Decker was employed at the Subway. According the report, the incident occurred varied times between Dec. 26-28, and a theft complaint will be filed at District Justice Gene Franklin's court.
William J. Hanyon, 76, Hallstead, crossed the centerline of State Route 1033, Great Bend Township on Jan. 6 into the lane of travel of Jennifer L. Thacher, 36, Conklin, NY and a collision occurred. No injuries were reported.
Someone entered a vacant house owned by Joseph Stephen Manzek, Jr., Montrose, and removed two metal clad entrance doors between Jan. 2-6. The incident occurred on Township Route 480 near Township Route 423, Rush Township.
Someone used personal information belonging to James Decoe, 57, Gibson, to apply for a loan at the Bank of the West, Walnut Creek, California, on Sept. 11. An investigation revealed that Decoe is a former resident of that area and his information may have been gained from former records.
Barbara Johnson, Montrose, was traveling north on State Route 4006, Silver Lake Township, on Jan. 6 at 6:30 a.m. and failed to negotiate a left curve, causing her 1995 Ford Explorer to go off the roadway and strike a tree. The vehicle rolled over. Johnson received minor injuries.
Donna Rogers, 55, Vestal, NY, lost control of her 1998 Volkswagon Jetta while negotiating a curve on State Route 4014, Apolacon Township, on Dec. 29, hitting a rock ledge. Rogers was not seriously injured.
Someone entered the residence of Suzanne M. Wood, Montrose Terrace Trailer Park, Bridgewater Township, through an unlocked door that was blocked by a couch. Once inside, the person looked through Wood's medicine containers, but nothing was discovered missing in this Jan. 4 incident.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
A 2000 Freightliner, driven by Wayne Archer, Sidney, NY, stuck the rear of a 1996 Subaru on Dec. 14 at noon on Interstate 81, Great Bend Township. They were both traveling north in the left lane on snow covered roads. No injuries were reported.
David Whalen, Binghamton, NY, was not injured when he lost control of his 1998 Nissan Pathfinder on Dec. 20 at 8:14 a.m. on Interstate 81, Great Bend Township. The roads were slippery and his vehicle crashed into a concrete barrier several times.
ONE VEHICLE CRASH
Walter Pernody III, 21, Montrose, lost control of his 2002 Ford XLT on Jan. 2 at 7:15 a.m. while traveling on slushy State Route 29, Bridgewater Township. He struck a telephone pole. No injuries occurred.
Someone broke into a shed belonging to Great Bend Borough, at Greenwood Park on Kilrow St. between Dec. 1-29, and spilled paint inside.
On Jan. 1 at 2:10 a.m., Jeffrey John Horrocks, RR3, Nicholson, is accused of grabbing Tina Louise Horrocks, 37, Nicholson, his wife, by the throat during an argument which occurred at their residence on Station Hill Rd., Lenox Township. Jeffrey Horrocks fled the scene prior to police arrival. Tina Horrocks required no medical attention. According to the police report, a charge of harassment was to be filed at District Justice Gene Franklin's court, Harford.
The lone Democrat on the Clifford Twp. Board of Supervisors was renamed chairman of the board by his Republican colleagues at the townships reorganization meeting on January 5.
John Regan was named chairman in his rookie year on the board in 2002. He blends humor into a no-nonsense approach to municipal government and it appears to be the perfect combination for dealing with township taxpayers.
As if being chairman of the board is not enough, Regan is also the township roadmaster and, for the most part, has control over the police department. Other members of the board include Randy LaCroix and Adam Baron.
Tom Munley remains listed as the township police chief and is awaiting word from the supervisors on his request to return to work after a lengthy leave because of an injury he sustained on duty.
Part-time police officers named by the supervisors at the reorganization meeting include Jeremy Snyder, Tom McGraw, Jesse VanDeusen, and Paul Fortuner. Fortuner was also reappointed as code enforcement officer.
Other appointments approved by the supervisors include: Paul Peterson, solicitor; Rene Reynolds, secretary/treasurer; Community Bank & Trust, official depository; The Susquehanna County Transcript, Forest City News, and The Scranton Times, official newspapers; and, Michael Andzulis, sewerage enforcement officer (Timothy Button will serve as alternate SEO).
The township budget for 2004 is now on display for public review and final action on the adoption of the budget is expected at the boards February meeting.
The Forest City Borough Council reappointed Jim Lowry as its president at the January 5 reorganization meeting. Paul J. Amadio was selected as vice president.
Four incumbent borough council members took oaths of office for another term. They are Amadio, Nicholas Cost, Ruth Fitzsimmons, and Bernard Scalzo.
The council hired a new solicitor. He is Paul Peterson of Crystal Lake who maintains law offices in Carbondale. Peterson succeeds Robert Field who had been the borough solicitor for more than 20 years.
Peterson is an assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County and, for a number of years he has been and still is the solicitor for Clifford Township.
Council named the Community Bank and Trust as official depository for the boroughs general fund and the Honesdale National Bank as the depository for the capital improvement fund.
After a discussion, council decided to continue its regular meeting on the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in the nutrition center at the Borough Hall.
In another matter, council directed the mayor to have the police department issue a warning to a Dundaff Street homeowner where raw sewage is coming from an apparent break in a lateral line that extends from the main to the residence. The owner will have 10 days to begin correcting the problem and then will be given a reasonable time to finish the project.
If the owner does not take action in 10 days, a borough ordinance states he could be fined up to $300.
Council tabled action on the purchase of a time clock to allow the borough secretary time to obtain prices on them. The idea of a time clock for borough employees has been discussed a number of times with no action taken.
One of the problems is where to put the clock so it would be easily accessible for all employees. One suggestion was to purchase two of them and place one in the Borough Hall and one in the borough garage.
Lenox Township supervisors met Monday, January 5 for their annual reorganizational meeting with all three supervisors attending. Supervisors held township salaries and wages at existing rates, and retained most of their existing officers.
Supervisor Jim Taylor chaired the meeting after being voted in as chairman. He made the nominations, which were all seconded by either of the two remaining supervisors, Fred Benson and Don Zablotsky.
Fred Benson was named vice chairman and roadmaster, and Tom Button was retained as sewage enforcement officer (SEO), with Michael Fortner as alternate SEO. Sharon Depew was retained as secretary/treasurer. Solicitor Paul Litwin was retained. John Kashetta will serve on the vacancy board, and Rena Orchard was approved for alternate tax collector, to assist Suzanne Brainard, the elected tax collector for the township.
Supervisors approved the motion to use Peoples National Bank as the townships depository, and to retain the County Transcript and Mulligans Shopper as advertisers of legal notices.
Don Zablotsky was selected as the delegate for the state convention (PSATS).
Supervisors passed a motion to keep the township meeting dates as the first Monday of every month at 7:30 p.m. In case of holiday, the meeting will be held the next night at the same time.
The January meeting of the Lenox Township supervisors was called to order 7:30 p.m. Monday, after the reorganizational meeting. All three supervisors were present.
Secretary/treasurer Sharon Depew gave the treasurers report, which was accepted.
Depew reviewed township correspondence from the December 1 meeting, which included a request by the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau for a per capita donation of ten cents from the township. There was a letter from Clifford Fire Company regarding a request to collect funds from the township for services rendered. The proposed resolution regarding the fire company was tabled until it can be reviewed by the solicitor.
The seven-year review of the townships agriculture security plan was approved.
During the December 1 meeting, the supervisors voted to advertise for bids for a used Gradeall excavator to be opened at the January meeting. The supervisors unanimously voted to adopt the 2004 budget at the December meeting.
Secretary Depew reported that Team Mobil has notified the township of its intended site for a cellular tower. The tower should be erected on Holly Label Road in three to four months.
During the January meeting, Depew read notices of upcoming classes for township officials. Don Zablotsky will attend a 16-hour legal concepts course offered by the Susquehanna County Fire Police on February 14-15 at the county office building. The township will pay his $10 fee (not mileage).
Zablotsky will also attend the Susquehanna County Emergency Management Agencys quarterly training on February 10.
Subdivisions were approved for Roger Bennett and Don Oakley.
One bid was received for the Gradeall Excavator. B & K Equipment of Wyalusing, PA sent a representative, Harry Curnow, to answer questions regarding the companys $19,250 bid on a 1989 Gradeall Excavator. The bid was made without subtracting the rental fee, which was subject to some dispute. Curnow said that B & Ks records indicate that a $750 rental fee was received, while supervisor Fred Benson recalls the rental fee as being $1,100. Curnow assured the supervisors that he would send an invoice if a correction is warranted.
Resident Anthony Lovecchio asked, "Is everything fixed on the Gradeall? The pumps?"
"Yes. And the window," said Supervisor Jim Taylor.
"If you can get it for that price, its a good price," said Lovecchio, who is familiar with this piece of equipment, "but get the oil leak fixed."
Supervisors approved the purchase of the excavator, a used, rubber tired telescoping type Gradeall G3WD 1989, priced fully serviced and work ready. The Gradeall features 4-wheel drive, a Cummins GBT59 turbo diesel engine, a six-speed full power shift transmission, and has a full cab with instrumentation. It has a 30-inch bucket, and can cover a radius of 10 to 28 feet at ground level.
Dawn Watson, coordinator of the Emergency Management Agency and the 911 system, spoke at the meeting regarding a possible dispatching conflict between the Harford and Clifford fire companies.
"Since I became director in 1989, there has been a question over the boundary line in your township," Watson said. She said that the boundary line in question is on a map at the county office. "I propose that all motor vehicle calls should be dispatched as dual dispatches, the same way structure fires are." Watson said that the dual dispatch policy would not apply to medical calls.
President Dan ORourke of the Clifford Township Fire Company attended the meeting, with Walt Turner, Clifford Township Fire Chief. ORourke commented, "The idea of dual dispatch, while it sounds nice, brings with it a host of problems. Ive been with Clifford Fire Company for 33 years, and the policy has always been that any location within the 222 exchange went to Clifford, but that anything west of Route 92 went to Harford."
ORourke said that with the dual response system at motor vehicle accidents, "We end up putting a lot of people and red and blue lights into the road, which creates a hazardous situation, and half of those people end up going home, without being put to use. People get tired of going out, if they arent used."
According to Watson, prior to 2001, Lackawanna County took fire calls and did the dispatching.
After some discussion, supervisor Fred Benson made a motion for a dual dispatch system to be put into effect. The supervisors unanimously approved dual dispatch.
Supervisors asked ORourke and Turner if the Clifford and Harford fire companies have problems working together. "We work well together," they agreed.
Watson addressed the 911 implementation policy of naming all of the township roads. She said the policy was sent out in January of 2003 to all municipalities. All three supervisors signed a fire protection agreement with the Clifford Township Fire Co., and the fire chief presented a year-end report.
The townships bills and payroll were unanimously approved for payment.
The supervisors are checking into the costs of having township disposal of non-metal, non-recyclable items, like televisions. One company estimated the costs of providing a designated dumpster at $50 a month to rent, plus $150 for transport, plus $65 per ton to dump the items, for an average of eight tons.
The Montrose Area School District board of directors save Linda LaBarbera who was unable to attend gathered on a frigid last Friday to, among other items, recognize a bunch of good things that continue to happen in the district.
The theme of the recognitions, said superintendent Mike Ognosky, was citizenship in service to the school and to the community. The first to be honored was junior high-schooler Marion Huntley. Asked by her parents what she wanted for her last birthday, her answer was to lead and organize with her friends a student effort promoting breast cancer awareness. Named by faculty as the Student of the Month for December, the endeavors of Marion and her friends raised $700.
Citizenship and sportsmanship exhibited by Sean Welch, golfer on the MASD team, was also recognized. Going into what Sean called the biggest match of the year the championship against also undefeated Valley View in 30-degree weather and snow flurries. He and his opponent were tied in the match right up until the last hole, where Sean chose to point out movement of his golf ball that resulted in a one-shot penalty. He lost the match, but not the ethics that were rewarded by the Board.
Morgan Potter and Paul Travis were cited for what can only be called extreme volunteerism. Paul was unable to attend the meeting, but Morgan was there. He heard the recounting by Ognosky of his working for a couple of summers to help with the districts technology program. After graduating and attending Broome this past fall, Morgan continued to come to the schools in his spare time, helping teachers with problems, acting as a mentor to students and working closely with Craig Owen, the districts technology director. "You are going to be unbelievably missed around here," said Ognosky about Morgan, who leaves soon to continue his education at Ithaca College.
Band director Sue Bennici was honored for "stepping to the plate" to reorganize the Key Club, about three years ago. Working with other faculty and high school principal Doug Wilcox, Ognosky noted that the Club has continued to grow since then, helping the community in many and large ways. The Club works closely with the Montrose Area Kiwanis Club, and the president of that organization was present to say kind words about Bennici.
And, since January is School Director Recognition month in the state, Ognosky then turned to board members, citing their efforts and hard work as a collective group to work through differences to make the optimum decisions for the district, its students and its taxpayers.
Said board president Ken Gould, "From my perspective as a board member, we are only as good as the community behind us." He recalled attending, along with Ognosky, meetings of various community groups and municipalities. "Weve certainly gotten some negative feedback, but also some overwhelmingly positive feedback on what weve done as a board. Our administrative team is light years ahead of a few years ago. I truly believe," he said, "as witnessed by the people honored here tonight, its not just us. We all have to work together or were not going to accomplish anything, especially you, the students. You are tomorrows leaders sitting in front of todays."
Getting down to business after its recognitions, the board made formal its unanimous consensus at its December work session to proceed with changes to the Choconut Elementary School for security reasons. It voted to approve Highland Associates proposal for architectural and engineering services to include demolition plans, plans, architectural plans and architectural specifications at a sum no greater than $22,500.
It approved an allocation of up to $6,000 per student for student assistant services under the Individual Education Plan, courses of study designed to meet the particular needs of special ed students who require the services. Ognosky noted that this request will be for the third student so taught this school year.
For the past few years, Rick Clapper, safety and grounds director, has requested more full-time help, but it has not made its way into the budgets. Now that the state finally has a budget, Ognosky requested that Clapper put together his needs and staffing requirements for review once again. In the meantime, he will have some much needed help with custodial services, because the board approved the hiring of four students for a maximum of 20 hours a week when school is in session, and up to 40 hours a week when its not, at an hourly rate of $5.15.
These students are Charles Geertjens, Dan Koziel, Kevin Leonard and Brandon Pipher. In fact, it was Charles who brought the idea of student custodians to Clappers and Ognoskys attention. A student in the district when he was younger, he moved to Kansas for a time and worked as a student custodian there. When his family moved back, he mentioned this to the administration, and the result are four student custodians.
Action on other personnel matters was to:
Appoint Mary Kinds as an instructional aide at Lathrop Street at an hourly rate of $7.50, no benefits.
Appoint Nathan Newhard and Larry Otis, Jr. as emergency substitute teachers.
Hire Angela Nebzydowski as a full-time contracted guidance counselor at the high school at an annual salary of $39, 241.
Hire Laura Griffith as a long-term substitute computer science teacher at the high school at an annual salary of $26,500.
The 2003-2004 school calendar will be revised to make up, on Martin Luther King Day, a recent inclement-weather closing.
The next regular meeting of the Montrose Area School District is scheduled for February 13, 6:30 at the Choconut Valley Elementary School.
The work sessions of the Montrose Area School District board of directors are almost always interesting. These sessions generally follow regular meetings (during which decisions can be and are made) and are usually full of discussion and opinions on subjects that may or may not make their way to a vote at a regular meeting. Administrative issues that do not require board approval are also discussed.
Last Friday nights work session was no exception.
With the state finally coming up with a budget, Ognosky reported that the amount the district will get from the state was increased from last year by almost 3.5 per cent, or some $306,000. And with the districts wish-and-needs list on hold until it learned what the state would do, it talked a lot about what it could do with the money. (The budget the board adopted assumed no increase in its funds from the state.)
First up was to address a motion made and passed last year to hire an elementary art position and a human resources (HR) manager, pending money in the budget for them. Ognosky told the board he would love to get going and post both positions. The two elementary schools are ready to integrate the art position into their curricula and classrooms. In the words of Ken Gould, board president, Ognosky wanted the boards blessing to move forward on motions it passed earlier, and that was fine by Gould.
And while all directors present (Linda LaBarbara was unable to attend the session) were comfortable with the art position, several had questions about the administrative HR one.
Ognosky explained that a lot of issues arise that relate to hirings, firings, benefits, regulatory compliance, and so forth. In the past, he said, the district has been sued because of wrong decisions made in these areas. Currently and in the past, various administrators whose bailiwick is not HR have made these decisions. The list of responsibilities for this job is long, and includes the administration and negotiation of the cost of various benefit and compensation plans, formulating personnel policies, maintaining and updating employee handbooks, ensuring regulatory compliance with various federal and state laws and reporting on that compliance, and negotiating with representatives of contract employees.
Director Sean Brown thought the position would provide value if it freed up Ognoskys and the principals time and ensured the district didnt get involved in lawsuits by its employees over employment-related issues. He wanted to know how much was spent in terms of legal expenses as well as how much time would be freed up with an HR person on board.
Chris Caterson was okay with both positions, but was concerned that, with the school population itself going down, the district not get into the business of providing employment. "We are in the business of providing education," said this director.
Gould agreed that the district should not hire more people than it needed, but he also noted that the educational environment today is far different from what it was ten years ago. "We have to continue to provide good education to our students. We cant go back to having 40 students in a classroom." He also said that he didnt think the district hired principals and a superintendent to do HR work; he preferred they focus on educational matters.
Board vice president Celeste Ridler thought the district was putting itself at risk with the "complications and laws that are out there. In the last four years Ive been on the board," she said, "Ive seen a lot of issues that have popped up that shouldnt have, because no one knew. As an employer as large as the district, its foolhardy not to have an HR person. We need to have somebody accountable."
Thus, both the art and HR position will be advertised soon.
Another wish-list item was discussed, and this was full-day kindergarten. Ognosky reported that a state accountability grant was out there for use in establishing or expanding kindergarten, pre-kindergarten, and so forth, for younger children. The District must decide how to spend the grant money by November, with a plan on how it will be spent due 30 days later. The size of the grant is expected to be about $255,000. This kind of grant, explained Ognosky, is generally hinged to the term of the sitting governor; in this case, he noted, the grant could be expected for another three years, the remainder of Gov. Rendells term.
With the district parents overwhelmingly in favor of full-day kindergarten if funds were available, Ognosky wanted directors to give it and the grant some thought.
Gould next brought up a subject that he thought would free up some much needed room in the Choconut and junior-senior high school buildings as well as address what he considered a hazard.
He told other directors of a recent visit to the Choconut school when he was taken to a room by principal Chris McComb which had a 250-gallon tank of diesel fuel, lawn tractors and other related equipment in it. He would like to build a garage at Choconut in which to put this material and wanted McComb and grounds and safety director Rick Clapper put together and present a plan for one at the boards next meeting.
Gould also said he thought that shop-related equipment currently stored in the high school building could be better stored in a separate building, freeing up space for technology director Craig Own to work on the 150 computers that will be coming into the district over the next few years per its five-year technology plan.
Gould considered both the Choconut and high school situations immediate needs.
Director Jim Blachek thought the district could wait on the high school, to which Gould responded that there was more than a million dollars in the 22 fund and didnt want the district to drag its feet on trying to do something. Director Chris Caterson also wanted to see the Choconut situation resolved, but without the involvement of Highland Associates.
Ognosky wanted to at least put the plans together for both projects over the next 2-3 months; if the Board approved either or both, then work could be done over the summer.
Clapper thought that he and his crew would work up plans for a two-bay garage at Choconut that would solve that schools equipment storage problem. However, because a larger storage building would be needed at the high school, he preferred that someone else do the plans.
For her part, board vice president Celeste Ridler opposed doing something in the high school now. "If we have full-day kindergarten, we might consider doing something then when we know what is happening," she said.
Gould disagreed. "We have put so many things on hold, and they are just continuing to get further and further behind," he said, asking, "Where is Owens going to set up his computers? And, if were going to do full-day kindergarten, there is a ton of support administratively to put that in as soon as possible. What do we do at Lathrop to accommodate it?"
Ridler responded that she wasnt sure that the district should tie up its options on use, with which Gould agreed, but which he said shouldnt preclude putting plans on hold. "We need to give the schools a place for full-day kindergarten, which the community says they want." "But only if we could afford it," said Ridler.
"Exactly," answered Gould, adding that the district didnt really know what the bottom line was in terms of what, if any, increase a building project might mean in terms of school taxes, and he wanted to find out what the final cost would be to taxpayers first and then make decisions instead of just putting things on hold. He wanted to see what a millage increase would be for plan a or b or c. "We need to see what the final numbers are, and at this point, we dont know that," he said.
Ognosky joined in: "Administratively, we feel stronger today than last year about full-day kindergarten. The state tells us theyll give us a quarter of a million dollars if we get that going, but we have to do it next year. If you dont want to do a building project, thats fine, but, then let us come back to you with ways to do it that are neither makeshift or temporary. Last year, of the people whose children came for kindergarten, more than 80 per cent wanted it to be full-day."
Blachek said that youd have to sell him to kingdom come to be in favor of a $22 million project, and Ognosky said he also didnt want to wait three or five years to get diesel trucks out of the building, preferring to go forward, put up a garage, do it the right way and, if the building project situation changes, to build around the storage facility.
Director Sean Brown, like most other directors, didnt have a problem with Choconut, but thought options were called for, for the high school building as well as accommodating full-day kindergarten at the elementary schools. He wanted to know what could be done there as well as for making space for Owen. "Thats what we have a 22 fund and a budget process for."
Director Mary Homan asked, is storage were such an issue? "Are there areas in the schools," she asked, "that could be classrooms?"
Choconut principal McComb answered that moving equipment into a garage had the potential to create three or four classrooms. Same thing for the high school, said Ognosky. Lathrop principal Greg Adams added it would take more work to see what would be needed at that school.
It was a full and lively discussion, to say the least, and it appears that Ognosky will have his hands full getting numbers and working with other administrators to lay out scenarios and costs attached to each to present to the board.
Ognosky also reported on accomplishing one of district administrations goals. This was to set out a policy used to address both contract and non-contract professionals who are not fulfilling their professional obligations. Ognosky noted that there were 16 such incidents last year through the middle of December.
After meeting with the districts solicitor in September, a three-step process was developed. The first is a verbal reprimand by the contract and non-contract employees immediate supervisor. Responding to questions, Ognosky stated this is a kind of formal reprimand one which requests the employee to go to the supervisors office, discuss the situation, hear the employees case and, if necessary after discussion, state that the visit is a verbal reprimand; the supervisor will note in his/her own file that one has been made.
The second step is a written reprimand, at which a union representative may accompany contract workers. Such a reprimand must be signed as received by the employee. If the behavior continues after the written reprimand, then the third step would be suspension of the employee.
Ognosky noted that this process affects some 250-300 district employees, from those in the classroom to those in the cafeteria or driving the buses.
Before adjourning, Gould brought up a recent embarrassing situation that resulted in phone calls to one of the directors. A grade 5-6 scheduled basketball game at the high school was bumped when the varsity team took over the court for a practice. District parents said the district didnt care about youth basketball, not to mention that parents of the visiting team who drove 30 miles to see their children play were turned around. It was a situation, said Ognosky, which was bad for the district as a whole, and resulted from a communications blunder. Gould spoke with the athletic director at length, as did Ognosky, who also spoke with the coach, to ensure the incident never happens again.
The next work session of the Montrose Area School District is scheduled to immediately follow the regular Board meeting planned for February 13, 6:30 p.m. at the Choconut Valley Elementary School.
Before its first meeting of the new year, the Montrose Borough council, like others throughout the county, underwent a reorganization in which newly sworn-in council member Joel Maxey was elected council president; Todd Chamberlain, vice president; and Jack Yeager, president pro tem.
Police officer John Walker was on hand to answer any questions from council about the house fire on Cruzer Street and exchange of gunfire the weekend after New Years with an individual who is now in custody. The investigation is ongoing, officer Walker and those in the house were not injured; Walker was commended for doing an excellent job under extraordinary circumstances.
Much of the discussion at this meeting focused on the Municipal Authority specifically, Councils recent approval (pending affected property owners approval) to proceed with the townships request to add the three lakes region to customers served, and about the townships proposal that it and Montrose combine, for efficiency and effectiveness, to form one Authority. There to contribute to these discussions were Rex Maxey and Gabe Coddington from Bridgewater and Ted Cady from Montroses Municipal Authority.
Cady expressed concern about the three lakes project and others that are brewing in the Lake Montrose Plaza area and his opinion that the township may soon be out of EDUs units allocated to handle the waste which would make it difficult to any future businesses to tie into the line that runs close by. Yeager contributed some history, noting that when the high school was built, it had two options to put in its own sewage plant, or to put in a line. "They opted for a line, and it was meant to take care of the school and not a whole community at the foot of the hill," he said.
Conversation then focused on the varying widths of pipes running into Montrose, a clean-up of some infiltration by the township which Coddington expected to reduce water flow, gravity flow in some of the pipes and pumped flow in others, and realigning a line to follow the railroad tracks. Council member Randy Schuster noted that there is only more and more potential for development, and Rex Maxey noted that, because of geographic constraints, much of it will come in the township. He added that new businesses there benefit the borough and the county by way of increased traffic into town, as well as jobs in the area. "Its not the plant that is insufficient; its the lines," he noted. Coddington commented that "my face would be pretty bright red if we had to tell some developer that we cant take your effluent."
Rex Maxey said that all of this was "a further justification that the two [municipal authority] boards should be merged instead of butting heads to accomplish mutually agreeable goals. These businesses that expand out on Route 706 would have a huge effect on borough. Now," he noted, "Bridgewater has to figure out how to do it, and Montrose has to figure out how to do it."
And while Schuster noted that it was a good idea to have the two municipalities work together, he added that Montrose has laid out the dollars to build the plant. Rex Maxey acknowledged his point, but also that it was in the past. "Theres not a portion of the monthly fee that township residents pay that goes to fix the township part. That money is used to maintain the line where it needs to be maintained. Im not complaining about that," he continued. "Im pointing out theres already a commingling of funds to the benefit of all users," he said, adding that, in essence, he didnt want to have to tell potential businesses that they couldnt settle here because there was no money to expand the line. "You have to forget what happened in the past and move forward."
Schuster noted that something has to happen, and asked how. Coddington noted that at councils November meeting, Yeager suggested the formation of a committee to address the situation. And thats what will be done. Mayor Lamont volunteered to represent Council because "Im tired of hearing about it. I think its something Montrose and Bridgewater have to iron out. Wed better sit down and get something going if there is going to be some development." Yeager will also attend the committee meetings, to which council member Craig Reimel suggested a representative from the boroughs municipal authority be named as well. The township will select representatives to attend the first meeting scheduled for January 22.
Council moved on to other business, which included street foreman Ken DiPhillips report for December. This included cold patching, meter maintenance, unplugging pipes and catch basins and repairing the Lincoln Street pipe (which Yeager pointed out was an old hot water heater of the type used years and years ago instead of a pipe). He requested $300 to paint the Dodge Ram, and Council voted to make it available to him.
It also discussed a letter it got from the DEP about the closed borough landfill and erosion impacting upon Pettis Creek. The stream, the DEP letter says, is eroding into the landfill along a 200-foot stretch. Solid waste/trash was seen in both the stream and the eroded bank. The letter stated the borough is responsible for taking corrective action. Yeager was along on the DEP inspection, and noted that "a local citizen is involved with this sort of thing; he met with Ken [DiPhillips] and I think hes going to be willing to work with us and help us on this thing."
Bids obtained by Rogers were reviewed from Pennstar, Community Bank and Peoples Bank for rates on the tax anticipation loan and for investment of excess funds in CDs. No decisions were made on either, with Rogers charged with further negotiating with the banks to see if she can obtain optimal rates for the borough.
The non-emergency communications tower on the fairgrounds was also discussed, with Schuster saying that he would like to see an ordinance in place so that no more towers like it can be put up within the borough. Rogers did some research and her initial findings indicate that cant be done at least, she could not find any sample ordinances prohibiting them in a municipality. However, they can, she added, be limited as to where they can be erected.
Questions ensued about what happens when the technology and the tower becomes obsolete. Who takes it down? Would it pose a danger to kids? Council was agreeable to seeing what could be done, and Rogers will call solicitor Jason Legg to shed some light on its options, and how the borough can have some control over what goes up.
In an executive session, Council considered and voted on and set salary and wages for employees and appointed residents to various boards. In salary matters, it voted a three per cent increase to the streets department and codes enforcement officer. Part-time police officers hourly pay was increased to $11.50. After reviewing research on pay of secretaries at area municipalities and nearby county seats, it increased the secretarys annual salary to $26,000. Council also re-hired Eric Brush as a police officer at $11.50 an hour.
It appointed Sue Wetherill and Sue Warriner to the Planning Commission for terms of four years; Horace King to the Zoning Hearing Board (three years); Kathy Wheaton to the Recreation Board (five years); and Mary Ann DeWitt to the Civil Service Commission (three years). It tabled the appointment of Cal Dean to the Montrose Municipal Authority. Council noted that there are still openings on the zoning board, the planning commission, recreation board, municipal authority and civil service commission, and asks interested residents to contact them.
Lastly, Mayor Tom Lamont volunteered to update the boroughs ordinances books, and expressed the need to do the same for the towns personnel handbook.
The next regular meeting of the Montrose Borough Council is scheduled for February 2, 7 p.m. in the Borough Building.
On 12-05-03, Lakey's Bar reported a disturbance in which an adult male was harassing bartender and customers. Police responded and advised suspect to leave. Legal action was taken by Police to keep suspect out of bar permanently.
On 12-07-03, the caretaker of Prospect Park reported that on 12-04-03 someone drove through the Park, tearing up the grounds. Any one with information is asked to call Susquehanna Police at 853-3147.
On 12-07-03, a juvenile reported that Paul Barnes of 807 Prospect St. physically grabbed him while in the Reddon Park on or around 6:20 p.m. Barnes was cited for Harassment with District Justice 34-3-02 along with juvenile for Trespassing with a Motor Vehicle.
MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH/DUI
On December 10, at 10:06 p.m., Police found a Ford truck being driven by "Gary Perico" of RD 3, Box 225C Susquehanna that had crashed into a parked Chevy Silverado with trailer owned by Brad Jones of Susquehanna, in front of 249 West Main St. Both vehicles were towed from the scene. Mr. Perico was taken to Barnes Kasson Hospital by Susq. EMS and released on the same date. Charges filed with District Justice 34-3-02 against Perico for DUI and Driver's Required to Licensed.
MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH
On December 11, at 12:08 p.m., Dr. Mahender Gaba failed to negotiate road at Turnpike St. and Laurel Ave., causing his vehicle to spin out in the intersection while coming from Carbondale. Dr. Gaba was treated at Barnes-Kasson Hospital for minor injuries and released on same day. Vehicle was towed from scene.
On 12-12-03, Melissa Crowley of Susquehanna reported to Police that someone was using her name on the internet, specifically on Yahoo.com Anyone with further information is asked to call Borough Police at (570) 853-3147.
Michael McDonald of 221 Washington St. reported on December 16, on or around 5:45 p.m., a vehicle chased him down Main St. to the Town Restaurant. McDonald reports several people in the vehicle, being possibly a Chevy Cavalier then chased him on foot. Anyone witnessing this is asked to call Police at 853-3147.
On 12-20-03, the owner of Shops Plaza reported that one of the vacuum cleaners had been spray painted at Shop's Plaza on Erie Blvd. occurring sometime on 12-16-03. Police believe this to be a hate crime and have a possible suspect.
HIT AND RUN
On December 20 between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., someone hit the rear of a 1995 Chrysler in the Dollar General Parking lot at 104 E. Main St., belonging to Patricia Barnes of Hallstead, PA. Any one with information is asked to call Police at 853-3147.
THEFT OF SERVICES / SCATTERING RUBBISH
On December 23rd the owner of Shops Plaza at Erie Blvd. showed Police a bag of garbage left beside the trash cans of the Car Wash sometime on the same date. Police filed charges on the suspect with District Justice 34-3-02.
On 12-28-03, at 1:55 p.m., Police suspected an underage drinking party at 606 Broad Ave. in Susquehanna that resulted in 7 adults and one juvenile who were arrested for Consumption of Alcohol Under the Age of 21 filed with District Justice 34-3-02. One other adult male charged with trespassing onto an abandoned property next door.
To Report Underage Drinking: 1-888-UNDER-21.
Susquehanna Police now on the Web: SusqPol@Epix.net.
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