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The "dual dispatch" policy for motor vehicle accidents was again the major topic at the Lenoxville Township Supervisors meeting on Monday, February 2. Last month, Susquehanna County Emergency Management Coordinator Dawn Watson spoke during the January meeting and requested that the township supervisors approve a dual dispatch policy for motor vehicle accidents. This policy is already in effect for structure fires.
Supervisors did approve "dual dispatch" at the January meeting, despite hearing testimony from both the fire chief and president of the Clifford Fire Department, who both expressed their concern that dual dispatch to accidents would place volunteers at risk by sending numerous volunteers to the same roadway site, causing traffic hazards.
At Mondays meeting, Clifford Fire Chief Walter Turner reported that, during the one motor vehicle accident since the dual dispatch policy was employed, there were so many vehicles with blue lights going through the Lenox Corners intersection that a rescue truck would not have been able to arrive at the scene in a timely fashion.
Turner said the call went from the Wyoming County, to the Lackawanna County, to the Susquehanna County Emergency Management offices, which also delayed the response.
Turner appealed to the supervisors to allow the fire companies to make a judgment call on who is dispatched to accident scenes. He said that in 2003, the Clifford Fire Company responded to 133 calls in Lenox Township.
Turner also wished to clarify a letter that he sent to Lenox Township which was briefly mentioned in the secretarys report of correspondence at the January meeting. He said that the fire company is not asking the township for funds, but is asking the township "to adopt a resolution to give the fire department the capability of billing third parties and insurance companies in order to recoup part of their expenses."
Two accidents in Lenox were particularly costly, occurring on Route 81. One, a hay-wagon fire, required the use of over 1,000 gallons of foam. The other motor vehicle accident required $1,500 worth of services rendered.
The supervisors all attended the meeting. The minutes from last month were approved, and the treasurers report accepted as read.
Several building permits were renewed. One, for Kevin Benedict, was labeled "check to follow," so it was accepted pending payment.
Another, from David Morales, could not be voted on at this meeting, because a sewage permit had not been issued. This permit was for a residence and a garage at separate locations.
The garage for Morales was approved, and the one for the home will be held until a sewage/septic permit is issued.
The Agricultural Security Area Program was approved and sent on to the county Planning Commission.
Mrs. Paolucci came into the municipal building at the halfway point of the meeting, and asked the supervisors to approve a subdivision which included a waiver for a septic permit. The subdivided plot will remain agricultural, she said.
Lenoxville Township supervisors meet on the first Monday of the month at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal building.
Thompson Borough council began their February 2 meeting with an update on the sewage project. The engineers have been working on the final cost of the system, which will be $622,700. The boros loan for the project will be at 4.5% interest, for forty years. The first years payments will be interest only, in two installments of $14,010.75, with subsequent payments of $17,013 every six months.
Two change orders, which decreased the systems cost were approved during the previous month; the first, involving the electrical hookup in the amount of $875 and the second, an overall savings on the electrical system, $10,905.
Once the system is operational, boro residents will be receiving a ninety-day notice to connect, which will also include information on where and how to obtain contractors specs for individual hookups and a copy of the ordinance mandating hookup. The plant is expected to start up the second or third week of March; residents will have until July 1 to have their homes hooked into the system. Homeowners will be required to obtain a permit allowing them to connect to the system. The hookup fee and an inspection fee will be paid (by the homeowner) when the permit is issued. Council president Price noted that hookup fees received by the boro will be used to repay startup funding received from RUS.
Mr. Price addressed some rumors that had been circulating, regarding property owners who might try to avoid hooking into the new system. He stressed that the boros old "wildcat" system will be disconnected, leaving no place for sewage to go except into the basements of those homes. In this case, the boro would not be responsible for damage and/or health hazards. Those homeowners would also be fined, up to $225 per day for every day that the home is not connected to the new system.
At the request of RUS, the boros loan account (line of credit) has been closed out, with all future payments to be made directly by the boro from the project account.
Council reviewed a draft of the plant operators requirements prior to advertising the position. Eligible candidates should be experienced, with credentials. The position is part-time, approximately 20 hours per week. One day each week will probably require about eight hours for testing; the remainder of the schedule is somewhat flexible. Applicants should also live within a reasonable response time, perhaps thirty minutes or less, to the boro. From the applicants, an alternate will also be chosen; either a dial-up or paging system will be set up to notify the operator and/or alternate in case of emergency. Resumes will be received until noon of March 1, the next regular meeting date.
A special meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 17, 7:30 at the fire hall, for enactment of four ordinances required for the project, dealing with on-lot management, setback requirements, mitigating measures (floodplains) and rates to be charged per EDU.
Monthly usage fees have been set at $41; billing will be through the PA American Water Co. This had been determined to be the most cost effective method of billing. Those residents who are currently customers of PAWC will be charged a billing fee of 50¢ per month, while those who have on-lot water systems will be charged 75¢. The billing agreement with PAWC will include provision for water service to be shut off in cases where the sewage fees are not paid. In response to a question from a resident, Mr. Price said that the agreement with PAWC has not yet been finalized; it may be possible to equalize the billing fee so that all residents are charged uniformly.
In response to another question from a part-time resident, Mr. Price explained that a flat monthly fee had been determined by the cost to operate the system, divided by the number of EDUs; after lengthy discussion it had been decided to charge a flat fee, rather than a fee based on usage. He added that, over the years, council has explored every possible avenue to save money on the project. Cost reductions amount to approximately $144,000, part of which will be used to fix boro roads. Whatever part, if any, of that sum is left will go towards paying back the project loan.
According to RUS requirements, anyone who is authorized to sign checks for the sewer authority must be bonded; Mr. Price, vice president Andy Gardner and treasurer Marge Whitney will be bonded, with the cost to come out of the project startup funds. Although Mrs. Whitney is already bonded through the boro, the minimum amount required by RUS is higher.
The Susquehanna County Housing and Redevelopment Authority had scheduled interviews for low income residents on February 3 and 4. The authority is administering a CDBG grant obtained to help eligible homeowners with the costs involved with connecting to the system.
There was some discussion of an ordinance that the boro will be required to adopt in connection with the project, for inspections of the sewage systems within the boro that are outside the scope of service, beginning one year after the system is in operation. There was some discussion regarding who would be responsible for the cost of an SEOs inspection; it was agreed that since there is some time before the ordinance needs to be enacted council has some time to consider their options. (There are approximately twelve lots within the boro that will not be connected to the new system.)
In other business, council reviewed an intergovernmental agreement, to join the Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership. ESCP has scheduled a meeting on February 16, to review proposals from two consultants who are interested in drawing up a comprehensive plan for ESCPs member municipalities. A recommendation will be made at this meeting as to which proposal to accept. ESCP is in the process of applying for grant funding for the plan.
In response to a letter from the county, a motion carried to appoint Rhondra Baldwin to the position of two-year auditor. Mrs. Baldwin had been one of two write-in candidates in the last election; the other candidate had won a drawing of lots, but had declined the position.
Mr. Price was pleased to report some good news. Thompson Townships supervisors and roadmaster had reviewed their budget and the costs involved with plowing and cindering the boros roads and had determined that the costs were not as high as had been anticipated. As a result, the township drew up a new plowing/cindering agreement, with the same terms as the previous agreement, but with lower trip costs to the boro. A motion carried to accept the new agreement.
A building permit was approved, for an addition to the Delaney property.
Mr. Price agreed to look into a recurring water problem at the Halesky property.
It was reported that there have been complaints about snowmobiles on the boros sidewalks; some of the new walks have been damaged by the vehicles cleats. As this damage is not the result of construction of the sewage project, the contractor will not be responsible for repairing the damage. Residents are asked to call Chief Rivenburgh if they see any snowmobiles on the sidewalks so that the operators can be ticketed.
And, council members will meet with the owner of the old fire station to discuss putting up a bulletin board there, which will be used to notify residents of community events and to post the agendas for council meetings.
The meeting ended with the police report from Mr. Rivenburgh and a review of the setback ordinance that will be adopted on February 17.
The next regular meeting will be on March 1, 7:30 p.m. in the fire hall.
City Scraps Econo-Plan
The Forest City Borough Council ambushed one of its own at last weeks regular monthly meeting when it shot down a conservative spending plan presented to it by Councilman Paul J. Amadio, finance committee chairman.
After agreeing at an executive session on January 27 to adopt some of the ideas presented by Amadio, the council reversed itself a week later and scrapped his plan. At the end of a lengthy discussion that was bitter at times, six of the seven council members decided against the proposed suggestions presented by Amadio.
"All right," Amadio said, "scrap my ideas but dont come back to me screaming about the budget being short of money."
Council President Jim Lowry and Councilman Nick Cost, spearheaded the attack against Amadios suggestion to hire part-time snowplow drivers to avoid costly overtime wages. They also opposed his recommendation that the two street department employees work different shifts so that some snow plowing could be done in the evening hours without paying overtime.
Lowry said the two street department employees were paid a total of $2,626 in overtime pay last year. But he also acknowledged that the overtime costs would be higher this winter.
Cost, who was appointed chairman of the street committee in January, said he had a problem with other drivers operating borough equipment. He said they may not know how to operate the backhoe which is used to load salt and cinders on the plow-trucks or to manipulate the backhoe in tight spots getting it in and out of the borough garage.
Concerning the police shifts, Mayor Frank Brager said the only overlaps are on Friday and Saturday nights when one officer is on duty from 4 p.m. to midnight and a second officer works from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. As an alternative, Amadio had suggested that, on Friday and Saturday, one part-time officer work from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and a second officer work from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Amadio said two officers on duty may have been necessary years ago when there were 14 taverns operating in the borough. He said there are only five taverns now and that the Mom and Pop stores that flourished in the borough years ago have succumbed to the shopping malls. And he said the police chief and the assistant chief alternate taking calls for assistance so there could be two officers responding to an emergency.
Amadio said the borough spent $168,000 for police protection in 2003 and does not have 24-hour coverage. He said the Borough of Mayfield, which is similar in size and population to Forest City provides borough residents with 24/7 police protection for considerably less money.
Council also frowned on Amadios suggestion that the borough postpone buying a new truck for one year. Lowry said he would prefer that the borough always own vehicles that are covered by manufacturers warranties. He said the truck the borough will trade on a new one is a 1999 model with an expired warranty. He also cautioned Amadio that a major breakdown of the 1999 truck could cost the borough thousands of dollars that could be spent on a new vehicle. Besides the initial manufacturers warranty, he said the new truck the borough plans on buying will have an extended warranty which will cost the borough about $2,000.
Amadio further requested that the street committee not plow streets when there is only an inch or so of snow on the ground. He said plow blades are getting damaged regularly at replacement costs of $80 each. However, Assistant Police Chief Joseph Nolan asked Amadio how he would feel if a school bus carrying 55 kids crashed on a snow covered road.
Council did support Amadios suggestion that PENNDOT be told the borough is not satisfied with the snow plowing efforts on state roads in the borough. Amadio also said PENNDOTs driver is speeding through town and that windows on Main Street could be smashed by flying ice and debris because of the speed. Lowry said that instead of writing a letter of complaint to PENNDOT, the borough will invite a PENNDOT representative to a meeting to discuss the issues.
The Montrose Borough Council efficiently worked its way through the agenda for its February 2 meeting. All members, but for Randy Schuster and Bernie Zalewski who were unable to attend, were present. They heard Barbara Clifford, resident and representative of Susquehanna County Heritage Preservation, ask council for a letter of support in the groups efforts to have the borough placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The group wants to apply for a grant to fund the process of obtaining such designation, and it got Councils support. Clifford explicitly pointed out that being on the Historic Register does not give a district any protection from demolition of property or any other restrictions; only a municipality can do that. She added that a number of towns in Bradford County are on the National Register and "benefiting from a heightened sense of pride and using the honor as an advertising aid." Residents who want to learn more about the National Registry of Historic Places can visit its website at www.cr.nps.gov.
Council also heard from representatives or owners of four establishments that are at some point in the process of getting Labor and Industrys blessing on their enterprises. Three months ago, council voted to give theses businesses a 90-day grace period of sorts, under which they could continue to get their properties ready for business, provided they reported to and worked with borough codes enforcement officer Shane Lewis and kept Council apprised of their progress with Lewis and with L and I.
The 90-day extensions were up, and the business owners were requesting an additional extension. Thus, council approved a 60-day extension for the Rosemont Bed and Breakfast, whose owners were at the meeting, under the same conditions that the first one was approved. Lewis reported the owners have been coordinating with L and I representatives in person, as well as with Lewis, who added that they are doing an excellent job and are following through on the provisions of the original extension. Same thing for the Montrose Restoration Committee, whose written report included L and I inspection dates as well as contact information for any questions on the groups progress report to council.
Because the owner of Aunt Julies bed and breakfast failed to respond to several of Lewis phone calls, council did not approve a further extension until the owner speaks with Lewis and provides other documentation. The owner will be notified of councils decision in a letter, with 7 days to respond and provide documentation of the owners efforts.
The fourth business was similarly denied an extension. It seems that theres been a change of use or occupant; when that happens, Lewis explains, the business needs to show an L and I occupancy. Apparently, there is a restaurant in the ground level of the building, with tenants living upstairs. Lewis pointed out that this is serious and could turn into a serious problem. Lewis informed the property owners attorney now they need to work with L and I, and he hasnt heard much since. He understood that there was a need to work with people, especially because the boroughs building codes were laxly enforced in the past a situation quite different today. However, in this situation, he was adamant that a large problem could be brewing.
Thus, council voted not to grant an additional extension, and will be notified of it in a letter with documentation of their efforts to obtain L and I occupancy approval since the business was given the first extension.
In other business, council:
Appointed Jerome Washo to a seat on the Montrose Municipal Authority when it decided not to reappoint Cal Dean to the position.
Appointed Carla Whitney to the planning commission.
Appointed Kevin Pietryk deputy coordinator for emergency management, assisting council member Bernie Zalewski, who is the head coordinator.
Agreed to sell the old police car to the highest bidder Greenfield Township, for $2,750.
Tabled for further study a request from the Montrose Country Store to move a parking meter so it could create a designated loading zone in front of its building.
Approved the purchase of a winter coat, a pair of shoes and a shoulder microphone for use by the police.
Council president Joel Maxey reported that streets foreman Ken DiPhillips has developed a plan to respond to the DEP mandate to clean up the creek. Secretary Annette Rogers reported shes working on a grant request to cover part of the cost of repair, and Jack Yeager reported that DEP seemed to appreciate the boroughs getting back to them efficiently and seemed agreeable to work with it in whatever manner the department could.
Lastly, Council also passed a motion instructing Rogers to send a letter to the Planning Commission, requiring they timely provide council and the borough with copies of the minutes of their meetings, the commissions budget, and an audit of its financials. Rogers has repeatedly called and requested this kind of information which, in spite of her best efforts, has not been sent.
The next regular meeting of the Montrose Borough council is scheduled for March 1 at 7 p.m. in the borough building.
Russell E. Leichliter and Ruth H. Leichliter and Daniel Leichliter to Richard R. Consla and Judy M. Consla in Lanesboro Borough for $30,000 on Jan. 20.
Paul R. Wells to Karyn L. Rickert in Bridgewater Township for $127,000 on Jan. 16.
Lawrence T. O'Reilly and Christine M. O'Reilly to Richard K. Ubel and Michelle C. Ubel in Middletown Township for $38,000 on Jan. 17.
Stephen Kwiatkowski and Beverly Kwiatkowski to David Kwiatkowski in Harmony Township for $1 ogvc on Dec. 26.
David Kwiatkowski to Stephen Kwiatkowski and Beverly Kwiatkowski in Harmony and Thompson Townships for $1 ogvc on Dec. 26.
Jocelyn A. Smagowicz to Robert Fassler in Forest Lake Township for $41,259.05 on Jan. 20.
Community Bank & Trust Company to Ethel Conley in Forest City Borough for $19,000 on Jan. 20.
Thomas W. Hammerstone and Catherine M. Hammerstone to Jeffrey A. Baker and Patricia A. Baker in Ararat Township for $75,000 on Jan. 19.
Franklin C. Miller and Marlene B. Miller to Albert P. Ludwig in Auburn Township for $160,700 on Jan. 16.
Harvey Krasnegor and Sally Tilghman nka Sally F. Martus to Harvey Krasnegor and Sally F. Martus in Springville Township for $10 on Jan. 12.
Clifford P. Johnson and Wendy L. Johnson to Clifford P. Johnson and Wendy L. Johnson in Franklin Township for $1 ogvc on Jan. 15.
Wilson A. Roe to Sharon L. Hinkley and Jodi L. Salamida in Liberty Township for $1 on Jan. 21.
Clarence L. Colwell to Skip Michael Tracy in Great Bend Township for $36,495.75 on Jan. 21.
WM Specialty Mortgage, LLC to Mario Button in Oakland Borough for $10,500 on Jan. 19.
Thomas J. Bolles and Lynn F. Bolles to John F. Herman and Misty F. Fitch in Silver Lake Township for $1 on Dec. 23.
Sidney H. Brand and Eugenia Brand to David Mockridge in Liberty Township for $300 on Dec. 31.
Franklin C. Rauch to Kenneth L. Rauch and Carol M. Rauch in Bridgewater Township for $1 on Jan. 22.
Jack Yeager and Ruth Yeager to Mittmann Holding, LLC in Montrose Borough for $20,000 on Jan. 21.
Gary S. Zapolski and Mary Ellen Zapolski to Steven F. Zapolski II in Silver Lake Township for $1 ogvc on Jan. 22.
Floyd W. Furman and Margaret I. Furman to Randy S. Robinson and Hyang Robinson in Auburn Township for $30,000 on Jan. 14.
Charles M. Allen and Susan A. Allen to Mark Traver and Febb Traver in Little Meadows Borough for $28,000 on Nov. 24.
Edrene Wright to Gilbert G. Idhaw and Barbara Ann Idhaw in Clifford Township for $24,500 on Jan. 7.
Alexandra A. Nepa and Annette A. Nepa to Edwin J. Olshefski in Clifford Township for $248,000 on Jan. 20.
John J. Mason to William I. Dittmar in Great Bend Township for $78,600 on Jan. 14.
Kristian B. Lesjack and Kimberly Lesjack to William D. Kieswer in Liberty Township for $700 on Jan. 10.
John C. Bilsky, Jr. and Lorraine L. Bilsky to John C. Bilsky in Ararat Township for $1 on Jan. 12.
Thomas R. Kelly and Sandra J. Kelly to Brent M. Kelly and Kevin T. Kelly in Harford Township for $1 on Jan. 17.
Fred Ream and Valerie Ream to Prudential Relocation, Inc. in New Milford Township for $85,000 on Jan. 13.
Prudential Relocation, Inc. to John G. Taylor III and Sandra L. Taylor in New Milford Township for $85,000 on Jan. 15.
William F. Gibson and Elizabeth Gibson to Marie H. Jansen and P. Henry Jansen in Franklin Township for $132,500 on Dec. 24.
Chester L. Parker to Sean McGraw and Christy McGraw in Silver Lake Township for $138,200 on Dec. 31.
Lawrence M. Grasso, Trustee of the Lawrence M. Grasso Revocable Living Trust to John S. Aldrich, Sr. in New Milford Township for $58,000 on Jan. 19.
James F. Donahue to George DePew and Lisa Acosta DePew in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $700 on Jan. 2.
Alan R. Christianson and Roberta Christianson to Alan R. Christianson in Lanesboro Borough for $1 on Jan. 23.
Corey C. Bryant and David C. Bryant and Cynthia C. Bryant to Corey C. Bryant and David C. Bryant and Cynthia C. Bryant and Craig A. Bryant in Thompson Township for $1 on Nov. 30.
Anthony P. Rydzewski & Barbara Rydzewski to Anthony P. Rydzewski & Barbara Rydzewski in Bridgewater Township for $1 on Jan. 23.
John Demmer and Helen Demmer to Dorothy Demmer in Brooklyn Township for $1 on Jan. 26.
John Demmer and Helen Demmer to John Demmer, Jr. in Brooklyn Township for $1 on Jan. 26.
Michael T. Goskowski and the Pennsylvania Trust Co., Co-Executors of the Estate of Walter E. Gorey, and Carol A. Clauss to Gregory H. Allender in Forest City Borough for $95,000 on Jan. 6.
James B. Hawley to James B. Hawley and Penny S. Hawley in Forest Lake Township for $1 ogvc on Jan. 23.
Lance M. Benedict, Sheriff, to Community Bank & Trust Company in New Milford Township for $8,765.88 on Jan. 13.
Paul F. McCormick and Mary C. McCormick to Tracey McCormick and Todd McCormick in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $1 on Jan. 26.
Elaine J. Barrett and Karl Lovec to Elaine Josephing Barrett Lovec and Karl Lovec, Sr. in Choconut Township for $1 on Jan. 19.
Christa Stockinger to Bruno R. Stockinger in Harford Township for $1 on Jan. 26.
Betty Grace Kegelman to James W. Jones and Ellen M. Jones in New Milford Borough for $85,000 on Jan .27.
Dolores D. Kane and William R. Kane in New Milford Borough for $73,500 on Jan. 27.
Dennis Bodtman and Michelle Presley to Robert J. Bunnell and Tammie L. Bunnell in Forest Lake Township for $70,000 on Jan. 28.
Roy Anthony Gonzalez, 41, Marcy, NY, and Michele Ann Shields, 31, Marcy, NY.
Warren B. Clark, 22, Nicholson, and Lisa Anne Ralston, 24, Liberty Township.
Clarence Walter Redman, 43, Brooklyn Township, and Lois Cynthia Miskowski, 51, Brooklyn Township.
Christopher Hubbard, 23, Castle Creek, NY, and Heidi Brown, 21, Castle Creek, NY.
Glenn C. Dininny, 35, Corbettsville, NY, and Jennifer Ann Repchick, 33, Montrose Borough.
Daniel Joe Rogers, 28, Springville Township, and Teresa Lynn Bonavita, 31, Springville Township.
Daniel J. Miller, 52, Lenox Township, and Roxane L. Evans, 41, Clifford Township.
William C. Beagle, 38, Silver Lake Township, and Julie M. Watson, 38, Windsor, NY.
Richard Michael Cordes, 19, Bridgewater Township, and Stacy Jo Sautner, 18, Bridgewater Township.
Anthony Albert Manno, 54, Bridgewater Township, and Phyllis B. Walsh, 54, Bridgewater Township.
John Donald Yannone, 38, Harford, and Jennifer Leigh Burdick, 32, Susquehanna Borough.
Jeffrey T. Rosenkrans, 42, Silver Lake Township, and Carol Louise Young, 40, Silver Lake Township.
Betty Grace Kegelman to James W. Jones and Ellen M. Jones in New Milford Borough for $85,000 on Jan. 27.
Dolores D. Kane and William R. Kane to Betty G. Kegelman in New Milford Borough for $73,500 on Jan. 27.
Dennis Bodtman and Michelle Presley to Robert J. Bunnell and Tammie L. Bunnell in Forest Lake Township for $70,000 on Jan. 28.
Robert P. Brant and Claire P. Brant to John A. Brant and Jennifer S. Brant in Great Bend Township for $1 on Dec. 31.
Randy Estabrook to Christopher G. Bronson in New Milford Borough for $85,000 on Jan. 29.
Borough of Susquehanna Depot to David L. Burman and Ronald L. Crawford in Susquehanna Borough for $5,680 on Dec. 11.
Dennis Larue and Victoria Larue and Mildred Larue to Grant C. Kiker, Jr. and Debora K. Kiker in Rush Township for $25,000 on Jan. 29.
Theodore C. Place Jr. and Rebecca S. Place to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the County of Susquehanna for agricultural conservation easement for $82,902.20 in Auburn Township on Jan. 30.
Christopher Novakowski to Robert C. Wert and Grace E. Wert in Montrose Borough for $46,000 on Jan. 30.
Donna L. Williams to Mark W. Williams and Mary A. Williams in Brooklyn township for one dollar and love and affection on Jan. 30.
Nathan E. Councilman and Angie M. Councilman to Laura L. Bentz in Bridgewater Township for $84,800 on Jan. 30.
Mary Lou Hunter to David P. Hunter in Great Bend Township for $1 on Jan. 27.
Rosemary McCarty to Sean McCarty, Kevin P. McCarty, Sally A. O'Connell, Ellen McCarty and Patrick McCarty in Middletown Township for $1 on Jan. 26.
Joseph Pozzi and Arlene Pozzi to Carrie Mayes in Forest Lake Township for $40,000 on Jan. 29.
Thomas J. O'Reilly to Adam W. McGraw and Lisa D. McGraw in New Milford Township for $33,500 on Jan. 31.
Joseph Surdykowski to Samuel Robbins and Linda Robbins in Herrick Township for $5,000 on Jan. 30.
Michael J. Onuska, Sr. and Cheryl A. Onuska to Michael J. Onuska, Sr. in Hallstead Borough for $1 on Jan. 22.
Michael J. Onuska, Sr. and Cheryl A. Onuska to Michael J. Onuska, Sr. in Liberty Township for $1 on Jan. 22.
John D. Fleming and Mary Fleming to John D. Fleming in Herrick Township for $1 on Oct. 20.
Doris Brousseau to Carolyn Weber in Hallstead Borough for $69,900 on Jan. 19.
Vaughn Howell and Amber Howell (by Sheriff) to Federal National Mortgage Association in Springville Township for $1,986.40 on Jan. 20.
Wilson A. Roe to Craig Roe and Kyra Roe in Liberty Township for $84,400 on Feb. 2.
Raymond Butts, Jr. to Edward Benzeleski in Oakland Township for $1500 ogvc on Feb. 2.
Richard Arthur Gray and Ann Gary to Darren Pettyjohn and Nannette Pettyjohn in Rush Township for $2,000 on Jan. 27.
Louis W. Hawley and Natalie J. Hawley to Barone Enterprises LLC in Montrose Borough for $137,000 on Dec. 30.
Ruth Monks to Mark Mellas & Sandra Mellas in Jackson Township for $1 on Jan. 30.
Shirley Phillips to Terri Bailey and William Phillips in Jackson Township for $1 on Jan. 30.
Tax Claim Bureau and Arthur G. White and Eleanor R. White (by Tax Claim) to Susquehanna County Housing Authority in Susquehanna Borough for $1 on Feb. 3.
New Milford Borough council members, with Jim Carr sitting in for president Scott Smith who was absent, heard from several members of its audience at its regular monthly meeting last Thursday evening.
It discussed information gather by council members Teri Gulick and Jane Zick from the Red Cross, following up on a motion made at an earlier meeting to develop an emergency plan when the borough requires it. The days long electricity blackout last November prompted this decision.
What they found out was a real eye-opener to those at the meeting. The Red Cross already has a plan for New Milford which it will put into action once it gets a call from Jim Carpenetti, the boroughs emergency/crisis coordinator. In general, should less than 10 people require housing, the Red Cross will arrange for rooms at the Colonial Brick Motel in Great Bend Township. If 10 or more people are affected, then the Blue Ridge High School becomes the place to go. The Red Cross keeps at the ready truckloads of cots, blankets, food and other necessities that it would deliver to the school. The Red Cross also provides the transportation to pick up people who need this kind of shelter in an emergency, to deliver them to it.
The community will need to identify those who need the services, and thats what Zick and Gulick will be coordinating along with representatives of New Milford churches. In the meantime, both suggested that council set aside an hour or so to hear a representative of the Red Cross about the specifics of the organizations emergency and evacuation plans, and how to go about identifying those who may need Red Cross services, which this council will do at its next work session, provided the Red Cross representative can make that date.
Linda Ketchur, manager of the Pennstar Bank in New Milford, was at the meeting to ask council to consider its services when it went out to bid for its financial needs. The bank currently holds the boroughs mortgage, and used to provide other banking services terminated by the borough because of high fees when it was a larger bank. Council member Rick Ainey thought that, in fairness, the borough should give those doing business and paying taxes in the borough an opportunity to do business with the borough, provided fees were competitive. Council thus authorized its finance committee to gather information on area banks services and fees, New Milford Pennstars included.
Codes enforcement officer Shane Lewis reported to council on his activities since the group last met. Things are progressing smoothly on a couple of properties that have been in the works for some time. However, the Hall property on Maple/Church Street is still posing problems. On behalf of the borough, Lewis has already sent, and the property owner responded to a notice of violation (tenants occupy the building); nevertheless, the problem is still unresolved. Lewis noted that Council had a couple of choices: to touch base with the borough solicitor, making him aware of the situation, or to request a compliance order from the solicitor. What, asked Lewis, did Council want to do?
It wanted Lewis to investigate the property another time and report back to them at its next meeting. If no action has been taken on the property before then, Council still has the two options outlined by Lewis and will act on one of them.
Council heard from a resident with a neighbor who, lacking garbage pick-up, burns everything, often and sometimes all day. The stickler was the plastic that the neighbor was burning, sending fumes and black smoke through the neighborhood, as well as trying to dry wet leaves with a fan to burn them, too, before the leaves are ready. The resident wasnt opposed to burning, but asked for conscientious burning. She offered, in fact, to place the neighbors plastic containers in with hers for garbage pick up, an offer that has not been taken up, obviously. Was there something council could do?
Yep. The issue is covered by a nuisance ordinance, and a certified letter will be sent to the burner, noting that a complaint was received, what to do to amend it, with a copy sent to Shane Lewis.
Similarly, it was brought to Gulicks attention that stone planters have toppled onto a sidewalk on Main Street, posing a hazard to pedestrians. As with the issue above, Council will send a certified letter to the property owner, notifying them of the complaint, with a copy to Lewis. Gulick also thought it might make sense to remind residents via the community cable channel that their sidewalks must been kept clear of snow and other hazards.
In various reports, Zick summarized the recent COG Codes meeting at which a representative of the building inspectors hired by COG made a presentation on recent UCC codes, and directed other members to information handouts from the COG meeting.
Carr reported on activities of the streets committee. Action on Peck Hill is on hold until Carr hears from county commissioners about the status of requested CDBG funding to fix it. The paving plan is also on hold until the weather breaks; Carr said he would take a look at the streets then and prioritize which ones will need repair the most.
A contract has been awarded for the sewer project, although its yet to be signed. Secretary Amy Hine reported that once it is, work on laying the pipes must be completed within nine months from the signing date.
Council will also send a request to the planning commission about amending the boroughs zoning ordinance to include clarifications on off-street parking and unloading for businesses, as well as to look into enforcing ordinances about parking and snow removal. Some parkers make it difficult for the boroughs roads crew to clean the streets and make them safe for all residents.
"Unfinished business" items on the agenda included:
The Endless Mountains Business Association; Ainey reported that only three representatives showed up at the last meeting, and decided they would have no more because of lack of participation. The hope was that, by working together, municipalities could coordinate their efforts to become more effective and attractive to employers, but apparently most municipalities believe it better to go it alone.
The new flag pole in the park; parts are in, but, again, the snow will have to go away before the new pole is installed.
Christmas lights; Hine reported that, if the borough wanted to buy new decorations, now was the time to do it, because most suppliers were having a 40 per cent off clearance sale. The poles will need to be rewired to more safely accommodate the decorations, but Zick, Gulick, and Hine will in the meantime go through items on sale and make recommendations as to their purchase.
Hine also brought to councils attention a request by the tax collector to put up one-third of the cost of a printer that the collector says would be used only for tax collection work. Council didnt feel comfortable with this, thinking that perhaps the ink for a printer might be a legitimate expense, but not the printer itself. Its not something they did in the past, and doubted that other municipalities did, either. Hine will look into the common practices of other municipalities, and whether they purchase printers for those who collect their taxes.
Februarys good neighbor recognition went to the First Baptist Church of New Milford, for, as Ainey said, "always being a source of inspiration and a foundation of our community." Ainey gave a few examples from a long list of good-neighbor activities hosting the Sea Scouts, the Faith Mountain School, the Youth Advocate Program. On behalf of the church, Willard Hall thanked council, saying, "Were just happy to be neighbors in this community. This [the recognition] is nice."
The next regular meeting of the New Milford Borough Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. on March 4 at the borough building on Main Street.
Following are the Lanesboro Council meeting minutes from January 5, 2004.
Present: Ray Barnes, Dan Boughton, Regina Dilello, Chris Maby, Bob Page. Paul Corse came in at 7:30 p.m. Absent: Bob Mireider. Also present: Mayor Slater, Secretary Aileen Shay. Visitors: Sandy Boughton and Gail Hanrahan.
Reorganization Meeting Mayor Slater called meeting to order, and swore in incoming Councilmen Regina Dilello, Dan Boughton, and Ray Barnes.
Mayor Slater asked for nominations for President. Chris Mabys nomination carried.
Mayor Slater turned meeting over to President Maby.
Maby asked for nominations for Vice President. Dan Boughtons nomination carried.
Regular January meeting
President Maby called meeting to order.
Maby had one grammatical revision. Motion to accept minutes with the change carried.
Maby suggested keeping detailed minutes from this point forward. Detailed minutes will help familiarize everyone to old issues if they need to be discussed or reviewed at future meetings. Council agreed.
Received letter from Myron DeWitt asking us to renew him as solicitor at $95 per hour. Council stated to continue using his services as solicitor and reply to him stating such.
Received letter from Myron DeWitt explaining the ordinance about having a public accountant audit the books. This ordinance was originally adopted in 1987 as a requirement of the sewer project financing. Maby looked in the state borough code book. The code book does not discuss any licensed accountant requirement. It does require an auditor, and suggests there be 3 citizens not serving in elected position review the books yearly. The option for council is to appoint 3 auditors and keep CPA or advertise the abolishment of the ordinance and wait till next month. Boughton stated keep one auditor as a CPA. Dilello stated that the borough would be spending money it does not have if a CPA is used. Page suggested contacting the state to see what they feel council should do. Maby will contact the state, and copy the section in the code book on auditors. He will send this information to all members of council before the next meeting. Barnes questioned the auditor fee (cost/salary) requirements. Maby checked the code book, which stated the pay to be $15 - $30 per day per person, with no more than 5 hours per day. He also stated that he would like to see one of the auditors be certified.
Letter from Myron DeWitt regarding the copier dispute. The leasing company wants council to return the copier at councils expense, including insurance during shipping. Boughton asked what happened to the $350 agreement from several months ago. Dilello stated she would like to see an end to this. Boughton stated if the leasing company had repaired it as requested years ago, the borough would still be using it. Maby suggested sending the check for $350 and inform them it can be picked up at their convenience. The letter should be sent from the lawyers office and make sure it is certified. Council agreed.
Corse stated he reviewed the sewer ordinance with the solicitor. As written, past due customers can be taken to court.
Corse also discussed the park deed issue with the solicitor. The solicitor has found the borough never owned the Park because a deed was never recorded for the transfer. The solicitor has made repeated calls to the attorney who handled the transfer, but with no response. Maby will try contacting a member of the Luciana family.
Secretary stated there were workshops, one for Secretary desktop reference manual, QuickBooks training, and also a conference. Maby and Corse talked about going to one day of the conference. Maby will look into this.
Police Report/ Mayor Report:
Mayor Slater gave the police report. He stated that fewer hours were worked this month. The police were called to a dispute between neighbors and the placement of a new fence. This call also involved the state police. Corse was concerned that the state police came because Lanesboro police would not respond. This matter was investigated after the meeting. The local officer contacted had made arrangements to come to discuss the dispute later in the day, as it was not an emergency. Also, it was determined the Communications Center only tried contacting one policeman before involving the state police. The communications center will try contacting all police before involving the state police on any future calls.
Nancy Mess contacted the mayor. She wants to give the borough some pictures and other things related to Lanesboros history to hang in the borough hall. Mayor told her that he would take them. They will be displayed on the hallway entering the building.
Mayor stated that the light was out in front of the post office and it needs to be fixed. Boughton will look into this.
Mayor received a call from a realtor about Niles Dubin property being sold, asking about any past due accounts for borough utilities.
Mayor stated that Mireider could not make it to the meeting but he sent the books that council ordered from COG. Corse stated council has to inform COG of what council wants COG to enforce.
Regina stated that the bonfire and Santa was a very nice time. There were several suggestions on how to improve it next year.
Regina had money from three rentals along with recycling bottle money. She stated a lady called her and wants to rent the hall on February 10 for a tool auction. The renter is willing to pay $150 for rent the hall if the auctioneers do not have to clean up after. They also would like a phone line to run credit cards. There will not be any charges to the borough related to the phone. After discussion, Barnes volunteered to place a temporary line from the borough building to the community center. A permanent line with conduit can be constructed in the spring after the ground thaws. The woman who wants to rent the hall will send information to Regina to look over and sign and send back. Maby asked about having police protection and Corse stated they didnt need it. Council agreed that it is not required, but the police should be made aware of the increased traffic that day in case something arises.
Maby suggested expanding the budget report to break down income and expenses, such as police and garbage employee hours. Expanding the snow removal bill in the treasurers report will help everyone understand what money is being spent on (plowing, cinders, sidewalk cleanup, etc.). Also, deposits should include something regarding what or where it was from.
Regarding municipal utilities, Maby explained that if everyone would pay his or her garbage and sewer bills the account would have a small surplus.
Money will be taken out of sewer and placed back in motor license to repay the $8000 that was temporarily transferred. The transfer line should be in the budget report so council knows how much money is left to repay.
A $5,700 bill from Miller Brothers is due. This bill is paid from liquid fuels money that has not yet arrived from the state. Corse suggested paying Ozzie $4,000, with the remainder paid as soon as the money is available.
Motion to pass treasurers report as presented with modification to pay Ozzie $4,000 ($1,000 from the bond redemption account and $3,000 out of sewer account transferred to Motor License) carried.
Boughton will call light company again about the streetlights.
Maby stated that he took a list from PAWC and compared it to the borough map and the list that Aileen bills from the borough. There are 41 unbilled units. Gail mentioned that some people that are billed are tenants, and not the landowners. The borough will assume billing all rental units in the upcoming months. Decision made to come up with a complete list, find out who is not being billed, and discuss back billing them from January 1, 2003 until present. Need to discuss with DeWitt to make sure council can back bill. People should be given the same amount of time to pay the past-due balance as they have not been billed. A meeting has been set up with the water company to discuss billing. Things council wants are a list of account standing, a simplified way to track reports, and monitor who is being billed; also, have Traci show council how to get this off the computer.
Maby is concerned about some things that happened recently, mainly minutes not appearing in the paper, and the borough office being closed for two weeks without anyone on the council being notified. Council has stated in the past that the minutes are to be sent to the Transcript. Secretary Shay stated that her daughter didnt have preschool and she didnt have anyone to watch her two kids. Secretary stated she didnt think it was a big deal because no one calls or comes in when she is there for two hours. Maby replied he understands, but things need to be done the way that council states. The problem should go away with better communication amongst the council, the mayor, and the secretary.
Maby stated that borough owes Dick Consla money for the down payment he made on purchasing the property behind his house. It was determined after the down payment the land is not owned by the town. Council agreed to reimburse Mr. Consla the $100. Also, secretary to see how much Viaduct Inn gave as a down payment. Secretary will inform Maby and discuss this at next meeting.
Corse stated that Tri-County Insurance is working on comparative insurance quotes for the borough.
Page stated that council should thank Roland Salamon for his many years on council. Maby to write, e-mail it to the secretary, and have everyone sign at next meeting.
Maby stated council owes a letter to residents about the change in the building permits and COG and also the community center. He will e-mail this to secretary.
Maby spoke with Postmistress Robin Hobbs regarding potholes and the outside mailbox. Robin has contacted the appropriate Postal Service personnel, and the mailbox will be moved to the side of the post office. This will help from people driving across traffic to drop their mail in. Lanesboro has contacted PENNDOT about the potholes on Main Street in front of the building. Mayor will make arrangements with Ozzie to patch potholes in the driveway between the borough building and the community center.
Nellie Murphy has spoke to Maby about being billed for two units and her tenant Stuart Cook is also being billed. Secretary will look back on deposit slips and discuss with Maby. After the meeting, it was determined that Ms. Murphy has a credit of $5 that will be applied to her January 2004 bill. Cooks will no longer be billed.
Barnes stated that he thought if residents do not have water through the water company then the water company would not bill them. If they dont have water through the water company then the secretary should bill them. This will be part of the overall discussion in the next few weeks on simplifying the billing process.
Despite heavy snow immediately before and during the scheduled meeting, the Mountain View School District Board met on Monday, January 26 at 8 p.m.
The meeting was attended by the President, Bryce E. Beeman; First Vice President John Halupke; Second Vice President, Kevin M. Griffiths; Treasurer, Sondra E. Stine; and board members John L. Beeman, Susan C. Christensen, Ronald D. Phillips, James W. Zick; and Board Secretary Carolyn W. Price, who is a non-member. Absent was Ordie C. Price, Sondra E. Stine, and Susan C. Christensen.
Administration members present were Arthur J. Chambers, Superintendent; L. Colin Furneaux, high school principal; Eliza Vagni, high school assistant principal; Mary Hvezda, Director of Special Services; and Margaret Foster, elementary school principal.
Last month, the following were appointed to the substitute lists: Mellissa Kerrign, Nicholson, certified in Mentally and/or Physically Handicapped add to the elementary and the secondary substitute lists; Kristin Potter, Starrucca, certified in Social Studies and Special Education N-12, add to the elementary and the secondary substitute lists; Melissa Wasko, Scranton, certified in Elementary, add to the elementary substitute lists; Patricia Tierney, Hallstead, certified in Elementary, add to the elementary substitute list; Marie Nordsiek, Clarks Summit, certified in Elementary and Home Economics, add to the elementary and the secondary substitute lists; Debbie Pompey, Nicholson, add to the instructional aide, the hall and study hall monitor, and the cafeteria monitor substitute lists; Christopher Robinson, Kingsley, certified in Social Studies, add to the secondary substitute list; John Croom, Gouldsboro, certified in Physics, add to the secondary substitute list; Ray Osburn, Kingsley, 06 certification, add to the secondary substitute list; Amanda Butts, Kingsley, add to the custodian/maintenance substitute list.
Motion to approve the minutes of the January 12 meeting was approved by the board. The 20032004 budget transfer as presented was approved and the Board also approved participation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of General Services Cooperative Purchasing Program. This program enables the district to procure supplies, services, or construction along with the Department of General Services. The Board approved the acceptance of the Athletic Fund Elementary School and High School Student Activities financial report for 2003, and to file for audit. A contract was approved with NEIU #19 for provision of special education programs and services for the 2004-2005 school year and thereafter until expiration in accordance with the contract.
A motion to accept the resignation of Chris Piasecki as Softball Assistant Coach, effective January 21. Motion to advertise for this now vacant position was approved. Leonard Evans was approved as a volunteer for softball and baseball and Dennis Getz was approved as a volunteer for baseball.
Mr. John Croom III was approved as a Physics/Math teacher. The Board will advertise for a long term substitute Learning Support teacher for the remainder of the school year. Nicholas Yezics was approved as a long term substitute as a result of his serving in the same position for more than 30 days.
Alvin Miller was approved as a car/van substitute driver for 2004. Geraldine Pinker was approved as a secretary substitute. Conference attendance requests were approved for 11 teachers.
The next meeting of the Mountain View School Board was to be Monday, February 9.
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