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Thompson Boro council reported at their March 1 meeting that all but one ordinance relating to the sewage project was approved at a special meeting held on February 17; an ordinance relating to setbacks had been tabled until some legal questions could be answered.
Two applications were received for plant operator for the sewage treatment plant; they will be reviewed at a special meeting scheduled for March 10 at 7:00 p.m. At this meeting council will also review a letter to be sent to residents, notifying them of when hookups to the new sewer system must be completed and letting them know when and where information packets may be obtained. The packets will contain information about permit fees, inspection fees and specifications for hookups.
A representative of the PA American Water Co. was present to answer any questions regarding PAWC contracting to do the monthly billing for residents sewage usage fees. Current PAWC customers would be billed a monthly fee of 65¢, while non-customers would pay 85¢ per month. The difference in price is because a data base would need to be created and maintained for those customers who do not receive their water from PAWC. An ordinance would need to be enacted to allow PAWC to do the billing; it is recommended that council notify residents ahead of time if they opt to use PAWCs services. Water bills would be itemized, to show which charges are for water and which are for sewage. If council does opt to go with PAWC for the billing, it would be a minimum two-year commitment; the agreement would be renewed yearly after that. The one drawback would be that fees would have to be paid monthly; there would be no way of tracking payments that are made yearly. An agreement would be drafted between PAWC and the boro, subject to the boro solicitors review. And, the boro would be responsible for sending out delinquency notices to those who do not pay.
A motion carried to approve payment to the project contractor. However, it was agreed to withhold payment until several concerns are addressed, such as a sewage backup on Jackson Ave. and boro notification of the system completion/startup date.
Changes to the setback ordinance were reviewed; a change had been made to mandate that any new structure (not replacement of an existing structure) would require notification/permission from adjacent property owners. A motion carried to accept the ordinance as amended. It will be adopted at the April 5 meeting.
A total of 35 residents have been qualified to receive CDBG grant funding for the hookup costs, with four more cases pending. In accordance with the regulations attached to the grant, two council members who have qualified to receive assistance made a public disclosure of their eligibility, which will be officially recorded in the meeting minutes. (This requirement is to avoid a conflict of interest.) Information is available from RUS for low-interest homeowners loans for those residents who do not qualify for the CDBG grants. Notices relating to this will be posted, and the secretary will have copies of the information available for those who are interested.
Council reviewed and discussed correspondence received regarding the Curtis Sunoco property; if the boro agrees, an order would be granted allowing a temporary stay in proceedings so that an amicable solution could be reached with all parties involved. Information indicated that the property owner will be installing an aeration septic tank. After some discussion, it was agreed to table the matter until more information is obtained.
Council approved a change order for the treatment plant; additional duct work and wiring was determined to be needed, as well as non-skid paint for the floors.
In other business, a motion carried to purchase and erect signs at the Rails-to-Trails area in the boro, stating that no ATVs or snowmobiles are allowed on boro streets and that violators will be prosecuted. The Rails-to-Trails office had been contacted and had given permission for the signs. This action had been taken in response to vehicles causing damage to the boros new sidewalks. Apparently, someone had placed signs directing recreational vehicles into town. The signs have subsequently been removed and there have been no further incidents reported.
The boro will be holding another town fair, tentatively scheduled for June 19; this date was chosen because there are no apparent conflicts with other civic activities. Boro residents are asked to show their support for the event in any way they can, whether it be through patience with inconveniences like traffic being rerouted, or by volunteering to serve on a committee.
It was noted that the fire company will be holding their annual celebration on Sunday, July 4.
As with all PA municipalities, the boro will need to determine whether they are going to pass an ordinance to enforce the states Uniform Construction Code or whether they will opt out, in which case a third party agency will be responsible for inspections. It was agreed to look into several options, such as what the requirements would be for an individual to be certified as an inspector, and COG will be contacted for more information.
A motion carried to enter into an inter-municipal agreement, through the Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership, which is in the process of drafting a comprehensive plan for member municipalities. A motion also carried to approve ESCPs retaining a consultant to draft the plan; grant funding is being pursued to finance the greater portion of the cost.
There was some discussion regarding two members of the fire police, who have not been sworn in by the mayor; the secretary will contact the fire chief to determine whether these two individuals need to be sworn in.
Complaints by residents were discussed, most notably that some homeowners had not shoveled snow from their walks, making it necessary for pedestrians to walk in the roadways. The sewage project contractor will be contacted regarding numerous complaints about potholes not being filled in.
And, council will look into whether a continuing water problem on Jackson St. can be included in the planned pavement project once the sewer project is complete.
The next meeting will be on Monday, April 5, 7:00 p.m. in the fire hall.
The Great Bend Borough Building at Franklin and Elizabeth Streets is also the popular Blue Ridge Senior Center, operated by Barnes-Kasson Hospital for many years for the benefit of the area's older citizens. It has been a cooperative venture for the Borough and the hospital, each contributing a share to the Center's success. The Borough Council has discovered, however, that the Center is costing the town's taxpayers more than anticipated, and has entered negotiations for a hike in the rent the hospital pays to use the convenient and attractive location. The hospital currently pays the Borough $450 per month.
The Borough Council meeting on March 4 heard a report from Mike Wasko on the talks, which he said began with a "positive meeting" between himself, Borough Council chair Ray Holtzman, fellow councilman Jerry MacConnell, and Grace McGill and Bill Farley of Barnes-Kasson. He didn't offer much detail, but he said that the hospital may take over responsibility for cleaning services and supplies in lieu of substantially higher rent. Mr. Wasko said that both sides were surprised at the cost of paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, etc.), which have been running higher than $60 per month for the Center. It appears that some of the materials have been leaving the premises, with "legs", said he. He said both sides hope to come up with a new agreement within a month.
Council President Ray Holtzman reported that January's cold snap froze some pipes in the kitchen area in the Borough building. Repairs will be covered by insurance, but Mr. Holtzman proposed replumbing part of the kitchen to move some of the pipes away from the outside walls. The building was remodeled recently by Barnes-Kasson to provide more space for the Senior Center. Part of the project, which was largely paid for by a grant, also renovated the kitchen.
Mr. Holtzman also offered his colleagues an opportunity to take a deeper look at Council's purpose when he asked that each member come to the next meeting with at least one idea for a "goal that would benefit the Borough" and that could be accomplished this year. He then proposed that Council meet twice a month so that everyone is kept more fully informed. Others suggested that e-mail be sent to keep members abreast of events and issues. Unfortunately, the Borough does not yet have on-line access.
Even if the Borough did have e-mail, they'll soon need someone else to send it. Mr. Holtzman told Council that there are two "hot items" that need to be addressed. With the retirement of Mike Lonzinski, the Borough needs a new Emergency Response Coordinator. And the Borough will soon have to deal with new state rules requiring adherence to standard building codes. One approach to the latter might be for the Borough to join the county Council of Governments (COG). Mr. Wasko, however, recommended against joining COG, citing personnel and other problems at the municipal services consortium.
A third "hot item" of more immediate concern was brought to the table by Borough Secretary Mary Jean Fleming, who announced her intention to retire by the end of April. Ms. Fleming has given the Borough more than 25 years of service in many roles, including secretary to the now defunct police department, and membership on Council itself.
The meeting was attended by young Josh Neary, who is working on a merit badge in communications for the Boy Scouts. His task at the meeting, according to the merit badge booklet, was to observe, listen, and appreciate differences of opinion at a municipal meeting. The Great Bend Borough Council is an amicable body that doesn't often air its disagreements in public. But when it does, it happens on the first Thursday of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Borough Building.
Blue Ridge Presents The Scarlet Pimpernel
Who is the Scarlet Pimpernel? Audiences will discover the answer to that question during an evening filled with the intrigue of the French Revolution as this delightful musical unfolds complete with music and mystery. Presented on March 19 and 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the Blue Ridge District Theater, under the direction of Mr. Jeff Burkett, the show features music by Frank Wildhorn with book and lyrics by Nan Knighton.
Marguerite (Jessica Williams) and Percy (Joe Bednarchik) exchange marriage vows as Citizen Chauvelin (Steve DelFino) plots against them under the cloud of the French Revolution in "The Scarlet Pimpernel."
Boasting a live pit orchestra and the talents of more than 30 Blue Ridge students, "The Scarlet Pimpernel" offers something for theatergoers of all ages, from a working guillotine and choreographed sword fights to a love story overshadowed by blackmail and mystery. Tickets will be available at the door, adults - $5.00, students/seniors - $3.00. Support your children in the arts, learn a bit of history, enjoy some beautiful music, and once again marvel at the talents of our youth.
The Forest City Borough Council will ask Scott Linde of Linde Enterprises Inc. to meet and discuss his lawsuit against the borough in an effort to settle it out of court. The Rail-Trail Council is also a plaintiff in the suit and would have to consent to any agreement.
The plaintiffs allege that the borough and the Lackawanna River Basin Sewer Authority (LRBSA), which is also a defendant in the suit, are responsible for the discharge of overflowing sewage onto their lands. The LRSBA owns the treatment plant which is located in Wayne County but services the Greater Forest City Area.
Council has until late April to respond to the suit and will offer Mr. Linde a choice of three proposed dates for a meeting before the deadline.
Dominick Surace, executive director of the LRSBA, advised council that a corrective measure could be undertaken as a project through Lackawanna Countys Watershed 2000 Program. He said grant money would pay 55 percent of the cost and the combined cost for the sewer authority and the borough would be 45 percent.
"We believe," Surace said, "this is a unique opportunity to economically resolve an on going problem by sharing costs and taking advantage of grant money that may not be available in the future."
KBA Engineering of Jermyn, the boroughs engineer, has suggested that council go along with the sewer authority plan to resolve the problem. Gary Wilding of KBA said the authoritys concept would retain solids and remove the uncontrolled flow that apparently is discharging the overflowing sewage on land owned by Linde Enterprises and Rail-to-Trails.
"It would be an improvement to the present sanitary collection," Mr. Wilding said in a letter to council. "We would also suggest," Wildings letter added, "that the borough continue to conduct dye testing of structures in close proximity to storm water lines which are suspect of illegal discharges."
However, Robert Jones of Delaware Street, challenged the improvement plan and more specifically the installation of a wood sluice box that would act as a screening device and keep raw sewage from emptying into Yucca Flats. The water overflow would pass through the screened sluice box. It would then be piped some 500 feet through Yucca Flats and then discharged directly into the Lackawanna River.
"Wood sluice boxes went out in the 1800s," Mr. Jones said. He labeled the sewer authoritys plan a "19th century solution."
In another sewer matter, the borough was advised that its application to the state for a grant to correct a serious problem on Dundaff Street has again been rejected. In the meantime, raw sewage continues to be observed periodically on Dundaff Street.
Karen Allen, director of the Susquehanna County Redevelopment Authority suggested that the borough file a new grant application and offered to help put it together.
Mr. Jones also volunteered to assist in rewriting the application and also suggested the governing body consider filing for federal funds. He said there is money available and that he might be able to help the borough get it.
In other business, the borough agreed to spend $1,685 to help secure the police department against future break-ins. The move comes on the heels of a break-and-entry into the station and the theft of some handguns, jewelry and an undetermined amount of money. The burglar has since been caught and most of the stolen items were recovered.
And in a related matter, the borough agreed to contract with Source Security & Communications of Honesdale for the installation of an alarm system for police headquarters. Matt Bowman of SSC said he will install the system at no charge. After it is installed, the borough will pay a monthly fee of $19 for the service.
Nathan Daniel Taylor, 24, Bridgewater Township and Kelly Ann Evans, 22, Bridgewater Township.
Matthew P. Muzzy, 20, Montrose Borough and Sierra S. Sterling, 16, Bridgewater Township.
Frederick J. Gibser, 47, Kingsley, and Orianne V. Hughes, 31, Kingsley.
Elizabeth Owens to Conrad Owens and Susan L. Owens in Harford Township for $1 on Feb. 28.
Sarah E. Wilkins to Richard C. Higgins, Jr. and Robert W. Higgins in Harford Township for $7,000 on Feb. 25.
Thomas A. Ciprich and Janet L. Troyer, nbm Jane Ciprich to Kevin A. Sives and Carla J. Sives in Jessup Township for $276,000 in Feb. 3.
Byron Lesjack and Carol J. Lesjack to Byron Lesjack and Carol J. Lesjack in Great Bend Township for $1 on Feb. 10.
Byron D. Lesjack and Carol J. Lesjack to Byron D. Lesjack and Carol J. Lesjack in Great Bend Township for $1 on Feb. 10.
Byron Lesjack and Carol J. Lesjack to Byron Lesjack and Carol J. Lesjack in Great Bend Township for $1 on Feb. 10.
Byron D. Lesjack and Carol J. Lesjack to Bryon D. Lesjack and Carol J. Lesjack in Great Bend Township for $1 on Feb. 10.
Linda J. Schlick, fka Linda Schlick-Kraft to Walter C. McKenney, Scott R. McKenney, Brian S. McKenney and Glenn A. McKenney in Rush Township for $1 on Feb. 3.
Marilyn S. Quick to Joseph L. Vanderfeltz & Melinda Vanderfeltz in Rush Township for $1 on Feb. 25.
Richard M. Mazikewich and Mary Mazikewich and William P. Mazikewich and Jane Mazikewich to Richard M. Mazikewich, William P. Mazikewich and Joan M. Mazikewich in Susquehanna Borough for $1 on Feb. 24.
Donald E. Pease and Geraldine M. Pease to Donald E. Pease and Geraldine M. Pease and Mark C. Pease and Susan L. Pease in Jackson Township for $1 on Feb. 24.
Edward Zygmunt aka Edward J. Zygmunt and Amber E. Zygmunt to Edward J. Zygmunt and Amber E. Zygmunt in Auburn Township for $1 on Feb. 23.
Gladys Cudo to David A. Ragantesi in New Milford Township for $25,000 on Feb. 23.
William Smith and Elizabeth Smith to Elizabeth L. Darrah in Jessup Township for $32,000 on Feb. 24.
R & D Builders, Inc. to George Stock in Clifford Township for $19,000 on Feb. 7.
Charles H. Horton and Joan G. Horton To Brian McAlla in Clifford Township for $120,000 on Feb. 17.
Kenneth C. Underwood and Doris A. Underwood to Diana L. Gilbride in Auburn Township for $141,333.78 on Feb. 25.
William R. Egner to Roy E. Egner in New Milford Township for $75,000 on Feb. 10.
Janet Van Gorden and Alvin J. Van Gorden, Shirley Derrick and Andrew Derrick, James Galloway and Wilma Galloway, Judy Dailey nka Judy Galloway to Roxane Smith in Great Bend Borough for $55,000 in Jan. 15.
Jeffrey B. Tyler and Jeanne M. Tyler to Daniel E. Beddoe and Susan M. Beddoe in Liberty Township for $68,000 on Feb. 11.
Scott A. Olsen aka Scott A Olson and Kris E. Olsen aka Kris E. Olson to Alfred J. Finocchiaro and Agnes H. Finocchiaro in Thompson Borough for $110,000 on Feb. 9.
Harley D. Hall and Pauline B. Hall to Paul Chaffee and Ruth Chaffee in Jackson Township for $45,000 on Feb. 17.
Herbert Talbert to Thomas J. Malandri and Donna G. Malandri in Auburn Township for $60,000 on Feb. 20.
Marshall Cobb and Bette Cobb to Marshall Cobb and Bette Cobb in Ararat Township for $1 on Aug. 25, 2003 (2 parcels).
K. Allen Roszel and Barbara Roszel to Maurice G. Roszel and Kimmie-Sue Roszel in Franklin Township for $1 on Feb. 25.
Alexander J. Komas and Robin A. Komas to Kim L. Conklin and Robert Conklin and Alan J. Komas and Robin A. Komas in Ararat Township for $1 on Nov. 30, 2003.
Hyang Robinson and Randy Scott Robinson to Randy Scott Robinson and Hyang Robinson in Auburn Township for $1 on Feb. 20.
Wayne Hines and Judi E. Hines and Martin Hines and Victoria Hines to Wayne Hines and Judi E. Hines in Thompson Township for $1 on Feb. 25.
Wayne Hines and Judi E. Hines and Martin Hines and Victoria Hines to Martin Hines and Victoria Hines in Thompson Township for $1 on Feb. 25.
Robert S. Houman to Robert S. Houman and Kenneth E. Houman in Forest City Borough for $1 on Feb. 24.
Bankers Trust Company of California to Dale Howell Enterprises, Inc. in Oakland Borough for $14,000 on Feb. 20.
Anita Griffis, individually and as Trustee of the Anita J. Griffis Living Trust to Nathan Small and Amanda Small in Forest Lake Township for $1 ogvc on Feb. 25.
Agnes Skeba to Marc Yoskowitz and Stacy Nier-Yoskowitz in Thompson Borough for $1 on Feb. 23.
Peter E. Giannone and Erin C. Giannone to Lawrence T. O'Reilly and Christine M. O'Reilly in Apolacon Township for $1 ogvc on Feb. 27.
Lawrence T. O'Reilly and Christine M. O'Reilly and Thomas J. O'Reilly to Paul A. Hawthorne III and Patricia A. Hawthorne in Apolacon Township for $45,900 on Feb. 27.
Edward E. Lawson by Sheriff to Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $1,161,10 on Feb. 27.
Douglas K. Lattner and Cynthia A. Lattner to Douglas K. Lattner and Cynthia A. Lattner in Silver Lake Township for $1 on Feb. 20.
Lorilee R. Scheibe nbm Lorilee R. Clark to Lorilee R. Clark in Springville Township for $1. on Feb. 26.
J.B.'s Excavation Services, Inc. to Michael A. Roberts and Barbara J. Roberts in Apolacon Township for $1 on Jan. 28.
Doris E. Washburn to David Trevarthan II and Roxanne Trevarthan in Oakland Borough for $31,107.74 on Feb. 24.
Estate of Doris Aldrich, Joyce E. Cobb, Executrix, to Dawn M. Robbins in Jackson Township for $23,000 on Feb. 26.
Rebecca White to Kirk A. Heffner and Deborah A. Graves in Susquehanna Depot Borough for $8,100 on Feb. 26.
Massimiliano Amato and Marisa Amato to Gary W. Truckenbrod and Carol A. Truckenbrod in Bridgewater Township for $58,000 on Feb. 25.
Marilyn S. Quick to Joseph L. Vanderfeltz & Melina Vanderfeltz in Rush Township for $1 on Feb. 27.
Joseph White, Jr. by Guardian, to George A. Delano and Lynne L. Delano in Auburn Township for $187,000 on Feb. 26.
Baylor College of Medicine and Amsouth Bank to Richard Cosner and Shirley Cosner in Apolacon Township for $1,500 on Feb. 6.
Kurt Frey to Kurt Frey and Kimberly Frey in Silver Lake Township for $1 on Feb. 19.
Walter Wiseman and Unadine Wiseman to Rose Marie Stone in Bridgewater Township for $12,500 on Mar. 1 (2 parcels).
Camille Wornowicz to Lewis W. Green, Jr. and Susan M. Green in Harford Township for $47,000 on Feb. 17.
Delwyn Speth and Shirley Meyer-Speth to James W. Barber to Jean R. Barber in Lenox Township for $45,000 on Feb. 27.
Angelo A. Giangerelli, Executor of the Estate of Anita I. Giangerelli to Angelo A. Giangerelli in Gibson Township for $1 on Mar. 31, 2000.
John G. Dyott and Sonja A. Dyott to John G. Dyott and Sonja A. Dyott, Co-Trustees of The John G. Dyott and Sonja A. Dyott Revocable Living Trust in Harmony Township for $10 on Dec. 16, 2003.
James E. Eggleston and Terry M. White to Flo Wester-Simons in New Milford and Jackson Townships for $27,500 on Feb. 27.
Lawrence T. O'Reilly and Christine M. O'Reilly and Thomas J. O'Reilly to Robert Joseph Ewerth Jr. in Oakland Township for $40,000 on Mar. 1.
James H. Havens and Mildred F. Havens to David A. Weingartner and Edward C. Kisloski in New Milford Township for $1 ogvc on Apr. 21.
Edward C. Kisloski and Annmarie B. Kisloski to Anthony J. Westbrook and Martha E. Westbrook in New Milford Township for $75,000 on Mar. 1.
Donna J. Cornell to Donna J. Cornell in Forest Lake Township for $1 on Feb. 25.
Mabel L. Payne to Dale F. Payne and Kim Payne in Harford Township for $1 ogvc. on Feb. 10.
Terrence Farr and Deborah Farr to Terrence Farr in Apolacon Township for $1 on Mar. 1.
Nils S. Dubin to Heather L. Martin in Lanesboro Borough for $57,500 on Feb. 24.
Following are the Lanesboro Council meeting minutes, as submitted, from their meeting on February 3.
Present: Ray Barnes, Dan Boughton, Paul Corse, Regina Dilello, Chris Maby, Bob Mireider, Bob Page. Also Present: Mayor Slater. Absent from the meeting was Secretary Aileen Shay, due to weather. Visitors: Linda Oakley, Roland Salamon, Gerry Benson, Sandy Benson, Gail Hanrahan, and Police Officers Joe Canini and Bob VanFleet.
Motion carried to accept minutes with the following change. Maby clarified a statement in the December minutes. He was quoted as saying the police department put the borough in the red approximately $10,000 in 2003. He clarified the statement as the police department budget operates on a deficit of about $10,000 per year. This deficit is identified and taken care of in the overall budget, and police operation expenses were as budgeted.
Received letter Myron DeWitt regarding a fax from the leasing company that owns the copier. The company, which previously agreed to settle for $350 and return of the copier, is now asking for almost $2,000. There have been numerous harassing calls from the company. Solicitor DeWitt is handling the matter, with an update coming at the next meeting.
Received letter PSAB regarding upcoming UCC implementation. Labor & Industry will soon be mailing books, sample ordinances, and opt-in/opt-out forms. A website and phone number were provided for additional information.
Received a letter from Susquehanna Communications Advisory Committee. Boro needs to authorize a delegate and alternate to this committee. In the past, Maby has been the delegate but didnt attend the meetings. As the committee is primarily emergency officials, the borough cannot offer much. Minutes are forwarded to us for information. After discussion, council agreed to continue with Maby as delegate on paper, with minutes mailed to borough.
Letter from Joe Wentzell and Greg Maby regarding the scout meetings that are held bimonthly at the borough building. As a token of appreciation, the scouts volunteered to clean, dust, and fold chairs after their meetings. Council thought this was a good idea. Secretary to write letter responding and thanking them.
Letter from TriBoro Municipal Authority, regarding maintenance issues with the sewer system. A grinder pump needed to be replaced with the spare. The pump needs to be rebuilt or replaced. This is not covered under insurance. After discussion, council agreed to table matter until next month, when additional funding will be available.
Letter from PAWC regarding incorrect billing. Billing was based on incorrect billing dates, and should be disregarded. If bill already paid, PAWC will credit account.
Letter from Elaine Hobart (Barnes-Kasson Awards) asking for permission to use Luciana Park for a supervised Easter Egg Hunt. Council agreed, secretary to send letter.
Officer Van Fleet gave the report 45 calls, 2 crimes code arrests. The police prepared a yearly report for the secretary to put in the newspaper with the February minutes.
Mayor Slater stated everything is running well, with the exception of one day the garbage truck had problems starting. Has received harassing phone calls regarding the copier machine. Mayor reported this to solicitor DeWitt, who is working on a resolution to the issue.
Regina received a letter regarding free usage of the community center for an exercise class. Regina replied to the letter stating that at this time, the borough cannot afford to allow the building to be used for free. Council agreed that this was appropriate, and feels that the rental fees we have ($50 resident, $75 non-resident, and $150 commercial) are among the cheapest you will find for a building the size of ours. Corse suggested that the person interested in holding the class pass the fee along to her customers.
Bob Mireider provided information on upcoming seminars a contractor seminar regarding the new building codes will be held on March 3, and another one for the public on March 31, at 6:00. The information will be left with the secretary in case anyone is interested in it, and for filing. Bob asked if anyone had reviewed the books purchased last month regarding the new building codes. Maby had taken a quick look; Barnes would like to take home and review.
State of the borough letter mailed to all landowners in town. Letter sent to DeWitt regarding continuing as Solicitor sent. Rebate check to Dick Consla will be mailed after treasurers report approval.
Motion to approve as presented carried.
Maby was in contact with Joe Krumsky from the Commonwealth about the licensure requirements of the year-end auditor. Under Section 1196: General powers and duties of the independent auditor; of the borough code---allows for council to retain an independent auditor who always is a CPA or an accountant holding a degree. Not so with elected auditors, all they have to be is a resident and run for the office. PSAB offers courses for these elected auditors to give them some background in the audit procedures and accounting principles. After discussion, council will check with our auditor to make sure she is qualified. A copy of her licensure/degree will be filed in our records. Corse suggested that Council determine if there is enough interest by borough residents to have an election for auditors. Council agreed, Maby to contact state about the procedure to have auditor positions as an elected seat and provide update at next months meeting.
Regina may have a contact for the estate of Peter & Bea Luciana the solicitor could use regarding the Luciana Park deed.
Lighting in front of the post office is still not working. Mayor Slater to contact Doug Arthur about fixing.
Mayor Slater stated that CTco is providing two hundred feet of outdoor phone line. Barnes will make the connection this weekend. Several councilmen told Barnes to call if he needs help.
The Viaduct Inn is owed a rebate for the down payment on the property they were going to purchase. Maby suggested that the money be applied to their delinquent utility bill (if OK with them) rather than giving back. Corse replied, record wise, it would be easier to give them the rebate. Council agreed. Secretary to include rebate check in March treasurers report.
Maby provided a utility billing update. Aileen, Gail Hanrahan, and Maby worked to finalize a correct billing list, who bills the accounts, what they are being billed for, and how many units. A 3-page report was provided to council. The first page was a summary there are 214 units of garbage and 209.67 units of sewer now billed, which generates $100,345 income for the borough. There is also $33,800 in delinquent accounts. The other pages are a breakdown of borough billing and third party billing, along with the status of the individual accounts. This report will be distributed monthly, so everyone has a clear understanding of the billing status. Discussion followed regarding how to collect on delinquent accounts. There is some ongoing work regarding past due amounts. Council agreed that once this work is finished, a certified letter will be sent to each delinquent account owner giving them thirty days to make arrangements with the borough to bring the account up to date. Further legal action will be pursued for those who do not respond. Maby suggested that the borough consider hiring Gail as a "check" now that the billings are up to date. Aileen will continue to do the billings, and Gail will verify that all payments and deposits are being handled properly. Since Gail is the tax collector, the borough will also have quick notice of property sales. Council agreed this was a good idea. Gail stated that she was interested. She would continue to volunteer her time through June, at which time the borough and Gail will discuss payment. Council thanked her for this offer. Page commented that the reports look good and thanked everyone involved for doing a good job in putting them together.
Maby reported there have been some problems in the borough building lately. Pornography was found on the computer, and several checks were stolen. The police are investigating the matter. The computer has been turned over to the State Police Lab. The checks, that were made out to businesses have since been canceled by the bank. The police informed the dollar value of the checks make the theft a felony. The locks have been changed on the doors, as well as several filing cabinets. Mayor Slater informed everyone the only people that have keys at this time are the police, the Mayor, and Maby. He asked council if they were comfortable with those people having keys, which they were. Also discussed was distribution of keys. All keys are now numbered and stamped with "do not duplicate." Mayor suggested that distributions take place at council meetings. Any key taken must be approved by the council, and signed for by the person taking it. Maby stated that if the person is found who did this, he would like them prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. Furthermore, if a borough representative is responsible, immediate resignation is expected. Council agreed. Police to provide an update at the next meeting. Maby also suggested that the borough draft an ordinance prohibiting inappropriate material on borough property. Corse and Barnes stated the ordinance should be written such that it doesnt violate any constitutional parts. Council agreed secretary to contact Solicitor regarding this. Draft to be presented at the next council meeting. The Internet will be removed from the PC when returned, until such time the borough can purchase blocking software and setup a log-on procedure to eliminate this from happening again. NOTE: After the meeting, the PC was returned from the State Police Lab. All of the pornography was of an adult nature, and does not break any current state or local laws.
Regina passed around a standard rental agreement that was developed for the community center. If council approved, she would like to use this for all future rentals. Council reviewed, and agreed. Minor typographical errors will be cleaned up and printed on borough letterhead for use.
Maby stated that during his discussion with the state representative, it was noted that there are laws regarding how much money any councilmen can have any personal interest in. The Ethics law, adopted in 1989 prohibits councilmen from earning more than $500 from borough activity, and limits personal interest to $1,000. The $1,000 item is based on a councilman having a stake in a company or immediate family member doing business with the borough. While not directed at Boughton, he was the only councilman who is affected by this. Boughton stated that he would not do anything illegal, and agreed that the work he does should probably be done by someone else. Maby suggested that to minimize a bookkeeping issue in the future, the council pass a resolution dropping the dollar amount to zero. Corse suggested that might be problematic, as Boughton was hired because no one else wanted the job. Mayor replied there are several people working for the borough now, and interest in borough activities seems to be growing. He didnt think it would be a problem. Council agreed - Resolution to adopt a zero dollar earning by councilmen or immediate family carried.
Mayor stated that borough employees would be used to keep the hydrants clear. Several people stated that the water company is responsible for this. After discussion, council agreed it was in the best interest of the homeowners to keep them cleaned. Boughton suggested separate timecards be kept for hydrant snow removal, and billed to the water company. Council agreed.
Mayor reported on enforcement of the snow removal ordinance. Several landowners have been contacted during the last few storms. Two walks were not cleaned, which the borough took care of. As discussed last year, the homeowner is billed (certified letter.) The first offense is $25, the second time (same season) $50, and the third time in the same season $100.
The Starrucca Borough Council met March 1, 2004, at 7:00 p.m. at the Starrucca Community Hall. Members present were Andy Bennett, Mary Ann DeBalko, Paul Everett, Lou Gurske and Helen Haynes. Mayor Frank Mrozcka was also present. Absent was Council President Pete Downton. As council vice-president, Mrs. DeBalko presided.
After the call to order, Mrs. DeBalko asked Mr. Everett to act as secretary for the meeting. Dean Rhone, who had been secretary, had submitted a letter of resignation, effective that day, and his resignation had been accepted at the February 2 meeting.
Secretary's Position Filled
Mrs. DeBalko then asked whether anyone in the audience had come to apply for the position of borough secretary. The only applicant to present himself was Peter Wynne, and a motion to accept his application was approved by majority vote, with Andy Bennett voting nay. Paul Everett asked Mr. Wynne to act as secretary for the rest of the meeting.
Emergency Management Coordinator Appointed
The Borough Council then unanimously appointed Paul D'Agati as emergency management coordinator.
Minutes Read and Approved
The minutes of the February 2 meeting were read by the outgoing secretary, Mr. Rhone, and approved as read by unanimous vote.
Vacant Council Seat
Mr. Everett read a letter from Borough Solicitor Warren Schloesser regarding the filling of the vacant seventh council seat. Mr. Schloesser opined that the appointment of Robert Weldy was proper and that his term of office should continue through December 2005. Since Mr. Weldy had already taken the oath of office, the council invited him to take his seat at the council table.
Joe Krumpske from the Governor's Center for Local Government Services supported Mr. Schloesser's opinion and urged the council to consider having an attorney present at all its public meetings. Mrs. DeBalko later asked Mr. Weldy to determine whether the borough could hire Mr. Schloesser on a retainer, to find out what that retainer might be in dollars and to report back to the council.
Mr. Krumpske, who had come to the meeting at the council's request, also expressed support for the borough's decision to join the Northern Wayne Council of Governments because of the complexity of enforcing the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code that will soon go into effect statewide.
Mr. Rhone read the treasurer's report, which included a bill, tendered at the meeting by Dave Hobart, for plowing and cindering township roads. Council members discussed Mr. Hobart's charges and the quality of the work he has done so far this winter, which several council members and Mayor Mroczka faulted.
Mrs. DeBalko suggested that when Council President Downton returns he and the members of the Road Committee should meet with Mr. Hobart to discuss his bill and to eliminate any misunderstandings about the work the borough wants him to do and the quality it expects. A motion was approved unanimously to accept the treasurer's report and to pay all bills except that from Mr. Hobart.
Persons to Be Heard
Art Kopp asked about the plans to buy new locks for the Starrucca Community Hall. Mrs. DeBalko said numerous copies of the keys to the building have been made over the years and the council has no idea who has some of them. The heat has been left on for days when the building was empty, she said, and there have been other problems as well as questions about liability should someone be injured in the building who was not authorized to be there. In the future, only the borough secretary and the council president will have keys, she said, and these likely will be registered keys that cannot be copied lawfully.
Darl Haynes said that in years past Jack Downton, for less money had done a better job of cindering borough roads than Mr. Hobart. Mrs. DeBalko answered that the council had gotten only two bids for plowing and cindering during the 2003-2004 winter, that Jack Downton had not submitted a bid, and that the council had chosen what seemed to be the more economical bid. Mrs. DeBalko also said the council had no choice now but to work with Mr. Hobart, adding that if the council should determine that he has not lived up to the contract that the council will address the matter.
Mr. Haynes then asked about insurance for the borough, and Mrs. DeBalko said that by shopping around she had found a company, DKG, that would almost double the borough's level of coverage while lowering the annual premium by nearly $800. The council has now switched its policy from Tri-County Insurance to DKG, she said.
Workshop Meeting on Road Work
Because of the many road maintenance issues that have come up this winter, the council then voted unanimously to schedule a Workshop Meeting on Road Work for March 18, 7:00 p.m. at the Starrucca Community Hall.
The council approved unanimously a building permit application by George and Mary Ann DeBalko for a 14- by 57-foot addition to their barn. Mrs. DeBalko abstained from voting.
Mrs. DeBalko said the council had received a letter from Starrucca Borough Judge of Elections Bob Lunt stating that, contrary to his earlier belief the borough cannot bill the Wayne County Bureau of Elections for use of the Starrucca Community Hall.
Locks: The council tabled until the April meeting a motion to buy locks with registered, unduplicatable keys for the Starrucca Community Hall.
Roads: Lou Gurske reported that on several occasions borough residents called Dave Hobart requesting that he cinder their roads, adding that those residents should have called Pete Downton and that the council president would have called Mr. Hobart. A discussion followed, and the council agreed that the Road Committee should appoint someone as a backup contact person should Pete Downton be unavailable in an emergency situation. Mayor Mroczka described a situation where his car slid off Jacob's Ladder Road and his wife was injured when she fell on the ice. The mayor said he had to turn to residents along the road and nearby for help. Lou Gurske said he was willing to be the backup contact person and offered his phone number, 727-3033, and the information that his number is listed in all the local phone directories.
Mr. Gurske then described how he had spent much of that day inspecting borough roads and what he had found:
Jacob's Ladder Road must have immediate attention with a grader, he said, because runoff from a ditch that needs clearing is causing erosion to the road. Brush and small trees there also need cutting back.
Kellogg Road, he reported, is mostly O.K., but still has the problem with the sluice pipe near Max Pond, where runoff has breached the ditch and is causing damage to the road.
Stefano Road has major potholes.
Penn Hill and Fairmount Roads have minor potholes that need filling, he said, but have no washouts and are basically O.K.
Buck Road isn't too bad, aside from needing brush cut back.
Mr. Gurske said he will set up a meeting with the Road Committee as soon as Council President Downton returns. Mayor Mroczka suggested that at its workshop meeting March 18 the council should appoint a group to formally reinspect the roads because planning, prioritizing and implementing any repairs will depend on such an inspection.
COG, Fan and Paint for Community Hall, Ballfield, FEMA Funds: Nothing new to report.
There being no further business before the council, meeting adjourned.
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