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Ambulance volunteers hastened to reassure residents of continued coverage as tension erupted over the continuing crisis in the Great Bend/Hallstead Ambulance Service at a meeting of the Great Bend Borough Council on July 1. John and Jennifer Brant of the local ambulance corps, and two uniformed representatives of the Broome Volunteer Emergency Squad, attended the meeting to answer questions arising out of a letter from R. Brent Meadows, Executive Director of the Bradford-Susquehanna Emergency Medical Service (BSEMS) denying the application of the local ambulance service to renew its license. BSEMS, based at the Guthrie Medical Center in Sayre, Pennsylvania, oversees emergency medical services in this area for the state. A copy of the letter was sent to all municipalities covered by the local ambulance volunteers.
The Great Bend/Hallstead Ambulance Service has been struggling for several months to clear up a backlog of paperwork, recruit new members, and reorganize itself in preparation for re-licensing. Mr. Brant vowed to clear up the current problems and re-submit the application within the next few weeks. "The state is not looking to put us under," he said; however the state is demanding improvements in the operation of the service, particularly in reporting. In the meantime, the Broome Volunteers are providing round- the-clock assistance to other ambulance services from Susquehanna, New Milford and Montrose - all of them filling in until the crisis is resolved. Tensions flared when Council was faced with selecting a preferred emergency services provider for the interim period.
The Broome Volunteer Squad has helped out when needed for some time already. The sensitive question seems to concern a vaguely proposed merger between the Broome squad and the local corps. Some in the Borough seem to be wary of losing control, particularly to a group from out of state. Great Bend Borough provides workmens compensation insurance coverage for local volunteers, and the local squad still owns the ambulance. Nor is there any suggestion that those conditions would change. Yet when Borough Mayor Jim Riecke suggested that there was little to argue about, Council member Jerry MacConnell somehow got the impression that his sincerity was being challenged and a heated exchange forced Council chair Ray Holtzman to call an executive session to cool things off.
(Although Borough solicitor Frank O'Connor tried to explain that the executive session was called for a personnel issue which then turned into a legal one - both valid reasons for an executive session - it was clear that the purpose was to try to dissipate the tension out of the public eye.)
When Council re-emerged, Mr. Holtzman announced that they had decided not to make a decision right away, but to call a special public meeting on the issue. The meeting is to be held on Thursday, July 15, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Borough Building at Elizabeth and Franklin Streets in Great Bend Borough. Each municipality with an interest in the matter will be sent a letter of invitation, and the public will be notified by newspaper announcements and flyers posted around town.
The rest of the meeting's agenda covered a wide variety of topics. More tension erupted when it was announced that a permit had been issued to Mess's fireworks business to expand the building. At previous meetings, some Council members had been concerned about possible explosion at the location, and asked that other authorities be consulted before granting the permit. Neither the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, nor the local fire company expressed any interest. In fact it was learned that the fireworks are mostly packaging; very little explosive powder is used at all. No one seems to expect an explosion in case of fire; perhaps only a spectacular fireworks exhibition. So, Mr. Holtzman got colleagues Jeff Burkett, Joe Collins and Bea Alesky to join him in signing applications for this and another building permit. Rick Franks objected strenuously to what he characterized as an "underhanded" move to circumvent discussion by the full Council, saying that he had "lost faith in this Council." Mr. Holtzman said that the last "6 or 7" permits had been "done the same way," in an effort to reduce delays for property owners. The other permit recently approved was for Mr. Riecke and his wife.
Mr. Holtzman proposed a new ordinance to control the installation of mobile homes in the Borough. The idea was tabled for further study when Mike Wasko insisted such regulation already existed. He claimed that new single-unit mobile homes are prohibited in the Borough, but such an ordinance could not be immediately located.
Great Bend Borough still doesn't have its own tax assessor. But it will have a new Emergency Management Coordinator, in the person of Mike VanGorden, a long-time volunteer with the local fire company. The unpaid position was recently vacated by Mike Lonzinski. The tax assessor is paid - however little - and the county has been pressing the Borough for some time to appoint someone to the unpopular post. Interested residents are encouraged to come forward.
The Borough will also be looking for someone to help out on two-man jobs around town, assistance for the Borough's lone outside worker. Anyone interested in part- time, on-call work at about $6.50 per hour can call the Borough office for more information.
The Bethesda alternative schooling program, based in South Montrose, is asking municipalities to find community service jobs for troubled teens. Great Bend will try two of them on a project to paint picnic tables in the parks. A Bethesda representative will supervise the work in person.
A contract to continue the use of the Borough Building as the Blue Ridge Senior Center has been signed with the Area Agency on the Aging, on behalf of the Center's operators, Barnes-Kasson Hospital. The contract spans five years, but with one-year renewals on 30 days' notice at the current rent; the Borough will be permitted increases for major jumps in the cost of propane to heat the building. The Borough had wanted the rent to be tied to the Consumer Price Index, but the Senior Center's operators were not willing to go along. Under the new contract, all bills for utilities will be paid through the Borough, which will then invoice the hospital for its share of the cost.
Great Bend has been advertising for contract bids to clean and fill cracks in the town's streets. Now they find they need to develop specifications for the work to be done. Samples of such specifications have been collected from PENNDOT and other sources.
Instigated by the Borough's insurers, Council has for some time considered new signs for its three parks. The state police have indicated they cannot enforce ambiguous rules, and have suggested more detailed signs. So Borough officials borrowed a list of don't's in the parks from New Milford, and Council had a grand time offering suggested prohibitions and notices. The new signs won't be posted until another meeting to review them, but they are expected to include all of New Milford's regulations, plus a warning to "Park at your own risk," and "This is a drug-free park." The signs will also specify that the parks are closed from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. daily.
And finally, Bea Alesky reported a qualified success for Fun Day on June 5. "All went well, except for the rain," said she, reporting receipts of $534 against expenditures of about $388. She noted that most of the people who volunteered at the event were from out of town, and she thanked them all, including Lynette Florance, who donated sodas, and Bob and Sharon Schaffer, who donated some of the prizes for the games. Volunteers also included Terry Marshman, Becky Witter, Diane Hersher, Betty Foote and Jamie Schroeder. She was especially grateful to the many youngsters who helped out, including Carrie, Mike, Josh and Johnny.
Regular meetings of the Great Bend Borough Council begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Borough Building on the first Thursday of each month.
Plans for a sixty-five room Best Western Hotel were on the table when the County Planning Commission met on June 29. Singh Realty, Andy Aulakh, owner, submitted the plan and was represented at the meeting by Edward Orloski, Director of Sales and Marketing. They are proposing a three-story hotel within the Gibson Commons Development off Route 560 in New Milford Township. This is near the Flying J complex and is expected to employee twenty-five to thirty people.
There was discussion about the number of parking places planned, but after some explanation, an enthusiastic Planning Board voted unanimously to accept the plan. Orloski said that they hope to break ground by August and perhaps be open by January.
The other commercial development approved was Hermans Family Time RV Center, also in New Milford Township. The proposed site off State Route 848 will be a fourteen-plus acre parcel developed with thirty-two recreational vehicle sites for display. Owners, Andrew Steittz and Theresa Sullivan are also proposing a 90 x 180 service building. The Commission also voted to accept the Thomas OReilly/Taylor subdivision in Springville Township. While there was much discussion about the shape of some of the eleven lots cut from the former 120+-acre farm, they all met the ten-acre requirement for inclusion in the Clean and Green program if this is the intention of the prospective buyers. There are other requirements for Clean and Green, but acreage is the prerequisite.
Furthering the cause of rail transportation in the area, the Susquehanna County Rail Authority held a meeting in New Milford on June 18. Senator Madigan, Representatives Major and Pickett, County Commissioner Warren and representatives from various rail companies were on hand to lend support to the Rail Authority efforts to provide a railroad siding somewhere in or near New Milford Borough. Potential shippers were invited to a luncheon following the meeting. They represented mainly the stone, wood, propane and recycling industries.
Planning Director Robert Templeton noted that Susquehanna is one of a very few counties that does not have a County Natural Areas inventory. He added that the Nature Conservancy has found funding to cover all costs of this inventory project with minimal in-kind services required from the County Planning office. Work on the project could begin this fall and is expected to take two summers to complete.
The next Community Forum will be held on July 14, at 7:00 p.m. in the conference room of the County Office Building. Marianne Scott of 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania will discuss a report from the Brookings Institute on the status of land use in Pennsylvania and the importance of multi-municipal planning.
The next regular meeting of the County Planning Commission will be July 27, 7:30 p.m. in the County Office Building.
Committee Approves Dairy Proposal
The Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee has approved legislation that would help to protect farmers from bankruptcy by ensuring that milk dealers pay their debts in a timely manner. Senator Roger Madigan (R-Bradford) amended House Bill 2512 to provide the added protections to dairy farmers, who in many cases have faced financial hardship because of payment problems. He has sponsored similar legislation in the Senate.
Madigan said the measure would require all new milk dealers to post a 75% bond (30 days average milk shipments) to prevent lapses in coverage. This complements a provision in current law that allows dealers to bond only 30% (12 days milk) and pay into the milk security fund. Currently, milk dealers can remain below 30 days coverage for a dozen or more years causing a financial hardship for farmers if the milk dealer runs into bankruptcy problems.
Madigans legislation would also authorize the Milk Marketing Board to require an increase in overall bond requirements more than once per year to provide dairy farmers with protection from the volatile prices of milk.
The Milk Marketing Board would also be authorized to conduct a periodic review of a dealers security and overall financial situation to determine if additional security is required.
"This will help to ensure that rapid changes to a dealers financial status are not also exposing dairy farmers to additional risk," he said. "Agriculture is a major industry in Pennsylvania, and we need to protect milk producers to keep it strong."
Madigan also added a requirement that existing fully bonded dealers must meet minimum conditions if they would like to lower their bond amount at a later date and participate in the Milk Security fund. These include: making more frequent payments to producers; making higher per hundredweight contributions to the Milk Security Fund and; providing a bond higher than 30% of 40 days milk payments.
Dealers would be required to petition the Milk Marketing Board in order to change their status and must provide financial justification to the board.
House Bill 2512 now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
Elsie Proppe, Susquehanna, is accused of signing her name to checks belonging to Cynthia Baker, Montrose, and passing them at the Pump-N-Pantry stores for payment of goods. This forgery and identity theft occurred between April 6-21.
HIT AND RUN COLLISION
In the early morning of June 19, Ryan Michael Bayly, Susquehanna, was driving a 1999 Chevy Blazer when he failed to negotiate a sharp curve on Township Road 826 in Great Bend Township and overturned the Blazer. Bayly abandoned the vehicle and fled the scene, and also failed to notify police of the crash. He was cited with failure to immediately notify the police department of the accident, as well as driving the vehicle at an unsafe speed. Bayly was wearing a seat belt and was not injured in this collision.
A 1997 Nissan Altima driven by Kristi Newhart, 17, Friendsville, was traveling south on Route 267 when a 1994 Mack truck with attached trailer, driven by Thomas Lasky, 44, Endwell was making a left turn onto it from Route 706 in Rush Township. Newhart failed to stop at a posted stop sign, and struck the truck. She was severely injured in this accident that occurred in the mid-afternoon of June 29, and her vehicle was severely damaged. Lasky, the operator of the truck, received minor injuries and his truck was moderately damaged.
Earl Butts, Susquehanna, reported that sometime between May 4 and June 16, a person(s) removed a pair of lifting forks that attach temporarily to a skid-steer from a remotely located stone quarry in Harmony Township. Anyone with information is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.
Around 1 a.m. on June 27, Jeremy Keene, 23, New Milford, was driving a 1993 Acura owned by Thomas Holleran, also of New Milford, on the Interstate going south near New Milford Township. Keene lost control of the car, struck the guide rail and fled the scene. Keene, who was uninjured although the Acura received major damage will be charged with leaving the scene of an accident and other traffic violations.
THEFT BY UNLAWFUL TAKING
A person(s) removed or stole two vehicles from Fuccillo Fords display parking lot on Route 11 in Great Bend Township sometime between June 27-28. One of the stolen vehicles is a 2000 Ford truck 4x4 with a value of $20,150; the other is a 1999 Lincoln Town Car with a value of $12,900. Anyone with information is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.
A 1985 Chevy Camaro driven by Charity Turner, Susquehanna, failed to negotiate a curve on Route 171 in Oakland Township. Turner lost control of the car and stuck a utility pole. The car was towed from the scene in this accident that occurred on the afternoon of June 3.
Daniel Brasche, Friendsville, was driving a 1992 Chevy Corsica too fast for conditions on Township Route 808 in Liberty Township around noon on June 6. He lost control of the car, which struck the guide rail and continued to travel north, crossing a bridge and striking the guide rail on the opposite side of the road. Brasche then turned around and parked the car at a residence and walked from both the scene and the car. Charges will be filed at district court for numerous traffic violations.
Margaret Douglas, Montrose, pulled her 1990 Olds Cutlass out from Ellsworth Drive at the intersection of Route 9 in Bridgewater Township and failed to see a 1991 Ford F150, driven by Keith Caton, Montrose, traveling north on Route 29. Catons Ford struck Douglas Olds, which was towed from the scene in accident that happened on the morning of June 24.
Krista Cohn, 17, Kirkwood, driving a 2001 Saturn sedan, made a left turn onto Route 171 from Route 11 in Great Bend Township and in front of a 1989 Ford Taurus driven by Areta Wood, 63, Hallstead, causing the vehicles to impact. Cohn, Wood and Woods passenger were all wearing seat belts and were uninjured in this crash that occurred in the early evening of June 24. Both cars were moderately damaged.
Robert B. Liples Jr. and Kathleen Liples to Shirley D. Sheridan, in Brooklyn Township, for $70,000.
C. David Pritchard Frantz and Sharon M. Frantz to Gibson Cemetery Association Inc., in Gibson Township for $2,000.
Janet C. Young and Ernest William Young to Agnes M. Reilly (est), in Harford Township for $17,400.
James Reese Jr. (ta) Land N Lease Associates to James Reese Jr., in Herrick Township for one dollar.
James S. Clark, Charles C. Haley, John J. Galinsky to James S. Clark, Charles C. Haley, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Mary E. Snyder, Charles E. Snyder, and Michele Snyder to Frank Lippincott and Angel L. Lippencott, in Thompson Township for $24,000.
Mary Frances Caples to Mary Frances Caples and Mary Ploettner, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Carol Lopatofsky to Michelle Rebernik, in Forest City for $70,500.
Brian D. Price and Carol A. Price to Wayne G. Martin, in Oakland Township for $43,500.
Mark W. Smith, Diane C. Smith (nka) Diane C. Percario, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Cheryl M. Jenner and Jason W. Jenner to Keith Grose and Amelia Grose, in Bridgewater Township for $98,000.
Lawrence R. Allen and Margaret A. Allen to William J. Jordan Jr. and Karen E. Jordan, in Lenox Township for $55,000.
Dorothy V. Joyce (fka) Dorothy Vivian Chase to Dorothy W. Joyce Estate Planning Trust, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Chester Kilmer to James L. Barsby and Melinda K. Barsby, in New Milford Township for $79,000.
David J. Saylor and Darlene L. Saylor to James D. Saylor and Jenna Saylor, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Derwood J. Mason Jr. and Anne M. Mason to Donald R. Conning and Rosemary T. Conning, in Silver Lake Township for $38,000.
Benjamin Johnson and Carol Johnson to Robert J. Ralston and Lauretta A. Ralston, in Liberty Township for $68,500.
John Royal Purdy and Patricia Purdy to Blair Purdy, in Auburn Township for $18,900.
William A. Rice to William A. Rice and Carol Anne Howell, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Shirley A. Bishop (by sheriff) to Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company, in Hallstead Borough for $1,895.
Blanche O. Poulsen to Blanche C. Pharr, Carl P. Poulsen and Raymond W. Poulsen, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Mark M. Mansell and Geraldine Mansell to Donna Lees, in Jackson Township for $23,000.
Philip J. Pass Jr., Laurie Pass (aka) Lauri Pass, Peter Bragaw and Shrley L. Bragaw to Patricia A. King, in Herrick Township for $25,000.
Jonnie J. Selb and Christine A. Selb to George D. Miller Jr. and Christine Miller, in Herrick Township for $20,000.
John A. Hossack to Robert Lissner and Ellen Lissner, in Thompson Township for $275,000.
Victoria Lowry to Victoria Lowry and Stephen R. Lowry, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Theodora C. Gray (estate) to Patricia C. Bidlake, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Patrick J. Cole to Deborah L. Drewry, in Choconut Township for one dollar.
Mark S. Tewes and Donna D. Kintner to Jody L. Stanley and Suzanne M. Stanley, in Great Bend Township for $20,000.
Donna Fekette, Paul A. Kelly, Pamela E. Kelly (aka) Pam Kelly, Lawrence T. OReilly, Christine OReilly (aka) Christine M. OReilly, and Thomas OReilly to John J. Burris and Theodore W. Burris, in New Milford Township for $23,000.
Ralph Amice, Catherine Amice, Frederick Belser, Mary E. Belser, Albert H. Jones and Louise F. Jones to Camp Comfort Inc., in New Milford Township for $100,000.
Ruth Lawson to Anna L. Lawson, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Joan F. Weber to Martin H. Fela and Gyl G. Fela, in Jackson Township for $240,000.
John Margerum and Karen Melton to Peter F. Alles and Debbie J. Alles, in Apolacon Township for $32,000.
Corinne K. Cronlund (by attorney and trustee) to Corinne K. Cronlund. om Thompson Township for one dollar.
Chris E. Brown, Shawn Brown, Michael P. Barron to Chris E. Brown, Shawn Brown, Michael P. Barron, in Jessup Township for one dollar.
Richard Paul Larnerd II and Joanne Larnerd to Richard P. Larnerd II, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Richard Paul Larnerd II and Joanne Larnerd to Richard P. Larnerd II, in Rush Township for one dollar.
Rena L. Hutchins aka Rena L. Bunk (by sheriff) and Clyde Hutchins to Wells Fargo Bank (sbm), Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc., in Jessup Township, for $3,953.
Daniel Farris, Donna Farris (by atty), David Farris, Debbie Farris to David A. Farris and Debbie W. Farris, in Jackson Township for $22,000.
Ann Marie Snyder (nbm) Ann Marie Snyder Walker, Robert J. Walker to Thomas A. Kapcsandi and Lori J. Kapcsandi, in Thompson Township for $29,000.
Mary E. Snyder to Thomas A. Kapcsandi and Lori J. Kapcsandi, in Thompson Township for $29,000.
Pullen Family Trust (by trustees) to Jerry P. Georgopoulos and Dawn Georgopoulos, in Jackson Township for $103,500.
Sandra Ryder (aka) Sandra Starke and Kevin Kovalefsky to Sanford H. Ryder and Mary M. Ryder, in Lanesboro Borough for one dollar.
Gerald A. Yeomans and Marguerite Yeomans to Gerald A. Yeomans and Marguerite Yeomans in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Gerald A. Yeomans and Marguerite Yeomans to Phillip G. Yeomans and Dawn M. Yeomans, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
James Adriance and Vesta Adriance to Frank Kamarauskas Jr., in Rush Township for $20,000.
John Durante Sr. and Jean Durante to John Durante Jr. and Antoinette Durante, in Springville Township for one dollar. Allan W. Warner and Gwendolyn Warner to Cheryl M. Jenner and Jason W. Jenner, in Dimock Township for $2,500.
John Brian Bush, Richmond, VA, and Amy June Ely, Richmond, VA.
Mark Albert Hendrickson, Susquehanna, and Amanda L. Hilton, Susquehanna.
Roger Willliam Raub, Fort Drum, NY, and Kristin Marie Gahring, Vestal, NY.
Brian Raymond Anderson, Susquehanna, and Lisa Marie Phillips, Susquehanna.
Gordon Vinson, Apalachin, NY, and Michele S. Fowler, Apalchin, NY.
Keith Gilbert Wheeler, Susquehanna, and Kelly Ann Devoe, Susquehanna.
William Richard Wayman Jr., Susquehanna, and Branci R. Butts, Susquehanna.
William Arthur Marvin, Hallstead, and Kathia L. Arenas, Hallstead.
George Cernusca, RR2, Susquehanna, and Moira Jan Hummel, RR2, Susquehanna.
William F. Whiteley, RR6, Montrose, and Sylvia Jones, RR6, Montrose.
James W. Mock, RR1, Hallstead, and Laura Lea Curry, RR1, Hallstead.
Rachel L. Warren, RR2, New Milford vs James R. Warren Sr., RR2, New Milford.
John V. Oliver, Wilkes-Barre, vs. Holly J. Oliver, Wilkes-Barre.
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