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Street foreman Ken DiPhillips thorough report led of discussions at the Montrose Borough Councils regular meeting on July 6 at which all members, plus secretary Annette Rogers, were present.
Several residents were present at last months meeting to tell council about flooding in their yards which they thought might be caused by a blocked drainage pipe. DiPhillips was asked to look into it and, with the help of a fire truck from the borough fire company, watched as 1800 gallons of dyed water was pumped into a catch basin in front of one of the properties, ran through the suspect pipe on Cliff Street, came out across the road, and then reentered the ground "never to resurface again" in the words of Phillips. He conducted the same procedure again, using a bit less water and dumping it at a slower rate, and got the same result.
Thus, concluded DiPhillips, the wet yard problem is not the result of the Cliff Street drainage pipe and "I think we can wash our hands on that." Secretary Rogers will send a letter on behalf of council and DiPhillips, informing them of the results of the testing.
Reviewing paving bids was next up, and the amounts of bids that came in on various types of paving for various roads was a bit overwhelming, until Rogers passed out a spread sheet she developed which compared all bids in an easy, at-a-glance format.
The costs from four bidders were spread across it. Council rejected the high bidder, and one that appeared competitive for 60-pound "scratch" (a kind of road-smoothing; it did not bid on micro-paving), but which council heard had no real track record in paving for municipalities until this year. Thus, it settled on awarding the bid to lowest bidder Vestal Asphalt for micropaving Wilson, Picket and Mitchell Streets, and to Broome Bituminous for the scratch method on Gary Lane, and Jessup, Griffis and Lincoln Streets. Cedar Street was on the bid-list, as well. But because the budget for the paving is $50,000 and the best of the competitive bids in total exceeded that, something had to give, and it was Cedar Street. However, in passing the motion to award the bids, Council also agreed that Cedar would move to the top of the list for next years fair-weather paving.
Council also agreed with DiPhillips suggestion to take about $2500-$3000 from the boroughs maintenance and repair account and purchase about 1000 yards of micropaving materials, while the Vestal Asphalt was paving in town. He wants to use this material and have them clean up some problem areas around town, such as the top of Union Hill.
Paving will begin as soon as possible. DiPhillips would like to get the roads taken care of before he focuses more attention on the dump that will need cleaning up, once DiPhillips hears back from the Department of Environmental Protection. DiPhillips let the DEP know that the county government has approved the boroughs clean-up plan, and now, says DiPhillips, "were just waiting to hear from the DEP and hopefully get the grant money" that will be used for the project.
With advertising having been done regarding opting in or out of the new state uniform construction codes (UCC), council held a hearing to discuss options. Council member Craig Reimel made an argument for opting out and supported it with information provided by Jeff Loomis. Opting out does not mean that the UCC wont apply to a municipality which chooses to go that route. The new code applies statewide, regardless of whether a municipality opts in or out. It does mean that owners of residences or commercial properties will be referred to certified third-party inspectors or, for commercial properties, to the states Labor and Industry committee, when they apply for a building permit. Reimel noted that those who request permits can be referred to L&Is website, which contains a list of certified inspectors. Costs for various inspections could vary among them.
A resident who is developing a commercial property in the borough also spoke up during the hearing, noting that she recently spoke with Tom Ruddy, an L&I representative for the area. She said, "he says he is really involved in small towns." She didnt see where a third party would care about older buildings or consider variances in the UCC for them, whereas she thought Ruddy would.
Council voted unanimously to opt out, and noted as well that it could change its mind later on. Borough codes enforcement officer Shane Lewis would continue to give the okay to issue a permit should a property, commercial or residential, pass all required inspections. It is assumed that Lewis, who is state-certified for residences under the UCC, will be included in the list of inspection resources to those requesting a permit from the borough.
Council went from building codes enforcement to sewage enforcement. Ted Cady, an employee with the sewer authority, was there to ask council for a letter to Peoples Bank approving the lowering of the interest rate from 4.75% to 3.99% on a loan to Authority and extending the loan by a year and a half.
Cady explained this interest rate decrease is due to a "computer error." The bank, he explained, was supposed to be hand-calculating both principal and interest from day one. However, it seems it only entered the first payment, made in 1999. The result of this error was a rather large $230,153 balloon payment. The lower interest rate and time extension basically corrects this error. Reimel noted that the Authority had already negotiated with the bank about its mistake, with the interest rate/extension the result. Still, council wanted something in writing from Peoples, and Cady will see that Rogers receives it. Council is then expected to have no objection to the solution arrived at by the Authority and the bank.
It also appointed Cady assistant sewage enforcement officer. Cady said he was willing to accept the position if the borough is willing to enforce the code. He mentioned that he has come across rough drains and sump pumps tied into the system and that both are illegal. Said council president Joel Maxey, "You write the letter [of notice of violation], and we will back you up."
In other borough business, it approved the purchase of five radios for the police department and to forward to PENNDOT a letter about a traffic problem at the intersection of Lathrop Street and Grow Avenue. In response to a letter about speeding vehicles on the alley known as Beech Street (next to The Montrose House), it agreed to a 90-day, temporary ordinance that would make the street one-way eastbound that is, from the top of Beech Street to the bottom side of the Montrose House.
When the subject of sidewalks arose, a member of the Montrose Restoration Committee reported on her research to date about grants available to fix up the sidewalks downtown and about the fixings. She and other Committee representatives have spoken with various bluestone dealers, discussed working with a designer and engineer to ensure the end result both looks good and stands up to time, talked about lighting needs and the possibility of bringing the now-overhead wiring underground, and other aspects involved in delivering safe, attractive sidewalks to the downtown. She wanted to see if Council wanted to go forward in this direction. They did, and they were glad to have the Restoration Committee dedicate such good time to such good research, and Rogers will send the group a letter telling them such.
The next regular meeting of the Montrose Borough Council is scheduled for August 2, at 7 p.m. in the Borough Building.
Susquehanna Boro Council met for a special meeting on July 6; all members were present with the exception of Roy Williams. At their June 23 meeting a motion had been made to accept the resignation of Mr. Williams. It had been agreed to wait to act on appointment of a president until the regularly scheduled meeting on July 13. But, in the interim there were items of import that required a presidents signature; consequently, the special meeting had been called.
The first item of business was clarification of Mr. Williams resignation. It had been misinterpreted as a resignation from both the presidency and from council but was, in fact, only from the presidency. A motion carried to amend the motion taken on June 23, to accept Mr. Williams resignation from the presidency only.
The floor was opened for nominations. John Bronchella nominated vice president Mike Matis, who declined. He would, he said, prefer to remain vice president. A motion to appoint Ron Whitehead was seconded with the vote being unanimous (Mr. Whitehead abstained).
Mr. Whitehead noted that councils president serves on all of its committees; a replacement would be needed for his spot on the Police Committee. After discussion, Mr. Bronchella agreed to take it.
The remainder of the meeting was spent discussing details for a borough float for the parade held on July 10 to celebrate the 150th birthday of Barnes-Kasson Hospital, and for the fishing derby council will be sponsoring during Hometown Days, July 23 and 24.
The next regular meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, July 13, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
City Police Agreement On Hold
An agreement that would have Forest City Borough provide limited police coverage to neighboring Vandling Borough is in danger of collapsing.
A six-month trial agreement that would give Vandling three drive-through patrols a day at a cost of $550 per month was supposed to begin July 1. It never got started because Vandling Council did not abolish the boroughs police department as required.
At its regular monthly meeting last week, the Forest City Borough Council was advised that Vandling Mayor Joseph Garrick is opposed to the agreement written by the solicitors of both municipalities. Reportedly Mayor Garrick wants some input on scheduling the times of the three patrols.
Councilman Paul J. Amadio said he would withdraw his support of the agreement if the mayor of Vandling is allowed input on scheduling. Councilman Nick Cost offered an immediate "so will I" and other council members appeared to be in accord with Mr. Amadio.
Mr. Amadio said he believes Mayor Garrick should have the right to request police officers for special purposes such as operating the Vascar Speed Detector in Vandling or for other specific occasions. But he balked at scheduling times for the drive-through patrols and said it was made perfectly clear during agreement negotiations that Forest City Mayor Frank Brager is in charge of the police department.
"There is no way," said Mr. Amadio, "that our police department or mayor could designate specific times of the patrols. It is ridiculous."
"Thats not going to happen," Council President Jim Lowrey said. "If their mayor has anything to say he goes to our mayor."
Mayor Brager said he met with Mayor Garrick and "on certain things we agree," Mayor Brager said.
"There are very few things left hanging," Mayor Brager added. "He (Mayor Garrick) will call me if he needs Vascar or anything else."
"Already problems are arising," said Councilwoman Mary Twilley, who has opposed the agreement from the get go. "I still think it is a bad idea and each borough should have its own police department," Mrs. Twilley concluded.
Besides three patrols a day, seven days a week, Forest City Police will also respond to emergency calls in Vandling at an additional cost of $30 an hour per officer.
Council members of both communities held a series of meetings before reaching the final agreement. And while they agreed on a six-month trial period, the agreement allows for either municipality to pull out of the deal on 60-days notice.
In another matter, council approved an ordinance adopting the Uniform Construction Code Regulation and Building Code. The ordinance incorporates provisions of the International Building Code, International Plumbing Code, International Mechanical Code, International Electrical Code, International Property Maintenance and Existing Building Code 2003.
A 1992 Mazda driven by Casey Porter, Kingsley, was severely damaged when it veered off the south berm going on east on State Route 492 in New Milford Township. The car then struck a parked trailer attached to a dump truck, spun clockwise back onto the road and traveled off the south berm. Porter was assisted at the scene by New Milford Fire and Ambulance Company and transported to a hospital with injuries unknown in this accident that occurred in the early hours of July 2.
THEFT BY UNLAWFUL TAKING
Sometime between June 25 and 28, a person(s) went to the Welcome Center between Route 11 and Interstate 81 South, cut the locks off two storage trailers and removed a coil of copper tubing with an approximate value of $360. Anyone with information is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.
On the mid-morning of July 5, John Cleary, 63, Bala-Cynwyd, was attempting a left turn off of State Route 267 northbound at the Choconut Market when he turned into the path of a vehicle traveling south on 267 and driven by Harry Striley of Brackney. All involved were wearing seat belts, and no serious injuries were reported, although Cleary faces a vehicle code charge in this accident.
Between July 8 and 9, members of the State Police, Gibson Station, conducted a sobriety checkpoint in the vicinity of Route 11 in the New Milford, Hallstead and Great Bend Areas. The police report did not indicate whether the checks resulted in any arrests for DUI.
A person(s) entered Kens Body Shop in New Milford sometime between the evening of July 1 and the following morning and took a 1999 Cross County landscaping-type TRL owned by Kevin Bryden, Hallstead, and which was in a fenced yard. Anyone with information is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.
Around 1 p.m. on June 17, members of the Gibson State Police Barracks, the Susquehanna County Sheriffs Department and the County Probation Department attempted to serve warrants on Tyrone Beansley, 36, Brackney. Beansley refused to submit to the arrest voluntarily, and a foot chase and struggle ensured. He was subsequently taken into custody and placed in the County Correctional Facility.
A white male, 18-20 years old, entered the sales area of Kidds Meat Plant in Forest Lake around noon on June 23 when the plant was open for business. The sales area was not staffed and the unknown male removed approximately $100 from the cash register and fled on foot. An investigation is continuing.
HCA Inc. to Center for Anti-Slavery Studies Inc., in Montrose for $15,000.
Robert Lopatofsky to Terry L. Rieman, in Forest City for $88,300.
Jesse Colwell to Robert C. Coleman and Martha M. Coleman, in Oakland Township for $98,000.
Sharon D. Norton to Sharon D. Norton (Revocable Trust), in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Sharon D. Norton to Sharon D. Norton (Revocable Trust) in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Nina Hawley (Estate aka), Nina H. Hawley (Estate aka) to Cynthia Catalfamo and Christopher Catalfamo, in Brooklyn Township for $75,000.
Sarah E. Konopka to Samantha E. Walters, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.
Donald C. Ritter to Ivan Stralka and Yvetts Stralka, in New Milford Township for $66,000.
George F. Houghton Jr. (aka) George F. Houghton and Beverly A. Houghton to Scott E. Houghton, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Human Resources Center Inc. to Tatiana Garren, in Forest City for $66,950.
Patrick O. Stephens (Est), Diana F. Stephens, Diana F. Daub, Thomas Dolph, and Joseph Scarfallotto to Leonard S. Schwartz and Margery B. Schwartz, in Clifford Township for $110,000.
Robert D. Vining and Carryl M. Vining to Amy B. Duffy, in Montrose for $95,000.
Kenneth W. Walters, June D. Walters, Eleanor W. Eagen and Frank P. Eagen to R. Caurtis Althouse and Ellen F. Althouse, in Gibson and Clifford townships for $104,500.
Janice E. Newman to James W. Riecke and Mary L. Riecke, in Great Bend Borough for $38,000.
Grace E. Dunlap to Linda R. Ketchur and John W. Ketchur, in Hallstead Borough, for one dollar.
J. Randall Houser and Cheri M. Houser to Shawn P. Hollister, in Montrose for $64,000.
Mary Julia Hutton Earnshaw (by atty) to Patrick M. Mooney, in Bridgewater Township for $90,000.
Michael L. Redding and Monica L. Redding to Matthew Wambold, in Rush Township for $77,900.
Charles W. Howell and Mary M. Howell to Michael L. Redding and Monica L. Redding, in Silver Lake Township for $153,900.
Mark T. Carter and Frances Carter to Cappucci Trust, Richard Place and Charlotte Place, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Greta G. Vilett to Stephen D. Bott, in Ararat Township for $260,000.
Philip W. Childress and Dolores Childress to Charles R. Andren and Barbara J . See, in Auburn Township for $95,000.
Joyce Slicer to James J. Bouch and Christine Bouch, in Herrick Township for $10,500.
Chester Kilmer to Scott Sutton and Elizabeth Sutton, in Lenox Township for $16,000.
Elmer Zaverton and Helen Zaverton to Dalton Air. Inc., in Bridgewater Township for $245,000.
Bobby P. Nanan (by sheriff) to Tammac Corporation, in Rush Township for $1,627.
Michael Oleksza and Carmellsa Oleksza to Walter Drab and Eileen Drab, in Middletown Township for $185,000.
Wasyel M. Danysh Jr. (est) to Erik Danysh, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.
Jan B. Quakenbush and Virginia B. Quakenbush to Ronald W. Hilton and Margaret J. Hilton, in Dimock Township for $40,000.
Ronald W. Hilton and Margaret J. Hilton to Ronald W. Hilton and Margaret J. Hilton, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Michael J. Romanovitch to Edward Schwabe and Joyce Schwabe, in Lenox Township for $29,900.
Edward J. Fotusky Jr. and Charles M. Fotusky (est) to Carol Lopatofsky in Forest City for $70,000.
Thomas Vandegriek and Karen Vandegriek to Charles A. Martel, in Jackson Township for $29,000.
Taisja Tworek to Taija Tworek, Richard M. Tworek and Zachory A. Tworek, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
John J. Demer and Dorothy M. Demer to Joseph L. Demer and Robin L. Demer, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Eugene Robert Welch to Eugene Robert Welch Jr., in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Cassford Management to Fox Enterprises Inc. in Susquehanna for $107,500. dWrenn, in Herrick Township for $170,000.
William T. Ely Jr. and Becky S. Ely to Kim P. Grosso, in Dimock Township for $105,000.
James Robert Kauchis (by atty) (aka) James R. Kauchis and Barbara Doran to Christopher G. Bronson and Elisha A. Havatur, in New Milford Borough for $57,000.
Craig Jeffrey Glen Benson, Thompson, and Carol A. Zenzel, Syracuse, NY.
James E. Taylor, Hop Bottom and Laurie A. Smith, Hop Bottom.
Harold Albert Richardson, Endicott, NY, and Robin Lynne Evans, Montrose.
Stephen Robert Hossman, Raleigh, NC, and Joni Lynn Finlon, Raleigh, NC.
Jared R. Shoemaker, Endicott, NY, and Lee Danielle Baumes, Endicott, NY.
Kevin Joseph McKee, Susquehanna, and Paula Marie Perry, Susquehanna.
Kenneth J. Gathany, Great Bend, and Debra H. Warren, Great Bend.
Matthew J. Hayes, Hallstead, and Kara J. Myers, New Milford.
Susan J. Koziel, Montrose, vs Alfred J. Koziel, Susquehanna County Jail.
Donald J. Richardson, Hallstead, vs Lisa R. Richardson, Hallstead.
Donna I. Whitney, Johnson City, NY, vs Richard C. Whitney Jr., RR4, Montrose.
Oakland Boro Council met on July 8; members present were Ron Beavan, Doug Arthur, Leon Dubanowitz, Chad Crawford and Jack Agler, Mayor Art Towner, Chief of Police Bob VanFleet and several residents. Boro secretary Flo Brush was unable to attend as she is recovering from an injury.
Boro resident Bill Briar has volunteered to set up a website for the boro; he was present to discuss what items council would like to include such as links to other sites, a business directory, a map of the area, pictures and notices of community events, and phone numbers and e-mail addresses for boro officials. The site, www.oaklandboro.com will also include photos from the past as well as the present, to show the history of the area.
Mr. Briar has also expressed interest to head the senior home project committee; five other residents are interested in participating in the feasibility study, which is to consider the possibility of converting the boro building into senior housing. Council reviewed a draft of the resolution needed to authorize forming of a "Sustainable Study Group," which will research the project to see whether it would meet the needs of the community. The committee will present quarterly reports to council, with the finished report expected to take until July of 2005 to complete. Council is already in possession of a county-funded engineers report for the building, which includes detailed floor plans and an inspection report.
The boro building boiler has been serviced; two windows in the boiler room have been replaced with fresh air vents.
Council reviewed a detailed fee schedule that had been drawn up at the recommendation of CEO Shane Lewis, in keeping with the states UCC, to cover the costs of inspections for various types of renovations and construction. Mr. Lewis, who arrived later in the evening, explained why some of those inspections would cost more than council members had expected; for example, installing a hot water heater would involve three separate inspections, for three different items. An addition could involve as many as five separate inspections. And, the fee to issue a permit will also include administrative costs for time and, in some cases, sending the appropriate completed paperwork to lenders.
In response to a question from an audience member, Mr. Lewis explained that for some improvements, such as replacing floor or ceiling tiles or painting, a permit would not be required. But, under the UCC just about any other work requires a permit and an inspection. The purpose, he said, is to ensure that work is done correctly. But, there are some changes to the UCC pending that could possibly exempt single or double family dwellings from inspections, and such items as roofing shingles or siding. None of these changes are definite as of yet but could be implemented.
A motion carried to appoint the Commonwealth Inspection Agency as backup for inspections and to conduct inspections for those structures requiring handicap accessibility for which Mr. Lewis is not qualified.
Council approved a fee schedule for soliciting/peddling permits, cost to be $10 for a single day or $25 for a year.
Bids have been advertised for the street paving project for the current season, to be opened on July 19; none had been received as of the date of the meeting.
Codes violations were reviewed; the Trynoski property litigation has been put on hold, as the owner was recently injured in a machinery mishap. The Foote property is being inspected daily by Mr. Lewis; a structure was to have been taken down by July 1, with fines for noncompliance at $100 per day as of July 1. The retaining wall at the Beamer property has been taken down. And, the Smith property is scheduled to be sold by the Tax Claim Bureau at a judicial sale.
Mr. Crawford updated council on Oakland Rec.s activities; a recently held Community Day realized proceeds of just over $1,103. Mr. Beavan commented that many of the boros residents had "poured their hearts" into the project, with many residents and local businesses contributing to the effort. Mr. Crawford added that a number of boro kids had actively participated.
With councils approval, the committee will be applying for a license to hold games of chance (raffles, etc.) for future fund-raisers. Also in the works are plans for a block party in the fall and a dance for kids, with a DJ, at the park.
Mr. Beavan reported that he had been contacted by a number of residents concerned about a trailer being put in on Wilson Ave.; the owner has applied for the appropriate permits. Everything, he said, is being done legally and council is keeping abreast of developments.
Council continued discussion from prior meetings regarding a water problem on Prospect St.; Mr. Agler will determine whether the best solution is to install a sluice pipe.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, August 12, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
Following is the Ma, June report, as submitted by the Susquehanna Borough Police Department.
On May 1, Elsie Proppe of Grand St. alleged that Mike Argust of Prospect Park Apartments was harassing her. No pending charges.
On May 2, Anthony Cafaro of E. Church St. was arrested and arraigned for an assault to Shannon Cullen of the same residence. He has since pled guilty to the same charge in front of District Justice 34-3-02.
HABITUAL DRIVING OFFENDER
William Wayman Jr. of Oakland was arrested on May 4 for driving on a suspended license and driving as a Habitual Offender in Susquehanna Borough.
On May 6, Daniel Bentz was charged with Disorderly Conduct for causing a public disturbance at the H.O. Mart.
Joseph Staria and Kevin Roth of Washington St. were both charged for Harassment on May 9 for engaging in a fight. Both have since withdrawn charges.
THEFT FROM A VEHICLE
Scott Nier of Washington St. reported someone to have taken a "Craftsmen" socket set and screw gun sometime between May 11 and May 12 out of his 95 Ford truck. Anyone with information is asked to call Susquehanna Police.
UNDER AGE DRINKING
On May 16, Police arrested 12 people at an apartment at 207 Willow Ave. for underage drinking. Susquehanna Police were assisted by Lanesboro PD, Oakland PD and State Police. Investigation continues for several Furnishing and Corruption of Minors charges.
On June 1, Joshua Lee of Willow Ave. was charged with Disorderly Conduct after causing a public disturbance in the Oriental Star parking area.
HARASSMENT / RESISTING ARREST
Gary Goss of Elm St. was arrested and arraigned on June 3 for Harassment and Resisting Arrest. Preliminary Hearing is scheduled in front of District Justice 34-3-02.
On June 4 Police charged a juvenile with trespass by Motor Vehicle after police found him and other juveniles at Benson Bros. property on Front St. running on their arrival.
FLEEING AND ELUDING
On June 6 police attempted to stop a vehicle on Prospect St. being driven by Daniel Ervin of Jackson Ave. Ervin was arrested on the same date for Fleeing and Eluding, Reckless Endangering Another Person and several other traffic offenses.
Also on June 6, police took into custody Dustin Godfrey of Camp Hill, PA who was a wanted person. Police extend a special thanks to the Crime Watch for reporting Godfrey and Michael Groover of First Ave. who assisted in his capture.
John Pirnak of Prospect St. is charged with Public Drunkenness after causing a disturbance during a routine traffic stop on June 11.
RECKLESS DRIVING / PROPERTY DAMAGE
Several people on Laurel Ave. and Turnpike St. reported property damage to their yards that occurred on or around 3:15 a.m. on June 15 by an unknown vehicle. Anyone with information is asked to call Police at 853-3147.
On June 17, Mary Page of Oakland was arrested for Public Drunkenness after causing a disturbance at the Prospect Park Apartments.
John Jumper III is charged with Simple Trespass after causing property damage at 319 Jackson Ave. on June 27.
In the month of June, Police have responded to many dog nuisance calls. Police remind the public that PA law requires all dogs to have up-to-date licenses and shots. Borough Ordinance #420 (also) does not allow continuous dog barking nor loose dogs.
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