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Look For Our HARFORD FAIR SPECIAL In The August 18th Issue Of The County Transcript

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Issue Home August 3, 2004 Site Home

Susky to Refurbish R.R. Cars
Commissioners Handle Busy Agenda
County Planning Commission Meets
County Nixes Harford Vote
Court House Report

Gibson Barracks Report

Susky to Refurbish R.R. Cars

Susquehanna Boro Council met on July 27; all members except Roy Williams and Bill Kuiper were present.

Secretary Judy Collins reported that the Susquehanna Depot Area Historical Society and Joe White of the Susquehanna & Western Railroad have been notified of the railroad committee meeting dates, which will be held on the third Wednesday of the month, 6:00 p.m. at the boro building. The committee is planning the refurbishing of three railroad cars donated by S&W.

Mrs. Collins noted that members and leaders of Boy Scout Troop Den 7, Weblo 2 participated in a cleanup in preparation for the Hometown Days festivities.

A letter of approval from council was sent to notify the county Planning Commission regarding approval of the final survey of the land the boro will be acquiring from River Bounty.

A Main Street Committee fund-raiser was very successful; winner of the 50/50 drawing was Don Gruber.

Mrs. Collins contacted PENNDOT to inquire about the progress of the design plans for the park on the corner of Franklin Ave. and Main St.; PENNDOT has been meeting deadlines to put up guard rails, which has delayed the park project. Mrs. Collins will contact PENNDOT again next month for further updates.

Mrs. Collins has forwarded requested information to Martin Works; data needed for the boro website being designed by Martin Works as part of the Main Street project.

The county Housing Authority was contacted to check on the progress of the sidewalk replacement on Main St., in front of the Town Restaurant; the Authority is waiting for plans from the architect, and will put the project out to bid once the plans are received.

Jim Davis, of DGK Insurance requested time on the agenda to discuss the boro’s insurance coverage. Items discussed included an outline of current coverage, and a comprehensive list of the boro’s assets, equipment and personnel.

Mr. Davis noted that the donated railroad cars cannot be insured at the present time due to their condition, but as boro property they are insured for liability. Once the cars, which are about 50-60 years old are restored, they can be added.

After all is said and done, the cost of premiums to the boro will be an increase of approximately $300 from last year, due to an increase in state rates for workmen’s comp.

In response to a question, Mr. Davis said that if the boro were to hire independent contractors for plowing during the winter season, those contractors would need to provide proof of liability insurance, and proof of workmen’s comp coverage for any employees they might have.

Mayor Hurley reported that the first meeting of the railroad committee had been held, with its focus on refurbishing the cars. Some fund-raisers are being planned. And, the committee will be holding a cleanup session on August 7, 9:00 a.m. at the cars, presently at the siding at the Starrucca House; volunteers are welcome.

Mrs. Hurley said that the Hometown Days went well, with great attendance. She commended the Susquehanna Community Development Association for all their hard work in organizing the event.

Council’s fishing derby went well, with Brooke Marvin reeling in the winner, a thirteen-inch small mouth bass.

And, PENNDOT completed paving work on Main St. in time for the Hometown Days.

Council will contact several local refuse haulers for prices on dumpsters for the railroad car cleanup.

No further action can be taken yet on vacating the lower portion of First Ave.; there is a drain line running through the property, which would require an easement.

Council is awaiting further information on prohibiting trucks from making right-hand turns onto Erie Avenue, including the results of a traffic study.

The boro has received insurance payment for a damaged lamp post on Main St.; a motion carried to use the funds to purchase an additional post to be stored until it is needed. There is some concern that the particular model used by the boro will not be available too much longer.

A motion carried to approve repairs to the boro building; the police department’s garage door needs a new motor, some of the exterior lights do not work, and the main door needs repairs. These items are no longer under warranty.

A report of the last streets committee meeting included the news that a survey will be conducted on August 10, to determine which of the boro’s streets are in need of milling, paving, and/or sealing. All of this information will be used to determine a future paving plan. Immediate plans for paving include part of Columbus Ave. and East Street. Work on Jackson Ave., for which grant funding is being obtained, should be commencing soon. The work will include a portion of the road that has been breaking away due to rain damage, causing a narrowing of the road.

Washed out drain pipes on Front St. have been fixed, and pothole paving had been put on hold due to the rainy weather of late.

Shane Lewis gave a comprehensive report of the month’s codes enforcement activities, including two condemnations and updates on two court hearings.

And, one condemned property is in the process of being purchased; the new owner is aware that the structure must be demolished and is planning to put up a double-wide once the existing house has been removed.

Council will ask the parks committee for an update of their activities, particularly concerning what plans are in progress to address a collapsing wall at the Drinker Creek Park.

President Whitehead closed the meeting by reporting that the fishing derby council sponsored at the Hometown Days celebration went well, especially considering that it was their first one. Council members had heard many complimentary remarks from residents. It was nice, Mr. Whitehead commented, to see such a successful group effort.

The Susquehanna Boro Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.

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Commissioners Handle Busy Agenda

At a regular meeting last week, the Susquehanna County Commissioners awarded contracts for the installation of an elevator in the courthouse and new carpeting in the courthouse annex; tabled action on the creation of an Advisory Board of the Emergency Services in the county; and, approved motions authorizing Treasurer Cathy Benedict to temporarily beef up her staff for the annual rush for doe hunting permits.

A contract to install the elevator was awarded to Jerry Gantz Inc. of Scranton. The firm submitted the low bid of $220,987 and will have 150 calendar days to complete the project.

Commissioner Jeff Loomis, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Roberta Kelly, said the county already has the funding for the project and that the cost will not impact on the county’s future real estate tax needs. Mr. Loomis further said the elevator will not affect the courthouse listing as a historical site because the exterior of the structure will not be changed.

Regarding the carpeting, most of which will replace worn, torn and tattered carpeting in the treasurer’s office, Rug Fair Commercial and Industrial Carpeting of Endwell was awarded the contract for the new installation at a cost of $17,550.

At the end of a lengthy discussion, the commissioners tabled action on a resolution that would have created an Advisory Board of Emergency Services. The move came after it was noticed that the nine members that were to be placed on the board were recommended by the board which had not yet been created. (See Along the Way with P. Jay in today’s Transcript.)

The commissioners ratified the hiring of Heather Yonkin and the rehiring of Adrian Kinney, Linnie Donohue and John Stopka to temporary positions in the treasurer’s office for processing doe permits. Treasurer Cathy Benedict said the county received 14,800 permits this year, a slight decrease from 2003.

In another matter, the commissioners hired L. Robert Kimball & Associates of Ebensburg to help process grant applications relevant to the county’s 9-1-1 emergency services. The firm will be paid $12,000 for a six-month contract.

A resolution authorizing the contract states that Kimball will also research the physical space needs and operational needs of the 9-1-1 system and will also examine the possibilities of obtaining construction money for a new 9-1-1 building.

Another approved resolution designates the Department of Economic Development (DED) as the industrial development organization for the county. The move complies with the Industrial Development Assistance Law and could give the DED the authority to administer grant funds.

Other motions approved by the commissioners completed the following business:

-Appointed Trent Turner of the Clifford Volunteer Fire Department as the official delegate to the Fire-Rescue Committee of the North East Emergency Response Group.

- Hired Rita Driscole to a temporary part-time position in the tax claim office.

- Hired Mindy Williams to fill a part-time custodial position in the courthouse.

- Hired Reuben Lyle Sherman and Jason Sechrist to part time positions of correction officers at the Susquehanna Count Jail.

The Salary Board set the following hourly rates for individuals hired earlier by the commissioners to part time positions: Heather Yonkin, $5.35; Adrian Kinney, $5.56; Linda Donohue and John Stopka, $5.79; Rita Driscole, $8.32; Mindy Williams, $5.79; and, Reuben Lyle Sherman and Jason Sechrist, $10.54.

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County Planning Commission Meets

When the Susquehanna County Planning Commission met for their regular meeting on July 27, Planning Director Robert Templeton reported on two informative meetings that had taken place. One was "Planning For Community and Economic Development" sponsored by various state agencies. Templeton explained that Bill Fontana of the PA Downtown Center led the fifteen attendees through identifying clusters of businesses, analyzing what he called location quotients, thinking in terms of regional economics and distinguishing why some areas are successful in attracting businesses and others are not. The information was based on a book entitled "The Rise of the Creative Class" written by Richard Florida, Professor of Regional Economics at Carnegie Mellon University and a scholar at the Brookings Institute.

Templeton also praised the work of Marianne Scott of 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, who traveled from Philadelphia at no cost to the county to present a synopsis of the recent Brookings Institution report, "Back to Prosperity; a Competitive Agenda for Renewing Pennsylvania" which deals with growth and sprawl and discusses multi-municipal planning. Of the eleven people who attended this meeting of well-researched and pertinent information, the only municipal officials were from the Northern Tier Coalition.

Other regular business was limited to a short session of the Planning Commission members concurring with staff recommendations on property uses.

Deputy Director, Eleanor Kurosky’s report listed sixty-eight subdivision plans submitted, sixty-three plans approved and thirteen plans reviewed and commented on since January.

With no more official business, the members continued the meeting with a discussion on Clean and Green, including the plan’s restrictions and uses and its financial impact on the county.

The next regular meeting will be August 31, 7:30 p.m. in the County Office Building.

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County Nixes Harford Vote

There were only two items on the agenda for the two attending Harford Supervisors at their meeting on July 27. One of them appeared to deliver a setback to efforts to deal with the long-standing issue of the Odd Fellows Hall in the center of the village.

Having received whatever comments they were likely to receive from the public about the fate of the deteriorating 90-year-old structure, the Supervisors were preparing to create a question on the matter to put on the ballot for the general election in November. They asked their solicitor to contact the County Election Board about procedures and formats. The lawyer received a response which he forwarded by letter back to the Supervisors. As Rick Pisasik put it, the Election Board "will not be accepting a referendum from Harford Township on the Harford Township Hall." According to Mr. Pisasik, the response from the attorney did not give the county's reasoning, and the township had not had time yet to investigate. He said the wording didn't indicate that the county couldn't accept the referendum; only that they won't.

Since the deed for the property contains a clause that requires the township to solicit the voters' opinions at a general election before "disposing of" the building, the township seems to be caught in a "Catch 22." The discussion following Mr. Pisasik's announcement included several suggestions for eliciting voter sentiment on the issue. Mr. Pisasik said that, "while we were prepared to move forward [on the referendum question] at today's meeting, we will now have to look at alternative means for dealing with the matter."

Eloise Masters attended the meeting to display mounted enlargements of four photographs created by Bronson Pinchot, owner of the grand old "Senator's house" in the village, which is right next to the Odd Fellows Hall. One pair of photos shows views toward Mr. Pinchot's house from the north- east and the south-west, including the old stucco town hall. The other pair, apparently digitally altered, show what the same views might look like with the Odd Fellows Hall removed. Ms. Masters, who does not live in the village itself, is concerned with the deteriorating appearance of the historic, New England style village.

It wasn't clear after the meeting what the next step might be, but Mr. Pisasik vowed to keep the issue on the agenda until a resolution can be found. "I still think we have momentum going," he said. He does not favor action by the Supervisors without some sort of clear statement by the voters. "As a community we'll discuss what the best things are," said he.

The other agenda item concerned a letter received from a property owner at Tingley Lake inquiring about zoning and setbacks. As Mr. Pisasik pointed out, Harford Township has no zoning ordinances, nor are there setback requirements for building. He said that county regulations cover setbacks, but only for new development.

From that, Mr. Pisasik and his colleague Sue Furney, moved to adopt a resolution that returns administrative control over "assessment permits" to the Township for structures not covered under the state Uniform Construction Codes (UCC). They also amended an earlier ordinance that gave jurisdiction over such things to the county Council of Governments (COG). Recently enacted state legislation modified the UCC statutes to remove the more stringent regulation from non-habitable structures and other types of minor renovations. The Supervisors wanted to relieve property owners of additional burdens that might have been experienced by having to go through COG for all permits.

Mr. Pinchot left several smaller copies at the Township office of the photographs presented by Ms. Masters at the meeting. You can also hear the next episode of the long-running saga of the Odd Fellows Hall beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 14 at the same place.

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Courthouse Report


Gary G. Darrow and Connie M. Darrow to Keith F. Hausser and Renee M. Hausser, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Joseph Kaputa and Florence Kaputa to John L. McArthur and Regina McArthur, in New Milford Township for $100.

James D. Budine to Anthony Pesoli and Michelle Pesoli, in Forest City for $38,000.

Forest City DG Ventures to Forest City DG Ventures, in Forest City for one dollar.

Forest City DG Ventures to Forest City DG Ventures, in Forest City for one dollar.

Lee Huntsberger and Elaine Huntsberger to Stanley Mulcock and Claudia Sand, in Bridgewater Township for $44,000.

Mary E. Plutino to Brenda M. Lake, in Susquehanna for $43,500.

Pamela Underwood Davis to Pamela Underwood Davis and Jonathan T. Davis, in Ararat Township for one dollar.

Walter L. Goodwin and Corry Goodwin to Walter L. Goodwin Jr. and Cynthia A. Goodwin, in Clifford Township for one dollar.

Walter L. Goodwin and Corry Goodwin to James M. Loeh and Theresa A. Loeh, in Clifford Township for $26,268.

Richard G. Bloxham and Erin E. Bloxham to William P. Hayes and Mary E. Hayes, in Herrick Township for $37,000.

Heath Brewer to David F. Bianco, in Harford Township for $72,500.

Chester T. Goldyn and Nancy L. Goldyn to Nicholas A. Puza, in Auburn Township for one dollar.

Andrew A. Powers (nbm) Andrew R. Welch to Lisa G. Difabritus and Keith Urfer, in Forest Lake Township for $92,000.

Montrose Borough, Louis W. Hawley and Natalie J. Hawley to Louis W. Hawley and Natalie J. Hawley, in Bridgewater Township for $5,000.

Julia McMahon (estate aka) Julia M. McMahon (estate aka) Julia Nawoichik McMahon, Mary Elizabeth Schiller, P. Wilson Schiller, Joann McIntyre, Helen Jean Raymond, Robert Raymond, Helen Nawoichik (poa a/k/a) Helen E, Brush (poa), Joseph Nawoichik, and Jean Nawoichik to Mary Elizabeth Schiller and P. Wilson Schiller, in Oakland Borough for $25,974.

Melanie A. Gretz to John Turpack and Mary Ellen Turpack, in Lenox Township, for $23,200.

Gloria Jean Ruggere to Richard A. Serfass and Dyvonne Serfass, in Auburn and Dimock townships for $85,000.

Dion Wallinger to Jennie R. Nichols and Laurence P. Hegarty, in Clifford Township for $74,000.

Thomas R. Williams and Pauline A. Williams to Richard Alessi and Linda Alessi, in Clifford Township for $130,000.

Viola C. Demyan (by poa) to Carol Jean Snyder, Mary Ann Knowles and Kathleen Ensor, in Springville Township for one dollar.

Donald L. Gacha and Carol J. Gacha to Jeffrey S. Bell in Springville Township for $185,000.

Lawrence Tracy and Kelly Tracy to Guy A. Erceg II and Courtney L. Erceg in Great Bend Borough for $55,000.

Lawrence Tracy and Kelly Tracy to Guy A. Erceg II and Courtney L. Erceg, in Hallstead Borough for $55,000.

Raymond F. Gurick and Delores Gurick to Oleh A. Posnachiwsky and Margaret M. Posnachiwsky, in Harford Township for $26,500.

Helen J. Chudzinski (aka) Helen Chudzinski to Helen J. Chudzinski (revocable living trust), in Forest City for one dollar.

Alma Wood (aka) Alma W. Wood, and Winston E. Wood to Robert D. Wynne, in Dimock Township, for one dollar.

Jerry W. Guizar Jr. to Doris Schumacher, in Bridgewater Township for $9,500.

David Daley and Mary Ellen Daley to Eugene Dembo, in Lanesboro Borough for $7,459.

Mark Ralston (by sheriff) to Wachovia Bank (fka) First Union National Bank of Delaware, in New Milford Township for $2,817.

Timothy Cavanaugh and Debra Cavanaugh to Timothy Cavanaugh, in Oakland Borough for one dollar.

Hebert R. Worrell (estate) to Jade Brewer and Debra Brewer, in Montrose for one dollar. (Corrective deed)

Robert M. Sedor Jr. and Marjorie A. Sedor to Robert M. Sedor Jr. and Marjorie A. Sedor, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Joseph G. Jauss (estate) to Thomas J. Jauss Sr., in Rush Township for $25,807.

Sanford H. Ryder and Mary M. Ryder to Matthew R. Orner, in Lanesboro Borough, for $39,000.


Robert P. Wintjen to Phyllis J. Empett, both of Great Bend.

Marc Allan Pesotine to Christine Marie Flower Goff, both of Meshoppen.

Edward L. Stephenson to Jennifer r. Nabywaniec, both of Binghamton, NY.

George Stephen Ceishner Jr. to Tracy Renee Seymour, both of Deposit, NY.

Steven Stanley Yaroslawski of Montrose to Lena Renee Kinner of Springville.

Jason P. Goble to Ronda Durling, both of New Milford.

Francis Douglas Gailer Jr. to Alma Olifernes Goren, both of Meshoppen.

James M. Gulbin of Union Dale to Bonnie Dawn Ely of Montrose.

Thomas M. Evans to Amber Marie Pinkey, both of Honolulu, HI.

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Gibson Barracks Report


On the evening of July 23, Anthony Lancaster, 32, Lawton, was driving his 1988 Mazda south on State Road 4015 in Middletown Township when the car went off the roadway and struck a tree. It was not reported whether Lancaster and a minor who was a passenger were injured, but the car was totaled.


Sometime between July 16-26, an unknown person(s) stole a concrete pig lawn ornament and a square block of bluestone from a pillar at the end of a driveway in Rush Township that is part of the property belonging to William McDermott, Chalfont, PA. Anyone with information is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.


Ryan Cokely, New Milford was driving west along State Route 707 in Bridgewater Township on the morning of July 12 when an oncoming vehicle allegedly ran him off the road. Cokely and his vehicle left the road and came to rest in a farm field. An investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.


A 1996 Mitsubishi Galant driven by Linda Spieler, 46, Palm Harbor, FL, pulled out of the New Milford exit ramp on Interstate 81 and in front of a 2002 Chevy Suburban traveling east on State Route 492 driven by Patricia Cramer, 44, New Milford. All passengers in both vehicles were wearing seat belts. Spieler and passenger Carl Seiden received minor injuries, and their Mitsubishi was severely damaged. Cramer was not injured, but two children in her Suburban received minor injuries. Her vehicle received minor-to-moderate damage.


State Police at Gibson are asking anyone with information about a stolen 1998 flatbed Transcraft trailer to give them a call at 465-3154. The trailer, which was stolen from the Gibson Truck Stop between July 23-26, is red, registered in Maine, and was carrying a load of black metal piping.


Nancy Wink, Lenox Township, was pushed several times on the afternoon of July 24 by an acquaintance of hers.


On July 13, Gordon Amidon, Thompson Township, received a fake e-mail at his home asking him for personal information, which Amidon provided. Later, attempts were made to use his credit cards, although at the time of the report, no charges had been made to his credit.


Richard Glenwood Smith, 27, of Kinderhook, NY was taken into custody on the afternoon of July 25 at the State Line Plaza in Little Meadows Borough. Smith was wanted on a warrant from the New York State Police relative to a Class A misdemeanor.


Tammy Ann White reported the theft of the head stone from the grave of her son at the Mt. Valley Cemetery in Liberty Township. The stone, which was stolen sometime between July 21-26, is approximately 2’ x 3’ x 11.5’, engraved with the name and picture of Mathew J. White. Anyone with information is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.


At the intersection of State Route 267 and McGraw Road in Choconut Township, a 1994 Pontiac Sunbird driven by Conni Tingley, 43, Friendsville, struck the rear of a GMC Sonoma driven by Peter Cerretano, 20, Vestal, as it was stopped for traffic. No one was injured in this July 24 accident, but the Pontiac had to be towed from the scene, and the Sonoma received minor damage.


Joel Thompson, 21, Hallstead, struck a utility pole with the 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass he was driving late in the evening of July 25. The pole broke at its base, and Main Street was closed because of wires on the road. Thompson drove off and was found in the parking lot of the Pennstar Bank, where he was arrested for DUI.


Brian Grier, 18, Montrose, was found in possession of marijuana in the parking lot of the Pump and Pantry in New Milford, mid-afternoon on July 22.


On the morning of July 21, a white male, 25-30 years old, arrived at Norton’s Quarry in New Milford, and tried to sell four stone saw blades that were stolen from Patrick Keiper, Meshoppen. The male trying to do the selling drove a blue/green Oldsmobile with New York plates, and identified himself as Justin Christianson. The saw blades were returned to Keiper. Anyone with information is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.


A vehicle owned by John Katchmore, Hallstead, was damaged when a person(s) scratched it with a sharp object. The damage occurred sometime between the evening of July 22 and the following morning.


Between July 1 and 7, a backhoe belonging to New Milford Township was damaged along Three Lakes Road.


Shortly after midnight on July 28, Robert Shaffer, Jr., 30, Meshoppen, lost control of the 2002 Ford F150 truck he was driving on State Route 267, southbound. The truck rolled over and came to rest in a creek alongside the road.


In the early evening of July 11, a juvenile driving a 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix with Nicholas Tomio, 18, Great Bend a passenger, lost control of the car while it was traveling north along Route 11 in Hallstead. The car crossed the southbound lane, continued across a walkway, collided with a mailbox and then with hedges. After this initial impact, the car then crossed a private yard and collided with a tree where it finally came to rest. Charges will be filed pending an investigation.


A 2003 Ford Crown Victoria received minor damage in the early morning of July 23 when it hit a deer on Route 11 in Great Bend Township. No addresses were given for Michael Lohman, the driver, or Timothy Jones, the passenger, but neither were injured and both were wearing seat belts.


A 1996 Grand Voyager with PA registration and owned by America Sabalsa, Montrose, was traveling south on Township Road 807 in Silver Lake Township when the operator lost control of it. The Voyager left the roadway and struck a tree, and the driver, who is unknown, fled the scene according to witnesses’ statements. The operator is described as a Hispanic male, 5’ 6" tall, wearing gray pants and T-shirt and looking to be in his 30s. Anyone with information is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.

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