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Oakland Boro Council met on August 12 with all members present.
Jeff Alio of Recap addressed council to inform them that he has been transferred to another area; Mr. Alio had been working with council on determining whether it would be feasible to convert the boro building into a senior housing facility. Although he would no longer be in the area, Mr. Alio said that he would be willing to remain in contact with the task force committee to pursue the idea, and he would be willing to put the committee in contact with the appropriate people who could help with the study.
One topic that came up when discussing the boros assets was the hydro electric plant on the Susquehanna River; although it is owned by the boro, an agreement had been entered into with River Bounty, which would oversee distribution of the funds realized from the generation of power, which were distributed to the boro, Barnes-Kasson Hospital and other community projects. Mr. Alio had information that might be helpful in getting the power plant up and running again, and made that information available for the committee.
Cynthia Beavan, a member of the River Bounty board, said that River Bounty is looking at getting the plant up and running again. An independent firm had conducted an inspection of the site, and had determined that the equipment is in "pretty good shape." All agreed that this is something worth pursing, as the revenue generated would be of benefit to the community.
In other business, a motion carried to accept a bid from ProSeal for road paving, the only bid received. The boro streets department will be doing any necessary patching in the meantime.
Bill Briar was present to discuss the boros new website, which he has been designing. He would like to include a page for River Bounty, as well as e-mail addresses for council members, emergency management procedures and contact information, as well as contacts for the water system, and building permit information. It was noted later in the meeting that building permit applications are available at the boro office.
Councilman Crawford reported that soccer practice has begun at the boro park, with games scheduled for later this month; the schedule will be posted on the boro website. And, the recreation committee is planning a dance, most likely the second week of September.
During public comment, a resident asked if council could explain the difference between a mobile home (trailer) and a camper. There have been a number of complaints about one particular property where a trailer was supposed to be put in. But, he said, the "trailer" was, in fact, a camper. A generator has been running to supply power, for most of the day, creating noise that could be heard for a considerable distance from the site. And, there is an open sewer which could be a hazardous situation, to health and to any children that might inadvertently fall in. There is also a garden hose running water to the camper, instead of a water line connection.
Council president Ron Beavan stated that council has been keeping an eye on the property; as of the date of the meeting some junk cars had been removed. He was not aware that the generator was still being used. A thirty-day "transition" period had been agreed upon with the occupant of the property, by which time the facilities were to be connected. The boro will inspect the property, he said; any violations would be addressed "by the book." Several audience members, apparently from neighboring properties, agreed that the structure is, in fact, a camper and not a trailer. There was some concern that its being situated there would result in a devaluation of their properties. Mr. Beavan stated that if the owner of the property in question is not in compliance with boro codes, violations will be addressed. "It has to be totally legal; were going to pursue it." Mr. Beavan pointed out that, legally, a person could not be kept from living at a particular property, but that anyone would have to be in compliance with the law. But, the question was posed again; what is the definition of a "trailer" and a "camper." It was agreed to contact the codes enforcement officer and/or the boro solicitor to find the answer to this question.
A resident had a complaint about a neighbor parking vehicles of various types on her property without her permission; Police Chief VanFleet said that if the property owner would be willing to fill out a complaint the vehicle could be towed at the (vehicle) owners expense. The resident said that she would be willing to make a complaint. Mr. VanFleet said that he would see to the towing of the vehicle.
Mr. VanFleet gave council an update on the previous months police activities.
Council learned that the owners of a property adjacent to the boro park has put their property up for sale. The concession stand at the park is partially over their property line. The owners plan to stipulate in the property deed, when it is sold, that the new owners allow that the stand remain where it is, so long as it is in use by the boro.
After comparison of several bids, a motion carried to accept Mirabito Fuels bid, for the boro building for the coming year; the building consumes approximately 5,000 gallons per year.
Councilman Dubanowitz hasnt given up on trying to get a cell phone tower in the area. Several of the concerns he contacted were apparently uninterested in the sites the boro owns as their elevation is too low. He is still waiting for information from another firm that he had contacted, and will keep council apprised of any new information.
Several complaints about potholes were discussed. As the streets department will be taking care of those in the near future, the only one of concern is one that is on an Oakland Township road that the boro routinely plows during the winter season. As there had been some damage caused to the boro truck this past winter, it was agreed to send the township a letter requesting that the pothole be fixed before the coming winter; if it is not, the boro will not plow this section of road.
And, Mr. VanFleet will check a complaint about parked vehicles continually blocking a fire hydrant.
The meeting adjourned to an executive session.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, September 9, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
The Susquehanna County Commissioners last week approved a resolution authorizing the creation of a Susquehanna County Emergency Advisory Committee.
Changes in the way the proposal was originally presented to the public seemed to pacify some of its critics including some 9-1-1 dispatchers despite the fact that they lost their seat on the committee. Most of the dispatchers are reported to be ready to give the committee a chance.
The initial resolution called for a nine-member board but an apparent revised edition has pared the membership to eight including one chairman, four fire and rescue representatives, one EMS representative, one police representative, and one county commissioner. The ninth member, Kevin Pietriyk , an employee from the 9-1-1- Communications Center was not listed on the resolution unanimously approved by the commissioners.
The commissioners named Jerry Fives of Friendsville as chairman of the committee. Regional representatives from fire and rescue include Jay Klein, northwest; Dick Hennessey, northeast; Charlie Daly, southwest; and, Trent Turner, southeast. Also on the committee are Commissioner Jeff Loomis, Sheriff Lance Benedict, and Jim Krupinski, an EMS.
County Solicitor Mike Giangrieco said he recommended that the commissioners not name a member of the 9-1-1- comm. center to the committee. He expressed an opinion that committee members might be reluctant to vent their feelings about management or employees if one of them was seated on the committee.
There was some concern by the dispatchers over the fact that they lost their seat on the committee.
"We are where the rubber meets the road," one dispatcher said. "We are on a full-time basis and we would just like our input to be a part of it."
Mr. Fives said that because there is no representative from 9-1-1 on the committee does not prohibit 9-1-1 employees from attending committee meetings.
"There will always an open door policy," he said, "and we want their input and a chance to help them with their problems. We want to work with these people and we also will advise the commissioners about our findings when we do look at problems."
Actually the duties of the committee have been diluted when compared with the mission statement the committee had prepared. Mr. Loomis said the mission statement was discarded by the commissioners. In the statement, the "advisory board" sought input on just about every facet of the 9-1-1 operation. The board wanted to assist in developing standard operating guidelines and monitor them when they are in place, make recommendations regarding training, make sure appropriate issues are being addressed, review job descriptions, help with hiring including a review of all applications for employment, and assist with grant applications and financing. Moreover, the board wants the door kept open for input on additional proposals that might come up from time-to-time.
"There is a need to have a neutral panel of people who are familiar with the issues," Mr. Giangrieco said. "The commissioners will use this committee to gather information about what is going on in 911 and will make recommendations to better the working conditions for the people that work there."
Mrs. Kelly said the employees will still be urged to follow the chain of commands. She said if the immediate supervisor or the department head cannot handle a problem then the matter could be brought to the commissioners.
"There is a chain of commands that should be followed," she said.
Jim Jennings of Brooklyn Township, a retired fireman, said it is wrong not to have the input from the head of 9-1-1 at the committee meetings.
At one point during the meeting, Mrs. Kelly offered the following remark to one of the dispatchers, "If you are not happy in the department and you have problems, it might be time to look elsewhere."
"I have to be honest with you," Mr. Jennings told Mrs. Kelly. "It would be disappointing to me if my employer said that to me."
In another matter, the commissioners received one bid to install a new roof on the county office building on Public Ave. C&D Waterproofing of Bloomsburg bid $87,600 an amount that Mr. Loomis said was way above the estimated cost.
Not Paying Enough
Two Wayne County taxpayers told the Forest City Regional School Board last week that the Florida Power and Light Company may not be paying enough taxes on company-owned wind-turbine towers located in the school district.
Donald Goetz and Raymond Vogt, both of Clinton Township, urged the board to make certain the power company, which installed 43 towers in Clinton and Canaan townships, is paying its fair share of taxes. Four towers are located within the boundaries of the Forest City School District.
Board President Tom Baileys said officials in Wayne County are looking into the issue and that the school district would probably accept their findings.
"We understand the situation," Mr. Baileys said, "but we do not believe this board can do anything other than wait until we hear from the county. The school district does not run the assessment office. We receive our certified assessments from Wayne County and we are bound by what they present us."
Wayne County Chief Tax Assessor John Nolan told The Transcript that he was not at liberty to discuss the matter because it is in litigation but he did say the Florida-based company is paying some taxes in the county.
Mr. Goetz said the towers installed in Wayne County are valued at $65 million and the power company wants the evaluation reduced to zero. He said the company may be relying on an antiquated Pennsylvania law that exempts machinery from taxation if it is used for manufacturing. The power company apparently feels that because the wind turbines are manufacturing electricity, they should be given exemptions.
The county is presently undergoing a reassessment but Mr. Vogt said the old assessment on wind towers was $129,430 per tower. He said each tower is worth approximately $1.5 million.
"I asked the county how they arrived at the assessment," said Mr. Vogt. "I was advised it is a formula the county came up with but they could not explain how it was arrived at. I do not think the county is sure of what they are doing. Some parts of those wind turbines are taxable; some parts are not."
Numerous motions on the agenda completed the following business:
Rejected all bids received for the regrading and reseeding of the soccer field.
Appointed Dr. Ned Davis of Carbondale as school physician for the 2004-2005 school year at a rate of five dollars per individual exam.
Accepted a quote from Allan Hornbeck Chevrolet for the driver education vehicle at a cost of $187.50 per month.
Approved the parent/student handbooks for the elementary and high schools, and the athletic and coaches handbooks.
Appointed Eileen Van Nort as part-time library assistant at the negotiated union contract rate.
Accepted the resignations of Patrick Flynn, secondary mathematics teacher; Kelly Nebzydoski, grade one part time instructional assistant; Ronald Richards, varsity soccer coach; and, Mary Kay Wuilczewski, administrative assistant in the business office.
Approved a sabbatical leave for Marie Ardis Templeton, English teacher, for 90 days.
Appointed Sam Long as junior varsity girls soccer coach; Michael Dyno and James Walsh, seventh grade boys basketball coaches; Jack Pisarcik, varsity soccer coach; and Jason Pantzar as junior varsity soccer coach.
Eliminated the positions of instructional support teacher and guided reading teacher; and, approved the addition of teachers for kindergarten and grades one and two.
Furloughed Rebecca Townsend, kindergarten teacher and Brian McCormack as secondary learning support teacher. Appointed Ms. Townsend to the elementary staff and Mr. McCormack to the learning support staff.
Appointed Angela Dexheimer as a secondary English teacher at a salary of $33,600; Linda Mendelsohn as business education teacher at a salary to be determined; and, Janet Adams as secondary mathematics at a salary of $43,400; and Mrie Cicci and Teri Nebzydoski, as mentor teachers.
Bus contractors appointed include Dwight Bonham, Susan Dovin, Durko Busing, Kreutz, Inc., and ONeill Busing, Inc.; bus drivers named are Dwight Bonham, Joseph Dovin, Joseph Ewain, James Kelly, Barbara Kreutz, Mary Ann Durko McCusker, and James McCusker; substitute bus drivers are Paul Dovin, Gregory Durko, Barbara Foz, Louis Fox, Paul Lukus, Dawn Oliver, Benedict ONeill, Deeann Stull and Albert Wildenstein.
Van contractors appointed include J. D. Transportation, Inc., Kreutz, Inc., and Ronald and Martha Peck. Van drivers named are Rhoda Curtis, Fred Ferraro, Florence Kowalewski, Nancy Kowalewski, Michele Mills, Martha Peck and Ronald Peck; substitute van drivers are Paul Fife, Lisa Kelly, David Kowalewski, John Kowalewski Jr., and Albert Wildenstein.
Extra-curricular contractors are Kreutz Inc. and Gene Tranovich Bus Co., Inc.; extra-curricular drivers are Barbara Fox, Bareara Kreutz, Matthew Mroczka, and Patricia Mroczka.
William Craig Hughes, 35, Pittston, was physically assaulted and punched in the face by a known suspect at the Jack-a-Harts bar in New Milford on the evening of August 11. Charges are pending.
Between August 1 and 9, an unknown person(s) removed a new Bolens mower from a shed belonging to Henry Martin, Hallstead. The mower is a rear-bagger with high wheels on the rear, and has a 4.5 HP engine.
Robert Cutsogeorge, 44, Bridgewater Township, reported that an unknown subject entered his RV while it was parked in his front driveway; no items were taken from it. The subject was described as a white male, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, and between 5 9" 5 11" tall. The trespass occurred on August 7 at around 3 a.m.
John Biondi, who works for a beer distributor reported that on July 29, an unknown person(s) entered his vehicle while it was parked overnight at his residence in South Gibson. Stolen were a stainless steel cooler with "Budweiser" on its side, a case of Anheiser World Select beer, two cordless craftsman drills and a yellow toolbox.
Marshall Thompson, 47, Lawton, was not injured when he was unable to negotiate a left curve while driving along SR 858 in Rush Township. The vehicle left the roadway and traveled through a ditch and up an embankment, causing it to roll over. Members of the Rush Township Fire Department assisted and the vehicle was towed from the scene.
TRAFFIC CRASH HIT AND RUN
An unknown person in an unknown vehicle struck a fence along Route 492 at an antique shop in New Milford Township sometime after midnight but before 9:30 a.m. on July 25. The person fled without notifying the property owner. Anyone with information is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.
Between 1 and 6 a.m. on July 25, an unknown person(s) damaged numerous mailboxes and took mail from some of them in an apparent attempt to obtain items of value. The mailboxes were located along Jennings Road and other locations in the New Milford Township-Harford Township area. Anyone with information is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.
Sherry Gately, Starlight, lost control of her pick-up while driving along Route 171 in Thompson Township during a rainstorm on the morning of July 23. The vehicle left the roadway, struck a ditch and flipped onto its roof. Gately was assisted at the scene by Thompson EMS; both she and her passenger were wearing seat belts and were not seriously inured.
Kevin L. Welch and Julie M. Welch to Patti Jeanne Lakowitz and Douglas M. Lakowitz, in Springville Township for $72,000.
Charles R. Canfield and Mary E. Canfield to Charles R. Canfield Jr, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Joseph E. Toner III and Nancy R. Toner to imothy Wiley and Bridget Wiley, in Herrick Township for $85,000.
William P. Zalewski Sr.l to Robert W. Nolan, in Bridgewater Township for $115,000.
Blanche Kniss (by POA) to Michael L. Rosario and Methanee Magai-Rosario, in Forest City for $61,000.
Joseph S. Yonchik and Lori A. Yonchik to Frank J. Reimbold and Connie L. Reimbold, in Springville Township for $80,000.
Anthony Neri and Dawn M. Neri to Antony Neri and Dawn M. Neri, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Faris M. Kenien and Nanette M. Kenien to John W. Brennan and Laura . Witherington, in New Milford Township for $140,000.
Donna Fekete, Paul A. Kelly, Pamela E. Kelly, Lawrence T. OReilly, Christine OReilly and Thomas OReilly to Elsie Kilmer, in New Milford Township for $10,000.
Lawerence T. OReilly, Christine M. OReilly, and Thomas J. OReilly to Joseph DiGirolamo and Gloria DiGirolamo, in Dimock Township for $50,000.
Emma J. Hoffman (Est) to Wayne R. Adams, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Helen M. Kurosky (aka) Helen Kurosky to Mark P. Kurosky, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Therese Delvecchio to Marianne Archambault, in Ararat township for one dollar.
Frank Bednash, Stacie Morris and Gary Morris to Frank Bednash, in Dimock Townshp for one dollar.
Cheryl L. Marchese (aka by sheriff) Cheryl Louise Marchese (aka by sheriff) to United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in Apolacon Township for $1,713.
E. A. Dixon Jr. and Margaret Cortright Dixon to Stephen P. Lyons and Marlene Lyons, in Rush Township for $190,500.
J. Parker Properties to Walter E. Page and Mary J. Page, in Oakland Borough for $47,277.
Charles E. Vanerson Sr. and Dorothy L. Vanerson to Amy LaRue, in Montrose for $65,000.
Locust Hill Bible Church to Randal R. Austin and Kathy Austin, in Great Bend Township for $52,500.
Cathy Desouza, John H. Ellis and Ina Ellis to Manzek Land Company Inc., in Auburn and Rush townships for $5,000.
Lawrence T. OReilly and Christine M. OReilly to Fabian M. Molina and Maria Molina, in Middletown Township for $55,000.
John W. Jones and Amy S. Jones to Amy S. Jones, in Montrose for one dollar.
Kirk S. Hinkley Jr. and Barbara A. Hinkley to David A. Hinkley and Carrie L. Hinkley, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.
Marilyn Barlow (aka) Marylyn George Barlow to Marylyn George Barlow, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Lawrence M. Grasso (Rev Trust) to Jacqueline L. Cook, in Franklin Township for $5,500.
Gisela Domasiewicz to Barbara Newhart, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Paul T. McGavin, Tracie McGavin and Martin J. McGavin to Paul T. McGavin and Tracie McGavin, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Walter Nelson Crisman and Florence Virginia Crisman to Charles E Mills and Elizabeth G. Mills, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Paul T. McGavin, Tracie McGavin and Martin J. McGavin to Martin J. McGavin, in Auburn Townshi for one dollar.
Ronald J. Cosklo and Gail A. Cosklo to Christopher Valenti and Kathy Valenti, in Clifford Township for $160,000.
Kelvin Pratt and Margaret Pratt to Margaret Pratt, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.
Timothy P. OBrien and Jennifer OBrien to Mildred J. Riepe and Karen R. Klein, in Dimock Township for $95,500.
Coleen L. Horrocks (by sheriff) to Wachovia Bank (fka) First Union National Bank (Trustee), Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, in Forest City for $1,771.
(Correction Deed) Harold V. Hartley, Carolyn J. Hartley, and Marion Hartley to Lenoxville United Methodist Church, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Lenoxville United Methodist Church to Lenoxville United Methodist Church, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Agnes Strubel (aka estate) Agnes W. Strubel (est) to Michele Hackett, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
James L. Baker and Gloria Baker to Justin Davis and Danielle B. Davis, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Mary Lou Hunter (nka) Mary Lou Galloway to Terry M. Vincent and Cheryl L. Vincent, in Great Bend Borough for $40,000.
Laurence A. Wilson and Laurie L. Graham to Laurence A. Wilson and Laurie L. Graham, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Mitchell Gerchman, Michelle Carione, and Ruth Ann Gerchman (est) to Joseph Gerchman, in Herrick Township for $140,000.
Donald R. Strope and Susan A. Strope to Jan E. Donato and Jon M. Strope, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Theodore James Jr. and Margaret K. James to Donald S. James and Jennifer M. James, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Thomas Langan (aka) Thomas R. Langan and Lucille Langan to Carol Kramer-Carbone, in Harmony Township for $39,000.
John Wnuk and Roxanne Wnuk to Mark Lewis, in Clifford Township for $181,500.
David J. Suer, Ricky M. Suer, Mark E. Suer, Debra R. Wahl and Rose Suer to David M. Palmiter and Alice E. Palmiter, in Brooklyn Township for $84,000.
Chad Towner, New Milford, and Kristen E. Brown, New Milford.
John I. Mason, Rush Township. and Tonya Lea Carey, Rush Township.
Jeffrey McAndrew, Clifford Township, and Jeannie Marie Johnson, Clifford Township.
Eddie Joseph Snee, Forest Lake Township, and Stephanie Joy Weber, Forest Lake Township.
David P. Wood, Silver Lake Township, and Nicole Y. Major, Silver Lake Township.
Brian Callan Parr, Phoenix, MD, and Elizabeth Anne Adamec, New Milford.
Larry Delbert Barrows, Union Dale, and Elizabeth Anne Adamec, New Milford.
Thomas A. Kubus, Susquehanna, and HollyL. Rhone, Susquehanna.
Laurence P. Chantry, Conklin, and Laurie E. Slater, Conklin.
John Vincent Olver Jr.,Montrose, and Tonia Lynn Newhart, Montrose.
Bruce D. Barlow, Union Dale, and Heather M. Tinney, Union Dale.
Robert J. Fassler, Montrose, and Donna Lee Scholz, Montrose.
Mark W. Franz, Syracuse, NY, and Kimberly R. Faust, Ambler.
William George Melluish, Philadelphia, and Katherine H. Speicher, Philadelphia.
Carrie Bush, New Miford Borough vs. David Bush, New Milford Township.
Christopher A. Nuttall, Forest City, vs. Mary B. Nuttall, Middletown, NY.
In March, 2004 the municipalities of Ararat Township, Gibson Township, Herrick Township, Thompson Township, Thompson Borough and Union Dale Borough signed an intergovernmental cooperation agreement forming the Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership (ESCP).
In early June of this year the PA Department of Community and Economic Development awarded a $31,000.00 grant to the Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership to help fund the cost of the preparation of the plan. This award is part of the continuing effort of the State of Pennsylvania to encourage municipalities to work together to plan for future growth, reduce the effects of urban sprawl and supply needed services to the community.
After observing growth patterns in Wayne, Pike and Monroe counties in the past ten years it became obvious that northeastern Susquehanna County was the next logical area to experience growth pressure from nearby metropolitan areas. While the past decade showed a modest increase in population in this section of Susquehanna County, the elected officials want to have a viable plan in place to manage the accelerated growth anticipated in the next 10-20 years.
The multi-municipal comprehensive plan will be the official statement of the ESCP municipalities governing bodies, enacted by resolution, which provides a structured plan for the future. It will address housing, commercial development, jobs, transportation, community facilities, utility infrastructure, safety and protection, agricultural and rural use and preservation, health and education, recreation and conservation of natural and heritage resources, and will provide the framework for future land use planning ordinances.
The success of the plan depends heavily on input from the general public. To encourage as much public participation as possible the ESCP Planning Committee plans to conduct a resident survey this summer. The survey is being designed to gather opinions from the residents and taxpayers in the community and is intended to augment data gathered at various public meetings. The survey will be mailed to a random sample of residents and taxpayers and will be available in mid-August.
The ESCP holds regularly scheduled working meetings the third Monday of each month, at 7:00 p.m. at the Thompson Township Municipal Building on SR 1001 in Thompson. Meetings are open to the public. A general public meeting is scheduled for September 20, 5:00 p.m. at the Thompson Hose Company Fire Hall on Water Street in Thompson Borough. This meeting is intended to inform attendees of progress to date and solicit input regarding issues and concerns that need to be addressed in the plan. Other public meetings will be held throughout the project, which is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2005.
For more information contact your local municipal officials.
A 19-year-old Susquehanna County man, who is serving time in a New York prison, drew additional jail time in Pennsylvania last week on a number of charges stemming from unlawful incidents in the Commonwealth.
But Scott G. Frost of Montrose lucked out when Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans allowed the Pennsylvania sentencing to run concurrent with the time he is now serving in New York.
Mr. Frost drew one month to 24 months in the Susquehanna County Jail for theft by unlawful taking in Great Bend Township on Jan. 30, 2002. He was also fined $300 and ordered to make restitution. He then received six months to 30 months in a state correctional facility for theft by unlawful taking in Thompson Township on April 8, 2003. He was fined another $300 and ordered to make restitution.
Finally, Mr. Frost received a suspended sentence of 12 months to five years in a state correctional facility for burglary in Harmony Township on April 8, 2003. He was also fined $500 for this offense and placed on probation for five years.
Allen W. Gill, 46, of Herrick Center was sentence to serve 48 hours to 15 months in the county jail for drunk driving in Herrick Township on Dec. 29, 2003. He will be given credit for time served. Mr. Gill was also fined $300 plus cost of prosecution.
Jason P. Peterka, 30, of Forest City drew 30 days to 12 months in a work release program at the county jail for drunk driving in Forest city on Dec. 4, 2004. He was also fined $300 plus related costs and ordered not to enter any establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold.
All members were present at the August 10 meeting of the Susquehanna Boro Council, with the exception of Bill Kuiper.
Correspondence included word from the county Planning Commission that the proposed subdivision of the River Bounty land (between the boro, the fire company and the municipal authority) had received favorable comment, with the commission recommending its approval.
Secretary Judy Collins has forwarded more information to Lori Martin to be included on the boros new website. Dave Sexton, an Experience Works worker is helping to compile additional information for the site, including lists of schools, churches, businesses, etc.
Peoples National Bank has made a $500 donation for the Main Street project, and an additional $100 donation was received for the police departments bike patrol.
Dick Hennessey was present to give council an update on the Parks and Rec. committees recent activities. The Little League season at the Prospect St. park has finished, and the soccer season is underway. This is the first year that soccer will be played at the park; it had been used only for practice in prior years. The concession stand at the park will be kept open until the end of the soccer season. The committee is in the process of getting prices for reconditioning the Little League and girls softball fields. A climbing rock has been donated for use in the park; the committee plans to have it placed next to the playground equipment to give smaller kids something to do while the bigger kids are playing ball.
The committee and the new garden club have been discussing the clubs taking responsibility for the Drinker Creek Park next year, and the clubs involvement in the park intended for the Franklin Ave., Main St. intersection.
The committee has also been looking at what can be done about the collapsing wall at the park as it does not seem that PENNDOT will be taking care of it. The committee will be getting an estimate for its repair and requested that council consider adding the cost to next years budget.
There is concern that someone has been dumping branches and other brush at the River Bounty property, which could be a fire hazard. One suggestion was to try to find out who is doing the dumping, and hold them responsible for its removal. Another suggestion was to post "no dumping" signs, but it was thought that this was to have been done some time ago. Yet another suggestion was to keep the gate to the area locked, which was also thought to have been suggested previously.
Mr. Hennessey reported that resident Adam Buffington is interested in being on the committee; at the present time, the only active members are Ron Dubas, Tom Kelly, Joe Schell and Mr. Hennessey. A motion carried to appoint Mr. Buffington to the committee.
And, the committee is speaking with the Fish and Game Commission about the possibility of putting in a boat launch at the River Bounty property, which is intended to be a park.
A total of six volunteers showed up on August 7 to clean the railroad cars that were donated to the boro.
The Susquehanna Community Development Association, which hosted the recent Hometown Days, is planning a Pumpkin Festival on October 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the area near the boro building and the fire department. Activities planned include a scarecrow contest being coordinated by Mrs. Gallagher, art teacher at the elementary school, a hay ride, and a chicken barbecue hosted by the fire department. And, the SCDA has ordered more Sesquicentennial books.
The Garden Club is looking into applying for grant funding for improvement projects. The club would welcome any new members.
Crimewatch signs have been purchased and will be posted at boro entrances.
During public comment, former boro secretary Margaret Biegert noted that the Franklin Ave park project has been delayed as PENNDOT has a backlog of projects; the county Housing Authority, which has been involved in the project, is making an effort to keep the park on a priority list for projects.
As part of the Main Street project, design guides for revitalization of properties along Main Street have been prepared and will be distributed to property owners by the SCDA. Updates of the Main Street project will also be made available. Along with these, survey forms will be distributed; the surveys are to gather information from business owners and residents, as well as those who live outside the boro. The information will be used to not only get residents involved with the budget process, but to prioritize residents preferences as to where (which department) the money goes.
An audience member asked about rumors that have been circulating, about the boro discussing a shared services agreement with Thompson Township for police coverage.
Mayor Hurley said that it is being considered, but is in the talking stages; details have not been worked out. Mayor Hurley added that the boro would not be spending any money if the plan were to come to fruition.
Mrs. Biegert suggested that council look at the boros history, where other agreements had been in place, to see how they worked out.
The resident who had posed the question commented that Thompson Township is not contiguous with the boro, "We shouldnt be worrying about them." Councilman Bronchella stated that he was against the idea; it would mean increased wear and tear on the police vehicles. And, the boro had "taken a beating" the last time such an arrangement had been tried. Councilman Williams added that the boros police department has improved vastly and is doing a good job. A shared services agreement would be unjust, unfair, and not economically feasible.
Mrs. Biegert asked about the boro police going on calls to other boros who were apparently unwilling to pay for police coverage. She asked, why doesnt the boro charge those communities for police calls? Mayor Hurley responded that the police rarely respond to calls in other boros unless their assistance is requested by the state police or the comm. center. Mrs. Biegert suggested that council consider making it a policy to charge other municipalities when boro police respond to those calls. She cited recent reports that boro police had responded when there was a fight in Oakland Boro. "Theyre not paying for this coverage, we are."
Mayor Hurley answered that there was not enough information (readily) available in this instance. "Were not going into other towns, and taking care of their situations."
President Whitehead noted that council is looking into implementing new policies and procedures for boro employees.
Mr. Williams suggested that there is a "simple solution. Dont go into other municipalities. It just opens the boro up to liability." Mr. Bronchella noted that 911 could be called in an emergency situation. Mayor Hurley stated, "As it stands now, they (the boro police) are not answering calls (to) other areas."
The resident pointed out that one of the reasons that the residents of Oakland Boro had voted against a merger was, in part, because of police costs. Mrs. Biegert asked if there was a record of how many times boro police respond to calls outside the boro, and who had requested their response. Council member Pat Frederick suggested that council put a request in writing, to the comm. center, for a record of calls for incidents occurring outside the boro where the boro police responded. "Regardless of who called," Mrs. Biegert said, "were paying for it."
In discussion of an incident in Oakland Township, Mr. Whitehead said that he had spoken with Chief Golka. There had been a fatality, he said, and Chief Golka had made the decision that the boro police should respond to handle traffic control until the State Police arrived. Mayor Hurley concluded that "some of what you hear is rumors, you dont know all the details."
Under new business, council discussed a request from the SCDA to get involved in the Pumpkin Fest. Some ideas were brought up for consideration. Mrs. Frederick suggested that councils participation be used as a fund-raiser to refurbish the railroad cars. Mrs. Biegert suggested that a haunted house could be set up in the train cars. Mr. Matis suggested a simulated train ride. Mr. Williams suggested a pie throwing contest, with council members as targets. Mr. Whitehead suggested a dunk tank, with council members as targets.
Mr. Matis related that he had received numerous complaints about signs posted throughout the boro to advertise sales and events at local bars. Such signs are illegal, he said, and the boro will cite those responsible for posting them. It was a shame, he said, that the boros new trees and lamp posts on Main Street were being used to post these signs. And, he reported receiving a number of complaints about dogs wandering the streets and defecating on boro properties. "There is a leash law," he said. Mr. Whitehead suggested sending a letter to the dog warden, asking him to look into the complaints.
A motion carried to approve a $100 donation to the garden club from the building fund, to be used for materials for landscaping at the corner of the boro building lot, to match the design of a neighboring property.
There was some question whether council had previously voted to accept an employee handbook that had been the subject of several revisions. A motion carried to accept the finished product. And, council will compile a list of policies and procedures for boro departments. Mr. Whitehead asked council members to bring a list of suggested policies to the next meeting for discussion.
Mr. Lewis has been working on updating the boros sidewalk ordinance, which dates from some time in the 1890s. But, he said, the committee is in need of help as the ordinance involves more than just sidewalks; it also ties in with winter parking bans. Mrs. Frederick pointed out that there is an ordinance in place to cover a winter parking ban when snowfall reaches a certain height, and that council had agreed to advertise regulations at the beginning of the coming winter season, to keep residents aware of what those regulations are. Mr. Lewis stated that council needs to go street to street, to see which homes have driveways, which ones dont, and which of those could put one in. A comprehensive study is needed, he said, to determine where storm drains, sewer lines, etc. are. Some of the boros streets are just too narrow to allow for plowing when vehicles are parked there. All of this, Mr. Matis said, ties in with the sidewalk ordinance. Mr. Lewis noted that it will most likely take until next year to complete the survey.
In closing, Mr. Lewis noted that a hearing has been scheduled regarding a property on Franklin Ave. with the zoning officer.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, August 24, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
Following is the Susquehanna Borough Police Report, as submitted, for July 2004.
ATV TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS
On July 4 at 7:00 p.m., Susquehanna Crime Watch reported ATVs to be in the Prospect St. Park causing damage. Police found the juvenile riders at their residence, in which parents were notified of events.
TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS / UNDERAGE DRINKING
Also on July 4, it was reported of Jesse Yachymiak (19) involved in Careless Driving with an Unregistered Vehicle. Police found Yachymiak at 208 Broad Ave. with the vehicle. Vehicle was impounded and Yachymiak was taken to the Susquehanna County Jail for Violation of Probation. Yachymiak had been drinking beer.
HIT AND RUN / VEHICLE CRASH
On July 7 at 11:55 p.m. Police and EMS were dispatched to the 600 block of Front St. for a motor vehicle crash with two people running from the scene. Police found a 1996 Plymouth Neon on top of a guard post. Vehicle was registered to Steven Fabrizi of Prospect St., Susquehanna. Police and Susq. Fire searched for several hours for any victims. On July 8, Police charged Steven Fabrizi with Accidents Involving Property Damage and Careless Driving filed at District Justice 34-3-02.
On July 10 Susquehanna Police assisted State Police in a gas drive off from the Pump and Pantry in New Milford. Vehicle was found at 616 Washington St. State Police then handled incident.
Also on July 10 at 10:20 p.m. Albert Bishop of Brandt, was cited for Public Drunkenness in the Schneiders Plaza parking lot after causing a disturbance.
PUBLIC DRUNKENNESS / DISORDERLY CONDUCT
On July 11 at 1:25 a.m., Joyce White of Grand St. was arrested after shed been walking in the middle of Broad Ave. yelling obscenities while under the influence of alcohol.
CRUELTY TO ANIMALS
On July 11, Police went to West Turnpike St. where a witness saw Victoria Barnes of 634 Jackson Ave. transport and drop off 4 cats on the side of the road. Police found and took all 4 cats off West Turnpike St. SPCA is handling investigation.
On July 11, Gary Perico of State St., Susquehanna was allegedly harassing Janae Perico of Church St. via telephone. No further action.
July 7, John Ackley reported of 2 Sebring 14" Tires on Honda Rims being taken from his front yard at 401 Washington St. Police have a possible suspect. Anyone with further information is asked to call Police at 853-3147.
On July 17, Michael Robbs of Willow St. was arrested for Disorderly Conduct after driving on Grand St. causing a disturbance.
Police have been getting complaints of a white male driving a black Chevy truck involved in indecent exposure at local businesses. Police know who the suspect is and need any witnesses to come forward. Please call 853-3147. The suspect has a criminal history and anyone coming into contact with him is asked to please not approach, but call Police.
On July, 23 John Jumper noticed someone to have allegedly damaged a headlight on his Chevy Cavalier while parked on Grand St. Anyone with information, please call Police.
On July 30 at 7:04 p.m., Police responded to the Susquehanna Water Dam, off of Front St. for several juveniles swimming by the dam. Police found Juveniles and returned them home with assistance from Lanesboro Police.
FLEEING AND ELUDING
Also on July 30, at 10:10 p.m. a gold, four door Saturn fled from Police on 171 North after they attempted a routine traffic stop. Police did not pursue for safety reasons and ask anyone with information to call 853-3147.
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