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The Forest City Borough Council passed resolutions last week authorizing the Susquehanna County Housing /Redevelopment Authority to file for funds to finance a sidewalk program on Main Street.
The authority is seeking $97,000 to install new sidewalks along South Main Street from the Vandling Borough line at Furdocks Service Station to the Two Guys from Italy Restaurant in the 300 block.
As a part of the application, the borough had to submit a five year business district strategy plan. Among the more noticeable items in the plan is to apply to the Department of Community and Economic Development for funds to inaugurate a facade improvement program. Also included in the plan is the development of a continuous contact and information list of all community organizations and their missions and activities.
Karen Green, head of the countys Housing/Redevelopment Authority, said the target date for construction of the sidewalks would be next Spring. Of course the timetable is contingent upon affirmative action on the grant application.
For some reason, residents along South Main Street did not attend a public hearing on the grant application. State Route 171 (South Main Street) is the main thoroughfare through the boroughs business district. About 20 years ago, the 400-600 blocks of the business area received some financial help through an urban renewal plan that pumped some big bucks into a Main Street program that included renovations to existing buildings, new sidewalks, a low-interest revolving loan plan for new businesses, and an overhauling of the borough building.
In another matter, Councilman Paul J. Amadio said he is getting complaints again regarding open burning in the borough. He said residents have called him stating they cannot open windows because of the smoke and smell.
"We have an ordinance on this," said Mr. Amadio, "and some time ago we passed a motion asking the police for strict enforcement. I have seen the police car drive right by burn barrels and do nothing. I am not suggesting that we are imposing fines, but if the policed would just stop and advise those that burn that there is a law against it, it might help."
Council asked the mayor to direct the police to begin enforcing the law against open burning.
"If council wants to allow opening burning at specified times, then it should amend the ordinance." Mr. Amadio said. "Right now the ordinance prohibits open burning in the borough period."
Council President Jim Lowry also asked the mayor to have the police increase patrols behind William Penn Apartments. The move came on the heels of complaints of vandalism by residents of the apartments.
Council agreed to advertise for bids on garbage removal. Mr. Amadio recommended that the borough stay with the bag system and not even advertise for bulk rates. Council agreed.
Council also agreed to seek proposals for salt for the upcoming winter season. Mr. Lowry said it appears the borough may have enough cinders to get by this winter.
Mayor Frank Brager thanked those responsible for the Old Home Week Celebration held in August. "It was probably one of the best ones we ever had," the mayor said.
Harold Empett, who represents both New Milford Borough and the Township on the Blue Ridge School District Board, was on hand at last Thursdays regular meeting of the Borough council. He informed those present about an action taken by the school board at its latest meeting. This was a 5-4 vote (Empett being one of the four) that would, in essence, give the District the freedom to borrow money in this case, about $6.5 million for various expansions without taking the decision to a voter referendum, something always done in the past on anticipated projects of this scale.
Empett explained that he was speaking as an individual, and not on behalf of the board, about its expansion plans. These plans include an addition to the elementary school for pre-kindergarten classes (the District currently has full-time kindergarten); a freestanding outside facility that would be a gym/sports complex with state-of-the-art equipment; a new 500-person bleacher system for the track field; redoing the soccer field ($450,000 for repairs, or $800,000 for a new turf field); and repairs and changes to the current infrastructure.
Speaking as individuals and not as borough council, members thought, as does Empett, that some fixes are needed as is maintaining the current infrastructure and facilities. Things like fixing electrical problems, shut-off valves, secure entranceways to the schools. But with an area and school population which, said Empett, has been dropping for years with no upward spikes, he and others questioned the boards urge for plans that include school expansion. And as to the 500-seat bleacher system, many at the meeting whose children are or have gone through the District noted that if the attendance at many sporting events were added together for a school year, it wouldnt total 500 people.
Empett reported that some of the reasoning for the latest vote-and-expansion-plan was current low interest rates available for borrowing funds. However, when council member Rick Ainey asked how much debt the District is already in, the answer was more than $14 million. Ainey recalled that prior estimates of expansion plans were originally put in at $12 million and ended up costing $21 million.
Council members asked what would happen if the Board decides to borrow the $6.5 million at a low interest rate and the district ends up with additional debt. Empetts opinion was that, one way or another, taxpayers would end up paying for it.
He urged taxpayers to attend the next board meeting, scheduled to be held in the school cafeteria on September 13 at 7 p.m., to ask questions of the school board and make known their feelings in favor or not on its latest action.
(Its worth mentioning that, of the five board members who did vote in favor of this action, one is expected to move into New York State and out of the District within the next year or so, according to at least a couple of council members).
Other members of the public who attended this meeting were there to register a second complaint against a neighbor whose chickens some 26 of them and a few roosters who act as early-morning alarm clocks were making their ways onto their properties and doing damage to it, as well as being nuisances. According to one neighbor, when the fowl-owner is told about the chickens, the owner has told neighbors to shoo them away. She has also told neighbors that they cant shoot the chickens because the borough has an ordinance against discharging firearms within it. "She does what she wants," said one of the complainants, who came to the meeting with photos of the birds in her yard and around her yard furniture and ornaments, and who reported that she has seen the owner open up the door to the chicken coop in which they are supposed to be confined.
Said councilperson Jane Zick, "The chickens are driving neighbors nuts and they are destroying peoples gardens and yards."
But while neighbors cant shoot the chickens, they can kill them, according to a 1913 borough ordinance that addresses various types of fowl that do damage to other peoples properties.
Before it comes to that, Council decided to send CEO Jim Silletto to the property to assess the situation and act on these complaints. He will also get and recheck a determination of the zoning and as it applies to a greenhouse/business that is on the chicken-owners property. The owner will be informed of the particular animal ordinance and Silletto will make a determination of the situation and report back to council with the information hes gathered. Council will then decide how to act upon it. If this includes violation of the ordinance, Council always has the option in any violation that is not fixed to file charges with the magistrate and request that the alleged violator pay both court costs and other costs the borough incurs, such as CEO charges.
A representative of the zoning board was also at the meeting to share information about the ongoing (and long ongoing) situation on Peck Hill. The road and driveways are a mess, worse after every rainstorm, and have been since run-off has been compromised because of actions taken on the property at the top of the hill.
After last months meeting, council sent a letter to the owner of a property on top of the hill telling him that it is prepared to initiate procedures to revoke a variance granted by the zoning board if he did not meet every condition by which he was granted the variance. These conditions were listed and specific and spelled out by the soil conservation people. The letter the property owner sent back was reported to be a general one in which he stated that the run-off problem has been taken care of. Council sent a letter last month after a soil conservation representative visited the site, reported that the conditions of the variance have not been fulfilled, and that the road was just one big storm away from being undone.
The zoning board representative noted that the property owner had 60 days from the time the variance was granted (about two years ago) to fulfill the conditions of its granting. That time is long past. The representative reported that the board is in agreement that the owner is not in compliance.
Council will now contact its solicitor to obtain his advice on the process to be followed for revoking the property owners variance.
In good news, secretary Amy Hine reported that CDBG awarded the borough an $18,000 grant that will be applied to sidewalking the front of the park. The borough has two years within which to finish the project, and will begin working on bid specs early next year when the crews digging up for the sewer lines are set to leave but not before putting the road and driveway entranceways back to as close as they were before the digging. The borough has been videotaping "before and after" on each road intersection and will review them at the appropriate time before the project is scheduled to wind up.
Similarly, early next year is when the Streets Committee will look at the town roads, prioritize them for its paving plan and get bid specs ready.
In other action, council member Teri Gulick followed up on whether the borough had any responsibility for maintaining an underground waterway that a resident reported at the last meeting was contributing to water on his property. She researched records more than a century back and could find no reference to the waterway and the borough. Neither does the property owners deed include any such reference. Hine will send a letter to the resident of these findings.
Council president reported that Penelec will be taking down a large tree in Midtown Park that is threatening its power lines and which is a hazard. The borough will clean up the debris.
Hine reported that the borough received a letter from both the Broome and Montrose Minutemen Ambulance squad requesting that the borough pass an ordinance or a resolution naming it its primary first responder for advanced life support. The New Milford Ambulance crew is first responder for basic life support. Council prefers to first get the advice of its hometown crew before it does any responding, and will request it from Ron Lance.
And in its last piece of business, Hine read a letter from Beth Giangreco, now a senior at Blue Ridge, stating that she is interested in continuing her position as junior (nonvoting) councilperson. Council warmly welcomes her back.
The next regular meeting of the New Milford Borough Council is scheduled for October 7, 7 p.m. in the borough building on Main Street.
Requests Mayor's Resignation
Susquehanna Boro Council held a special meeting on the evening of September 1; all members were present with the exception of president Ron Whitehead. Vice president Matis presided. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss building security and several other matters of business.
But, before attending to that business, an executive session was called. When the meeting reconvened, a motion carried to issue a reprimand to the police department for its (unspecified) actions; the specifics had apparently been the topic of discussion in the executive session.
Council member Roy Williams requested to read a statement:
"Many of the council members feel the focus of the community has shifted drastically in the last year and a half. The reason this communitys image has taken such a positive swing is due to the economic improvements that were the focus of the borough, until recently. Although police are an important part in maintaining a community, we feel that the main financial focus and drive must return to economic restructuring.
"We feel egos and personal feelings have clouded judgments in matters concerning our community. Council has been approached with many, many legitimate concerns regarding the police that have not been addressed. We have continually tried to work with the mayors office to reach a common ground and re-focus our community, but have been unsuccessful.
"This is not about one, two or three personalities. This is about what is good for the community, as a whole. As council members, we are obligated to answer to the residents of the borough and act in the best interest of the community.
"Unfortunately, we feel that it is mandatory, at this point and time to ask you (Mayor Hurley) to relinquish your position as mayor so that this community can again regain its direction.
"Therefore, I make a motion requesting that the mayor relinquish her position at this time."
The motion was seconded and carried unanimously, "very regretfully."
Mayor Hurley asked for an explanation of what had just transpired. Mr. Matis responded that council was requesting her resignation.
"I was following what was set up," she answered, "and following the rules... I know that some (people) dont like that, but thats how I knew how to do it."
During the ensuing discussion, regarding job descriptions of the police chief, lieutenant and patrolmen, Mayor Hurley excused herself and left the meeting.
The descriptions were furnished by Chief Golka, taken from state guidelines. After discussion, a motion carried to accept the descriptions, and to incorporate them into boro policies and procedures.
Mr. Matis had obtained price quotes for changing the locks in the boro building, and replacing them with non-duplicatable ones, and to change the locks on the file cabinets and desks in the secretarys office. As the price was higher than council had expected, it was agreed to table the matter for the time being, and in the meantime, get a second quote, for changing the locks with less expensive ones, and for re-keying the file cabinets and desks.
There has been a continuing problem with spiders on the outside of the building. After discussion, it was agreed to accept a one-year contract with a maintenance firm that will make periodic visits to address the problem.
And, a motion carried to adopt the above mentioned policies and procedures; meetings will be held with all boro personnel to discuss them. Some of the items listed are: no one, other than a police officer or matron shall ride in the boros patrol cars. Only employees and elected officials will be allowed in work areas. All requests for police personnel participation in activities, such as parades, etc., should go through council. All complaints should be filed with the boro secretary; they will then be reviewed by the council president and vice president, and brought to council. Removal of police property beyond boro limits will not be allowed. Purchase orders will be required for all departments; those purchase orders will then be authorized by council. All departments will have a petty cash allowance for minor/emergency purchases. Tampering of employee time cards will not be tolerated. Signed time sheets for all employees will be made available to the council president. No boro vehicles will be used for personal commute. There will be a maximum of 32 hours per week allowed for part-time employees.
A motion carried to accept a resolution to adopt the policies. The motion was unanimous, with the exception of council member Shane Lewis, who abstained as he is also a boro employee.
And, a motion carried to approve purchase of a computer for the Main Street Committee, funds to be used from grant money obtained for this project.
The meeting adjourned to yet another executive session.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 14, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
Willard C. Westcott (estate) to Christy Westcott, in Thompson Township for $81,000.
Joseph G. Bell and Virginia R. Bell to Walter J. Moyer and Beverly J. Fucci, in Auburn Township for $144,100.
Potts Living Trust (by trustee) to Donald Potts and Pearl Mary Potts, in Forest Lake Township for $72,000.
Ronald J. Lewis and Janice E. Lewis to Nicholas J. Corso and Anne E. Corso, in Choconut Township for $129,000.
John P. Pazzaglia Sr. and Marie Pazzaglia to Rita M. Pazzaglia Galaszewskli, in Lenox Township for $60,000.
Lewis S. Ross (by sheriff) to Wells Fargo Bank (trustee), in Hallstead Borough for $2,623.
William Yasonovitch (aka) William Yasnovitch (by sheriff), Eileen Yasonovitch (aka) Eileen Yasnovitch, and United States of America (by sheriff), to Community Bank & Trust Co. (by sheriff), in Lenox Township for $15,249.
David Lowry and Melissa Lowry to Brian R. Bandru and Carmella A.for Bandru, in Clifford Township for $148,000.
Anne M. Gardner and Brinton Gardner to Frank M. Cunius Jr. and Suzanne B. Cunius, in Forest Lake Township for $83,000.
Stanley M. Biddle and Janet A. Biddle to Mark J. Cornell and Deborah A. Cornell, in New Milford Township for $120,000.
David T. Baker, Wendy D. Baker, Eva Baker (aka) Eva Baker-Schwartz, and David Schwartz to Christopher M. DiPietro, in Susquehanna for $86,000.
Alan Caines and Deborah Caines to Eric J. Glemser and Patricia A. Glemser, in Auburn Township for $32,000.
Glen R. Semple (by sheriff) and Ruth Ann Semple (by sheriff) to Delwin Speth, in Harford Township for $37,500.
Ruth M. Chamberlain to James Harasymczuk and Mary Lou Harasymczuk in Silver Lake Township for $69,000.
Patrick Carricato and Rosale Carricato to Patrick Carricato and Rosalie Carricato, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Diane H. Weighart, George F. Weighart, and Julianne Horton Murray to Joseph Waldowski Jr. and Robin Waldowski, in New Milford Township for $119,000.
Sandra L. Sanderson to James J. Rowlands and Elaine Rowlands, in Forest City for $89,000.
Frances M. Remick and Gerald W. Remick to Dermot A. OHare and Brooke OHare, in Susquehanna for $55,000.
James Gearhart to Lawrence M. Grass (trust), in Franklin Township for $30,000.
Reba Stalker (estate) aka Reba M. Stalker (estate) to Derek Stalker and Brenda Glover, in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Donna Fekette, Paul A. Kelly, Pamela E. Kelly, Lawrence T. OReilly, Christine OReilly, and Thomas OReilly, to John F. Ryan, in New Milford Township for $66.500.
Clarence Brainard, Mildred Brainard, and Frank Brainard to Frank H. Holtsmaster and Kaye E. Holtsmaster, in Gibson Township for $2,000.
John P. Drann and Arline Drann to John P. Drann, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Douglas L. Myers and Barbara A. Myers to Friedrich J. Wenz and Lorna Wenz, in Harmony Township for $128,000.
United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs to Janice M. Gavern, in Jessup Township for $58,500.
Cherylena Murch to Lois A. Murch, in Oakland Borough for one dollar.
David M. OBrien to Margaret McNeil, in Lathrop Township for $49,000.
Ruth A. Praschunas to Sandra L. Wilson, in Jackson Township for $112,000.
United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs to Michael Maziarz and Alicia Maziarz in Gibson Township for $75,000.
Gordon Linaberry, Kathryn Linaberry, and Harry Jerauld to Harry A. Jerauld in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Gordon Linaberry, Kathryn Kinaberry, and Harry Jerauld to Gordon Linaberry and Kathryn Linaberry, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Evelyn E. Smith to Kurt D. Smith, in Oakland Township for one dollar.
Michael B. Davenport and Kimberly A. Davenport to Mark T. Brennan and Melissa Brennan, in Silver Lake Township for $52,000.
Mary Zavacky (estate) aka Mary J. Zavacky (estate) aka Mary Jane Zavacky to William Huston and Irene M. Huston, in Forest City for $65,000.
Roy Decker and Elizabeth Decker to Paul B. Olson, in Harmony Township for $2,500.
Gary K. Neuman to Maurice P. Newhart Jr. and Nancy Newhart, in Rush Township for $85,000.
Reba M. Stalker (estate) aka Reba Stalker (estate) to Earl Baughman, in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Robyn E. Ogden to Robyn E. Ogden (nka) Robyn E. Adams and Gregory Adams, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Kendall L. Mitchell, Lorraine P. Mitchell, Karen M. Mitchell, and Kevin L. Mitchell to Kevin L. Mitchell and Karen M. Mitchell, in Ruth Township for one dollar.
George Kass and Elizabeth Kass to Patricia Harasymczuk and Linda S. Teal, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
George Kass and Elizabeth Kass to Patricia D, Harasymczuk and Linda S. Teal, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Margaret Silvestre to Dennis Silvestre, in Jackson Township, for one dollar.
Mark Silfee, Jean Shinn (nbm) Jean Silfee to Joseph Shinn, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton (by trustee) to Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton, in Bridgewater Township and Montrose Borough for zero dollars. (Conveying property from former bishop to current bishop.)
WM Speciality Mortgage (by attorney) to Raymond Sheridan, in Great Bend Township for $17,000.
Mary Ellen Beavan to Gloria Beavan Gibbon, Ronald E. Beavan, Allan Beaven and Mary Ellen Beavan, in Oakland Township for one dollar.
Michael A. Keklak (nka) Michael A. Andrews, and Eve T. Keklak (nka) Eve E. Andrews to Robert T. Edwards and Maureen E. Edwards, in Clifford Township for $118,000.
Jeremy S. Beach and Dolcinea Beach to Vincent Rubino and Julie L. Rubino, in Choconut Township for $120,000.
Theresa Ballog to Brian C. Cox, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
William Sterling Hector, Scranton, and Joann Marie Malos, Scranton.
Stephen John Pitonyak, New Milford, and Rebecca Ann Foster, Dimock Township.
Thomas Clark Robson, Wolcott, NY, and Charlene Ruth Lapatra, Wolcott, NY.
Mariusz Motyka, Stroudsburg, and Shirley Faye Scott, Stroudsburg.
Donald Lee Depew, Union Dale, and Christine T. Conrad, Union Dale.
Randy Kermeth Lewis, Franklin Twp., and Brenda Lee DeRosa, Franklin Twp.
Joseph Bonavita, Montrose, and Jennifer N. Line, Montrose.
Jack Rhinevault, Montrose, and Susan Tingley, Montrose.
Kenneth S. Rauch Jr., Johnson City, NY, and Crystal L. Hudson, Johnson City, NY.
Larry Floyd Cassidy, Ararat, and Mary Beth Davis, Avoca.
Jeffrey Scott Sheldon, Thompson, and Theresa M. Pauswinski, Thompson.
A. Gerald Washburn, Susquehanna, and Joyce E. Coager, Hobard, NY.
Daniel Alan Sheninger, Vanetten, NY, and Bobby Jo Mitchell, Vanetten, NY.
Isaac Timothy Hobbs, Lanesboro, and Rachel Elizabeth Ackley, Thompson.
Daniel Richard Callahan, Thompson, and Jett D. Hopkins, Thompson.
William James Quigley III, Kingsley, and Stephanie Lee Ainey, Kingsley.
Scott B. Mowry, Rome, NY, and Tifffany Amber True, Rome, NY.
Between the evening of August 28 and the following morning, a person(s) arrived at the Bears Den Quarry in Bridgewater Township that is owned by Paul McGavin, Meshoppen, and caused approximately a half-a-million dollars of damage to McGavins heavy equipment. Anyone with information is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.
Joscelyn Rocha, Montrose, driving her 1995 Oldsmobile, failed to negotiate a curve along State Route 4014 in Apolacon Township and lost control of the vehicle. The car struck an embankment and flipped onto its roof. The police report did not note if either Rocha or her passenger, Luis Orona, Montrose, were injured, but the Olds was towed from the scene.
An unknown person(s) entered a hunting trailer on Three Lakes Road in New Milford Township owned by Jack Carlsen, Hallstead, and took a bow and arrow valued at approximately $600. This burglary happened sometime between August 22 and September 1.
On the evening of August 24, two black males pumped gas into a white Nissan Maxima with tinted windows and gold-colored tire rims and fled the Great Bend Exxon before paying for the gas. The car was last seen headed on Interstate 81 southbound. Anyone with information is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.
FATAL TRAFFIC COLLISION-PEDESTRIAN
Around 5 on the afternoon of August 9, pedestrian Samuel Bianchi, 78, Waymart, attempted to cross State Route 106 at Northeast Equipment Sales in Clifford Township. He walked into the path of and was struck by a 1996 Plymouth Voyager driven by Colleen Nichols, New Milford. Bianchi was transported to CMC for treatment of his injuries, but his condition deteriorated over the course of the following twelve days, and he died on August 21.
The 1994 Chevy Cavalier driven by Sandra Edmonds 32, Meshoppen, was severely damaged when Edmonds lost control of it along State Road 3001 in Dimock Township because of excessive speed. The car hit a tree, and Edmonds, who was not wearing a seat belt, was moderately injured in this accident that occurred on the afternoon of August 29.
Between the evening of August 10 and the following morning, unknown persons entered Coops Dairy Bar on Route 11 in Great Bend Township through a sliding window. They removed food from the building and fled the scene. Anyone with information is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.
MANUFACTURE OF MARIJUANA
On August 27, a State Police helicopter and members of the Troop R Vice Unit in Gibson flew over a cornfield in Liberty Township while on the way to an incident. In the center of the cornfield was live, growing marijuana. Additional personnel were then called in to assist. A Troop R patrol Unit, Crime Unit, Aviation Unit and Vice Unit seized 53 live marijuana plants ranging in size from two feet to five-and-a-half feet tall. Anyone with information about this marijuana grow is asked to please call the State Police at 465-3154.
Shortly after noon on August 25, an unknown older couple was observed at the Great Bend Pump and Pantry in a gold-colored minivan into which the man pumped $21.38 of gas and then left without paying.
Mary Bock, Endicott, driving a Toyota Avalon, didnt see a Ford F-150, driven by Elizabeth Seman, Thompson, turning left into Arlows gas station on State Route 171 in Ararat Township. Bocks car hit the Ford pickup in the rear. All occupants were wearing seat belts and Bock may have broken her wrist in this accident that occurred on the morning of August 22.
A JVC stereo with a CD player was stolen from a vehicle owned by James Joseph Giangreco, New Milford, sometime between the evening of August 25 and the following morning.
A 1998 Ford Ranger driven by F. Koons, 80, Susquehanna, was going through a left-hand curve along Route 171 approximately a mile south of Interstate 81. The Ranger went off the pavement on the right side of the roadway and dropped about 6 inches onto the shoulder. Koons, losing control of the Ranger, veered back onto the roadway, crossed onto the opposite shoulder, traveled down a grass embankment and veered back onto the road. The left front rim of the Ranger then struck the pavement which caused the truck to roll over onto its left side. It then rolled several more times, spun 90 degrees and came to rest on its side. Koons was seat-belted and received moderate injury; major damage was done to his Ranger in this accident that occurred on the afternoon of August 16.
Otis Anderson, New Milford, received minor injury and his 1997 Saturn received major damage when he lost control of it negotiating a curve along State Road 1021 in New Milford Township. The Saturn hit several small trees and rolled over onto its roof. Passenger Sarah Perera, Hallstead, also received minor injuries in this accident that took place in the early morning hours of August 21.
President Ray Holtzman made a valiant effort to reign in the enthusiasm of his fellow Great Bend Borough Council members with mixed success. As the September Council meeting on September 2 opened with a call for amendments to the published agenda, Jerry MacConnell and Mike Wasko immediately objected that Mr. Holtzman's approach was too rigid, not allowing for discussion of topics as they come up during Council's once-a-month meetings. Mr. Holtzman heard them out, then proceeded to tick off agenda items - nearly in order. As the meeting progressed, Mr. Holtzman's resolve seemed to dissolve gradually in the usual welter of confused conversation. It took more than 2 hours, including an executive session called by the Borough's attorney, but they got through it all.
* The first building permit under the new statewide Uniform Construction Code was issued by the Council of Governments' Codes office on behalf of the Borough.
* Borough worker Alan Grannis has received pipe and permission to lay a drain from Hayes Street to relieve a water problem.
* Uncertainty about the bridge on Bridge Street continues following an exchange of correspondence between the Borough, State Representative Sandra Major, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT). The Borough wants someone to take responsibility for the friendless bridge, preferably someone other than the Borough, someone with money. The railroad whose tracks run beneath the bridge have already denied responsibility. Now it seems that PENNDOT has no record of the bridge. No one seems to know when it was built, or by whom. The Borough's worker has done some maintenance on the sidewalk on the bridge, but Council is quick to remind that such action does not imply ownership or ultimate responsibility. The Borough will continue to seek a foster parent for the bridge through the Pennsylvania Utilities Commission.
* Council wasn't able to decide among 4 bids to supply cinders for winter traction. According to Secretary Sheila Guinan, most suppliers are offering a product called "anti- skid," which is more like gravel. It has been difficult for cinder dealers to get state certification. Council wants the bids to be in comparable terms, and they want to see samples of the offered materials.
* An ordinance proposed last month to remove the one-way designation on Williams Street was tabled at the request of the Borough's attorney, Frank O'Connor, "until further notice."
* A bid was accepted last month to clean and fill cracks in Borough streets. The contractor has not indicated when work would begin. Mr. MacConnell got Council to form a committee to oversee the project.
* Debbie Dissinger, who is leading the beautification initiative that hopes to improve the appearance of the Route 11 corridor in the Hallstead-Great Bend area, has asked the Borough for a letter of support to help in obtaining more grant money to continue planning and designing the project.
* Council voted to sign an agreement with PENNDOT to become a "Registered Business Partner" in the state's effort to increase the amount of business done electronically. The agreement offered by PENNDOT looked to be about 20 pages long. No one but Secretary Guinan actually read the document.
* Council agreed to a bid to make repairs to the kitchen in the Community Building that would be covered by the Borough's insurance policy. They also voted to approve up to $500 of additional plumbing work in the building that will be necessary to keep the pipes from freezing again, which is what caused the damage in the first place.
* There is some concern about street lights in the Borough that are not functioning. All of the street lights are owned by the electric company, which will fix them if it knows about them. Council formed a committee to survey the Borough for lights that are out. Residents are asked to take down the pole number of any lights that need attention, and to report the information to the Borough office. Bob Loucks of the Great Bend Hose Company was a featured participant at the meeting. He started off by presenting Council with a small trophy award recognizing the support and contribution of the Borough government to the annual Community Day Parade organized by the firemen. Several Council members took special note of the work of the firemen to make the day special in the village. Mr. Holtzman said it was "nice to see so many people in the streets" that day, despite the rain.
Mr. Loucks then addressed a workmen's compensation issue that was recently uncovered. Municipalities that are served by Great Bend's local fire company are expected to chip in for the policy the Borough carries on its volunteers. Apparently through an oversight, the Town of Windsor has never been billed. Windsor has a contract for service with the Hose Company, which they probably assume includes their payment for the workers' comp coverage. Mr. Loucks said that his board would be meeting with Windsor representatives to update the contract; it might be possible to increase the contract payment so that the Hose Company would then reimburse Great Bend Borough for Windsor's share. Council instead voted to send a letter to Windsor requesting a payment for the current year, and notifying them that next year's contribution would be expected in November. According to Ms. Guinan, Windsor's share should be about $902. Great Bend Township contributes about $1,578. The remainder, some $2,131, belongs to Great Bend Borough itself.
Disciplined or not, the Great Bend Borough Council gathers at the Community Building at Elizabeth and Franklin Streets on the first Thursday of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
With a short agenda, the Planning Director and Secretary/Planner missing and only five board members in attendance, the Susquehanna County Planning Commission held a short meeting on August 31, chaired by vice chairman Ted Place.
The Commission approved subdivision and land development plans for David and Bessie Palmer in Gibson Township, Russell and Ruth Leichliter of Auburn Township and Roger and Mary Ann Hayes of Bridgewater Township.
The Hayes plan was of interest because it involves the subdivision of their 73.4 acre open area near the recycling center in Bridgewater Township. This Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) property is being subdivided so that part can be transferred to a new, local owner who intends to develop a small, non-competing service business there. While the proposed lot has road frontage on SR0029, it will be accessed via a driveway within a 50-foot right-of-way that begins at T-732 (Ellsworth Drive) and continues to the northeast corner of the proposed lot. The township supervisors have issued a driveway permit. It is Hayes intention to, in the future, continue this driveway past the proposed new lot and develop it into a road that will serve future development of his KOZ property. The driveway will eventually be turned over to Bridgewater Township.
The Planning Commission had monthly bills totaling $1716.02, with over thirteen hundred dollars of that amount coming from a grant. The remaining bills were for regional newspaper renewals, an advertisement in the Susquehanna County Township Officials' yearbook and their monthly business meal at the Montrose House. The Planning Commission continues the work of updating county ordinances and their next meeting with counsel Carson Helfrich is listed for September 14 in the courthouse.
Templetons written report touched on new developments within the Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership and the Northern Tier Coalition both planning vehicles within the county.
It also highlighted a regional revitalization strategies seminar to be held at the Woodlands Inn in Wilkes Barre on October 5. The cost is $35, not including lunch. Contact the Planning office if interested.
Deputy Director Eleanor Kurosky commended Great Bend Township for its update on the 7-year Modification of Agricultural Security Area. It will be recorded following the townships upcoming public hearing.
The next regular meeting of the County Planning Commission will be September 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the County Office Building. The public is encouraged to attend.
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Volunteer Firemens Federation will hold its annual convention in Montrose this weekend.
The Montrose Fire Department will host the convention and Mark Wood is the convention committee chairman. Ralph Henry and Elwin Henry are co-chairmen. Mayor Tom LaMont of Montrose will welcome the visiting firemen.
The event will be highlighted by a huge firemens parade that will kick off 2:30 p.m. The federation will be given out more than 49 trophies and over $1,500 in prizes. The United Fire Company of Montrose will complement the prize list by awarding trophies to non-federal companies in several categories.
Commissioner Richard A. Rotanz, of the Emergency Management Office of Nassau County, NY, will be one of two distinguished speakers at the two-day convention. Mr. Rotanz, who is responsible for the protection of some two million people, is a former deputy director of New York Citys Office of Emergency Management and managed the citys Emergency Operations Center during the attack on the World Trade Center.
Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA) will also address the convention. Mr. Weldon represents the Seventh Congressional District of Pennsylvania and is currently serving his ninth term in the House of Representatives.
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