Main News
County Living
Church Announcements
Dated Events
Military News
Subscribe to the Transcript

Look For Our


In The OCTOBER 6TH ISSUE Of The County Transcript

Please visit our kind sponsors

Issue Home September 28, 2004 Site Home

GB Township Roads Hit Hard
Federal Aid For Local Flooding
Good News And Bad News
Courthouse Report
Gibson Barracks Report

COG Is Wired, Codes Clarified
Flood Recovery Info Available
Forest City Board Fills Vacancy
Six Get Time In County Jail
Starrucca Borough Council Minutes

GB Township Roads Hit Hard

The flood waters that washed over much of the low-lying areas of the county damaged every road in Great Bend Township to some extent, with the exception of Penny Hill Road, said roadmaster and supervisor George Haskins at the township meeting held on the evening of September 20. "Towner Road," he reported, "is the worst because it was washed out. Parks is real bad, with about 6 feet of that road lost. Baptist Hill got a lot of damage."

What made it through pretty well was Graham Hollow Road, which has been plagued with slides since late last year. Work done on both slides held up well, and although a smaller one started with the big rain, it should be able to be contained. Luckily, work and preparation had begun on McHugh Hill Road and a new, wider drainage pipe installed in the days prior kept that road in place. Roads identified by supervisor Walt Galloway and PENNDOT, along with Bogert Street which got the benefit of leftover materials, were tarred and chipped prior to the deluge and some did okay. But run-off was so violent on some roads, much of those materials were undone.

And Haskins, who at a meeting last month announced he was contemplating resigning on September 20, now has decided to stay, on a month-by-month basis and see how it goes. "We’ll be on the go to replace materials and culverts and do what we can to the damaged roads before winter gets here," he said. The road crew will also start repairs on "the worst parts" of Old Route 11, and have set aside $12,000-$15,000 for the project. Materials will be ordered, and work is expected to be completed by October 15.

At the suggestion of a resident, the township will try to make available a large dumpster for residents to use for disposing of items damaged because of the flooding. He noted that Conklin and Kirkwood are doing so, and thought it a good idea. Secretary Sheila Guinan will make some calls to various suppliers of dumpsters and, if possible, arrange for one to be delivered nearby the township building for flood-debris only. And while the township will do what it can to clean up the roads, it is not responsible for cleaning up, or damage done to private property.

However, because the county has been declared a federal disaster area, FEMA funds and low-interest loans are expected to become available to help those who suffered a loss to their home or business. Municipalities were asked to estimate both damage and costs done within their boundaries and have this estimate in Montrose by 9 a.m. on September 21. It was a killer schedule, since floodwaters in many places were only just beginning to recede on the Sunday before the estimate was due.

Still, Guinan did some research and worked with supervisors in arriving at an estimate that it is hoped would be given a lot of leeway once there is the time to more accurately assess damage to utilities, bridges, roads, public buildings and homes. It is hoped that, down the road, further information will be made available to residents of the county as to what they need to do to get some help in recovering from flood damage.

And while about 300 people were evacuated by the Great Bend and Hallstead Volunteer Fire companies from 85 residences in the Mountainview Trailer Park and the park off Route 11, it was thought, at least at the time of the meeting, that none of these homes were washed away, although some did sustain damage. Local fire departments also helped in pumping the many basements that were flooded.

The last order of flood-related business was a request by the supervisors for someone to become the township’s emergency volunteer coordinator. The supervisors reported that the current volunteer was not seen on the scene to coordinate evacuation efforts or work to see if anyone needed a ride to the high school where the Red Cross was set up. Guinan reported, "The people at the Great Bend Fire Company had to take the lead and make evacuations." Guinan also expected a coordinator to assess damage done throughout the township by the flood. The board is asking for volunteers, and in the meantime, Galloway will review the emergency-planning file.

Other business discussed related to the Bridging Communities, sidewalking and other beautification, and the township will work with Hallstead in clarifying some issues and with Todd Schmidt in anticipated design.

Haskins reported that all the material arrived to put together the salt storage shed, which Haskins will oversee with help from the other supervisors, work crew and, hopefully, some folks who want to volunteer in the helping.

The Great Bend Township board of supervisors is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of every month in the township building on Route 171.

Back to Top


Federal Aid For Local Flooding

The President declared a major disaster exists in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and ordered federal aid to supplement Commonwealth and local recovery efforts in the areas struck by Tropical Depression Ivan.

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Susquehanna County, as well as many others.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and many other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

The Agency said that residents and business owners who sustained losses can begin applying for assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week until further notice.

Callers are advised to have the following information available to help speed up the application process: your current phone number; your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying; your Social Security number, if available; a general list of damage and losses you suffered; good directions to the property that was damaged; if insured, your insurance policy number, or the agent’s and company’s name; general financial information.

Back to Top


Good News And Bad News

The Susquehanna County Board of Commissioners heard some good news and some bad news at last week’s regular board meeting.

The good news was the announcement that a new industry is locating in the county and the bad news is that last weekend’s near-record rains caused considerable damage in more than half of the 40 municipalities in the county.

Liz Janoski, director of the county Department of Economic Development, told the commissioners that Snake Creek Lasers, a high-tech manufacturing company will move into Station Square in Hallstead.

The company will employ 10 people in assembly positions and has plans to expand in the near future. Congressman Don Sherwood confirmed those plans on Monday and said his office will assist with the expansion through a new federal funding initiative.

Snake Creek Lasers was founded by Dr. David C. Brown, a widely known expert in solid-state laser technology. At an open house on Monday, Dr. Brown said his company will make world-class laser products and will focus attention on innovations to enhance its high-tech production and distribution. He said from its Hallstead facility the company will compete successfully with some of the largest companies in the world.

Mark Wood of the Susquehanna County Emergency Management Agency told the commissioners that Susquehanna is one of 22 counties in Pennsylvania that have been declared disaster counties. Mr. Wood said the designation qualifies the county and a number of its municipalities for federal aid and/or low interest loans.

Mr. Wood said that 22 municipalities in the county reported flood damage. He said the three biggest hit areas are Lanesboro Borough, where 92 homes and two businesses reported flood damage; Great Bend Township, where two mobile home parks were evacuated and 128 families reported flood damage; and, New Milford Borough where the Blue Ridge Park suffered damage estimated in excess of $100,000.

Mr. Wood said people who have damage to their homes or businesses should contact their local emergency management coordinator or call (570) 278-4600, extensions 256 or 257. He said they should also contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 1-800-621-3362 to begin the process for any type of assistance by getting an assigned incident number.

State Representative Sandra Major echoed Mr. Wood’s suggestion to call the 1-800 number and obtain an incident number.

"Shocking" was the word Ms. Major used to describe the conditions she witnessed during a tour of flooded areas in her legislative district. "It is critically important," she said, "for every individual who has been touched by the storm to contact FEMA and get an incident number."

In other business at the commissioners‚ meeting, the following motions were approved:

Awarding a bid to Astec Reply System to repair the roof on the Children and Youth Services building on Public Avenue at a cost of $8.550.

To promote Allen Luce of the Maintenance Department to the full-time position of foreman at a salary of $10.64 an hour.

To promote Mindy Williams to a full-time custodial position at $7.19 an hour.

To promote Jason Sechrist and Reuben Shermen to full-time positions as correction officers at the county jail at $10.54 an hour.

To promote Ray Osburn, Children and Youth Service caseworker to the open position of caseworker supervisor at a salary of $33,966.

To accept the resignation of Lindasu Hutchinson, a 911 dispatcher.

To adopt a resolution authorizing the filing a application in the amount of $494,882 for housing and community development activities.

To appoint Lillie Thomas of New Milford to fill a vacancy o the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council.

To submit a grant application for federal funds to comply with the new Help America Vote Act.

Back to Top


Courthouse Report


Joseph R. Venne and Geraldine P. Venne to Joseph G. Venne and Kathleen D. Venne, in Lenox Township for one dollar.

Betram S. Halberstadt and Susan Handloff to Stuart H. Shapiro and Regina C. Shapiro, in Herrick Township for $63,000.

Susan Breese to Frank Holtsmaster, in Lenox Township for $2,000.

Margaret Deminovich (estate) to Jeffrey Bennett, in Clifford Township for one dollar.

Stateline Quarry to John W. Thatcher, in Apolacon Township for $930.

Timothy J. Pepitone and Annemarie C. Pepitone to Christopher D. MacNamee and Kathy M. Olszewski, in Franklin Township for $57,500.

Reginald Sanger (estate) to Florence McGowan, in Dimock Township for one dollar.

Frank J. Tagler and Judith A.Tagler to Frank J. Tagler and Judith A. Tagler, in Herrick Township for one dollar.

William Tyler (aka) William B. Tyler to Jonathan K. Tyler and Terry A. Tyler, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Larry Viteritto and Helen E. Viteritto to Helen E. Viteritto, in Franklin Township for one dollar.

Otis E. Hudson (estate) to June H. Huston, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.

Otis E. Hudson (estate) to Lori C. Hudson Puente, David S. Puente, and Lynn R. Hudson, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.

William F. Little and Grace C. Little to Don W. Hawkins, Kelly Jo Butler (nbm) Kelly Jo Hawkins, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Don E. Hawkins, Jelly Jo Butler (nbm) Kelly Jo Hawkins, to Don E. Hawkins and Kelly Jo Hawkins, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

H., Douglas Hart (Rev. trust) and Jane M. Hart (Rev. trust) to John Schreiner and Kathleen Schreiner, in Lathrop Township for $172,000.

James C. Pilosi and Nicole Salerno to Raymond A. Znidarsich and Rebecca Znidarsich, in Silver Lake Township for $80,000.

Warren H. Hessler Jr. and Christina D. Hessler to Matthew W. Leonard and Alexis A. Leonard, in Choconut Township for $10,000.

Federal National Mortgage Assoc. to Washington Mutual Bank, in Brooklyn Township for $10.

Washington Mutual Bank to JNS Real Estate Inc., in Brooklyn Township for $20,000.

Harry Stanley Jr. and Jamie E. Stanley to Dustin Traver, in Forest Lake Township for $70,000.

Jeffrey Kaub to John Kaub, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Lee C. Walker and Mary Ledyard Walker to Ordie E. Price and Aline J.Price, in Lenox Township for $316,000.

Irini Harms and Keith G. Harms to Matthew J. Timm, in Bridgewater and Forest Lake townships for $137,000.

Bertice L. Lewis and Sally I. Lewis to Joann Labbe and Alec E. Labbe, in New Milford Township for $70,000.

United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs to Francis S. Barrett and Deborah H. Barrett, in Clifford Township for $55,100.

Francis S. Barrett and Deborah H. Barrett to Tall Pines Holding, in Clifford Township for $55,100.

Dean A. Johnson and Valerie Johnson to Adam Sauser and Karyl A. Sinton, in Jackson Township for $87,000.

Bruce Ross (by attorney), Nancy Ross, Raymond Swingle (by attorney), Lulu Swingle (by attorney), Jerilee Turner (by attorney), James T. O‚Brien (by attorney), Kathleen D. O‚Brien (by attorney), Barbara Campbell (by attorney), Clarence Fleming (by attorney), Ann E. Fleming (by attorney), Judd Roberts (by attorney) and Marilyn Roberts (by attorney) to Albert Canonico and linda R. Canonico, in Herrick Township for $42,900.

James W. Swetter and Patricia Swetter to Richrd DeMaria and Rita DeMaria in Clifford Township for $78.500.

James F. Swetter and Patricia Swetter to Bradley Swetter, in Clifford Township for one dollar.

Frank H. Holtsmaster to Frank H. Holtsmaster, in Lenox Township for one dollar.

Cloyd P. Stallman to Victor L. Dubanowitz Sr., in Oakland Borough for $15,000.

Robert E. Miner and Eleanor C. Miner to Natalie B. Miner, James B. Miner and Virginia A. Miner, in Liberty Township for one dollar.

Paul E. Marcotte (by guardian) to Paul E. Marcotte, in Choconut Township for one dollar.

Sandino P. Battisti and Joan M. Battisti to Timothy M. Towers, in Oakland Borough for $92,100.

Sandino P. Battisti and Joan M. Battisti to Timothy M. Towers, in Oakland Borough for one dollar.

Stoneridge Residential Care Center Inc. to Honesdale National Bank, in Susquehanna for one dollar.

Edward R. Graves (by sheriff) and Joyce C. Graves (by sheriff) to Peoples National Bank, in Jackson Township for $6,995.

Paul D. McMurtrie and Tina G. McMurtrie to Iner Michael Nielson and Bernadette Nielson, in Silver Lake Township for $75,000.

Lawrence T. O‚Reilly, Christine M. O‚Reilly, and Thomas J. O‚Reilly to Anthony D. Luciano, in Apolacon Township for $41,000.

Frederick J. Mallow, Barbara A. Malloy, Barbara A. Reynolds (nbm) to Frederick J. Malloy and Barbara A. Malloy, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

David P. Hunter and Mary Hunter to Bethene Summers, in Great Bend Township for $70,000.

Harold Ely and Frances Ely to Harold Ely and Frances Ely, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Andrew Kannenberg to Michael G. Gibson and Pam Babuka, in Choconut Township for $25,000.

Edward A. Range (aka) Edward Range, Grace E. Range (aka) Grace Range, to Edward A. Range (revocable living trust) and Grace E. Range (revocable living trust), in Brooklyn, Harford and New Milford townships for one dollar.

Roberet B. Matthews (by sheriff) and Adella Welch Matthews (by sheriff) to Equity One Inc., in Lenox Township for $2,974.

Carol A. Panuska and Victoria Swanson to Victoria Swanson, in Herrick Township for one dollar.

Willard F. Valvano (aka) Willard P. Valvano, Donna J. Valvano (aka) Donna Valvaano, to William O. Root and Susan L. Polage, in Auburn Township for $137,000.

Carl E. Swinski and Marianne Swinski to Joseph Thomas and Patricia Publik, in Springville Township for $62,500.

William F. Bliss and Phyllis Bliss to Carol O. Astacio, in Middletown Township for $98.700.

Robert G. McNamara and Mary L. McNamara to Robert G. McNamara Jr., in Susquehanna for one dollar.

Esther E. Darrow to Mark A. Darrow Sr., in Franklin Township for one dollar.

Thomas F. Lopatofsky, Donna M. Fekette, to Darren R. Gentilquore, in New Milford Township for $52,000.

Guy Bleau (tdba) Small Business League of America to A. S. Diamond Family Limited Partnership in Hallstead Borough for paying additional local tax only.

Donna Maas and Fred H. Maas to Thomas R. Price and Mary K. Price, in New Milford Township for one dollar.


Uriah Craig Frye, Montrose and Joann Ashley Samorski, Montrose.

Michael D. Matis, Susquehanna and Elizabeth Ellen Ciletti, Susquehanna.

James John Fabrizzi, Binghamton, NY and Cheryl Ann Trescoski, Binghamton, NY.


Mary Ann Rosengrant, Montrose vs. Charles Rosengrant, Montrose.

Terry Newhart, Montrose, vs Gwen Ellen Newhart, Chesapeake, VA.

Robert D. Deasy Jr., Lawton, vs Karen T. Deasy, Montrose.

Back to Top


Gibson Barracks Report


Brendan Connolly, 19, New Milford, was treated at the scene for a minor injury when he lost control of his vehicle while rounding a sharp right curve at the intersection of State Route 1022 and Liberty Park Road in Great Bend Township on the evening of September 22. His vehicle slid sideways, striking a stop sign, knocking down 16 feet of fence and hitting a tree and a utility pole. His passenger, Anthony Ferro, 16, Hallstead, was not injured nor were two unidentified passengers in the rear seat.


An unknown person pumped $25 of gas into a pick-up truck at the Great Bend Exxon and left without paying in the late afternoon of September 22. A store clerk was able to read the license plate and provided it to the Police. The truck was a commercial-lease vehicle from Binghamton, New York, and State Police contacted the company and determined who had the truck at the time of the incident. The person(s) involved returned to the gas station and paid for the gas on September 23; the station does not wish to pursue prosecution.


On State Route 267 near the New York state line in Choconut Township, a Chevy Blazer driven by John Barvinchak, 88, Johnson City, while making a left turn into Smokin Joe’s, hit a Mercury Sable heading north on the road and driven by Rachel Johnson, 34, Friendsville. Barvinchak, who was wearing a seat belt, was uninjured. Johnson received minor injuries. Both vehicles received moderate damage in this crash that happened on the afternoon of September 22.


Sometime over the last two weeks, someone entered the East Lake Campground owned by Scott Young, New Milford, entered the showers, turned the water off, and then turned down the temperature of the hot water. No damage was done.


Neither Thomas Brewer, 43, Hallstead, nor Nicholas Carnevale, 44, Meshoppen were injured when they were involved in an accident on the morning of September 21. Brewer’s Chevy van was traveling south on State Route 29 in Bridgewater Township when the van’s left rear tire came off and hit Carnevale’s Chevy van, causing substantial damage to its left front. Both drivers were uninjured and wearing seat belts, and no charges were filed against either operator.


Jeannie McAndrew, 30, and Jeffrey McAndrew, 35, are married and live in Lenox Township. In the early morning of September 12, they had an argument which resulted in the husband assaulting his wife at their home. He has been charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats and recklessly endangering another person. McAndrew was arraigned before a magistrate and released after posting bail. The State Police report that the case will continue.


Ronalyn Corbin, Hop Bottom, parked her 2003 Mazda 6 at the intersection of State Route 106 and Route 11 in Harford Township. An unknown person(s) scratched the driver’s side door sometime between September 18 and close to noon on the following day. *


Between August 4 and September 19, someone went to property owned by Arthur Richard Walker in Harmony Township and took two registration plate validation stickers from two trailers parked there. *


Early in the morning of September 16, James Donahue III, 27, and Christine Marie Swan, 22, both of Main Street, Susquehanna, got into an argument. Donahue stuck the victim in the head with his fist. A citation for harassment was filed at District Court.


Four cartons of cigarettes were stolen from Smoker’s Choice on State Route 858 in Little Meadows on the afternoon of September 20. Their total value is $120.23.


Between September 11 and 13, an unknown person(s), for reasons unknown, placed obscene flyers in a mailbox belonging to a Mr. Griffiths at Lake Stanley. State Police remind that it is a criminal offense to place obscene or threatening material in the mail.


Teresa Marbaker, 45, Montrose, lost control of her 1997 Ford Probe while rounding a curve on State Route 3004 near Route 267 in Auburn Township. The car hit a farmer’s fence, flipped over and came to rest on its wheels in a field. Marbaker left the scene and failed to report this crash that happened on the afternoon of September 12. She was wearing a seat belt and was not injured, but faces charges for failing to notify Police and driving a vehicle at an unsafe speed.


Jerome Norman, New Milford Township, reported that the tires on his vehicle were damaged sometime between August 25 and 26 while it was parked on the side street of the post office in New Milford Borough. *


On August 27, John Fritz, Springville Township, reported the theft of his electric meter from his residence. The meter was stolen sometime between August 8 and 23 and is owned by Penelec. *


Early in the morning of August 27, Eleuterio Jiminec, Meshoppen, was driving west along State Route 2024 in Dimock Township when he lost control of his vehicle on a curve and crashed into the woods. He did not have a valid driver’s license and charges have been filed accordingly.


Ruth Mae Camp, New Milford, became the victim of criminal mischief when someone went onto her porch and wrote on her storm door window with a marker on August 26. *


On a rainy day and wet roadway, a Ford Bronco driven by J. Newell, 20, Springville, was traveling west on Wood Road in Springville Township. A Ford dump truck driven by G. Ainey, 51, Springville had just turned into Wood Road from State Road 3013. The Bronco crossed into the path of the dump truck, struck its front end and received major damage. The dump truck received minor damage and both drivers were uninjured. Newell was cited by the police in the crash that happened on the morning of September 17.


David Michael Wayman, New Milford, lost control of his Plymouth Voyager on Main Street in New Milford and struck a street sign on the west side of the road. Wayman then swerved his vehicle to the left and right and began to rotate it in a clockwise direction. His Voyager hit a Chevy Tahoe driven by Douglas Wiser, Brackney, which was stopped at a stop sign on State Road 492 facing Main Street. Wayman’s car then traveled west onto Montrose Street. Wayman was placed under arrest for DUI and also charged with violating several sections of the PA Vehicle Code. Wayman and Wiser were not injured in this collision that took place on the night of August 22.


Someone entered a car belonging to James Giangreco that was parked in the driveway of his home in New Milford Township. The person(s) stole a car stereo from the dashboard. This theft took place on the afternoon of August 26. *


Stephen Sicovitch, Thompson, was driving east along State Road 1002 in Jackson Township when his vehicle caught on fire on the afternoon of August 22. The fire was extinguished with the help of the Harford Fire Company. Sicovitch was not injured.


On the afternoon of September 9, Heather Steward, 18, Friendsville, lost control of her vehicle was driving on a curve on Elk Lake Road in Dimock Township at a high rate of speed. Her vehicle hit several trees. Steward was wearing a seat belt and was not seriously injured; the Elk Lake EMS assisted her.


Miranda Decker, 24, New Milford, is a former employee of the Penn Can Restaurant at Exit 217 on Interstate 81 in Harford Township. She is suspected of going to the restaurant at around 2 a.m. on September 15 and, while employees were busy with customers, entering the register area and taking $378. A Charge of theft by unlawful taking will be filed against Decker.

* Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the State Police at 465-3154.

Back to Top


COG Is Wired, Codes Clarified

Thanks to a grant that Codes/Sewage secretary Karen Trynoski worked hard to get, COG offices are all hooked up and linked with a new computer system, including laptops that enforcement officers can take and use in the field. The system enables timely and regular reporting, by municipality, of various inspection and permitting work done in member municipalities, makes possible faster communications and tailored reports, and puts all COG members and staff on the same, timely page.

Other good information shared at the Council of Governments meeting, held last Thursday evening and presided over by Elliot Ross was about the FEMA forms that many municipalities were struggling to fill out (with an horrific deadline as to an estimation of damage done by the recent flooding in the Hurricane Ivan aftermath).

Member Bill Bayne reported that he spoke with representative Sandy Major earlier in the day, and she told him to "get plenty of pictures" of damage to houses or roads or bridges that might qualify for federal flood relief. Bayne said Major told him not to be as much concerned with the cost of the damage right now, but with what was damaged. Copies of the FEMA form were made available at the meeting, along with the FEMA phone number (1–800–621–3362) for anyone who had questions.

COG secretary Cheryl Wellman also announced that PENNDOT representatives would be available at a township supervisors meeting to be held the week after the meeting. She expected them to address municipal member concerns about damage done to their roads, and encouraged COG members to attend and find out more.

Before adjourning, Ross told members that he would be spending considerable time over the next couple of weeks catching up with the close to 150 road signs requested by members. Some were delivered at the meeting, and he asked members to let him know if and how many they may require.


Codes enforcement, permitting and inspecting have been going relatively smooth, considering the brand-new UCC rules. BIU, the group’s third-party inspection service, has been responding quickly to requests, and there appears to be no complaints from any residents about the process thus far.

That’s good news. But some administrative matters haven’t fared as well. Both Codes president Ted Plevinsky and secretary Karen Trynoski report that there’s a quirk in BIU’s billing system that is being worked on. In the meantime, the system is generating no bills. But it will, and Trynoski is tracking work done to date and related cost, and setting aside the funds to pay the bill, after comparison to her records, when it does come in.

She is also generating a monthly report, by municipality of work done to date in their jurisdictions. The report is based on a software program provided by BIU. Originally, the plan was to have BIU make available on-line, by way of the software program, the information that Trynoski is tracking. That hasn’t happened yet and BIU is working to get the bugs out so Codes and Trynoski can log on to retrieve the information and not spend the time inputting it.

Trynoski also read a letter from the Governor’s Center that was sent out by PSATS in the wake of Hurricane Charlie in Florida. Its delivery could not have been more timely, considering the flooding that Ivan caused in the Northeast. The letter noted that the homes of thousands of residents who built or upgraded their homes to comply with new Florida reinforced building codes fared significantly better during Charlie than those that didn’t. It was meant as a true-to-life example of what better, safer building codes can result in.

And of course, there were more codes to be discussed. Plevinsky encouraged an administrative action on the part of municipalities who have passed a non-UCC ordinance (also known as the assessment permit) to consider passing a resolution on recreational cabins which are excluded from the UCC. Inspection of such cabins would include the fact that they are not a residence, and are equipped with smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, setbacks and sewage treatment and permitting. Plevinsky also pointed out that a municipality must include its setbacks in an ordinance. CEO Jim Silletto will review member ordinances to see who has what. Plevinsky added that it is important to note that a recreational cabin cannot be sold for residential use. If such an action is contemplated, that’s when the cabin would then have to meet building codes.

Before adjourning, Plevinsky addressed a certified letter from New Milford borough, with the town’s COG representative Jane Zick in attendance, asking for clarification of what Codes did and did not do. In the past, the borough relied on Codes and its CEO to issue a zoning permit in addition to a building permit. Lately, it has been told that Codes could not issue any zoning permits and wanted to know why Codes could not enforce its existing codes ordinances.

The reply from the group’s executive committee, given by Plevinsky, was that there was a misunderstanding between the position of codes enforcement officer and zoning officer. "We employ a CEO only who enforces ordinances regarding setbacks, building codes and things like that. Zoning," said Plevinsky, "deals with specific use or restrictions, and at the present time, COG does not employ a zoning officer and cannot assist there." It was, he added, a much more complex issue.

Zick asked for clarification that CEO Jim Silletto was not doing what former CEO Shane Lewis was, which was zoning enforcement. Plevinsky answered that Lewis had the experience to do it, which Silletto did not yet have.

Part of the borough’s consternation, said Zick, was that the borough was never informed of any changes in what COG would and would not be enforcing. "We didn’t write the letter to be mean. We just wanted to know what Jim (Silletto) can help us with," she said.

Another member thought that the Codes Committee should inform members when changes are made to what it will be enforcing. And while both Plevinsky and Trynoski admitted they were not fully aware of all that Lewis was doing, Plevinsky acknowledged that a mistake was made, and the Committee will work with the borough to rectify the situation.

Sewage Enforcement Committee

President Rick Pisasik efficiently presided over a meeting in which he reported the results of the Kuzma/Vadovsky appeals hearing, a situation that has been ongoing for quite some time. He said that by the time the hearing committee sat down to hear the base, the problem at the Kuzma property was taken care of by a contractor, not Vadovsky. Thus, there was no violation against Kuzma.

However, a hearing board did meet on Vadovsky and filed a notice of assessment of a civil penalty against him, and some significant assessment amounts that include restitution to the Kuzmas, a civil penalty, the cost of the hearing and a penalty that will accrue weekly, beginning October 1 until the underlying violation is paid.

At the time of the meeting, there was still time for Vadovsky to file an appeal, and there was no further information on whether he would do so or not.

A change was also proposed in the application fee for DEP permitted systems, from $500 to $300 for up to 400 gallons per day and $50 for each additional 100 gallons. The group approved the proposal.

SEOs had nothing much new to report, except more of the same – still busy.

The next meeting of the Council of Governments is scheduled for October 19, 7 p.m. at COG offices in the New Milford Borough Building on Main Street.

Back to Top


Flood Recovery Info Available

University Park, PA – As floodwaters caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ivan recede, many Pennsylvanians are seeking advice to aid them in flood recovery.

Whether you're concerned about food safety and preparation after a flood, restoring water supplies and septic systems, clean-up and repair of structures and household items, pest control, or storm-related insurance and tax issues, Penn State Cooperative Extension can offer timely information that may make coping with the natural disaster a little easier.

"The recent flooding was almost unprecedented because virtually the entire state was affected," says David Filson, statewide emergency response coordinator for Penn State Cooperative Extension. "With offices in every county, established ties to county and state emergency management agencies, and locally based extension educators ready to assist, we're well positioned to help residents get the information they need during this stressful time."

To receive flood-related fact sheets and publications, residents can contact the Penn State Cooperative Extension office in their county (look under "County Government" in the phone book or visit the Web at for a list of county phone numbers and addresses).

Many resources also can be found on the Web at (click on "Flood Resources"). Information is available that draws upon the expertise of Penn State, as well as that of government agencies and other land-grant universities.

Back to Top


Six Get Time In County Jail

The Susquehanna County Jail picked up six new tenants last week when they appeared before President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans on a variety of charges. Four others were given suspended jail terms and one defendant escaped with a fine and probation.

Bernard D. Kelley, 57, of Laceyville, will spend three months to 23 1/2 months in the county jail, with credit for time already served, for indecent assault in Rush Township on Oct. 1, 1996. A second sentence of three months to 23 1/2 months, also for indecent assault, will run consecutive with the initial jail term which means it will begin when the first sentence is satisfied.

Mr. Kelley was also fined $1,000 for each offense, $250 DNA testing fee, and must perform 50 hours of community service. He is not to have any contact with the victim or the victim’s family, cannot transport or consume alcoholic beverages, and cannot possess any firearms.

Others sentenced by Judge Seamans include:

Richard Thomas Chapman, 20, of Hallstead, 48 hours to 15 months in the county jail, with credit for time served, for drunk driving in Oakland Township on Aug. 23, 2003. A second sentence of two months to 15 months for fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer in Hallstead Borough on Nov. 1, 2003, will run concurrent with the first sentence. Mr. Chapman was also fined $700 plus other costs related to his arrest and will perform 25 hours of community service.

Norman Fassett, 42, of Mehoopany, four months to 12 months in the county jail, with credit for time served and also with work release privileges, for criminal conspiracy/manufacture of a controlled substance in Bridgewater Twp. on March 24, 2004. Mr. Fassett was also fined $500 and will do 25 hours of community service.

Timothy Everett East, 33, of Nineveh, NY, six months to 23 1/2 months in the county jail for burglary in Harmony Township on Aug. 7, 2003. He will be given credit for time served and his sentence will run concurrent with any current sentence. He was also fined $500 and will do 50 hours of community service.

Mark Steven Swingle, 23, of Forest City, five days to six months in jail, with credit for time served, for drunk driving in Clifford Twp. on March 3, 2003. He was fined $300 and will do 25 hours of community service.

Marvin Brotzman, 23, of Montrose, 11 1/2 months to two years minus one day in the county jail for criminal conspiracy/manufacture of a controlled substance in Bridgewater Township on March 24, 2004. He was fined $750 and cannot possess any firearms.

William Lee Dearie, 23, of Union Dale, was given a suspended jail term of one month to 23 1/2 months for theft by unlawful taking in Lenox Twp. on Sept. 11, 2002. He was also fine $500 and will do 50 hours of community service.

Timothy Lewis Priest, 32, of Forest City, two months to 12 months in the county jail, suspended and placed on probation for a year. He was charged with simple assault in Clifford Township on March 18, 2004. Mr. Priest was also fined $250.

Dena Lynn Kelley, 34, of Lake Como, 90 days suspended jail sentence, probation for 90 days and fined $50 for issuing bad checks in Great Bend Township on March 30, 2002. She was also given a suspended jail term of five months to 24 months in the county jail and fined $500 for corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children in Thompson Twp. on May 15, 2003.

Matthew C. Francis, 25, of Endicott, NY, two suspended jail terms of one month to 23 months each for recklessly endangering another person and for unauthorized use of an automobile, both offenses have occurred in Susquehanna on Nov. 9, 2003. He was also fined a total of $850 and will do 50 hours of community service.

Daniel R. Darrow, 37, of New Milford was placed on probation for 12 months and fined $1,000 for selling or furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors in New Milford Twp. on June 7, 2003. He must also do 25 hours of community service.

Back to Top


Starrucca Borough Council Minutes

The Starrucca Borough Council conducted its regular meeting at the Starrucca Community Hall on September 7, starting at 7:04 p.m. Council president Mary Ann DeBalko presided.

Members present were Andy Bennett, Brigitte D'Agati, Lou Gurske, Helen Haynes and Robert Weldy. Also in attendance was Mayor Frank Mroczka. Absent was council member Paul Everett.

Minutes, Reports, Correspondence

The minutes for the August 2 regular meeting were unanimously approved. The treasurer's report and authorization for the payment of bills was unanimously approved, but with an exception: Approval of payment of the secretary's salary was reserved until later in the meeting.


Mrs. DeBalko said she had received a letter from the Pennsylvania Auditor General stating that a missing check for $1,337.07, a sum Starrucca must pay to the Thompson Firemen's Relief Fund, will be coming to the borough.

The secretary/treasurer reported that a representative from the Auditor General's office would be coming to Starrucca on September 9 to audit the borough's liquid fuels accounts for 2002 and 2003. The secretary also reported that he had received documents from the Wayne Conservation District confirming its $8,325 grant to the borough for drainage work on Jacob's Ladder Road.

Mrs. DeBalko turned over to the council a report she had received from consulting engineer Stephen J. Knash of Knash Associates, Honesdale, concerning the condition of the deteriorated Buck Road bridge and the costs that would be incurred if the borough chose to repair the bridge. She also turned over a letter from lawyer James Lehutsky listing his schedule of fees.

Persons to Be Heard

Resident Gale Williams, a former borough council president, accepted the thanks of the council on behalf of the Starrucca Civic Association, of which she is president, for the association's gift of $324.14 for building materials for the record storage room in the community hall.

Mrs. Williams requested that the civic association be allowed to have a locked cupboard in the community hall kitchen for the supplies the association keeps on hand for the events it sponsors. She said the association would partition off an existing cupboard and add a lock to its door. A motion to allow this carried unanimously.

Referring to a subject discussed at previous council meetings, Mrs. Williams said that some years ago the council had agreed to put up a plaque honoring the French Family for its gift to the borough of the land for the Starrucca Recreational Field. This has yet to be done, she observed, and suggested contacting former borough secretary Toni (Foy) Vessy for information on the promised plaque.

Mrs. Williams also suggested putting up some sort of additional plaque honoring all the borough families that worked to make the recreational field a reality, and not just Mayor Wendell Swartz, as his family had requested. She said she would consult such longtime residents as Charlie Levchak and Roger Glover concerning the names of the families involved and would report back to the council.

She noted that the civic association would pay for both plaques.

Turning to yet another subject, the suggestion by a council member that the basketball hoops and backboards in the community hall might be removed, Mrs. Williams observed that the hall belongs to the community at large, that having the basketball facilities was a promise made to the community years ago and that the borough council is the hall's caretaker, only.

At the end of Mrs. Williams's comments, council president DeBalko asked the borough secretary to write the Sheriff's Department, thanking the sheriff for the painting of the community hall that was carried out by Wayne County Prison inmates earlier this year. The civic association paid for the paint and other materials for the project.

Through a council member, residents Jennifer Bennett and Karen Downton requested the use of the community hall on October 29 for a Halloween party. A motion to allow this carried unanimously.

Speaking for the Starrucca Senior Citzens Club, Brigitte D'Agati requested that several large wooden tables that had been placed in the senior citizens' half of the Municipal Building be moved to the borough's half of the building.

Old Business

Mrs. DeBalko asked the borough secretary to call former council president Pete Downton to determine whether he was willing to install a metal door that had been purchased for the community hall, something he agreed to do some months ago. The secretary was also asked to call the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection concerning the faulty septic system at a property on Starrucca Creek Road, a condition that has persisted since at least last year.

Northern Wayne County COG

Mayor Frank Mroczka, the borough's alternate representative to the Northern Wayne County Council of Goverments, reported that the $200 the borough has already sent to the COG should be regarded as just an initiation fee, that another $200 had been requested for 2004 dues and that another $200 would be due in January, 2005.

Mrs. DeBalko observed that the borough's share of the insurance for the COG was going to be about $250 and suggested the borough explore the idea of "opting out" of the COG.

Borough Roads

Mrs. DeBalko suggested the borough hire someone to spread a truckload of 2A modified stone on a damaged section of Kellogg Road. Mr. Bennett suggested "waiting until we're a little closer to winter." Mrs. DeBalko agreed.

The council president noted that Thompson Township that night was deliberating whether to abandon a section of Erk Road on the other side of the Buck Road bridge. She said she had spoken to state Rep. Sandra Major concerning the bridge and that Ms. Major had cautioned that if anyone fell off the bridge, which currently has no guard rails, the borough's liability would be "horrendous." She added that Ms. Major was exploring funding sources for repair of the bridge.

Mrs. DeBalko said she was investigating the possibility of applying for a PA Community Development Block Grant to pay for bridge repairs, adding that to be eligible for such a grant the borough will have to establish that 51 percent of its residents fall into the low-income category. She asked for authorization to send a questionnaire to all borough residents inquiring about their income. Her request was approved unanimously.

The council also approved unanimously a resolution designating Mrs. DeBalko the borough's agent in negotiations with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, including the borough's effort to get reimbursement for certain moneys spent on repairing Jacob's Ladder Road.

Executive Session

At this time the council went into executive session, which went from 8:53 to 9:31 p.m.

When the executive session was over, the council voted unanimously to direct the secretary/treasurer to refund $50 from petty cash to maintain a balance of $50. The council also voted unanimously to pay the secretary/treasurer $75 for August to correct an error in past payments of salary.

Mrs. DeBalko reported that she had called three contractors seeking bids for winter road maintenance and had received two sealed bids. The bids were opened by the secretary, and the council voted unanimously to award the 2004-2005 contract for winter road maintenance to Como Construction Company of Lake Como.

The council also voted unanimously to authorize Mrs. DeBalko to make three phone calls seeking bids for the drainage work on Jacob's Ladder Road that will be done under the Wayne Conservation District grant.

There being no further business before the council a motion to adjourn carried unanimously.

Back to Top


News  |  Living  |  Sports  |  Schools  |  Churches  |  Ads  |  Events
Military  |  Columns  |  Ed/Op  |  Obits  | Archive  |  Subscribe

© 2004 Susquehanna County Transcript. All Rights Reserved