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The development of the Susquehanna-Oakland-Lanesboro Industrial Development Authority’s (SOLIDA) land in Oakland township finally appears imminent but it also appears that it will not be an industrial park.
Last week, the Susquehanna County Board of Commissioners approved a stipulation of settlement between SOLIDA, Norfolk Southern Railway Company, and the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (CPB) that could lead to the establishment of a public rail-highway crossing at the entrance to the former industrial park.
Terms of the agreement provide that Central New York Railroad Corporation (CNY), which leases the tracks owned by Norfolk Southern Railway Company, will perform all work to establish the proposed crossing at the SOLIDA site and will restore the crossing and warning devices as soon as possible. Accordingly, the county will reimburse CNY and CPB will reimburse the county. The cost of restoring the crossing is estimated to be $23,200.
Asked if the recently formed Susquehanna County Rail Authority had approved the agreement, Roberta Kelly, chair of the Board of Commissioners, responded, “The Railroad Authority has no play in this.”
The principles involved in the restoration of the railroad crossing and SOLIDA Road for access and egress to the SOLIDA land have requested that the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission establish a public rail-highway crossing at the site. In the revised application, Susquehanna County is substituted for SOLIDA. Pending PUC approval, Norfolk Southern will permit usage of the proposed crossing only by CPB and its employees.
The agreement also stipulates that CPB will pay Conrail the amount of Conrail’s unreimbursed costs of construction of the private SOLIDA crossing not previously paid by SOLIDA in the amount of $26,738, less the cost to CPB of installing the chain link fence along the common property line between CPB’s property and Norfolk Southern’s property in a location approved by both parties.
There have been reports that CPB would like to acquire all acreage in the former industrial park. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints plans to construct a monument to its founder, Joseph Smith Jr., who at one time resided on or near the SOLIDA land. The church plans on constructing a memorial to Mr. Smith on the SOLIDA site and may develop it as a religious retreat for its congregation and visitors who would welcome the opportunity to pay tribute to Mr. Smith.
In another matter, Commissioner Jeff Loomis released a couple of pages from a confidential report from Cost Management Plus of Harrisburg, who manage the inmates medical cost control program at the Susquehanna County Correctional Facility in South Montrose.
The report indicates the average cost per inmate per day for the years 2002, 2003 and 2004 was $4.04 compared with the state average of $4.50. While the increase in medical costs for 2004 increased by less than $2,000 when compared with 2003, average number of inmates dropped from 823 in 2003 to 643 in 2004. The bottom line was an increase in the average medical cost per inmate from $112 in 2003 to $146 in 2004.
Motions passed by the commissioners included:
– adopting a proclamation designating June 17 as Million Pound Meltdown Day in Susquehanna County. Speaking in behalf of the program that urges weight loss were Mountain View students Bethany Brainard and Taylor Kavka.
– approving a resolution entering the county into a lease agreement with Schneider Family Associates for 1,411 square feet of parking area on Erie Boulevard in Susquehanna for use by the county’s Children and Youth Services. The monthly rent was set at $500 and the lease will run through May 31, 2006.
– rescinding a motion that transferred clerk-typist Charlene Moser from the 911/EMA Departments to switchboard operator/clerk typist in the commissioners’ office. Ms. Moser decided to stay where she is employed.
– promoting Melissa Gillespie to the open fulltime position of Head Real Estate Clerk in the assessment office. The Salary Board then boosted her hourly rate of pay to $10.40 for a 37.5-hour work week.
The Salary Board also amended a previous motion that set the annual salary for Allen Luce, new maintenance supervisor at $25,000. The board boosted it to $26,500 the same starting salary given to the last maintenance supervisor.
A Forest City resident complained about ATV traffic on borough streets last week and urged the Borough Council to enforce state laws that require ATV’s to be registered and insured.
Council listened to Chris Nuttall of 620 Delaware Street but offered little consolation other than turning the complaint over to Police Chief Paul Lukus who was in the audience.
“I was almost hit twice by ATVs,” Mr. Nuttall said. “They are not registered and they drive them the wrong way on a one-way street.”
Chief Lukus said he caught up with the driver that prompted the last complaint from Mr. Nuttall, talked to him, and escorted him out of town. The driver apparently was from a neighboring municipality. But Mr. Nuttall said he was not satisfied with the way the situation was handled and the fact that Chief Lukus did not return his call and advise him of the action taken.
“I heard about it 13 hours later,” Mr. Nuttall said. “When we are talking police (in the borough) we are a day late and a dollar short,” he concluded.
In another police matter, Council received a letter from fulltime officers, Chief Lukus and Assistant Chief Joseph Nolan advising the borough that they will extend the current police contract for an additional three years without changes. It would give the officers a 2.75 pay raise in 2006 and three percent in 2007 and 2008, fully paid health insurance, fully paid premiums on a $50,000 life insurance policy, $550 annual clothing allowance; $300 to be applied to any dental or eye treatments, 18 days annual vacation and 7 paid holidays.
The letter included an insert that stated the demands the fulltime officers would make if the governing body rejected the extension of the current contract. The demands if the council turns down the extension are a four percent pay increase the first year of the new contract, 4.5 percent the second year and five percent in the third year; double the current life insurance policy from $50,000 to $100,000; increase the clothing allowance by $200 each year; increase in vacation days from 18 to 21; and, an additional paid holiday.
“I hope council will not be intimidated by the demands,” Councilman Paul J. Amadio said, “because I certainly am not.” Mr. Amadio said that when the last contract was awarded to the police, council members indicated they would consider asking Officers Lukus and Nolan to contribute toward their health insurance in the next contract. Borough taxpayers are presently paying $1,300 a month for Chief Lukus and $600 a month for Asst. Chief Nolan for Blue Cross/Blue Shield. If the council allows the contract extension, the council would again have to provide Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage for the two fulltime officers. Council would also have to absorb expected increases in BC/BS.
Councilwoman Mary Twilley also reminded council that the upcoming contract was expected to provide for the two officers to contribute toward their health insurance.
But Council President Jim Lowry said the officers covered by the contract said they will take the matter from the negotiating table into arbitration in order to get what they would demand. He said he would rather give the money to the police than to pay legal fees involved in arbitration.
Mr. Lowry asked for action on the contract extension, but council members Amadio and Twilley said they wanted time to review the contract and to discuss the matter with other council members in a private executive session.
In other business, council received bids for paving some borough streets and agreed to review them before awarding a contract. The bids range from $131,000 to $164,000.
The council is considering paving Susquehanna Street from Dundaff Street to the regional school; Maxey Street from Delaware Street to Susquehanna Street; Maple Street from Dundaff Street to Lackawanna Street; North Street from Railroad Street to Hudson Street; and portions of Susquehanna, Lackawanna and Higgins streets.
Council approved a resolution authorizing the filing of a proposal for funds to install sidewalks on South Main Street.
Gibson Barracks Report
Joshua Crawford, 18, Meshoppen, was driving a 1999 Ford Mustang south on State Route 367 just south of West Auburn on the evening on May 29 when he went into the opposite lane and failed to fully make a left-hand curve. The Mustang left the road off the right berm, struck a wire and post guide rail and then broke through it, went over an embankment and struck an apple tree head-on. Crawford admitted to having been drinking and, because he was under 21, was arrested for suspicion of DUI.
On the afternoon of June 7, a vehicle driven by Kenneth Tingley, 58, New Milford, and one by Ashish Bains, 28, Flushing, NY, were traveling north on Interstate 81 in a construction zone by the Harford exit. Bains’ vehicle stopped quickly and the one driven by Tingley drove into its rear. No injuries were reported.
Sometime between May 27 and 31, an unknown person(s) went to the WOJO stone quarry off Skinner Road and vandalized a maroon Jeep Grand Cherokee owned by Jason Gardner, Susquehanna, smashing out windows and spray-painting the outside.*
On the afternoon of June 1, a 1994 Ford Ranger driven by Shawn Harry Kniskern was traveling at a high rate of speed while traveling west on Chets Road (township road 582) near State Route 374. When the Ranger crested the top of a hill, it became airborne, left the roadway to the right, came across it to the left, and back across the road to the right where it struck a large stone on the north side of the road. The Jeep continued to spin and began to roll on its side, next striking several bushes, stones and a utility pole as it did so. It finally came to rest on its roof. Kniskern was cut from the vehicle and air-lifted to CMC. Koslaskis towed the Ranger which was severely damaged. Clifford, Pleasant Mt. Fire and EMS responded to the scene, along with the Cottage Hose Co.
Unknown person(s) stole an Easyset cartridge-style pool pump from the residence of Lauren Swettea, Springville, sometime between the evening of June 3 and the following morning.
An unknown person(s) cut a screen on the back porch of the residence of John Reynolds, New Milford, at about 3:30 a.m. on June 5. The person went into the home and took two black 24” x 12” speakers before fleeing.*
This incident happened as Kenneth Gumaer, 43, New Milford and his wife, Tracy, 34, became involved in an argument in the Jack of Hart’s parking lot in New Milford at about 2:30 a.m. on June 5. Gumaer’s sister, Shari Ross, 26, Hallstead, became involved in the argument and a fight occurred. Two unknown white males, who apparently were not involved initially, inserted themselves into the situation and assaulted Kenneth Gumaer. Mary Holgate, 36, Hallstead, who was not initially involved in this altercation, attempted to assist Kenneth Gumaer and was herself assaulted. An investigation is continuing.
Charles Scarborough, New Milford, was backing his 1998 Chevy out of a driveway onto Route 11 shortly before 10 on the morning of June 4 and did not see a 1998 Chevy driven by Gerald Torka, Hallstead, coming north. Scarborough’s Chevy hit Torka’s, causing it to go out of control and hit a tree. Neither was injured and both were wearing seatbelts. The New Milford Fire Company assisted at the scene.
Between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. on the afternoon of May 10, Rachel Cutsgeorge, 18, Hop Bottom, removed a purse, cell phone and a camera from a locker room of a 14-year-old female student at Montrose Area High School in Bridgewater Township. All items were recovered and returned to the victim. Charges were filed against the accused in district justice office.
This accident happened when Anna Marie Hibbard, 43, Meshoppen, failed to negotiate a curve on State Route 3004 in Auburn Township. Her 2004 Ford Explorer left the road and hit a tree, rolled over onto the driver’s side and hit a second tree. She was wearing a seatbelt, and was transported by Montrose Minutemen to Tyler Memorial Hospital for treatment of unreported injuries. The Explorer was severely damaged and members of the Elk Lake and Rush/Lawton Fire Departments assisted at the scene of this accident that happened shortly after midnight on May 29.
This incident happened on May 9. The State Police at Gibson are searching for Marvin J. Brotzman who is an inmate at the county jail and had been assigned on work release at the county recycling center located next to the jail. He walked away from the center sometime between 12:15 and 12:30 in the afternoon. He may be in a white two-door Chevy Cavalier that was seen in the area of the recycling center shortly before he left the site. At the time of the incident, his destination is unknown. He was not armed at the time he left the center, but should be considered dangerous. Brotzman is 6’2” tall, weighs 260 pounds, has a shaved head and was last seen wearing camouflaged doo-rag, a blue tee shirt and blue jeans.
Sometime between the afternoon of May 8 and early the next morning, a vehicle belonging to Asplundh Tree Service, Willow Grove, was broken into while it was parked at the intersection of State Routes 267 and 706 in Rush Township. Stolen were two Husqvarna chain saws – 365XP 18” bar, and 345 16” bar.*
Joseph Kielceski, Montrose had a firework device explode in his mailbox on May 14.*
Shortly before 6 on the morning of May 22, Jennifer Hallmark, Augusta, GA, and passenger Arthur Tyrell, Susquehanna, 27, were driving north on Route 11 in Great Bend township when she lost control of her vehicle which crossed the southbound lane, across the west berm, into and across a drainage ditch before it hit a culvert, coming to rest on the west berm facing north. Both Hallmark and Tyrell were seatbelted; Hallmark had a back injury and Tyrell was uninjured. The 2004 Hyundai Sonata was severely damaged.
* Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the State Police at 465-3154 or 800-506-0372.
Philip D. MacDonald to Christy Westcott, in Oakland Borough for $49,600.
Premier Equity Scranton to Steven Yankowski, in Forest City for $69,000.
Robert Burns, Lori A. Burns to Richard L. Gelineau and Diane M. Gelineau, in Susquehanna for $50,000.
Leonard J. Roshak Jr. to Glenn T. Wall, in Harford Township for $22,000.
Brian C. Hinkley, Theresa M. Hinkley to David A. Hinkley and Carry L. Hinkley, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Skip M. Tracy to Margaret E. Groover and Edmond A. Groover, in Susquehanna for $42,500.
Allen Albrecht (aka) Allan E. Elbrecht, Darlene A. Elbrecht, Christine A. Elbrecht, Stephen Gordon (aka) Steven F. Gordon, Kathleen A. Gordon to Steven F. Gordon and Kathleen A. Gordon, in Great Bend Township for $5,000.
Wesley Kime, Wallace Riggins, Barbara Riggins to Leah M. Deliberto, in Great Bend Township for $115,000.
Peter L. Puterbaugh, Jo Anne W. Puterbaugh to Cynthia J. Wenzinger, Leesa M. Levy, Wendy L. Siveers, Steven J. Puterbaugh and Matthew P. Puterbaugh, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Gary L. Hill, Dolores A. Hill to Darryl Y. Kuwaye, in Silver Lake Township for $273,000.
Thomas M. Kane, Barbara L. Kane to Kevin T. Kane, Susan M. Kane, in Forest City for $69,000.
Russell E. Leichliter, Ruth H. Leichliter to Mario Button, in Oakland Borough for $39,900.
Donald Potts, Pearl Mary Potts to Gladys H. Potts (trustee), Delbert W. Potts (trustee), in Forest Lake Township for one dollar. (corrective deed)
Potts Living Trust (by trustees), Potts Living Trust (by trustees) to Linda Sivers, Francis Sivers, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Robert A. Stankiewicz, Beverly A. Stankiewicz to Dean A. Johnson and Valerie Johnson, in Bridgewater Township for $95,000.
Donald J. Potts, Pearl Mary Potts to Donald J. Potts, Pearl Mary Potts, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Patrick M. Donohue, Krista Donohue to Kirt B. Buzzell, Valerie E. Buzzell, in Hallstead Borough for $21,000.
Rebecca Barnes (by US Marshal), William E. Barnes (by US Marshal) to Brad Schmidt, in Borough of Lanesboro for $25,500.
Marie McHugh to Francis McHugh (living trust) and Marie McHugh (living trust) in Auburn Township for zero consideration. (quit claim deed)
Donald A. Burns, Mary A. Burns to Sommerville Land Development Inc., in New Milford Township for $10,000.
Adolph S. Romeika to R&J Marcho Family Ltd Partnership, in Gibson Township for $15,000.
Jon M. Strope, Patricia B. Strope to Douglas M. Wakeman, Elizabeth A. Wakeman, in Silver Lake Township for $155,500.
Thomas L. Aton to Robert Mazur, in Harford Township for one dollar. (corrective deed)
Robert Mazur to Brian A. Diaz, in Harford Township for $69,000.
Florence MacGowan (aka) Florence McGowan to Raymond Charles Warriner, Jeanine Marie Warriner, in Dimock Township for $175,000.
Carl O. Astacio, Brandy Astacio to John Scrimo, in Middletown Township for $115,000.
Wachovia Bank of Delaware (fka) First Union National Bank of Delaware to Richard Lane, in Oakland Borough for $31,000.
Thomas J. Lopatofsky, Donna M. Fekette to Nicholas A. Shursky, in Thompson Township for $139,000.
Charles E. Brockway, Nettie M. Brockway to Susan Barlow, in Gibson Township for $6,500.
Vincent Scalzo to Bruce P. Franchak, Vickie Franchak, in Silver Lake Township for $160,000.
Deborah L. Sellitto to MLORF Properties, in Susquehanna for $103,000.
Aldona Gooding to Aldona Gooding and Ward L. Barber Jr., in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
John P. Watson (estate), Rosina Watson, Rita Flynn, Betty Wenzel, Loretta Watson to Rosina Watson, Loretta Watson, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
Mark P. Kanna, Bernadette I. Kanna, to Melissa Kanna, Todd Geertgens, in Silver Lake Township for $90,000.
Carol A. Nanni, Paul Scott Nanni to Patrick M. Fitzsimmons, Laura J. Quackenbush, in Forest Lake Township for $220,000.
John Gurski, Mary Gurski to John M. Gurski, in Thompson Township for $15,700.
Leslie D. Turner to Ronald A. Ganser, Patsy A. Ganser in Harmony Township for $51,000.
Nancy B. Fray to Sigrid J. Perry, in Montrose for $125,000.
Charles Shamro, Joyce Shamro, Robert Shamro, Tena Shamro, Karen Falcone, James Falcone to Charlotte Shamro, in Forest City for one dollar.
Charlotte Shamro to Andrew Bowes, Debra A. Bowes, in Forest City for $74,225.
Albert F. Delisa, Kim Delisa to Russell L. Aults, Gretta M. Aults, in Gibson Township for $1,000.
Russell L. Aults, Gretta M. Aults to Albert F. Delisa, in Gibson Township for $1,000.
William C. Merz, Helen V. Merz to William C. Merz, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
John A. Rodriguez, Jeanne Rodriguez to Eric Herschel, Judith Herschel, in Oakland Township for $59,400.
Kenneth E. Smith, Linda M. Smith to Bruce F. Walder Sr., Leota R. Walder, in Lenox Township for $24,500.
Paul Marcotte to Paul E. Marcotte (trust) in Choconut Township for: consideration, N/A.
Phyllis B. Walsh to Alan J. Davies, Sharon J. Goodrich, in Bridgewater Township for $154,900.
Piotr M. Sokolewicz, Malgorzata Sokolewicz, to Jennings B. Birtch Jr. (trust) and Betty M. Birtch (trust) in Franklin Township for $48,000.
Marc Yoskowitz to Stacy Nier-Yoskowitz, in Thompson Township for one dollar.
Marc Yoskowitz, Stacy Nier-Yoskowitz to Stacy L. Nier-Yoskowitz, in Thompson Township for one dollar.
Marc Yoskowitz, Stacy Nier-Yoskowitz to Marc Yoskowitz, in Thompson Township for one dollar.
Marc Yoskowitz, Stacy Nier-Yoskowitz to Marc Yoskowitz, in Thompson Borough for one dollar.
Brian Eugene Chandler and Mina Marie Shay, both of Susquehanna.
Alex S. Palmer of Johnson City, NY and Susan Jane Perry of New Milford.
Matthew Neel Gehring and Rebecca Shanna Murtaugh, both of Syracuse.
Michael R. Fabian of Friendsville and Karen A. Belusko of Sugar Loaf.
Kenneth R. Chearito Sr. of Thompson and Sharol L. Anderson of New Milford.
Scott M. Bealla and Kimberly A. Keck, both of Binghamton, NY.
Michael Briechle and Michelle Lynn Pavelski, both of Kingsley.
Erik Robinson of South Gibson and Jennifer Lynn Denike of Clifford.
Robert J. Vorhees and Doris N. Wegner, both of Lawton.
Adam Eugene MacGeorge and Elizabeth Marie Linden, both of New Milford.
Phillip Gerald Carey and Lisa Danielle Sheldon, both of Susquehanna.
Richard Eugene Sesson and Mary Irene Mineo, both of Montrose.
Dena L. Kelley of Lake Como vs. Jamie L. Kelley of Hallstead.
Yvonne A. MacGeorge of Susquehanna vs. Kyle M. MacGeorge of Hallstead.
Meredith Clapper of Susquehanna vs. Todd Clapper of Kingsley.
Forest City Taxes Up, But...
Forest City Regional School District taxes will go up for the 2005-2006 school year but not quite as high as initially expected.
At last week’s Board of Education meeting, revised tax levies for 2005-2006 were adopted as follows: Forest City, Herrick Twp. and Union Dale, 29.5; Clinton II and Pleasant Mount, 10.9; and, Vandling Borough, 70.9. Initially the real estate millage in each participating municipality were released as: Forest City, Herrick Twp. and Union Dale, 30.1; Clinton II and Pleasant Mount, 11.1; and, Vandling Borough, 72.4.
Karen Forsette, district business manager, said that the board had initially anticipated a beginning fund balance of $329,000 but that number was increased to $517,000.
Besides the real estate tax, other taxes that will generate revenue for the school district include: per capita taxes, $10; wage tax, one percent; and, real estate transfer tax, one-half of one percent.
In another financial matter, the board agreed to borough $230,000 at two percent interest to be repaid in 15 years. The money will be applied to upgrade the lighting system with state-of-the-art technology and installing air conditioning in the high school cafeteria and kitchen.
The total cost of the project is $410,250 and the total program cost over the next 15 years will be $527,209. However, in her presentation to the board in April, Linda S. Miller of Pennsylvania Power and Light, pointed out that during this same 15 years the district will realize a total savings of $555,843 good for a net 15-year positive cash flow of $28,634.
– Motions passed by the board completed the following actions:
– Approved the following wage tax collectors- Kathryn Slack, Forest City; Beverly Durko, Union Dale; Joseph Svecz Jr., Herrick Center; Clara Keast, Pleasant Mount; Judy Scheller, Clinton II; and, Marlene Sample, Vandling.
– Approved the district’s participating in the Northeast Educational Intermediate Unit 19 consortium for Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act.
– Approved Sweet, Stevens, Tucker and Katz as district solicitors at an hourly rate of $110 and other rates according to their standard fees. Director Al Dyno opposed the motion.
– Approved student accident insurance for the 2005-2006 school year from CIGNA Co. at the following rates: school time coverage, K-12, $36; 24-hour plan, $125; dental plan, $7.50 (with school time or 24-hour plan); dental plan, $14 (if purchased separately).
– Permitting the business manager to advertise for bids for a 2006 pick-up truck.
– Agreed to participate in the 2005 Pennsylvania Youth Survey sponsored by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Health and Public Welfare and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
– Accepted the resignation of Theodore J. Knapp from the maintenance department.
– Approved a change in compensation for David Daugherty from $26,643 to $29,400. Mr. Daugherty replaced Chris Kuruts who resigned from the computer department in April.
– Approved Dr. Neal M. Davis as school physician for the 2005-2006 school year at a rate of $10 per child for sports physicals and $15 per child for mandated school physicals with the fee waived as courtesy for signing the medical practitioner authorization forms.
– Appointed John Reeder as clerk of the works for the elementary renovation project at the hourly rate he is paid as maintenance supervisor in the district. He can work more than 10 hours per week.
– Approved the following uncompensated leaves: Dorothy Turano, one half day; Pamela Green, two days; and, Ann Marie Brothwell, three days.
– Appointed Katelyn Hillborn to the position of school psychologist at a salary of $58,000 effective July 18.
Great Bend Township went from no bids three weeks ago for construction of a new township building, to two bids that were opened at a regular meeting of supervisors on the evening of June 6. The first, from Kovitch Construction, was for $92,960; however, it did not contain a bond as required in the project’s specifications.
The second bid, complete with bond, was from Hall Construction, for $118,246. A hint of why it was difficult to obtain bids was provided by a Hall representative who attended the meeting and said, “Nobody wants to bid it and get involved with the state. I had to beg and pull teeth to get quotes [for subcontracting].” In fact, even the greater of the two bids the township received was thought to be lower than what the state would probably quote the project on.
Still, supervisor Walt Galloway, speaking for the board, said the bids might be a bit more than he thought the township might be able to handle. He wanted to table awarding of the bids until the board rethought its finances to see what it could do, and supervisors Bob Squier and George Haskins agreed.
Roads, of course, are almost always a topic of conversation at these meetings, and this one was no exception. A Hall Street resident followed up on what the township would do about cleaning up stones on the road that were left after a double tar-and-chipping last year by a PENNDOT crew. Haskins replied that, according to Road and Maintenance people, the street is in good shape, and the loose stones will disappear after a while. He added that tar and chipping – which is expected to extend the life of a road for eight years – was the way the township would maintain roads in the future as well as the way the state tells the township to do it. Several roads were done in the same way, said Haskins, and Hall Road is the only one about which the board has received complaints.
The resident –noting that the supervisors had a thankless job – also said they wouldn’t admit they made a mistake, to which Squier replied that he didn’t think they did. He said there are some areas on the road that were not covered correctly, with Haskins adding that when the road is done again, they would be taken care of. The resident asked the supervisors to give him a call when they next expect to be in the Hall Road area and they said they would. Haskins also noted that the next time Hall Road is done, the township would probably use a contractor.
The loan for the Old Route 11 paving project was approved by the state Department of Economic development. Bids were opened for equipment and stones that will be needed in the project, and were awarded to lowest bidder Pennsy Asphalt for the equipment rental, and to Lopke for the stone. The board also agreed to hire tandem tri-axle trucks for the project at a rate not more than $52 an hour.
The board will also send a letter to the DEP expressing concern about DEP’s recent permitting of a quarry exploration along Graham Hollow Road. The narrow and twisting road has undergone major repairs after a couple of slides took a good chunk of it away. Now that a considerable amount of money has been spent stabilizing it, there’s concern about damage to it with stone trucks twisting down it. Supervisors noted damage to Baptist Hill Road because of stone traffic. The board is also concerned about hours of operation of the Graham Hollow exploration; some residents reported that loud machinery has been run well into the night. Also, safety of school children who walk down the narrow road comes into play.
So, DEP will soon learn about the road damage, noise and child safety concerns. In the meantime, Haskins reported the board is looking into what is required to have the roads bonded for damage by heavy traffic such a quarry stone trucks.
Del Austen reported on the status of the regrouped Hallstead-Great Bend Ambulance Company. He noted that the subscription drive is going alright, and that local businesses and communities stepped up to the plate, contributing two new computers as well as more than $5,000 for new turn-out gear for the volunteers. New emergency radios are on their way, and a grant has been submitted for a new ambulance, although the current ones are in excellent shape, said Austen. He also stated the company is always looking for volunteers, and not just to work on the ambulance. Support and fund-raising volunteer work is always needed and would be appreciated.
The Bridging Communities project inches forward. Haskins reported on a meeting he, township secretary Sheila Guinan and project director Debbie Dissinger had with architect Eugene Beautz. The meeting was prompted by concern with a prior, high estimate for project work. The project received a grant of $172,000. Beautz suggested sorting the work into several projects, estimate their cost, and go forward with the ones that are affordable with the grant money. Beautz said he could do a feasibility study that would cost $1,500 and would include identifying the project by section and providing an estimated cost for each section. He got the job.
The board clarified a couple of permit matters that Guinan brought to its attention. Guinan explained that when a sign goes on a building and needs electric, a UCC permit is required. One that goes into the ground requires a permit, but from the township and not according to UCC. An inspector at COG noted that the township makes no distinction between them, and they are categorized under a resolution as “miscellaneous use.” Could the township, he asked Guinan, just use the term signs? It could, and the resolution about them was amended to include a new category, “signs;” the township permit fee was not changed for one and remains at $60.
Guinan asked if peddler’s permits were something the board wanted to go through COG, too. Nope, it said. Permits could be obtained from the township office. Squier noted that the township is now requiring a $500 bond to be posted by anyone applying for a permit to shoot off fireworks.
In other businesses, it approved driveway permits for a 4-parcel subdivision (totally about 4.5 acres) for a piece of land purchased by Robert Lee from Chet Groover on Old Route 11. The approval was contingent on the driveways being placed where indicated on plans already approved by the county.
It also increased an on-call employee’s pay rate from $10 an hour to $12, in line with pay of other on-call employees.
In other news, Squier reported on a recent meeting on a regional effort to develop an intermunicipal comprehensive plan. The township, Great Bend Borough, Hallstead, New Milford Borough and Harford Township are in, but for the moment, New Milford Township has reservations. Because a great advantage in terms of grants and funding comes from a contiguous group of municipalities, New Milford Township’s absence at this point pretty much means the project cannot move forward right now but goes into a wait-and-see kind of situation.
Squier also announced a June 9 meeting to talk with Senator Madigan and Rep. Sandra Major about the formation of a regional watershed project to work towards bringing some of the perpetually flooding streams in the area under some kind of control. Squier will also notify other municipalities that share, say, problems with Salt Lick Creek or have flooded streams of their own to join in the meeting.
The next regular meeting of the Great Bend Township board of supervisors is scheduled for June 20 at 7 p.m. in the township building.
Montrose Boro Council Holds Brief Meeting
Montrose Borough council met Monday, June 6 at 7:00 p.m. for the regular monthly meeting. Present were Bernie Zalewski, Jack Yeager, Jason Legg, Joel Maxey, Craig Reimel, Fred Pecking and Annette Rogers. Ken DiPhillips was also present and informed the council of needs for roadway improvements.
Minutes were approved from last month. Correspondence was reviewed.
Meters have been certified and comply with the weights and measures regulations.
There was a discussion of necessary signage for the July 4th activities to reduce confusion over permissible parking. The planned street closings and changes to parking should reduce ticketing errors and fines.
Bob Wirt donated approximately 50 benches for the enjoyment of the people. The benches have been placed throughout the town.
An executive session was held. As a result job interviews for temporary summer help will begin. Final approval will be by Council. The next meeting was set for Tuesday, July 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Council members Chad Crawford, Ron Beavan, Randy Glover, Doug Arthur and Jack Agler were present at the June 9 Oakland Borough Council meeting, as well as secretary Flo Brush and several residents.
The final bill for extended work on the River Road retaining wall was presented, in the amount of $3,890. The expense had been expected to be in the neighborhood of $4,000 and at last month’s meeting, council had agreed that payment should be taken from the boro’s savings account. The $170 cost of guard rails will be taken from the highway aid account.
The last delivery for fuel oil for the boro building has been made at the price bid earlier this year; subsequent deliveries will be charged at the current market price.
The monthly codes meeting was scheduled for June 14. Several concerns will be discussed, including a complaint about a “garbage dump” on State Street.
Motions carried to adopt two ordinances. The first is to allow fire loss escrow to be collected; if a property is damaged by fire, $2,000 of each $15,000 of the insurance claim will be held to ensure that the damage is addressed. The second ordinance allows for the boro to enter into the PA Intergovernmental Risk Management Association (PIRMA), which entitles the boro to reduced liability insurance coverage.
Mr. Crawford gave a rundown on work underway on Prospect and Brush Streets. He is preparing a bid package for paving, with part of the cost being covered by the Tri-Boro Municipal Authority, which is upgrading lines in some of that area.
Mr. Beavan reported that the county Housing and Redevelopment Authority is working to try to obtain additional funding for ditch work on State St. Grant funding will cover the cost of the work, but bids had come in substantially higher than had been expected. If additional funding cannot be found, the scope of the project may have to be reduced. Mr. Crawford asked if there were other options, such as using a different type of drain pipe, rather than reduce the project’s scope if the additional funding does not materialize. Mr. Beavan agreed to contact the authority to find out if this is an option.
Police Chief Bob VanFleet reported that, during the previous month, he had responded to a number of calls dealing with subjects ranging from complaints about dogs to residents leaving burning refuse unattended, causing smoke to pervade the area.
During public comment, there were a number of questions and comments on drainage work being done in several areas.
Wendy Dudley reported that the boro will most likely not be receiving DCNR grant funding this year for park improvements. An application had been submitted and the boro was not on the first round list of approvals. At this point, it does not appear that any of the municipalities on the first round list will be turning down the funding. So, another application will need to be submitted for next year’s rounds. In the meantime, she has requested an on-site visit with a representative of DCNR, which should count in the boro’s favor when the next round of funding is approved.
Mr. Beavan read a report from PIRMA, concerning some items of interest municipalities should be aware of if they agree to take over maintenance of state roads.
Mr. Beavan also read a recent article from a Scranton publication dealing with the county’s road readdressing program. It was not clear whether the boro had opted to go along with the ordinance requested from the county, to participate in the readdressing as it had been some years ago. Mr. Beavan said that he would have to go through past minutes to determine whether or not the boro passed the ordinance.
As of June 11, the boro’s website will no longer be available. The cost of its maintenance had been dropped from the budget.
Mr. Beavan, Mrs. Brush and Mrs. Dudley worked together to draw up a survey that will be distributed to boro residents. Topics it covers include police services, Internet (the boro website), burning regulations, curfew, forming a Crimewatch association, the boro building, cleanup days and other improvements, tax increases, and town meetings. Volunteers will be drafted to distribute the surveys door-to-door. Responses can be dropped off or mailed to the boro office. Mr. Beavan noted that residents’ responses will not only give council a feel for what residents would like to see happen, but also what people know and don’t know about what goes in the boro.
A scrap metal cleanup is scheduled for July 9.
Oakland Days will be held on June 25, with community yard sales, a presale chicken barbecue and other vendors, proceeds to be used for the park.
And, the boro’s lawnmower is no longer operational. It was agreed to get prices for a replacement, with a special meeting to be held at an undetermined date to decide how to proceed.
The meeting adjourned to an executive session.
The next regular meeting will be on Thursday, July 14, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
Silver Lake Twp. Police Report
Following is the Silver Lake Township Police Dept. May, 2005 report, as submitted.
TRAFFIC STOP/ DUI
On May 06 at approximately 2300hrs, SLTPD investigated a vehicle, which was parked on a curved section of SR167 and partially in the roadway near Silver Lake.
Further investigation showed that Patricia S. York of Apalachin, N.Y. was passed out and intoxicated. Mrs. York was placed under arrest and transported to EMHS for blood alcohol testing.
On May 08 at approximately 0100hrs, Aaron A. Wilcox of South Montrose, lost control of his 1998 Chevy S-10 p/u truck, and collided with the guardrails at Murphy’s Corners, doing extensive damage to both the p/u and the guardrails.
Sometime between 1800hrs on Thursday 05/12/05 and 0600hrs Friday 05/13/05, someone attempted to break into the construction storage trailer used by Don Hohn at a remote new construction site on Mahoney Road, Silver Lake Township. Damage was done to the door and latches to this new enclosed aluminum trailer.
On Sunday May 15, Robert J. Welch of Silver Lake Township, was riding his ATV on his own property when he apparently lost control on a steep grade and crashed into the back of his home. Mr. Welch was air lifted to Wilson Hospital for head and face injuries sustained in the accident.
HARRASSMENT BY COMMUNICATION
On May 25, Maverick Legg reported that Joe Rafferty of Little Meadows threatened him. Both parties made allegations and this incident is still under investigation by SLTPD and PSP Gibson.
On May 31, Mr. Harold McFall of Lake Sophia Road, Silver Lake Township, reported that someone broke into his storage shed on his property and removed his log-splitter. The splitter was primarily red in color with a 3-5hp B&S black engine with tongue, bolt and hydraulic lines silver in color. No make or model available.
* Any information or questions for Silver Lake Township Police, please call 278-6818 or 663-2760, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. All information will be held strictly confidential.
Thompson Boro Council began their June 6 meeting with opening of bids for refuse removal to cover the period from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006. Only one was received, from Freddy’s Refuse, the present contractor; a motion carried to accept it. As of July 1, the per-bag fee will increase from $2.00 to $3.00. Signs will be posted at several businesses in the boro to notify residents of the increase. Two recycling bags will cost $1.25, with a per-item charge for large items. Stickers can be bought in the boro at the Carpet Catalog. It was noted that some residents have been leaving full cans out, with additional bags left on top and insufficient stickers or bags heavier than the weight limit. It will be up to the driver’s discretion to pick those up or leave them.
Discussion continued on the old mill property. Its condemnation has been tabled for the time being. Council is still looking for individuals to serve on the appeals board, and the owner of the old “chicken coop” building is still undetermined.
A guest in the audience related that there is a group of individuals who are interested in saving and restoring the mill (not purchasing it), due to its historic value. They would hate to see it torn down, she said, and was adamant that any expenses should not be borne by the boro but through grants, donations or other venues. Any grant applications would be prepared by the group, and would not be up to the boro to complete. Council thanked her for her interest and relevant information she had obtained about the property.
A motion carried to set the tap-in fee for new customers to the sewer system. According to calculations prepared by Nassaux-Hemsley, the boro can charge a maximum of $1,311. The relevant information will be sent to the boro solicitor for review. A special meeting is scheduled for June 22 at 7:30 p.m. to adopt a resolution to enact the fee.
Representatives of Pioneer (the project contractor) did visit the boro to look at several unresolved situations. Council will request that they be addressed. If they are not, the boro does have the option to make the repairs, the cost of which would then be applied against Pioneer’s project bond for the cost.
After review of plant operator Larry Travis’ monthly report, a motion carried to approve pumping out one tank at the treatment plant, cost $840.
Correspondence reviewed included an update regarding the hearing on the Curtis Sunoco property. The owner has requested an on-site inspection by the environmental hearing board judge, which will take place at the end of July.
President Dennis Price gave favorable reports on a zoning workshop he had attended, hosted by the ESCP and on the Memorial Day service held in the boro.
It was noted that the weight limits on county bridges have been changed, and the bridge near the fire hall has been reduced to one lane.
Council reviewed spread sheets prepared by Treasurer Marge Whitney, showing monthly expenses to date for the treatment plant.
A motion carried to approve a two-year extension of the contract with Diane Sheldon for addition of an apartment at her property; the hookup fee has already been paid, and monthly usage fees will commence once renovations are complete.
During construction of the new sewer system, the boro was temporarily included in the One Call system, through which contractors can find the exact location of utility lines. Paperwork will need to be filled out so that the boro can permanently be part of One Call.
Requested information has been sent to the county Emergency Management office, regarding road readdressing, which has started.
There was some discussion regarding a request from a local publication, asking that monthly meeting agendas and minutes be submitted for publication in a timely manner. There were a number of questions, particularly whether minutes first had to be approved by council before being submitted. It was agreed to check with the solicitor to see just what the boro’s legal obligation is.
H.A. Thompson, the boro’s insurance carrier has requested an official letter stating that the police department is being disbanded as of July 1. For the police car to be removed from the boro’s policy, the plates must be turned in to the appropriate authority; Mr. Rivenburgh will turn them in to the State Police. Workmen’s compensation will be extended until all pending court cases are completed. Five cases are still pending, with three scheduled for June, two in July, and one unscheduled as of yet. Insurance on the car will be terminated as of July 11. As for what to do with the car itself, council agreed to table the matter until next month.
The boro’s semi-annual loan payment for the sewer system is due on August 25, in the amount of $17,013.
There were some questions regarding an inquiry from the Department of Labor and Industry, requesting information about payment of unemployment insurance. The questions were whether the boro is responsible for this insurance, as none of the four employees are full-time (secretary, treasurer, two plant operators), and, are payment requirements based on salary?
There was a very lengthy discussion regarding the PA American Water Co.’s billing for monthly sewage fees. A number of complaints have been brought to council’s attention, especially how payments are divided when there are outstanding amounts on either water or sewer bills. Mr. Gardner said that the only apparent solution would be for separate billing for those customers who are also PAWC water customers, but this would cost an additional twenty cents per month to the customer. Separate billing would help differentiate payments (how much is going to which balance). There were also some questions about the reports received from PAWC; Mr. Price asked if there could be better clarification of what is actually paid by each customer at the end of the month. And, the responsible parties for four accounts that are clearly in arrears will be sent letters stating that if outstanding balances are not paid, water service to those properties will be terminated.
Lastly, Mr. Rivenburgh gave his monthly report for May; he had responded to five calls in Ararat Township, and five in Thompson Boro.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, July 5, 7:30 p.m. in the fire hall. The meetings are traditionally held on Monday, but will be held on Tuesday due to the July 4 holiday.
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