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The July 5 meeting of the Thompson Boro Council meeting was a first for this reporter; a meeting held outdoors. Council’s meetings are usually held on the first Monday of the month, which this month was the Fourth, so the meeting was held the following day, Tuesday, July 5. But, due to a scheduling conflict, the banquet room of the Thompson Hose Co. was being used (by a martial arts class), so the meeting began at the picnic grounds behind the fire hall, under a tent. Which wasn’t bad, it was actually a cool evening (until the thunder storms began) and most of the insects in the boro were apparently unaware of the proceedings.
All council members were present, as well as secretary Diane Sheldon, treasurer Marge Whitney, mayor Jim Delaney, police chief Tom Rivenburgh and two residents. The meeting began with presentation of a plaque to Mr. Rivenburgh, in recognition of his twenty years of service to the boro.
Next discussed were several unaddressed problems that occurred during construction of the new sewer system. President Price said that council had been trying, unsuccessfully, to get the project contractor to address some specific complaints, without success. The contractor had been notified that council would like these concerns addressed, but so far, nothing had been done. Council had provided notice that, if the situations were not taken care of, the boro would proceed with repairs, with the cost applied against the contractor’s bid bond. A motion carried to authorize the boro solicitor to notify the contractor that a deadline has been set; if it is not met, the boro will proceed with the repairs at the contractor’s expense.
There was a lengthy discussion about delinquent sewage payments, after which it was agreed to proceed with legal action against three property owners; a fourth was put on hold for the time being. It was also agreed that council would request that Pennsylvania American Water (which bills for monthly sewer usage fees) should be requested to issue separate bills for water and sewage. Combined billing has been somewhat of a problem; when fees are delinquent, payments are applied proportionately towards water and sewage fees with the customer having no say as to how much should be applied to either bill. It would cost somewhere between $200 and $300 to set up separate billing, but it was agreed that the cost would be well worth it.
With the weather not cooperating, and the martial arts class concluded, the meeting then moved into the fire hall.
The old mill property has been the subject of discussion for some time. Council had agreed, at the recommendation of the codes enforcement officer, to condemn the property which has been neglected for some time. Mr. Price reported that he had met with two of its owners and learned that the mill is scheduled to be auctioned off at the end of the month. There will be an open house on July 23, from noon to 3 p.m. so that prospective buyers can inspect it. Mr. Price said that, in the event the property is not sold, he had stressed to the owners that a plan of action needs to be put in place to address hazards that exist; if they are not, council will proceed with condemnation.
And, after some research the owner of an old chicken coop had been determined. It, too was scheduled for condemnation but council agreed to hold off on further action until a board of appeals is in place. Candidates have been found to serve on the board; council will determine whether the necessary number of seats will, in fact be filled.
An on-site inspection of the Curtis Sunoco property is scheduled for July 29 by an environmental hearing board. The boro solicitor has requested that Mr. Price and the boro’s sewage enforcement officer be allowed to attend.
And, with Mr. Rivenburgh’s imminent retirement as of July 11, Mr. Price reported some unexpected news. An individual who has experience as a police officer on several local departments contacted Mr. Price and requested that council consider hiring him part-time, for three or four hours per week. This would allow the boro to maintain its police department and would also allow the individual to keep his certifications, which expire July 10. Mr. Price thought it would be a good idea to schedule some hours for traffic control, and would cut down on the number of nuisance calls that Mayor Delaney receives. And, there was concern that there could be an increase in traffic accidents if there is no police officer in the boro. But, there were a lot of questions. Would it be worth the expense? Would the boro’s liability insurance be as high (as it has been) if the officer is not “on call”? Who would handle calls when the officer is not on duty? (The State Police.) Could council hire an officer on a contingency basis, to see how it works? What would it cost the boro in terms of workers’ compensation and liability? (Figures were unavailable on such short notice.) Wouldn’t the State Police conduct speed traps? (Yes, if they are requested to do so.) And, would it be wise to “jump” to hire someone just because he was in need of certification?
Mr. Rivenburgh pointed out that the individual in question is not currently working as a police officer for any municipality. The necessary tests required for a municipality to hire him would be impossible to get on such short notice. And, arrangements would need to be made for police records to be kept in a secure location. Office space and a computer would also be needed.
A motion carried to designate the boro’s police department as “inactive” for the present rather than as disbanded, which will allow the boro to reactivate it if that does become a possibility some time in the future.
Mr. Rivenburgh gave his final monthly report; he had responded to six calls in Thompson Boro, and seven in Ararat Township. He noted that he will attend court proceedings for any open cases.
After discussion, it was agreed to table action on what to do with the boro’s police car until next month’s meeting. If the car were to be sold to another municipality or an individual who meets certain criteria, it could be sold equipped. But if it is sold to a private citizen, all police equipment would need to be removed.
The next meeting will be on Monday, August 1, 7:30 in the fire hall.
Anyone who has driven down Main Street in New Milford has probably admired its Midtown Park – newly spruced up with a new sidewalk and curbing – and the charming pavilion that occupies center stage there. The pavilion appears in photos dated 1909 and, as New Milford borough council president Scott Smith said at its July meeting (at which all members and mayor Joe Taylor were present) last Thursday, it has survived a lot of history, including the Depression and floods – but it’s having difficulty surviving today’s teenagers.
On June 26, a youth moved a garbage can next to the base in a corner of the pavilion and set the contents of the can on fire. Fortunately, people at the Parkview noticed the fire, called the Fire Department and ran over to the pavilion with buckets of water before the fire could do more damage than it did.
Secretary Amy Hine reported that she got a call from a state trooper at the Dunmore Barracks who expected to make an arrest of a minor on July 7, which would go to district justice Janicelli. If the youth was found guilty, restitution was expected. In the meantime, the borough needed to determine the cost of the damage to the pavilion.
Council member Teri Gulick suggested that motion lights be installed in the pavilion to act as a deterrent. Mayor Joe Taylor noted when this was done in the past, with screens put around the lights, rocks were thrown through and the lights broken. Still, the lights were inexpensive, Taylor had some and would give them to the town where they’ll be hooked up forthwith.
Contrasting destruction with good works, Council member Jane Zick announced that the Eleanor Lawrence Partnership, which owns about eight acres of land across the creek from the baseball field, would like to donate it to the borough where it would be managed by the town’s Parks Association for use by youth sports groups. Council members were grateful for the donation and readily voted to accept it. A footbridge is expected to connect the new property with the ball field.
The bulk of the meeting was taken up by visitors Mark Wood and Art Donato from county Emergency Services who were there to encourage New Milford to opt into the county readdressing that will begin soon. Donato reported that county commissioners have signed a contract with a firm that will begin to readdress the entire county – a project expected to take 14-18 months – whether or not a municipality decides to come on board. Donato urged that they do.
He and Wood made the case for readdressing, one principally based on the quickness and ability of emergency services to find an address where someone was in distress. He also noted New Milford’s street numbers run backwards – starting at the high numbers in the south, whereas the national standard is just the opposite.
A municipality retains the right to name the roads and Donato’s department would step in if a conflict should arise, which is more likely with townships who share a common road but call it by different names. House numbers would change with readdressing, because the system assigns numbers every 5.28 feet as part of its standard identification and emergency response. The number would be posted either on the building/home or at the end of a driveway. This would require, of course, notification of changes of address by property-owners, and the post office would deliver to both the old and new address for a year after the change is made. People with post office box numbers could retain them, but their home would have to have a number assigned to it and visibly posted.
Once the county agency assigned the number, it would be up to the municipality to take up any costs involved. Principally, this would be maintaining the street and road signs, and these would not have to be replaced unless the name of the street actually changed, or the sign simply deteriorated and needed replacing. In both cases, the signs would need to conform to new standards that call for larger signs.
Donato passed along some interesting information that might affect New Milford’s decision. The town’s Main Street is, of course, Route 11 which is a PENNDOT road. PENNDOT has to approve a municipality’s calling a PENNDOT road something else. Donato thought that because Main Street has been Main Street for so long, PENNDOT probably has agreed to that and he didn’t anticipate them changing their minds. However, the town’s Jackson Street and Harford Road are also PENNDOT roads, and council member Rick Ainey didn’t think he’d want to go along with readdressing if those names could not be retained. Donato offered his availability to sit down with PENNDOT and the borough to discuss this if it turned out to be a problem.
People by nature covet an address that has been attached to their homes for as long as they can remember. But some in the audience were nodding their heads in agreement when New Milford Fire Chief Jim Phelps said he thought the readdressing plan was advantageous. Within the community, said Phelps, new people are moving in and sometimes don’t know their neighbors. New and younger people are volunteering at the department and are not familiar, like the old-timers with the town landmarks or streets or someone’s last name. If the town went with standard addressing, no matter who lives in a house at any point in time, there will be a number that is attached to it, readily and easily findable, and the department can get there with no problem.
In addition, he said, should a municipality’s emergency teams be out on a call when a crisis occurs, typically a team from another area responds. With a common system, this team could respond quickly and responsibly, too, because it would know immediately where it was going. Phelps pointed to route 11 in New York, where each driveway has its number posted and easy to find; Broome County adopted the system a number of years ago because the system can, literally, be a life-saver.
Zick suggested that representatives from the post office, fire department, PENNDOT and county EMS get together at a council work session soon to discuss the intricacies further, and that ended the discussion, at least for now.
Hine reported that, as far as she has heard, COG-led inspections for the sewer project have been going pretty efficiently. Around 40 homes are hooked up and running with no problems. For the borough building hook-up, the town received one bid, principally because two of the other contractors could not repave the borough’s parking area. Thus, council awarded the contract to Kovaleski Construction at $4,500 that includes digging the trench, laying the pipe, handling the electric, getting the permits and repaving it up again. In other sewer matters, the town’s Municipal Authority has not yet made a decision whether to extend the infrastructure to the Wert Building (formerly known as the Orange Roof building), and where justice Janicelli’s new office is suspected to be, but about which nothing has been said to the borough.
In economic development, commissioner and town resident MaryAnn Warren told council that someone is interested in turning the Southern Tier Plastics building and KOZ property into an incubator for two small businesses and an indoor skating rink. She is strongly encouraging the project and is following up on paperwork for and the status of a $100,000 grant the county’s department of economic development applied for before the department was dissolved and its responsibilities handed over to a Bradford County group. Without a department, the grant – if made – would be lost if it were not applied to economic development – something the Plastics rejuvenation would be.
Warren also reported that she attended last month’s Rail Authority meeting and wasn’t sure if it and county development were on the same page. She encouraged the Authority to work towards enhancing the county through economic development, and also reported about a business that is considering relocating to a Route 11, New Milford Township property and to expand there as well. Warren said the county’s economic development people were working hard on that and she hoped that they and the Authority would work together to help make it happen.
In communications, Smith reported a letter from another weekly newspaper, basically telling the borough it was not nice for it to charge a nominal fee for the borough’s cost of copying and sending the paper the approved minutes of council meetings.
July’s good neighbor recognition for service to the well being of the town went to a familiar face – Beth Giangrieco, a recent Blue Ridge High School graduate who has served as junior council member for two years. In recognizing her, Ainey thanked her for her service, good input and the different perspective she brought to discussions. “We’re really proud of you,” he said, and thanked her for living in New Milford.
The next regular meeting of the New Milford Borough Council is scheduled for August 4 at 7 p.m. in the borough building on Main Street.
Forest City Councilwoman Mary Twilley again complained of conditions at the Coal Miners Memorial on South Main Street and urged immediate action to keep the teenagers from hanging out at the site.
“I have been inundated with phone calls because of the desecration of the memorial,” Mrs. Twilley said at last week’s brief council meeting. She said the memorial is being damaged and that kids are urinating at the site.
“I think it is sickening,” Mrs. Twilley continued. “And the police are right there parked across the street and nothing is being done. She said a light is broken and money is available to replace it but she is hesitating until the police start keeping the kids from the site.
“It’s a shame,” Mrs. Twilley said, “that some people don’t understand the purpose and reason that memorial is there and what it stands for.”
Council President Jim Lowry asked the mayor to advise the police to keep a more watchful eye on the activity at the monument and to stop youths from congregating at the site. Mr. Lowry noted that the borough code gives the mayor the responsibility for enforcing ordinance through the police department.
It is not the first time that council has urged better police protection for the monument. Mrs. Twilley has brought it up several times and little or nothing has been done to avoid vandalism at the site.
Other council members said they had complaints about ATV’s riding up and down borough streets late at night; pet owners neglecting to cleanup when they walk their dogs; and, violations of the borough burning laws.
Paving of some borough streets has started and council accepted a suggestion from Mr. Lowry to hire Thomas Yadlosky of Vandling as clerk of the works for the project. Mr. Yadlosky, who is a retired PENNDOT inspector, will be paid $15 an hour to make certain the streets are paved according to state specifications.
Councilman Paul J. Amadio suggested that the Street Committee consider some repaving of Railroad Street. Specifically he mentioned a short section that runs from South Street to Route 247.
For the Great Bend Borough Council, a little more than an hour is a brief meeting. Perhaps it was because things are going so well that the gathering on July 7th didn't need to be any longer.
Progress was reported on removing junk vehicles, new lights have been installed in Greenwood Park and on the bridge over the railroad, letters have seemed to reduce the wandering dog nuisance, and the local fire company is planning lots of family activities for the summer.
Vandalism and speeding are still concerns, however, and Great Bend is continuing a minuet with Susquehanna Borough to try to come to terms on leasing a little time from the latter's police department. Great Bend first approached Susquehanna, whose chief was optimistic. Susquehanna's council shot it down, only to have the new mayor there later revive the idea as a way to boost revenue. Great Bend then indicated its continuing interest, so the next steps in the dance are awaited from Susquehanna.
With very little detail available about how such an arrangement might work, it's already clear that Great Bend doesn't have the money to rent police time from away. Borough Secretary Sheila Guinan was unequivocal that "there is no money to cover this" in the budget. "If you go with something, you will have to have a tax increase," she said.
Money is always an issue in the tiny cash-strapped village. The Borough's own building on Elizabeth Street still looks nearly new, but is actually almost 30 years old. It is heavily used, mostly as the Blue Ridge Senior Center. Unfortunately the air conditioning system in the building is almost as old as the building itself, and recently died, probably from overwork during this warm and humid season.
A bid by Lou's Repair Service of Montrose would replace the air conditioning system for between $3,000 and $4,000. Council President Ray Holtzman said Lou's was the only outfit he could find quickly. Council member Jerry MacConnell said that he would prefer to have another bid or two, so Council will try to find one and arrange a special meeting to decide on the issue ... and figure out where to get the money.
The one thing everyone was happiest about was the completion of the street-sweeping project. Mr. Holtzman said, "I heard excellent reports on that." And Council member Joe Collins thanked residents for their cooperation in moving cars and otherwise helping to make the work a success.
The Great Bend Borough Council meets on the first Thursday of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the Borough Building.
Joseph J. Johnston Jr., Kimberly J. McNeal (nbm) Kimberly J. Johnston to Joseph J. Johnston Jr. and Kimberly J. Johnston, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Jody L. Stanley, Suzanne M. Norris (nbm) Suzanne M. Stanley to Randy L. Crandall, Ronda Botts, in Great Bend Township for $95,900,
Habitat for Humanity of Susquehanna County PA Inc. to Bonita Emerick, in Montrose for $69,500.
Corey D. Brewer, Kristy L. Brewer to Darlene M. Sheffler, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Mary Beth Cassidy, Mary Beth Davis (aka), Larry Cassidy, Nancy Ross (aka) Nancy W. Ross to Ernesto Disandro, Olga Disandro, in Herrick Township for $275,000.
Gordan C. Geertgens (by US Marshal), Sandra L. Geertgens (by US Marshal) to Edward Florey, in Bridgewater Township for $16,000.
Richard Steven Childress (by US Marshal), Debbie J. Childress (by US Marshal), Deborah J. Glennon (nka) (by US Marshal) to Edward Florey, in Hallstead Borough for $28,000.
Raymond L. Osterhout, Wanda S. Osterhout to Patrick Bollinger, in Great Bend Borough for $56,650.
Jack Rhinevault, Susan Tingley (nbm) Susan Rhinevault to Robert E. Aiken, Patricia O. Aiken, in Montrose for $52,000.
Kelly L. Simone to Robert F. Simone, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Clark C. Bush Jr. (by Sheriff), Judith A. Bush (by Sheriff) to LaSalle Bank, in Montrose for $3,647.
James Eugene DiGuiseppi to Donald Lynn Roettenbacher, in Great Bend Township for $97,500.
Daniel J. Bittner, Debra Bittner to Mark A. Henninge, in Liberty Township for $80,000.
Thomas David Witko, Blanche Marie Witko to Robert Deems, in Gibson Township for $13,500.
Scott M. Vosbury, Annette M. Vosbury to Scott M. Vosbury, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Mortage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (aka) Alaska Seaboard Partners Limited Partnership to John F. Wasnowic, Helen M. B. Wasnowic, in Lenox Township for $25,000.
Matthew Shadduck to William T. Bennett, in Rush Township for $10,000.
Joann P. Wood, Robert Wood to Raymond F. Detweiler, in Forest Lake Township for $89,000.
Rudolph Borove to Kevin R. Borove, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Rudolph Borove to Brian Fallon, Janet Fallon, in Lenox Township for $6,600.
Lawrence T. O‚Reilly, Christine M. O‚Reilly, Thomas J. O‚Reilly to Keith R. Myers, Kyle E. Myers, in Apolacon Township for $85,000.
Jeffrey C. Robbins (by Sheriff), Delores A. Robbins (by Sheriff) to Thomas E. Gogolen Jr., in Clifford Township for $68,200.
Arthur Alexander, Ellen Conley, Sylvia Alexander (Qualified Personal Residence Trust) to Arthur Alexander, Ellen Conley in Clifford Township for one dollar.
JNS Real Estate Inc. to Richard Durling, in Brooklyn Township for $49,900.
Jacob VanBroekhoven, Ann H. VanBroekhoven to Alfred VanBroekhoven, Garry VanBroekhoven, in Ararat Township for $50,000.
Jeremy M. Stone, Stacey A. Stone to Thomas G. Messersmith, Cynthia A. Messersmith, in Silver Lake Township for $132,500.
John L. McCloskey, Marie A. McCloskey to Brian Patterson, MaryAnn Patterson, in Dimock Township for $75,000.
Mark L. Oettinger to Manzek Land Co. Inc. Pension Plan, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Nicholas E. Repoley, Dorothy T. Repoley to Dorothy T. Repoley, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Wayne D. Wright, Barbara Wright to Randolph H. Teed, Melanie J. Teed, in Middletown and Forest Lake townships, for $20,000.
Mahlon D. Tyler (estate, aka) Mahlon Donald Tyler (estate) to Joseph J. Andusko, Kathleen Andusko, in Great Bend Township for $35,500.
Catherine Jane Singer to Catherine Jane Singer, Mildred Booth, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Merle VonStorch, Cecelia Torch to Daniel R. Callahan, in Thompson Township for $60,000.
Elaine Carpenter (nka) Elaine Washburn, A. Gerald Washburn, Joyce E. Coager, Edward B. Greene III to Edward B. Greene II, in Oakland Borough.
Frank James Damien and Amanda Lynn Frasier, both of Meshoppen.
CORRUPTION OF MINORS, FURNISHING OF ALCOHOL
John J. Curry, Montrose, was accused of providing alcoholic beverages to three juveniles while transporting them home from Bethesda School, New Milford, late on the afternoon of May 17. Charges have been filed.
AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, POLICE PURSUIT
This incident happened on the afternoon of June 29 as New York State Troopers tried to initiate a traffic stop near the Fast-Track Gas Station in Conklin, New York. The subject fled the scene driving a gray 1988 Pontiac station wagon which he drove on Route 7 into Pennsylvania and onto State Route 29 in Liberty Township. During the course of the pursuit, the subject attempted to ram the New York State patrol cars, then made a left-hand turn and drove onto Booth Road in Franklin Township where the pursuit continued for several miles. The subject then drove his car into a private driveway and fled on foot.
The subject is described as a white male with short reddish-blonde hair and a goatee, last seen wearing glasses, a red shirt and blue jeans and heading into a wooded area in Franklin Township. The State Police troopers from Gibson, along with members of the County Sheriff’s Office and Probation Office, conducted a search of the area. No one was injured during the course of the incident and the investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the state police at Gibson (570-465-3154) or the New York State Police in Kirkwood (607-775-1241).
A bit before 6:30 on the morning of July 4, Sharla Lewis, Hallstead, was stopped in her 2004 Toyota Tacoma pickup at the intersection of State Road 4002 and State Route 29 in Liberty Township when she pulled into the intersection and into the path of a 1996 Ford F-150 pick-up driven by Eric Bosman, Columbia, Tenn. Both Lewis and Bosman were wearing seatbelts, were not injured and were assisted at the scene by the Snake Creek Fire Department.
A citation was filed against Glenn James, 63, Susquehanna, for putting sugar cubes into the gas tank of a 1993 Ford Mustang belonging to Joel Rodrigues, Lenox Township. This incident happened around 10 in the morning on June 29.
HIT AND RUN
This crash happened as a white Ford Taurus and 1994 Toyota driven by Marion Leonard, Binghamton, were waiting for gas at the Pump and Pantry in Great Bend on the afternoon of July 3. The Ford backed up and hit the Toyota in the front end and fled the scene.*
THEFT, CRIMINAL MISCHIEF
Unknown person(s) took several items and damaged other parts of a bicycle belonging to Matthew Prentice, Hallstead, sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on July 2.*
This crash happened on the afternoon of July 2 when Gary Douglas, Lawton, was on a 1971 Honda CB750, pulled out of a driveway, spun on gravel, went down the road about 200 feet and into a ditch. He was life-flighted to Robert Packer for his injuries. Rush EMS and Fire and Montrose EMS responded.
A blue vehicle pulled into the Great Bend Exxon on the afternoon of July 2, and the driver pumped $20 worth of gas into it, left without paying and headed north on the Interstate.*
Between the evening of June 28 and the following afternoon, someone took three bikes from the yard of Christopher Frailey, New Milford, and deposited them in the front yard of a residence in Hallstead. All items were recovered and returned to Frailey.*
Eli Marsh, South Gibson, was playing music at Chet’s Bar, Herrick Township, on the night of June 29 when someone entered his van, which was parked next to the deck of the bar, and took tools from it.*
James Nicholas Higgins, Montrose, and a person he knows were involved in an argument on the night of June 27. During the argument, Higgins was punched in the head.
F. Kline, no municipality given, had several people at his home on the night of June 10 and after they left, he noticed that a large quantity of prescription pills were missing.
Sometime between June 13-15, someone took a shed on a trailer belonging to Heather Diehl, Friendsville, that was at the home of Dennis Hayes.*
On the afternoon of June 27, someone pumped $10.13 of gas into a car at the Great Bend Exxon and drove off without paying.
RECOVERY OF STOLEN VEHICLE
On April 24, a green 1998 Pontiac Grand Am was stolen from Sandra Greene, Lanesboro and was later abandoned in the parking lot at Flynn’s Stone Castle, Rush Township, where it was recovered on the afternoon of June 22.*
A 2003 Honda Element driven by Tara Fishon, 27, Susquehanna, was traveling west on State Route 106 in Lenox Township when it failed to make a right curve, causing it to go off the road and hit a drainage culvert. It then went across the road and hit the guide rail and rolled onto its side. The Honda was severely damaged, but Fishon was seat belted and received minor injuries.
On the afternoon of June 19, someone walked into the front yard of a residence in Silver Lake Township and shot several paintballs at the house before fleeing the scene.
On the evening of June 18, Marilyn Magee, Harford, reported that she and her husband Ed had gotten into an argument and that he shoved her in the chest.
Someone pumped $18.03 into a red, 2002 Honda Civic on the afternoon of June 25 at the Flying J Truck Stop and fled without paying for it. A witness was able to copy the registration of the car. It is BMZ9321, New York registration.
Someone damaged an electronic keyboard belonging to Rosemary Rosengrant, Springville, that was left out on her side porch on the evening of June 23.
A 2005 GMC Truck with a 2005 Cam Rail Trailer was traveling south on the Interstate in New Milford Township on the afternoon of May 26 when a fire developed inside the trailer. The operator, Avery Reed, no address given, stopped along the berm and attempted to extinguish the fire, which spread and destroyed the vehicle. New Milford Township Volunteer Fire Company responded.
Dale Marshall, New Milford, reported on June 21 that another individual applied for credit using his personal information. An investigation is continuing.
While a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old were riding a Montrose Area school bus, the 13-year-old stole the 12-year-old’s purse and its contents with a total value of about $140. This theft occurred on May 16.
Several bags of garbage have been found along Bethel Hill Road in Harmony Township. Neighbors are asked to watch the area for illegal dumping and report it, along with a vehicle description. Anyone with information about illegal dumping of trash is asked to call the state police at Gibson.
*Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the state police at 570-465-3154.
Following are the Lanesboro Council meeting minutes of June 7, 2005 as submitted.
Present: Dan Boughton, Paul Corse, Regina Dilello, Chris Maby, Bob Mireider, Bob Page. Absent: Ray Barnes. Also present: Mayor Slater, Secretary Gail Hanrahan, Officers VanFleet and Canini. Visitors: Adrienne Rigo, Mel Gruber, Walt Lesser, Jeanine Keefer, Mr. and Mrs. Sexton, Bill Roberts, Gerry Benson, Sandy Benson, Barb and Jim Bedford.
Motion to accept minutes as presented carried.
Visitors: Adrienne presented a check in the amount of $2,600 to be used toward playground development. The money is from a scholarship fund in memory of her daughter. Council and mayor very appreciative of the generosity. A plaque will be purchased listing all contributors to the playground fund. Letter sent after the meeting thanking Adrienne and her family for their generosity.
Mel Gruber stated he is doing research regarding traffic law in Pennsylvania and asked for some clarity on issues discussed at a meeting several months ago. It is his understanding that speeding violations can be written under two sections of PA law. The first is under Section 31.11A, in which the first offense carries no points and a $93 fine. Only $12.50 of the fine goes to the town – the remainder generates $10 for EMS, $30 for the CAT fund, $30.50 for court costs, and $10 for computer. A second offense would carry points, but no change in the fine. The second section the violation could fall under is Section 33.62, which carries points on the first offense and a much stiffer fine. The fine generates a minimum of XXXX for the town, and increases based on the amount over the speed limit the driver is going. Officer VanFleet responded that the sections and costs as stated were correct. A discussion of speeding “tolerance,” or the speed a driver can be doing over the posted limit, was also discussed. Maby noted that traffic law is something that council knows very little about and has absolutely no authority over. Mayor Slater suggested that if Mr. Gruber has a contact that could lead to some state police patrols, he would be in favor of it. Officer VanFleet noted that any concern the State Police would be stepping on “local” police toes was not an issue, and he, too would be in favor of patrols by the State Police. Council also thought it would be a good idea, as it would increase the amount of coverage and likely slow drivers down. Mel will follow-up with his contact to see if something can be done.
Barb Bedford provided an update on the FEMA reimbursement for the work the town performed at her family’s property. She received a letter from FEMA, noting a denial of the appeal.
Maby thanked her for the effort in trying to help. He went on to state the next step in the process would be to appeal the denial, which would involve a trip to Washington. Consensus was that it would be a waste of time and decision made not to pursue it.
Walt Lesser asked to discuss a couple of issues regarding the mowing contract. The first issue was the area adjacent to the Community Center that houses the CTCO substation. Lanesboro’s contract with CTCO calls for an area approximately 20’ x 20’ to be mowed and maintained by CTCO or their appointee. Walt contacted the landscape company charged with doing this work for CTCO, and was told they are under contract to mow it every two weeks. Walt noted the last time he saw them mow it, all that was done was some weed-eating around the substation (no mowing). Council consensus was to have Walt mow the entire area for a uniform look, regardless of what deal the landscaping firm has with CTCO. The second issue was the frequency of mowing the council expected. He noted there were several times he was planning to mow it, but it was taken care of before he could get to it. Maby clarified, stating the mowing occurred four times, with several of them ten days between mowing. Maby stated the council could not provide a specific timetable, as it will vary throughout the year. Council agreed, noting that it should be mowed when it needs it, knowing the timeframe could range from one week to several weeks or even a month, depending on rain and time of year.
Correspondence and Resolutions: Letter from Nancy Mess with accompanying framed photos and DVD 1 1/2 hours in length. The letter stated this was the last of the pictorial history of Lanesboro. Council acknowledged, Maby suggested that at the next community function, he could bring laptop and display the DVD. Letter sent after the meeting thanking Nancy for her time and effort.
A contract with Tri-Boro Sewer Authority was read. Cost not subject to negotiation, no discussion ensued. Contract to be signed and returned.
Letter from the Susquehanna County Independent requesting that the town supply meeting minutes for summary inclusion in the newspaper and indicate a contact person if questions arise. Self-addressed stamped envelopes were included. Council agreed, noting the minutes are public record and that stamped envelopes were supplied. Gail to contact the newspaper – they should call the boro number with questions or for clarity. The call will be forwarded to the appropriate person, depending on the issue in question.
Resolution 2006-06-01 read and passed. Resolution is for adoption of Emergency Operations Plan that was put together by Mark Wood (Susquehanna County Emergency Management Coordinator) and Chris Maby (local emergency management coordinator).
Resolution 2006-06-02 read and passed. Resolution authorizes and designates Chris Maby to be agent for April 2 flood disaster.
Code Enforcer Report: Per the County Court finding, the Braungard property needed to be in compliance by June 1. Since this has not occurred, solicitor has refiled for contempt of court. The contractor that was hired by the Braungard family to perform the compliance work is being subpoenaed. The subpoena is based on the recent calls made to Shane indicating that the work cannot bring the houses into compliance, which contradicts what was stated at the original hearing.
There have been multiple complaints about debris dumped on the property behind the raceway. Shane discussed the issue with Mrs. Braungard’s son, and informed him of Act 97, which prohibits burning or burying garbage, with the exception of burning organic materials. This matter will also be discussed at the upcoming hearing.
Complaint of raw sewage smell at 4-6 Jefferson Street investigated by HUD and Shane. HUD deemed a portion of the house unfit for habitation. Shane had Tri-Boro perform tests to verify – although the smell was noted, raw sewage was not found. Several other violations were found at the property having potentially serious health and safety issues. After brief discussion, council agreed the issue needs resolution promptly. The sheriff will serve paperwork regarding this matter to the appropriate people. Boughton mentioned the smell could have been from a train containing debris parked nearby for several days.
Police Report: Officer VanFleet provided a report for himself and Officer Canini – 24 vehicle, two civil codes arrests, plus “a ton of calls” for non-crimes related issues.
Mayor Report: The turbocharger on the garbage truck broke down and needed to be replaced. Garbage was picked up partially by the garbage truck, and finished with a pickup truck owned by Kevin Mead. The garbage was emptied from the garbage truck, along with multiple empties of Kevin’s truck, into a stockpile. The stockpile was then transferred by backhoe to a dumpster supplied by Freddie’s and disposed of at the landfill. Motion to pay Kevin Mead $8.50/hr. for five hours of truck time in addition to his regular salary. Several visitors said they witnessed the garbage getting loaded into the pickup and were impressed and appreciative of the employee’s dedication in getting the job done.
Community Center: $138 in recycling, $375 in rentals (including three non-residents).
Thank you letter from Cemetery Association for use of Community Center was read.
Bills for floor paint, door mats, 1200-minute card and 44 chairs approved.
After brief discussion, council reauthorized Regina to purchase items as needed for the Community Center and be reimbursed immediately, provided there is enough money in the Community Center account to cover.
Mayor Slater has not delivered estimate for wall damage to insurance company yet. He will take it over prior to next meeting – subject tabled until then.
Secretary/Treasurer’s Report: There are about 20 garbage/sewer accounts that are delinquent and not being paid upon. Some of these have already appeared before Magistrate Janicelli, with payment arrangements made. In order to recoup the money, a sheriff sale was investigated. Sheriff sale cost for each account is $200 plus fees, all of which is added to the amount the account is in delinquency. Page suggested sending a letter prior to the sheriff sale. Others noted these account holders have been notified multiple times already. After discussion, motion to authorize Gail to begin processing the accounts for sheriff sale, with a note attached to this month’s utility bills indicating this. Fees to be taken from the general account and re-deposited upon receipt of the money.
Motion to accept bills as presented.
Unfinished Business: TS Ivan – Maby stated the remaining $12,000 or so will be deposited this week or next by PEMA. $7,700 was previously committed and deposited, with another $6,500 not used. Gail noted our 90-day note with PNB is now due. After discussion, council agreed to pay PNB off as much as possible, and roll the remainder into a conventional loan. The exact amount of the loan will be finalized once the $12,000 is made. Gail and Maby to figure out how much to pay off, provide that and any other paperwork PNB needs to Mayor Slater, who will deal with the bank.
April 2 flood – Maby stated he had two visits with FEMA and a closeout meeting already. He was told to expect money deposited into the account as soon as we get the resolution mailed in (mailed 6/8). Areas to be repaired that haven’t been already include Mountain Road and two portions of Depot Street. Council will allow repairs to be made prior to the next meeting, provided FEMA deposits the money, an acceptable contractor is available, and bids are at or lower than the FEMA estimate. Maby to coordinate contacting contractors with mayor after money is received.
New Business: Corse noted the CB and outlet pipe on Depot St. near the Gruen driveway are plugged again, and that potholes are developing because of lack of drainage. Some improvements should be made if money is available. Mayor and Maby will discuss regrading the area with Ozzie when he is doing other flood related repairs with the grader.
Corse and Boughton suggested having Shane investigate lawns that are in need of mowing – there appears to be only a couple in town. Consensus was agreement – mayor to contact Shane.
Maby stated the picnic benches, grills, and restrooms at Luciana Park are clean and free of flood debris and mud. The fire department brought a truck over and hosed everything down. Benches were then hand scrubbed by Tanya Scales and Ashley Westbrook. Council acknowledged and is appreciative of the effort. Maby stated a tree had been struck and felled by lightning – Boughton volunteered to cut up and dispose of the tree. Council agreed and thanked him for the effort.
Motion to adjourn carried.
HARRISBURG - The governor has signed legislation sponsored by Rep. Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming) that allows rural hospitals to maintain a rural hospital designation for Medicare reimbursements.
"Since the passage of the federal Medicare Modernization Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have been making changes to comply with the law," Major said. "As a result, some facilities in Pennsylvania located in rural counties have been redesignated as in 'urban' metropolitan statistical area."
In Susquehanna County, Endless Mountain Health System in Montrose and Barnes-Kasson County Hospital in Susquehanna were lumped in with Binghamton, NY, putting them in an "urban hospital area."
"With a change in designation such as this, hospitals will receive reduced reimbursements for services from Medicare and not have access to grants that would have been available if they were designated 'rural,'" Major said. "This measure will put rural hospitals on a firmer financial footing."
Major's House Bill 1589, now Act 22 of 2005, will provide the hospitals that have always been "rural" to receive the same benefits they have received in prior years.
Following are the Starrucca Borough council minutes, as submitted for the June 6 regular meeting.
Andy Bennett, Council President, called the meeting to order at 7:10 P.M. Council members present were Brigitte D’Agati, Kirk Rhone, Helen Haynes and Robert Weldy. Mayor Frank Mroczka and Paul Everett were absent. Lou Gurske arrived later. The audience included Charles Levchak, Donald Haynes, Jr., Jack Downton, Roger Glover, Loreda Everett, Rex Calwell, Dan Boughton and Tony Palonis.
Minutes and Treasurer’s Report
President Bennett asked for corrections to the Minutes of May 2, 2005. Robert Weldy explained his comments regarding guard rails for Bucks Road Bridge were incorrectly stated, perhaps due to cross-conversation. Specifically, he did not suggest that the Borough purchase the guard rails. He did, however, suggest that the Borough use the Solicitor to send correspondence urging the County to install the guard rails.
It was noted that the Treasurer’s report showed $37,200 in the FEMA Savings account when it should have been shown in the Liquid Fuels account. This was a typographical error and will be corrected for the record.
A motion to transfer $37,200 from the Liquid Fuels account to the FEMA Savings account passed unanimously.
After discussion, a motion to transfer $244.86 from the General Checking account to the Liquid Fuels Savings account passed unanimously. Lou Gurske abstained from the vote because he had just arrived at the meeting.
A motion to accept the Treasurer’s report passed unanimously. Lou Gurske abstained.
Correspondence and other communications
Wayne County Dept. of Planning re: 12-year highway program (2007-2019). Council will not respond.
Margaret Fera – inquiry re: family cemetery plots. Kirk Rhone suggested the correspondence should be forwarded to Marie Swartz of the Cemetery Association. Loreda Everett offered that she has some information and photos. Charlie Levchak said he would pass the correspondence to Marie Swartz.
Daniel Boughton – submitted another bid for lawn care which now included the cost of insurance. The bid was for $1500. President Bennett said this would be discussed later in the agenda.
Building Permits– None submitted. Robert Weldy reported his findings regarding House Bills 1254 and 881. Council will not respond.
Public Comment – Persons to be heard
Roger Glover asked if a building permit was required for replacing windows and an existing deck. Council advised a permit was not required.
Jack Downton asked the cost for the Solicitor to attend a meeting and why the Solicitor was not on a retainer. He expressed that Council was spending too much money to have the Solicitor attend meetings. The secretary advised the Solicitor’s fee was $150. plus related expenses (phone calls, correspondence, etc.) Robert Weldy stated that previous discussions in Council determined it was not necessary to have the Solicitor on retainer. Now, however, he suggested setting up the Solicitor on a retainer. President Bennett suggested that Mr. Weldy investigate the matter further. Mr. Weldy agreed. Jack Downton suggested that only the President or Vice President should contact the Solicitor. Mr. Gurske remarked that any member of Council can contact the Solicitor. President Bennett again reminded Council that the Boro Code book states that any monies spent requires a motion for the expenditure and suggested that when there is a need to have the Solicitor attend a meeting, a motion should be made first – even if a special meeting is required to do so.
Charlie Levchak asked about the procedure for renting the Community Hall. The secretary advised that she would send him the necessary paperwork requiring the security deposit and rental fee.
FEMA/PEMA regarding the $37,200. received for the repair of the creek wall due to tropical storm Ivan - A meeting was held on May 26th in Lakewood with FEMA agent, Bob Monroe and PEMA agent, Russ Kratzler. Council members present were Paul Everett, Kirk Rhone, Mayor Mroczka, Brigitte D’Agati, Paul D’Agati and Pat Schneyer. The purpose of the meeting was to advise these agents of the damages caused by flooding from the storm on April 2nd. The damage related to the creek wall was presented by Paul Everett and the damage related to the borough roads was presented by Kirk Rhone. At that meeting, the FEMA agent scheduled to meet with Kirk Rhone, Paul Everett and other Council members on June 2nd to inspect the damage reported at the meeting. Project worksheets to either replace the T-wall and salvage what is there or replace with a poured wall will be submitted and the Scope of Work will be sent to the Borough in a few weeks. FEMA’s share of the cost is 75%, the other 25% may be contributed by PEMA. If not, the landowner would be responsible for 25% of the repair.
Kirk Rhone presented a deed dated November 27, 2002 wherein certain property transferred from James W. and Sally M. Herr to Renee B. Warden begins in the center of Coxton Creek.
The deed was presented to the secretary for filing.
COG, Council of Governments
Kirk Rhone attended the Northern Wayne COG meeting on May 18, 2005. He suggested that the secretary contact Mike Pastica (BIU) to set up a meeting with members of Council. The purpose of the meeting will be to inform Council of the procedures regarding building permits, etc.
To date, Council has not received the return of the $100 (dues) sent to Susquehanna COG.
Storage Room (Office) – Helen Haynes is trying to coordinate volunteers to finish the work. Please contact her if you can help.
Outside lights at the Veteran’s Memorial – In the absence of Paul Everett who volunteered to install new lights, Loreda Everett expressed Paul’s concerns over remarks made at a special meeting regarding liability insurance. Paul does not want to involve himself because of possible liability. Loreda suggested it might be best to accept the offer from the Civic Association to hire someone else. President Bennett remarked that anyone hired by the Civic Association must have liability insurance. Jack Downton asked how many issues concerned liability insurance. President Bennett remarked “none”. Lou Gurske commented that for many years others would not bid because they did not have insurance and that people cannot compete when insurance is required. Helen Haynes suggested a waiver might be possible. Tony Palonis spoke about a “slot policy” wherein the Borough would purchase the liability insurance for certain instances (i.e., lawn care) where the work is short-term. The secretary will contact the Borough insurance agent for further information.
A motion to have the Civic Association hire someone with insurance to fix the lights at the Veteran’s Memorial passed unanimously. The secretary will contact the Civic Association.
Outside lights at front and back doors – Bulbs were replaced but not functioning. Lou Gurske suggested the bulbs need weather shields. President Bennett asked the secretary to purchase bulbs.
Smoke Alarms – Andy Bennett has purchased the alarms, but they have not been installed as yet.
Installation of telephone – Helen Haynes suggested a telephone be installed in the Community Hall for emergency purposes. Rex Calwell commented that a telephone line would eventually be needed for registration/voting. President Bennett remarked that new voting machines would be ‘on-line’ for 2006. This would require not only a telephone, but internet access (DSL). Kirk Rhone suggested waiting until 2006. This issue will be addressed in the future when it becomes mandatory.
Town Hall - President Bennett reported the new locks for the Town Hall have not been installed yet.
Reminders were sent to four advertisers who have not renewed for the 2005 season. President Bennett will follow-up with phone calls.
Daniel Boughton has submitted a new proposal ($1500) for mowing the ball field, Community Hall and Veteran’s Memorial. Mr. Boughton said he would obtain the liability insurance required if Council accepted his proposal. A motion to accept Mr. Boughton’s proposal with a starter payment of $300 passed unanimously.
Kirk Rhone presented a booklet distributed at the Dirt & Gravel Seminar. He was advised at the Seminar that applications for the grant will be sent out after the Seminar. Kirk will follow-up with Bob Mueller.
Jack Downton stated he was waiting for a scope of work on the roads. Robert Weldy stated $2500. was authorized by Council at the last meeting as a “cap”. Kirk Rhone suggested he and Andy Bennett ride with Jack to see what needs to be done on roads this year. Andy Bennett agreed. Kirk Rhone stated that dust control needs to be addressed. He further stated that calcium costs about $350-$360 per ton to spread and 1-2 tons would take care of the Borough roads. Tony Palonis asked if the calcium was spread on the entire road or just in front of homes?
Kirk Rhone replied it was spread just in front of homes. A motion to cap the purchase of calcium at $800 passed unanimously. Kirk Rhone reported a load of modified stone would cost approximately $250. This stone is needed for potholes. A motion to purchase one load of modified stone for road work on potholes passed unanimously.
Kirk Rhone stated the roads were inspected on June 2nd, along with the inspection of the creek wall. Council is waiting to receive the scope of work.
New Business – Andy Stream property. Helen Haynes questioned the work done involving the dike and Council advised since it was on private property it was not an issue to be addressed by Council.
Adjournment – There being no further business to conduct, meeting adjourned at 8:44 p.m.
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