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The cold war between Republican county commissioners Roberta Kelly and Jeff Loomis surfaced momentarily at last week’s meeting of the Board of Commissioners but both parties kept their cool and avoided – for the moment anyway – a confrontation that seems inevitable.
The brief exchange occurred when a taxpayer asked the commissioners for a status report on a resolution authorizing Friends of Salts Spring Park to file an application for a grant to continue a state-financed work program at the park. In the past the county has adopted the resolution and kicked in the required $5,000 local share of the program cost.
“My opinion has not changed,” Roberta Kelly, board chair, said. “Basically, we decided unanimously at the January 2005 meeting that (Friends of) Salt Springs was going to take care of that this year. When you raise taxes two and one-half mills it is very difficult for me to justify this despite the fact that it is a great program and so is that group. But I am just sticking by my guns, in keeping with the unanimous decision we made back in January.”
Mr. Loomis said Mrs. Kelly refused to put the matter on the meeting agenda.
“That’s not true,” Mrs. Kelly said.
“Yes it is true,” Mr. Loomis replied. “You would not put it on the agenda because Mary Ann (Commissioner Mary Ann Warren) is not here. It takes two people and you want to wait until Mary Ann is here.”
”Exactly,” Mrs. Kelly said. “It takes two commissioners to put an item on the agenda and we will wait until Mary Ann is here.”
If the grant is approved, the park will have a five-member maintenance crew and a crew leader for the sixth consecutive year. Mr. Loomis has previously stated that the $5,000 has been appropriated in the 2005 county budget. However, Michael Giangrieco, county solicitor, has said that there is nothing in the county code that allows the Board of Commissioners to donate tax dollars to organizations even if they are non-profit and do-gooders.
In another matter, Bill Brennan, county jail warden, appeared at the meeting and answered questions relating to the jail. He also said the annual jail inspection done recently by the Department of Corrections went “very well.” He said some violations found at the last inspection were corrected and the jail has beefed up its training programs.
In response to a question, Mr. Brennan said the senior man on duty is in charge of the shift if the warden and deputy warden are absent.
Jim Jennings of Brooklyn Township suggested a promotion program that would elevate guards to sergeants, lieutenants and captains. He said with no promotions, the correction officers at the jail do not have any incentives.
The commissioners approved a seven-page resolution establishing policies relevant to requests for public records. Requests must be made in writing and forwarded to the chief clerk. It also allows for inspection, retrieval and duplicating during established business hours which are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Fees set for copies of allowable documents are 25 cents a page; certification of a public record is five dollars; copying records on electronic media is $20 plus materials used for copying; and, copying offsite subdivisions, land development or other plans, $20 plus actual cost incurred.
Bids awarded by the commissioners were as follows: coal, Naughton Energy of Pocono Pines, $131 a ton for buckwheat; fuel oil, Mirabito Fuel Group of Susquehanna (headquartered in Syracuse, NY), $2.122 per gallon; and, kerosene, Mirabito, $2.213 per gallon.
At a quick Salary Board meeting, the starting rate of pay for a caseworker I position in Children and Youth Services was set at $12.73 for six months which is one dollar less than a caseworker II. The rate has union approval.
The Susquehanna Boro Council took care of business in short order at their July 26 meeting. Members present were John Bronchella, Bill Kuiper, Shane Lewis, Mike Matis and Allen Wolf.
With only $250 left in the police budget for repairs for the rest of this year and a $500 deductible to be paid for repairs from a recent accident that caused damage to the police car, there was some discussion as to where the additional $250 should be taken from. A motion carried to take it from the revenues from fines and forfeitures, money that had been set aside towards purchase of a new police car.
Old business discussed included the River Bounty property. Mr. Matis said that the property will need to be surveyed again, as a portion allotted to the Tri-Boro Municipal Authority included what should be a right-of-way for an access road that should be deeded to the borough.
Flood damage to a retaining wall in Drinker Creek has been repaired. Work on the Drinker Creek Park had not begun as of this date. Mr. Matis said that some bids had to be redone and that FEMA had sent yet more paperwork that Mr. Williams would fill out.
Topics discussed under new business included a report by Mr. Matis on a grant writing seminar he and Mayor Hurley had attended. Mr. Matis said that the boro is eligible for funding available for restoration of the railroad cars, the River Bounty park, and shade trees for the boro. Information would be passed on to the respective committees.
A motion carried to approve an audit of the boro’s books, customary whenever there is a change in the treasurer’s position.
The boro’s new secretary, Ann Kemmerer, was scheduled to begin her duties on Monday, August 1; as she has spent some time at the office, she was already “on the books.” There was some discussion as to whether the treasurer’s bond could be changed to reflect the change in personnel, or whether an entirely new one would be needed. A motion carried to proceed appropriately pending information from the boro’s insurance carrier.
Mr. Matis, Mayor Hurley and streets commissioner Steve Glover had met with PENNDOT representatives to discuss renewing the Agility agreement, which is done in five-year increments. Available options were discussed, on both the boro’s and PENNDOT’s part. Mr. Matis said that PENNDOT would prepare cost estimates for services to be provided by both parties, after which the agreement would be finalized. Services the boro will provide include street sweeping.
The streets committee is also looking into contracting out street sweeping services to other municipalities, in addition to some that is done in Lanesboro and Oakland as part of the Agility program. There was some discussion as to what could be done with the proceeds from contracting out, whether it be used to pay off the loan obtained to pay for the sweeper, or for additional paving work.
At their last meeting, council had eliminated paving of Front St. as costs exceeded what had been allocated for paving. Mr. Matis said that the money in excess of what was actually spent for paving would be applied towards patching of Front St.
The streets and police departments were commended for a “terrific job” during the boro’s recent Hometown Days.
And, the Parks and Rec. Committee is working on having electrical service installed at the Prospect Street park pavilion.
Correspondence reviewed included a letter from the recycling center with information about an additional refuse hauler that has obtained the necessary permits, etc. and has been approved to conduct business in the county. Also read was a letter from the county Planning Commission with information about changes to the county’s subdivision/land use ordinance, effective as of July 13.
The meeting adjourned to an executive session to discuss a personnel issue and a legal issue.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, August 9, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
Jacob (Jake) Carpenter, a 22-year old Susquehanna resident is in a fight for his life.
Jake is battling a severe case of malignant neurofibromatosis, diagnosed about one year ago and is currently a patient at Lourdes Hospital, Binghamton, NY.
Jake’s mother, Jeorganne (Wanatt) Darling is making every attempt to get him transferred to Fox Chase Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, in an effort to tap their world renowned expertise, but all beds in that facility are currently filled.
A benefit breakfast is planned for Jake at the American Legion Post 86, Susquehanna this Sunday, August 7, serving 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. for those who are able to attend and show support.
For those unable to attend the breakfast but would like to make an expression of financial support, you can send your donation to: Peoples National Bank, 222 Erie Blvd., Susquehanna, PA 18847, c/o Jake Carpenter Fund (please make checks out directly to Jake Carpenter). A list of all donors will be kept by the bank for the family.
Those wishing to send a card or best wishes should address same to: Jake Carpenter, RR 1 Box 4AA, Susquehanna, PA 18847.
Any support (prayers included) will be greatly appreciated.
The Susquehanna County Railroad Authority (SCRA) has received a fifteen thousand dollar start up grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. The grant money was secured through the efforts of Senator Roger Madigan, who chairs the Transportation Committee of the Pennsylvania State Senate.
The SCRA has two other grants in the approval process, one for an engineering study, and a second for land acquisition and construction of a freight transloading facility in the New Milford area.
The SCRA meets at 10 am on the second Friday of each month in the County Annex Building, Montrose.
Dennis R. Newhard, Juliette C. Newhard to Newhard Trust, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Joseph Calamari, Laurie Scott to Joseph Calamari, Laurie Scott, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Mary E. Snyder, Charles H. Snyder, Michelle Fox-Snyder to James F. Sokalsky, Donald Herr, Frank Gallo, in Harmony Township for $17,000.
Gerald E. Wilmot, Alyce M. Wilmot to George A. Wilmot in Great Bend Borough for one dollar.
George A. Wilmot to Patricia O. Aiken, Robert E. Aiken, in Great Bend Borough for one dollar.
Leroy Weidow, Darlene Weidow to Lee Weidow, in Gibson Township for one dollar.
Anita J. Griffis, Anita J . Griffis (trust by trustee), William W. Nash, Vonda C. Nash to Sharon Brondeau, Richard Brondeau, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Shirley M. Hobson to Kerri Darrow, Steve Darrow, in Hallstead Borough for $35,000.
Edgar S. French, Phyllis L. French to Dennis A. Connelly, Nancy Lee Connelly, in Thompson Township for $71,000.
Gordon C. Linaberry, Kathryn Linaberry to Robert W. Linaberry, James G. Linaberry, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Gordon Linaberry and Kathryn Linaberry to James G. Linaberry, Diane Linaberry, Robert W. Linaberry, Chris Linaberry, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Deborah E. Jones to Deborah E. Jones, Clinton R. Jones, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Ordie Prices Saw Mill Inc. to Michael G. Skerritt, Kathy Mead Skerritt, in Ararat Township for $7,500.
Charles R. McCarthy Jr., Susan E. McCarthy to McCarthy Family Trust, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
John Shaffer, Janice F. Shaffer to Charles R. Kenyon Jr., in Choconut Township for $85,000.
Charles R. Kenyon Jr. to John Shaffer, Janice F. Shaffer in Choconut Township for $80,000.
Gerald A. DiPaola, Mary E. DiPaola to Michelle Lee Milne, Harry Schoeller, in Ararat Township for $60,000.
Francis Brinster (estate), Jane Marie Urciuoli (nbm) Jane Marie Conboy, James Conboy, John Anthony Urciuoli, Michelle Uricuoli, Rebecca Ann Uriciuloi (nbm) Rebecca Ann Sorber, Noel Sorder, Roy Thomas Urciuoli, Ann Urciuoli to Rebecca Ann Sorber, in Rush Township for one dollar.
Frederick J. Spickerman Jr., Deborah A. Spickerman to Harry R. Ross, Judy K. Ross, in Auburn Township for $200,000.
Donald R. Langstaff (estate) to Unified Credit Trust, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
J. Parker Properties to Diana R. Barros in Ararat Township for $18,000.
Robert Millard, Carol Millard to Robert Lewis Millard II, Kelly Corrien Hawley, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Donna L. Foster to Colleen A. Millard, Dale R. Foster, Kenneth M. Foster, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
William R. Boden, Carol A. Boden to James Costello, Julie Costello, in Dimock Township for $100,000.
Evangeline Chervanka to Adam Smith, in Forest City for $60,000 (corrective deed).
Lawrence L. Sivers, Suzanne Sivers to Leroy C. Campbell, Ruth L. Campbell, in Choconut Township for $84,000.
Irene P. Fisher to Christina Christensen, in Bridgewater Township for $100,000.
George Lehoczky Sr. to Gregory J. Stewart, Rosemarie Bedford, William J. Stewart, in Jackson Township for $10,000.
Anthony Napolitano to George A. Napolitano, Rebecca A. Napolitano, in Susquehanna for $40,000.
Federal National Mortgage Association (aka) Fannie Mae to Mark C. McCarey, in Springville Township for $90,500.
William J. O’Brien to Cheryl A. O’Brien, in Silver Lake Township for $10.
Trehab Center Inc. to Timothy J. Major, Erica J. Major, in Susquehanna for $63,400.
Francis C. Cerra, Joan M. Fortuner, Al Fortuner to James J. McKane, Lucille C. McKane, James P. McKane, Joseph K. McKane, in Herrick Township for $25,000.
Harry Schork, Maureen Schork to Christopher H. Kirias, Harry C. Kirias, John J. Kirias, in Springville Township for $36,500.
Jeff A. Travis, Denise S. Travis to Russ L. Everitt, Carol S. Everitt, in Silver Lake Township for $215,000.
Jeffrey Dean Markoff to John G. Keating Jr., Amy W. Keating, in Herrick Township for $25,000.
Alice B. Walsh to Gerald F. Brickwood, Heeja Brickwood, in Apolacon Township for $260,000.
Florence Enrico (nbm) Florence Lopresti, John Lopresti to Larry E. Rockhill, Katherine L. Rockhill, in Herrick and Clifford townships for $27,500.
John Bauernschmitt, Liane M. Bauernschmitt, to Mary A. Schmitt, George Peter Schmitt, in Apolacon Township for $37,905.
Ronald J. Jacoby, Susan Jacoby (aka) S. M. Jacoby to Thomas G. Canouse, Betty L. Bryden, in Montrose for $84,200.
Chann Investments Inc. to Daniel Vinsko, in Susquehanna for $27,000.
Howard S. Frierman, Rose B. Frierman to Seth D. Silow, Laurie D. Silow, in Liberty Township for $116,000.
Kenneth F. Spangenberg, Lynne R. Spangenberg to Gregory C. Rothrock, Lori E. Rothrock, in Forest Lake Township for $79,000.
Bernard Cudd Sr. (estate, aka) Bernard Cudd, Cathy Barnhardt, Anna R. Bruzek, Yvonne Stone to Anna R. Bruzek, in New Milford Township for $30,000.
Carol Ann Sefczek, Jean Pierre Sefczek to Timothy A. Empet, in Harford Township for $118,000.
Jason Michael Bixby and Diane Lynne Gow, both of Susquehanna.
Peter John Bohn and Alexandra Bliss Hettinger, both of Bryn Mawr.
Kristofer R. Wright and Jessica Leigh Reed, both of Great Bend.
Reuben Lyle Sherman and Melissa Kay Hunsinger, both of Springville.
David J. Hensor Jr. and Kelly Dacey, both of Wyckoff.
Fernando Manuel and Joanne Leigh Mahon, both of New Milford.
Oscar R. Monks and Cynthia L. Ahlbrandt, both of Thompson.
Thomas M. Healy and Ruth Ann Batzel, both of Harford.
Jason E. Plerdgher and Gretchen A. Meier, both of Liverpool, NY.
Patrick Snyder and Helen Rosemary Stark, both of Susquehanna.
Joann K. Anderson of Susquehanna vs. Robert L. Anderson of Susquehanna.
Virginia Bockius of Susquehanna vs. Charles J. Bockius of Laurel Springs, NJ.
The US Department of Revenue has filed federal income tax liens against the following individuals:
James and Ginger McCollum, RR3, Montrose, in the amount of $3,526.
Brad Smales, RR5, Montrose, in amounts of $170,738 and $85,040.
Brad and Sherry Smales, RR5, Montrose, in the amount of $16,798.
The Supervisors' meeting in Harford on July 26 was one of the shortest on record. As usual, it started off with a report on the status of the Odd Fellows Hall. The report from Supervisor Sue Furney was that there was nothing new to report.
The township's attorney is collecting material to take to court to have restrictive covenants removed from the deed for the property in the center of the village. The latest snag seems to be that the Fire Company's attorney isn't paying attention. The Fire Company turned over the property to the township with the restrictions added to the deed back around 1970. The township's solicitor has been trying to contact the Fire Company's lawyer but representatives of the Fire Company say they have yet to hear from their own counsel. Supervisor Terry VanGorden, who is also on the board of the Fire Company said, "I don't know what the problem is there."
A subdivision application for a property on Tingley Lake Road is still in a tangle. The township is concerned about driveway access to the lots in the subdivision because they would cross the main line of the sewer system in that area. The subdivision application and the driveway permits were put on ice until the next Supervisors' meeting on August 13. Ms. Furney said that she is not yet satisfied that documentation provided by the property owner meets the township's requirements.
Roadmaster George Sansky said the biggest problem recently has been dust, as it usually is in a dry summer. There is a shortage of calcium chloride, the material that is applied to the roads to try to control the dust. A major supplier went out of business leaving municipalities throughout the east scrambling to find a substitute. Mr. Sansky said they might try a solution of magnesium chloride, which is somewhat more corrosive.
The road crew is also asking residents to notify the township when a tree is down and blocking a road. Thunderstorms can bring lots of trees down, and the road workers are more than willing to clear them if they know about them.
The next meeting of the Harford Township Supervisors will be on Saturday, August 13, beginning at 10:00 a.m., in the township building on Route 547.
The townships of Great Bend, Harford and New Milford, and the Boroughs of Great Bend, Hallstead and New Milford are considering preparing a Joint Municipal Comprehensive Plan for their area. A Comprehensive Plan is a tool used by townships and boroughs to guide future development and to provide the basis for ordinances such as zoning.
These six municipalities have been meeting since early spring and would like the residents of the area to become part of the process of planning for the future.
All residents of these townships and boroughs are invited to attend the August 10 meeting of the New Milford Township Supervisors at the township building on US 11 north of New Milford Borough beginning at 7:30 p.m. A representative from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development will be on hand to answer questions from the public. The officials of these townships and boroughs are very interested in the comments of the residents.
The City of Pittston, as the lead applicant on behalf of the Northeast PA Consortium was awarded a grant in the amount of $2,951,644 from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for Lead Hazard Control Projects throughout the consortium area.
The consortium area consists of the cities of Pittston, Carbondale, Pottsville and the counties of Lackawanna, Monroe, Schuylkill, Susquehanna and Wyoming. These communities through their respective community development agencies and redevelopment authorities formed a coalition several years ago, known as CODRA, to discuss their common goals and concerns in implementing a variety of grant programs while addressing the needs of their respective communities.
The overall budget for the program is $9,090,973 and is being administered through the City of Pittston Redevelopment Authority. Funds will be provided to each of the communities as part of their housing rehabilitation programs. Grants of 60% of the lead portion of the projects to a maximum of $10,000 will be granted to property owners throughout the consortium area. This will allow each community to use their CDBG and HOME funding to address other rehabilitation issues and leverage their program funds so that additional income eligible property owners will be assisted. “This is a great resource and boost to revitalization efforts throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Mayor Michael Lombardo, Mayor of the City of Pittston.
Having the overall goal to eliminate childhood lead poisoning, the program has also reached out to the Section 8 program in the area. Landlords are being contacted and informed of the program and offered the opportunity to address lead hazards in their rental units through a grant program. Code officials will also be notified about the availability of the program to assist families who may have a lead hazard in their home. Training in lead safe work practices will also be offered for free throughout the course of the program to local contractors.
Any local property owner that is interested in the program should contact the housing rehabilitation program office at (570) 278–4096. Any group or entity that is interested in an education session or an event to provide free blood testing for children in the community should contact the NEPA Consortium office at (570) 602–9932.
The Susquehanna County Housing/Redevelopment Authority is the local agency that will be using these funds – $167,000.00 was awarded to Susquehanna County – in conjunction with the housing/rehabilitation program. There is currently a waiting list, however you can call the local number above if you are interested in applying for the rehabilitation program.
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