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Hallstead Boro Council met on September 15 with all members present, as well as secretary Cindy Gillespie, maintenance supervisor John Gordon, and several guests.
The first guest to address council was the boro’s tax collector, who, along with other local tax collectors, would like the boro’s tax collections to be separated from those of the Blue Ridge School District; the district recently made drastic decreases in the amounts that tax collectors would get paid. It would not be feasible to continue to collect for the district, but she said, she would like to continue to collect per capita taxes for the boro. She asked council to consider setting a fee for tax certifications, such as when financial institutions or attorneys request tax information. The fees would be about $5 per request, but could not be collected without approval from council. She asked council to consider some (financial) protection from overdrafts, when residents’ checks are not approved by their bank; this requires extra work to take care of and she is charged by financial institutions for returned checks. And, in cases where a resident qualifies for exoneration the practice has been to accept the forms they would fill out for the school district; would council consider drafting a similar form to exonerate from boro taxes? On all subjects, it was agreed that the solicitor should be consulted before any decisions are made.
A person representing his mother, a boro resident, presented plans to demolish an old barn, and asked what steps would need to be taken to replace it with a modular home where his mother would live. As the plans meet with the boro’s setback requirements, he was referred to COG, which issues the boro’s building permits.
The caretaker of the Rose Hill Cemetery reported that the road leading to the cemetery, Catherine Street is badly rutted and in need of some work. After discussion, a motion carried to approve some leveling, and up to $400 worth of modified to make the road less of a hazard.
Several complaints were discussed, some dealing with parking and concrete blocks placed alongside Route 11, and the deterioration of a road that had mistakenly been tarred and chipped by PENNDOT last year; secretary Cindy Gillespie will contact PENNDOT to discuss these concerns.
The old foundry property was discussed; it was agreed that it remains an eyesore and attempts to contact either of the owners have been unsuccessful. The solicitor will be contacted to begin legal proceedings under the boro’s nuisance ordinance, to either have it fenced in or cleaned up.
Mr. Gordon will put up reflectors on a sharp turn on Rose St., to make it easier to see at night.
And, the Conservation District has determined that gravel deposited at the Route 11 park in two flooding incidents should be removed so that the stream bank height is back to its original elevation. After discussion, a motion carried to approve that Mr. Gordon remove as much of the material as possible to comply.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, October 20, 7 p.m. in the boro building.
Parents in the Mountain View School District turned out in full force to discuss the updated dress code. The Board meeting was transferred to the high school auditorium to accommodate the approximately 200 attendees. Many had the same questions. Some came to support the dress code others wanted it clarified due to the inconsistent enforcement.
Dan and Jennifer Very brought their son, Kurtis (5th grade). The Verys’ explained that t-shirt slogans like “God Bless America” and “Keep on Smiling” were not permissible. This upset them because they want to show their patriotic support for the troops and family members at war overseas. Lisa Richner and daughter, Hannah (2nd grade) lamented the lack of hope for America if we can no longer allow our children to wear a t-shirt with a slogan “In God We Trust.” These families and many others with similar concerns waited for their chance to vent their frustration to the Board. Children had been asked to turn shirts inside out or get another shirt as teachers attempted to enforce the new dress code since school began.
The Board held a full meeting with reports from all committees except the Building & Facilities Management committee. Three additional substitutes were approved pending documentation. A program coordinator position will be advertised with applications due September 21, 2005. Tenure was approved for four teachers. Numerous training conferences were approved for staff. Farm field trips were approved for the second grade students. Seven students were approved for “Homebound” instruction.
There was a discussion as to whether or not to purchase a new truck. Mr. Halupke, Board member, questioned the need for a truck to plow snow if we contract with someone to plow. The final decision was to use the truck and van until they no longer function and delay the purchase of a new vehicle for now. The cost of gas, insurance and upkeep all factored in the decision.
The Athletic Policy and the Student Driving Policy were both reviewed for the first time. Edits and changes will be made, followed by a second reading.
Superintendent Arthur Chambers accepted an award recognizing the outstanding cooperation between the staff, administration and Board. They have successfully negotiated employment contracts avoiding walk-outs and strikes. Much appreciation was given to all involved.
The open forum near the end of the meeting allowed parents to express their frustrations with dressing their children. T-shirts with Mountain View slogans were deemed inappropriate by some teachers. Parents wanted the words “slogan” and “logo” defined. Other parents and students had expressed interest in uniforms. Cost was discussed. Jane Mack, Kingsley, brought to light several on-going problems she has had to endure. Scheduling of classes seems to be a waste of time since the students do not get what they want, including no extra gym. Mack was not impressed with the “reading clinic” and questioned the appropriateness of that class stating it is just another study hall. According to Mack, parents were asked to put money into lunch accounts but have no means to check the balances. Having 8 children go through the school Mack said the new dress code was not needed – the old one should just have been enforced. This was followed by applause.
Dava Cowan, Brooklyn, requested statistics on the number of infractions and the amount of time teachers now must dedicate to dress code enforcement. Principal Mary Jo Walsh stated that approximately 40 infractions have been made. That did not include the discreet discipline teachers might have issued that did not result in students actually being written up. The Board will re-evaluate the dress code and the interpretations, then make any suggestions or changes as needed.
The meeting adjourned at 10:05 p.m. with everyone a bit more enlightened as to parents’ daily dilemma of what their child can now wear to school.
The New Milford Township meeting was attended by approximately 15 people. The East Lake Campground had a hearing postponed until September 28. Also the supervisors approved a resolution basically dissolving the last month resolution to grant them pay for court time bringing them into compliance with regulations. Laws dictate how much pay they can receive and for what duties.
County Planning approved a one acre subdivision which intends to hook up to the sewer plant. The sewage enforcement officer (SEO) must give approval.
Several classes regarding terrorism and hazardous materials will be attended by board members.
A sewage complaint was issued involving New Milford Manor. The SEO will need to evaluate the situation.
The board received a note of compliment commending them for a job well done. The public applauded in agreement.
Gibson Township wants to buy the “old roller” at a cost of $15,000. This was approved.
This reporter gave a statement to the public for the reprimand issued by the Board July 13, 2005. The delay for a response has occurred because the board did not provide a copy in a timely fashion.
Another subdivision with a modular home and sewer is pending approval.
Scott Young, owner of East Lake Camp inquired as to the status of the permit revocation hearing. Gulick said nothing had been heard yet. Young was granted permission to discharge rain water into the ditch along the road.
Personnel problems continue to plague the Forest City Regional School District and school officials are not even attempting to offer a reason for it. The Board of Education is accepting one resignation after another and not one school director has asked why. At least not at public meetings.
Some resignations are coming in so fast that at last week’s meeting the Board of Education hired Julie Tomlinson as an instructional aide on page three of their agenda and accepted her resignation on page four of the same agenda.
The most notable resignation at last week’s school board meeting was Barbara Richards who served as cafeteria manager for the past 12 years. The only comment came from Board President Fred Garm who thanked her for her years of service and wished her well in her “new endeavor.”
Other resignations accepted by the board last week included Angela Dexheimer, an English teacher, and Danielle Kresock, fifth and sixth grade girls basketball coach; and Barbara Kreutz and Terri Madrid, cafeteria workers. Their resignations were sandwiched in between a bunch of appointments made by the board. The appointments included Christina Casale to a one-year position teaching English; Erika McGraw to the position of junior varsity girls volleyball coach; Ryan Driscoll, substitute instructional aide; Marissa Barbiero, junior varsity girls’ soccer coach; Mary Lee Martines, junior varsity girls soccer coach; and, Lori Frost, part time Cafeteria worker.
And where is Secondary Principal Anthony Rusnak? Some say he is on a sabbatical leave and others say he is ill. Whatever the reason, Mr. Rusnak is not there and last week the Board of Education hired two retired teachers, William Clark and Patrick Flynn, to take daily turns at replacing Mr. Rusnak. Messrs. Clark and Flynn will be paid $225 a day when it is their turn to work.
Other noticeable resignations at Forest City Regional this year include: Katelyn Hilborn who resigned as school psychologist less than a month after she was hired; Melissa Rose, who was hired as an assistant principal; William “Chip” De Wolfe, technology coordinator; Chris Kuruts, technology specialist; and Theodore J. Knapp, maintenance department.
In another matter, Rick Kalasinski of Forest City complained to the board about the condition of used text books purchased by the district. He said one student was given a book with the first 43 pages missing. “A lot of the books have pages missing,” Mr. Kalasinski said. He suggested that the books be thrown away and better ones be purchase for classroom instructions. “Every year we buy used books,” Karen Forsette, business manager, said. “This is the first year we have ever had issues. If a teacher has a problem with a book, it should be returned to the business office and not thrown away.”
Other motions approved by the board included
˜ adding the following individuals to the substitute teachers list, Diane Bailey, Patricia Fortuner, Landon Gabriel, Stefanie Spaid and Heather Suraci.
˜ appointing Joseph Ewain and Joseph Brown Jr. as substitute bus drivers.
˜ abolishing the position of Band Front Advisor and instituting the position of Student Store Advisor for the high school.
˜ granting Gene Tranovich Bus Company a 25 percent increase for bus service for athletics and other extracurricular transportation needs effective August 23. This is the first price increase since 1995.
˜ renewing a full coverage service contract with Simplex at a cost of $2,826.50, an increase of $121 for tests and inspections of the fire alarm system and replacing any parts that need replacing due to normal failure.
Albert T. Mackarey, Maria G. Mackarey to Glenburn Road Development Company, in Herrick Township for $105,000.
Josephine Gear, Jacob Rosen to Josephine Gear, Jacob Rosen, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Mary E. Snyder, Charles H. Snyder, Michelle L. Fox-Snyder to Sookdeo Matapersad, Kamla Matapersad, in Bridgewater Township for $14,000.
Citimortgage Inc. to United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, in New Milford Borough for ten dollars.
Wayne R. Adams, Anne Adams to Wayne R. Adams, Anne Adams, in Harford Township for one dollar.
William J. Jordan Jr., Karen E. Jordan to Maura Jordan, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Robert A. Simon, Mary E. Simon to Rick W. Landsman, Marcia M. Landsman, in Franklin Township for $450,000.
Pearl Fernane, Elsie Morris, Regina Hode to Diane J. Morris, Kathleen Morris, Richard B. Morris, Elsie Morris, Patricia L. Morris. in Harford Township for one dollar.
Fox Enterprises Inc. to Victor L. Dubanowitz, Sheila K. Dubanowitz, in Susquehanna for $65,500.
James C. Brickett, Dorothy H. Connelly (nbm) Dorothy H. Brickett to James C. Brickett, Dorothy H. Brickett, in Liberty Township for $68,500.
Thomas J. O’Reilly to Thomas J. Griffin Jr., Annette Griffin, in Forest Lake Township for $68,500.
Norman E. Nelson, Holly G. Nelson to George Cusick, James Sisto, in Herrick Township for $92,000.
Diane L. Turner (fka) Diana L. Stockton (nka) Diane L. Gowen to Norman E. Turner, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Dean A. Johnson, Valerie Johnson to Lew Rubin, in Bridgewater Township for $225,000.
James F. Kenyon to Jeffrey Kelley, Christine Kelley, in Clifford Township for $115,000.
Arvilla Mae Root Edwards (estate) to Chat Teeter, in Middletown Township for $165,000.
William L. Millard, Sandra L. Millard to Scott M. Biddle, Marcella J. Schell, in Harford Township for $15,000.
Robert T. Frost, Carol R. Frost to Robert Thompson Frost Jr., in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Joseph A. Paratore, Barbara Paratore to Michael R. Cutri Jr., Michele Cutri, in Forest Lake Township for $142,000.
Valerie Conroy, Dorothy Delsardo to Valerie Conroy, Travis Conroy, in Lanesboro Borough for zero dollars.
Vera M. Conrad to Agnes M. Jones, in New Milford Borough for $136,800.
Alfred P. Muck, Lillian Muck, Eric J. Muck to Carl L. Muck, in New Milford Township for $62,500.
Gail Edelman, Larry Edelman to Lois Brenneman, in New Milford Township for $268,000.
Mark Wilmot, Sandra Wilmot to Linda Dombrsowski, in Clifford Township for $96,900.
Andrew Wyzkowski to Gerald McCawley, Cynthia McCawley, in Clifford Township for $507,000.
Gerald McCawley, Cynthia McCawley to Lewis A. Sebia, Mary Jo Sebia, in Clifford Township for $507,000.
Robert J. Frazier, Kimberly Frazier to Sarah J . O’Toole, in Clifford Township for $138,297.
Sylvia A. Andrejko to Robert Marean, Michele L. Marean, in Silver Lake Township for $45,000.
John Reeder, James Reeder, Mary Alice Reeder to John Reeder, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
John Reeder to Margaret M. Gorton, Charles T. Gorton, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Wayne Derkotch to Carol A. Deeley, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Roger Hayes, Mary Ann Hayes (aka) Mary Anne Hayesto, Robert C. Wert, Grace E. Wert, in Bridgewater Township for $300,000.
Louise B. Small to Louise B. Small, Brian William Small, Brock Daniel Small, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
Jean Francois Allaux, Michele M. Allaux to August Eriksmoen, Jessica Welch Eriksmoen, in Ararat and Gibson townships for $279,000.
Josephine Michalski to Raymond A. Michalski, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
Mary S. Farrett to Robert D. Taylor, in Harford Township for $84,000,
Jerome Ruddy, Judith Ruddy to James E. Beaver, Kristine L. Beaver, in Lenox Township for $199,900.
Kenneth E. Houman, Robert S. Houman to Kenneth E. Houman, in Forest City for $65,000.
Jon Anthony Deakin and Elizabeth Jane Goldrick, both of Manchester, CT.
Robert Bickford and Carrie Ann O’Dell, both of Susquehanna Depot.
Mitchell T. Less, Clarks Summit and Megan Williams, Hallstead.
James Vincent Gordon Morris and Jamie Gean Schroeder, both of Hallstead.
Matthew Carl Ryall, Endicott, NY and Melissa Traver, Friendsville.
James Pearson, Hallstead and Karol J. Empett, Great Bend.
Joseph Michael Piskorik, West Wyoming and Cathy Leanne Cottrell, Thompson.
Jay Marclane and Kimberly Carol Saltzer, both of Springville.
Anthony Michael Durso and Sheila Denise Bean, both of Kingsley.
Philip Harry Jerauld and Kassi L. Teel, both of Springville.
Lloyd Elwood Anderson and Patricia A. Breymeier, both of Kingsley.
Barbara S. Thomas vs. Roger G. Thomas, both of Brooklyn.
Jennifer Lyn Smith of New Milford vs. Jeffrey Hunter Smith of Harford.
Stacy L. Nier Yoskowitz vs. Mark Yoskowitz, both of Thompson.
William T. Chance of Montrose vs. Susan D. Chance of RR 7, Montrose.
Ronald L. Olson vs. Annette L. Olson, both of Friendsville.
Ann Mullen, Bridgewater Township, reported that someone backed into a wood fence on her property and damaged it. This happened at 2 a.m. on September 16. An investigation is continuing.
At 10:30 a.m. on September 9 and after clearing a small blind hill on State Route 3001 in Dimock Township, a 1999 Ford Escort driven by Derek Guiton, Montrose, crashed into a 1981 AMC driven by Dewey Hunsinger, Sr., Montrose. Guiton attempted a right turn while traveling too fast for the conditions and fled the scene after the crash. He faces charges of leaving the scene of an accident and driving a vehicle at a safe speed. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts and were not injured.
MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISION
Justin D. Edwards, Brackney, was driving a 1998 Dodge coupe north on State Route 267 in Choconut Township at 5:30 on the morning of September 10 when the car left the road and hit a tree, flipping onto its roof. Edwards was wearing a seatbelt and received unspecified injuries.
A 1999 Chevy 1500 driven by James Hinds, Montrose, collided with a 1998 Plymouth Voyager driven by Leanna Allis, Brackney, after Allis failed to give the right of way after having stopped at the intersection of State Routes 706 and 29 in Bridgewater Township. Allis was turning east onto 706 from 29; Hinds was driving west along 706. Both vehicles were towed from the scene by Kerr’s Towing. Allis was not injured; Hinds received minor injuries. This accident happened shortly before 8 on the morning of September 1.
RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY
On September 12, Robert Lee Williams, New Milford, had in his possession a 1994 Dodge Shadow owned by Colette Curtis, Binghamton, who reported it stolen on September 7 in Binghamton.
On the evening of September 11, Lewis Earl Lynn, 77, New Milford Township, was found dead in his Page Lake residence with a single gun shot wound to his head. State Police reported there doesn’t appear to be anything equivocal relative to his death.
Andrew Bind, Lenox Township, reported that sometime between September 5 and 6, someone smashed out the windows on his 1991 Ford pickup truck.*
The Sunoco Gas Station, Great Bend Township, reported that a white male in his 60s drove off without paying for $10 of fuel and fled south on State Route 11 in a red SUV, PA Registration No. CCB9134. This incident happened at 9:20 on the morning of September 6.*
Katherine Stinavage, 18, Thompson, was driving a Suzuki Grand Vitara on Township Road 539 in Alford. While rounding a curve at the entrance of a railroad overpass, she was too far into the opposing lane. Jessica Wadge, 21, Kingsley, was driving a Pontiac Sunbird when she emerged from the overpass and was hit head-on by Stinavage. This accident happened on September 3.
On the night of July 24 and at the Friendsville Inn, suspect Dawn Jeralds, 38, Friendsville, damaged a vehicle belonging to Adrian Lake, 25, Friendsville, during an argument with Lake’s boyfriend.
Sometime between July 17 and August 17, someone stole an inspection sticker from a vehicle belonging to Laurie Davallus, 43, Jackson Township.
On the early evening of September 5, Michael Brulla, New Milford, went to the residence of Joseph Roberts and Catherine Noble in New Milford Township after the couple phoned the State Police to complain about his discharging weapons on his property near dusk. Once Brulla was at their residence, he swore and verbally threatened both victims before leaving. Brulla was taken into custody at the scene and was eventually charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and harassment and arraigned before a district justice, where he posted bond and was released.
On August 30, David Gene Wood, Hallstead, reported that he had a Bersa Firestorm pistol, .380 caliber, stolen from his Jeep Cherokee, allegedly when it was parked along Church Street in Great Bend.*
Todd Perry, 39, and Brian Decker, 29, both of Susquehanna, had an undetermined dispute at Bill’s Hilltop Bar in Susquehanna. Decker followed Perry to his residence and approached his car, punching Perry in the face through the driver’s window. This incident occurred on the evening of August 14.
A juvenile female passenger was killed when she was thrown from a vehicle in an accident that happened in Clifford Township on the night of September 3. The vehicle she was in slid off Oswald Johnson Road and down an embankment, rolling onto its roof. The driver and another passenger, both unidentified, were injured and taken to Scranton hospitals. Police did not know why the vehicle left the roadway.
On the evening of August 30, the Little Meadows Borough building was broken into and vandalized. A person(s) broke through the rear door of the building and, once inside, dumped garbage inside the meeting room, and also damaged many items within the building, namely, the copier, thermostat, a backdoor and numerous furnishings.
On August 17, William Bauier, Bridgewater Township, noticed that his red 1984 Honda 3-wheeler ATV was missing.*
David Nigerson left the Lenox Diner on the evening of August 16 and discovered that his driver’s side window had been smashed while he was in the restaurant.*
On the afternoon of August 14, a person in a white jeep drove off from the Pump N Pantry in New Milford without paying for $25 in fuel that was put into the vehicle.*
*Anyone with information about the incident are requested to call the State Police at 570-465-3154.
The restoration of the Civil War Monument located in the Montrose Green adjacent to the Susquehanna County Courthouse has turned into one of the most controversial civic issues since the midnight razing of Colonial Hall more than 15 years ago.
The project, which cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $70,000, was financed by a combination of fund raising, county money and a matching state grant. It was started in 2000 when the county commissioners named a volunteer committee to work on it. The committee consisted of Commissioner Lee Smith, Shari Whitney, Ellen M. O'Malley, George Starzec, and Ron Albert.
The untimely death of Mr. Albert and the resignation of Shari Whitney led to the appointments of Liz Janoski and Betty Smith. Commissioner Smith lost a reelection bid and left the committee when he left elective office; Mrs. Janoski left when she stopped working for the county; and, Mr. Starzec, a county auditor, resigned. At last count, the committee was reduced to two people, Ms. O'Malley and Mrs. Smith.
Fred Baker II, who has been critical of the restoration job done by C&D Waterproofing of Bloomsburg, did help raise funds for the project but apparently declined a seat on the Restoration Committee. At last week’s commissioners’ meeting, Mr. Baker said the cannons were painted on site and were not prepped prior to the painting. However, sources at the courthouse told The Transcript that the cannons were taken into the basement of the courthouse where they were cleaned prior to painting. One source said that Mr. Albert was a Civil War buff who advised against sandblasting the cannons before painting them because the pressure might have caused layers of metal to flake.
Mr. Baker asked the county to expand the committee to include three military veterans, Frank Kwader, Paul Dunn and Robert Tiffany. A motion by Commissioner Loomis to appoint the three died for lack of a second.
In a letter to the commissioners, Ms. O'Malley, chair of the committee, said the committee does not warrant any additional members but would welcome any assistance on projects to be completed in conjunction with a re-dedication of the monument. Ms. O'Malley said tasks facing the committee include writing and publishing a memorial booklet, planning a dedication ceremony, and making certain the contractor responsible for restoring the monument refinishes areas that need additional work.
“I question,” Ms. O'Malley wrote, “how recommendations for replacements (on the committee) can be made with no knowledge of what is needed to complete the project. I was in touch with the only replacement I know personally. During the phone conversation I mentioned the work left to be done and asked if he would have time to do research and help write the booklet. The gist of his response was that he did not know that was needed and didn’t feel he would have the time to do it.”
At last week’s meeting, Mr. Loomis told Mr. Baker that the contractor has promised to repair all noticeable flaws in the restoration work. In a letter to Mr. Loomis, Michael R. Bath of C&D Waterproofing Corp. said his firm will “correct any and all deficiencies per the contract.”
In another matter, two Susquehanna County District Magistrates, who have been quartered in cramped facilities for a number of years, will soon have new courtrooms.
The commissioners approved leases that will send Magistrate Eugene Franklin from Harford Township to Clifford Township where he will set up shop in a brand new building in the Mountain View Plaza. And Magistrate Peter Janicelli will move his courtroom from the downtown area of New Milford Borough to the former Orange Roof Building on Route 11 in New Milford.
The county will pay $1,079 a month for Magistrate Franklin’s new facilities and $1,100 a month for Magistrate Janicelli’s new quarters. That $1,100 number will be increased by $100 a month when the landlord paves the parking lot.
Other motions approved by the commissioners completed the following business:
˜ Accepted with regret the resignation of Leonor Maston, part-time voter registration clerk.
˜ Hired Doreen Miller to the open fulltime custodial position per recommendation of Allen Luce, maintenance supervisor. The Salary Board set her hourly rate at $7.44 in accordance with the union contract. She will be on probation for six months after which she will receive a benefit package.
˜ Promoted Christopher Harris from part-time correction officer to fulltime status.
˜ Hired Daniel Walter to the fulltime position of occupation clerk in the Assessment Office as per recommendation of Chief Assessor Jennifer Pisasik. The Salary Board agreed to pay him $8.32 an hour. He will be on probation for six months and will receive a benefit package upon satisfactory completion of the probation period.
˜ Rejected a request from the Trio-Borough Municipal Authority, Borough of Susquehanna Depot and the Susquehanna Fire Department for an exoneration of delinquent taxes on property formerly belonging to River Bounty.
˜ At a brief Election Board meeting, the commissioners approved a polling place change at Hop Bottom. Starting in November, voting will take place in the Hop Bottom Lutheran Church on Greenwood Street.
Starrucca Borough Council met on September 6. Before the meeting could be called to order, per the instructions received by the secretary from PSAB, Council members had to appoint another Council member as President following the resignation of Andrew Bennett. Council discussed and appointed Lou Gurske as President. Mr. Gurske called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m. Robert Weldy offered a motion to appoint Mr. Gurske as President for the term ending December 31, 2005. Brigitte D’Agati seconded the motion. The vote was two yes (Robert Weldy and Brigitte D’Agati), two no (Kirk Rhone and Helen Haynes). Mayor Mroczka broke the tie vote and Lou Gurske was appointed President, replacing Mr. Bennett. Council members present were Brigitte D’Agati, Helen Haynes, Kirk Rhone and Robert Weldy. Mayor Frank Mroczka was also present and Paul Everett was absent. The audience included Scott Carmody, Alice Rhone, Jeff Schuler, Gale Williams, Darl Haynes, Mary Ann DeBalko, Sr. Emmanuel Mohl, Sr. Theresa McNamara, Jack Downton, Erin Rhone, Paul D’Agati, Tony Palonis and Donald Haynes, Jr.
Minutes and Treasurer’s Report
President Gurske asked for corrections to the Minutes of August 1, 2005. A motion to accept the Minutes as reported passed unanimously.
A motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report passed unanimously.
A motion to transfer $8100 from the Liquid Fuels checking account to the Liquid Fuels Savings account in order to maintain a minimum balance in the Liquid Fuels checking account passed unanimously.
A motion to remove Andrew Bennett’s name from the Pennstar Bank signature card passed unanimously. Council decided to wait until after elections to add another name.
Correspondence and other communications
A letter of resignation was received from Andy Bennett. A motion to advertise the vacancy on Council passed unanimously.
E-mail from Paul Everett regarding FEMA work on the creek wall and the borough roads was read – to be addressed further in Executive Session.
Tax hearings for Michael & Roxanne Martin (8/31/05) and Darwin and Darl Haynes (9/23/05) were reported by the Wayne County Board for the Assessment and Revision of Taxes-FILED.
A letter from Robert A. Nikitopoulos was read regarding his property on Jacobs Ladder Road-FILED.
ESCP (Eastern Susquehanna County Partnership)-a DRAFT Comprehensive Plan was received – the disc will circulate among Council members for comments at the next meeting.
Thompson Borough – Workers Comp Policy for Thompson Hose Company, Inc. – paid.
Freddy’s Refuse Removal – renewal of contract effective October 1, 2005 – September 30, 2006 – motion to accept the new contract passed unanimously. The contract will be posted at the Community Hall.
List of hours received from Darl Haynes regarding volunteer work on the roads (this list also included personal expenses incurred by Robert Buck and Kirk Rhone regarding the plan for Buck’s Road Bridge).
Letter received from Borough of Oakland regarding community park volunteers and donations. Robert Weldy suggested sending a letter of support. Alice Rhone commented that children from our area use the park. A motion to send a letter of support for the rehabilitation of Oakland Park passed unanimously.
Public Comment – Persons to be heard
Gale Williams addressed Council regarding the purchase of “Welcome” signs for the Borough. Mrs. Williams stated a sketch of the sign would be submitted to Council for approval. Council members were in favor of the signs.
Mayor Mroczka reported he relinquished the scheduled time for the Mayor’s meeting on community projects in favor of the Special Meeting regarding the approval of the Dirt and Gravel Grant application. The application was approved and submitted.
Mayor Mroczka spoke about a watershed, explaining a watershed is necessary in order to apply for Growing Greener funds. He noted it is up to the citizens if they want to form a watershed. The Mayor received the necessary paperwork and asked for volunteers to review the documents. There were no volunteers.
Mayor Mroczka reported that the Minutes of Starrucca Borough for the years 1921 through 1929 are missing and asked that they be returned to the secretary if in fact they are in the possession of any resident of Starrucca.
Emergency Operating Plan – The secretary will prepare a resolution for the next meeting.
Debris removal from the creeks – A discussion followed regarding obtaining permission from landowners to remove debris from the creek. Mayor Mroczka stated the landowners had already agreed. It was noted that the landowners have a responsibility to remove the debris and should be approached for help in the removal of the debris. The e-mail received by Mayor Mroczka from Carl DeLuca will be forwarded to the secretary for filing. President Gurske asked for a work committee and machinery to remove the trees in Shadigee Creek. Kirk Rhone volunteered to help. President Gurske asked for someone to organize the work committee. Mary Ann DeBalko asked if anyone could help or was the work to be done only by Council members? President Gurske stated Council would welcome help from the community. Robert Weldy volunteered to head the committee for removal of debris from the creek.
FEMA $$ for creek wall repair – correspondence from Paul Everett was read earlier.
FEMA $$ for road repairs – FEMA Road Work August, 2005 was submitted to council members prior to the meeting. Robert Weldy asked who was going to do the work. Kirk Rhone stated the work could be done by Harmony Township. Ozzie Miller, Supervisor, had seen the FEMA specs. Kirk Rhone reported that if another municipality did the FEMA work, it did not have to be put out for bid (called piggy-back program). Jack Downton reported the work could not be done according to specs for less money. Kirk Rhone suggested the secretary contact the FEMA auditor and ask if the FEMA work is done by another municipality, does it have to be bid out. A motion to have the secretary contact the FEMA auditor regarding the bid process passed 4-1 (Helen Haynes opposed). Mr. Downton asked Council what compensation would be made for taking the job away from him. President Gurske stated the work would have to go out for bid and a motion should be made to rescind the work from Mr. Downton.
Council went into Executive Session at 8:40 p.m. to review and discuss the e-mail from Paul Everett regarding the FEMA $$ for the creek wall and the roads.
The Council meeting resumed at 9:10 p.m. A motion to include the Special Meeting requested by Paul Everett in the Minutes of September 1, 2005 to be forwarded for circulation passed unanimously.
Liquid Fuels audit discrepancy (2002-2003) – The secretary read a proposed letter to be sent in response. A motion to send the letter passed unanimously.
COG, Council of Governments
Northern Wayne COG – the Minutes of July 20, 2005 were read.
Storage Room (Office) – under construction.
Smoke alarms – to be installed.
Rental agreement – to be reviewed by Kirk Rhone and the secretary.
Status of kitchen repairs – A motion to have the secretary return the paperwork (approved and notarized) to the insurance company passed unanimously.
Town Hall – President Gurske suggested secure locks with (2) keys that could not be duplicated should be installed, along with doorknobs. One key would be held by the President and the second key would be held by the Secretary. A motion to have the secretary contact the locksmith for installation passed unanimously.
The secretary requested assistance to sort and categorize files at the Town Hall. E-mail will be sent to Council members stating dates and time to meet.
Installation of Porosky billboard - Robert Weldy suggested that, due to the delay in attaching the Porosky billboard to the ballfield fence, the renewal fee for next year should be waived. Council members agreed and the secretary will note to file.
It was suggested that Dan Boughton be contacted regarding the hole in center field.
Winter Maintenance – the secretary contacted Preston Township for the maintenance of Stephano Road and Scott Township (under contract) for the maintenance of Fairmount Road and Kellogg Road.
New Business –
Appointment of Roadmaster – Robert Weldy suggested that before a roadmaster was appointed, Council should define the duties and responsibilities.
Mayor Mroczka suggested Council contribute to the American Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. President Gurske commented that he did not think Council could contribute borough funds. The secretary was asked to contact the solicitor before the next meeting.
There being no further business to conduct, meeting adjourned
The next regular Council meeting will be held on October 3, 7 p.m. at the Community Hall.
The Susquehanna Boro Council met with all members present for their regular meeting on September 13.
Secretary Ann Kemmerer reported that the boro has received approval for a grant, which will be used to defray the cost of a 2006 payroll update for the QuickBooks program. The upgrade will cost approximately $200, of which $150 will be reimbursed through the grant. And, the required audit due to the turnover in the secretary/treasurer position has been completed with favorable results.
Mayor Hurley extended thank yous to those who had attended a meeting the previous night to discuss police contracting, and gave an update on a grant that had been applied for to purchase equipment. The contract has been signed and submitted, with funds to be received shortly.
Oakland Boro has requested support in a grant application for improvements to their park. As the donations do not have to be made until the grant application is approved, at this time they are soliciting pledges of support. After discussion, council agreed that the boro would be willing to donate a full day’s labor from the streets department, as well as use of equipment and donation of fill for a planned expansion of the park.
Council approved Ms. Kemmerer’s attendance at a seminar on municipal budgeting, cost $50.
A list of tax exonerations was reviewed, with a motion carried to approve nine out of the list of 13.
The boro has an older, three-phase pressure washer that is not being used; the cost to install wiring at the boro garage to use it would be somewhat expensive. The streets committee recommended putting bids out to sell it, and using the proceeds to purchase a smaller, mobile pressure washer that would be used to keep the trucks clean, especially during the winter. Mr. Williams requested that the bids, which will also include one for the old street sweeper, be sent to three local publications for advertising. A motion carried to approve.
Only one bid for heating fuel was received; after discussion it was accepted. Mr. Williams asked council to consider putting together a bid package next year, to include heating fuel, gas and propane, perhaps for a two-year period.
At the request of the county’s 911 coordinator, a motion carried to submit an updated ordinance to comply with the county’s readdressing project. The boro had previously submitted an older ordinance, but was requested to submit an updated one, which will be sent to the boro solicitor for review.
Copies of the monthly police activity report were distributed; patrol hours, 202; court hours, 16; patrol miles, 1135; traffic arrests, 14; non-traffic arrests, 7; and, eight misdemeanor arrests. After a minor traffic accident, the Caprice police car was sent to Swanson’s Garage for body repair. Mr. Swanson generously donated his time to paint the car and detail it, and also took several scratches and dents out of it. Spending for the month included $328.67 (from vehicle repair) for decals on the car, and $152.16 (from gas/oil/tires) for two new front tires on the Jeep.
Mr. Lewis gave his monthly reports for Susquehanna and Oakland Boros. Susquehanna’s included 40 messages, 5 complaints, 3 permits issued, 8 building inspections, 10 general inspections, 4 violations issued, 8 verbal warnings, and 9 condemnations.
Council will again be sponsoring an open house during the Pumpkin Fest on October 14, with proceeds to go towards the rail car fund.
A letter was read from the local chapter of the American Red Cross, requesting donations for the Katrina relief fund. Mr. Matis said that with strapped funding under the boro’s tax base, it would not be possible for the boro to contribute, but suggested that donations could be collected, from anyone who cares to do so, at the boro office. Mrs. Frederick felt that donations should be made to the local Red Cross chapter, which struggled to help those in need during recent (local) disasters when families were displaced by flooding. Mayor Hurley felt that the donations should be sent to the Katrina relief fund. Donations will be accepted until November 1.
And, after discussion a donation of $250 will be made to the Experience Works program. It was agreed that the boro has had a good relationship with the program, and has benefited greatly with the employees whose services it has received through the program.
The meeting adjourned to an executive session to discuss a personnel issue. No action was expected to be taken.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 27, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
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