Please visit our kind sponsors
Susquehanna Boro Council met on April 11 with a full board present and Tom Kelly presiding.
Susquehanna County will be holding its annual waste tire collection program on May 13; forms are available in the boro office.
Penelec was contacted regarding the Drinker Creek lights; it was determined that what had been thought to be charges for just the park lights were also for the traffic light at the intersection of Main and Exchange Streets. Penelec has been asked to revise their billing to exclude the park lights for the time being as they had been removed during repairs and have not yet been reinstalled.
The Susquehanna Branch Library has confirmed that their request for updates to the security system will not involve any additional costs to the boro once the system changes are activated. Later in the meeting, a motion carried to approve the changes the library requested.
The boro has received the Carfax report for the police vehicle they are in the process of purchasing; a down payment has been sent for the 2004 Crown Victoria, which should be delivered in approximately 30 days.
Mr. Williams reported bad news regarding the Agility program; it seems that PENNDOT has reached a final decision and will not be including paving as their part of the agreement. Effective immediately, any project by PENNDOT to cost over $25,000 will be put out to bid and must be at prevailing wage; it was speculated that this requirement could inflate projects that should cost about $25,000 to the area of $100,000. So, with PENNDOT taking paving off the table for the Agility agreement, they are willing to send two men, at six hours per day for two days to chip under the bridge and to do some work on catch basins. But, the catch basin/drainage work would require an excavator or approximately 18 hours, which would have to be put out to bid (at prevailing wage). Mr. Williams suggested that council not enter into an Agility agreement and look at other options for the work that needs to be done. In the meantime, he will be contacting state representatives regarding the prevailing wage requirement, to let them know its impact on small municipalities. It was noted that the boro had upgraded its street sweeper specifically to participate in the Agility program.
Mayor Reddon reported that she received a letter of intent from a party interested in employment as a part-time police officer for the boro; this individual is a qualified officer who would only need to take a test to have his certification restored. The boro would be interested in employing him, she said, provided he passes his certification test.
Al Cuevas coordinated a cleanup of the riverfront property to take place on April 15; Mrs. Cuevas was present to verify what help the boro could offer, and what was to be done with the trash collected.
Margaret Biegert noted that the gates to the area are supposed to be kept locked to prevent illegal dumping. Rumor was that not only are Susquehanna residents dumping there, but people from the surrounding communities as well. Mr. Matis said that the policy of keeping the gates locked is still in effect, and suggested changing the locks. It was agreed to contact the Tri-Boro Municipal Authority to discuss changing them, which would also ensure that only those who are supposed to have keys have them.
Council continued discussion of whether or not the boro’s rental inspector would need to be UCC certified. Mr. Kelly distributed copies of a communication from Mitch Hoffman, Local Government Policy Manager for the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services. The letter stated that an individual providing enforcement of a property maintenance or rental inspection ordinance would not be required to be UCC certified; it would be the responsibility of boro officials to appoint persons they feel are qualified to enforce the provisions of these ordinances. If, however, construction activity resulted as enforcement of the property maintenance or inspection ordinance, that construction activity would be subject to the UCC and must be enforced by a certified inspector. Mr. Lewis again disagreed, and suggested that Labor and Industry be contacted.
Mr. Kelly reiterated that the boro’s CEO can conduct maintenance inspections, and should be doing so. Rental inspections of existing properties would not fall under Labor and Industry’s regulations, as it would not involve new construction. Mr. Lewis maintained that Labor and Industry says that if a structure predates 1924, the boro’s ordinance would not apply. After more discussion, Mr. Williams agreed to contact Labor and Industry for clarification of Mr. Lewis’ information.
Mr. Whitehead made a motion to authorize the CEO to proceed with maintenance/rental inspections contingent on the information Mr. Williams obtains from Labor and Industry. The motion carried.
Mr. Williams updated council on the progress of reimbursement from PEMA for repair work done at the Drinker Creek Park. At a prior meeting, council had approved payment of leftover funds that had to be submitted before the boro would receive final payment. At that time, the motion stipulated that the funds would be returned with verification that the payment is received by the boro within thirty days. Mr. Williams said that all relevant paperwork has been submitted, but there is no guarantee that the reimbursement would be received within thirty days. If the boro did not comply, it would adversely affect any future applications to FEMA.
All of the work at the Drinker Creek Park has been completed with the exception of the lampposts. The plan submitted to FEMA called for eight. Mr. Williams said that if less than that number were to be put back in, some funding would need to be returned to FEMA. He, Mr. Whitehead and Mr. Matis agreed to meet the following day at the park to discuss how many would be used.
Mr. Kuiper asked why the passing lane on Main Street adjacent to the park had been closed. Mr. Kelly said that PENNDOT had closed it because the beams underneath need to be fixed. It is in the design phase, and expected to be fixed within the next two years. Mrs. Biegert added that a consultant from Harrisburg is looking at it to see if is an emergency situation, which would move the work up on PENNDOT’s schedule.
Motions carried to adopt two resolutions; one to recognize Barnes-Kasson Emergency Medical Services as a provider of Advanced Life Support services, and the other to authorize the Housing and Redevelopment Authority to file a grant application on the boro’s behalf for removing decaying trees and replanting new trees in conjunction with the West Main Street Streetscape Project.
Correspondence reviewed included a letter from the law firm of Reed Smith, regarding a court case that may result in a change in the Commonwealth Court’s interpretation of the Sunshine Laws as they relate to executive sessions for personnel matters.
The Susquehanna Community Development Association will be sponsoring the annual Hometown Days on July 14 and 15. Council agreed to again sponsor a fishing derby during the festivities.
A National Incident Management System compliance meeting was to be held in Montrose on April 12; Mr. Williams planned to attend.
A request from the county Tax Claim Bureau asking for permission to accept any bids made on a property in the boro was tabled for more information.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 25, 7 p.m. in the boro building.
The meeting adjourned to an executive session to discuss personnel issues, one of which was a letter from former police officer DeVries, requesting reinstatement.
After the session, the meeting reconvened briefly. Motions carried to send a letter of sponsorship to the above mentioned applicant for the position of police officer, and to table Mr. DeVries' request.
A rare tie vote among its members resulted in the Susquehanna County Salary Board rejecting a pay raise for Michelle Jerauld, assistant director of the county’s Domestic Relations Department.
The increase was recommended by Susquehanna County President Judge Kennth W. Seamans. Had the $1,500 Judge Seamans recommended been approved, it would have been Ms. Jerauld’s second pay raise this year and would have pushed her annual salary to $32,447 plus benefits.
Commissioner Roberta Kelly and county Treasurer Cathy Benedict voted yes on the motion. Mrs. Kelly said she voted for the raise because it was recommended by Judge Seamans.
Commissioners Jeff Loomis and Mary Ann Warren voted no. Mrs. Warren said she voted against the raise because she did not have enough information on the issue.
Loomis said he did not think it was fair to give Ms. Jerauld more money. He said that she is second in command in Domestic Relations and that the additional $1,500 would give her more money than the deputy jail warden who has much more responsibility.
“Everybody who takes on an additional one or two duties wants more money,” Loomis said. “I agree we have the money in the budget but I am voting on what I consider fairness when I look at what other people are getting.”
The Salary Board acted on one other item, setting the pay for Kathy Blaisure at $24,500 of which 80 percent is funded by a state grant. Ms. Blaisure will work a 40-hour week and will receive a benefit package when she completes a probation period. She was hired by the Board of Commissioners who met prior to the Salary Board meeting.
The commissioners also ratified the hiring of Linda Keller of Top Shelf Cleaning Services to provide janitorial service to the new offices of District Court Judge Gene Franklin at the rate of $50 per week. Judge Franklin’s courtroom is now located on Route 106 in Clifford Township.
And in another personnel matter, the commissioners ratified the termination of Katie Bartels, occupation clerk in the assessment office as per recommendation of Ellen O’Malley, chief assessor.
The commissioners approved a recommendation from 15 county fire chiefs and extended the burn ban through May 15. In a related development, the commissioners were notified that the state Department of Environmental Protection put all 67 counties in the state under a drought watch and urged residents to voluntarily reduce water use by five percent.
In other business, the commissioners-
-proclaimed April as Environmental Awareness Month.
-appointed David Darro, Bobbi Jo Turner, Jim Garner and Tony Ventello to the Growing Greener II Advisory Committee with terms ending Dec. 31, 2007.
-reappointed the following people to the Susquehanna County Emergency Service Advisory Committee: Jerry Fives, chairman; Jay Klein, Northwest; Dick Hennessey, Northeast; Charlie Daly, Southwest; Trent Turner, Southeast; Jim Krupinski, EMS; Police, Sheriff Lance Benedict.
-appointed Paul J. Amadio to the Susquehanna County Rail Authority to fill the vacant seat of Edward Tourje. Amadio’s term will end on the first Monday in January, 2009.
Key administrative personnel are leaving the Forest City Regional School District and the Board of Education appears to be doing little or nothing to stop the exodus.
Perhaps the biggest blow to the school district came at last week’s meeting when Karen Forsette, business manager for the past six years, resigned. Asked if she gave a reason for leaving, School Superintendent Robert Vadella said no.
At the same meeting, the school board accepted the resignation of Ann Driscoll, supervisor of special education. The list of departures in recent months also includes Melissa Rose, assistant principal; Chip DeWolf, technology coordinator; Chris Kuruts, technology assistant; and, Barbara Richards, cafeteria manager.
When Forsette came to the school district many thought the Board of Education found the pearl in the oyster bed. Born and raised in Forest City, she attended Forest City schools and graduated from the University of Scranton in 1987 with a B.S. in accounting. She spent the next 11 years working for a firm of certified public accountants in Wilkes-Barre.
While at Forest City Regional, Forsette coordinated grant information, invested district funds, coordinated and established the district’s annual operating budget, and served as secretary to the Board of Education.
In keeping with a decision to focus more attention on students and their achievements, the board acknowledged the accomplishments of the following students: Stephanie Sterchak, Rotary Club Student of the Month of February; Rachel DeLucy Wayde Loomis and Bradley Mehelz, fourth grade students who were winners in the Susquehanna County TreHab Anti-Smoking Bumper Sticker Contest; Laura Heck, Shelley Giles, SuSuzann Paul, Stephanie Sterchak, Joey Grecco, Kathryn Nebzydoski and Steve Scavone recognized for participating in the Kane Physics Competition.
Also, Jerry Tuttle, Tasha Quick, Amanda White and Michael McGraw for their success in the NEIU Watersheds Program; Tiffany Butler, Tara Martines, Kathryn Nebzydoski, Robyn Powell, Shelley Giles, Laura Heck, David Costanzo and Stephanie Serchak, all Penn State Scholars; and, Cathy Cook, a sixth grade student who designed the winning T-shirt for the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association’s annual President’s Charity.
And, Ben Smith, Stephanie Sterchak, Katie Brothwell, Sean Goldman and Amanda White, for winning in the first round of the WVIA & NEIU 19 Scholastic Competition. They will advance to the second round.
The board also acknowledged the accomplishment of Ms. Debra Branning who was selected as the area’s WalMart Teacher of the Year. The board gave her a certificate of recognition for her achievement.
Motions approved by the board completed the following actions-
-Hired Trene McCrerary, a 12th grade student, to a work study position in the cafeteria at minimum wage for up to three hours a day.
-Accepted the retirement of Louis Cicci, effective June 10, 2006.
-Appointed Tanya Hentzel as a part-time instructional assistant at an hourly rate of $7.26.
-Added Jake Erdmann and Barney Wilkins to the daily substitute teachers list pending receipt of their Act 34 and Act 151 clearances.
-Added Barbara Passarelli, Kerrie Richards, and Diane L. Wallis to the substitute teacher list effective April 11.
-Added Shari Lee Peak to the substitute custodian list effective April 11.
-Approved Lorne Elliot as the Junior High Softball Coach for the 2005-2006 school year.
Robert Burgess to Gerald D. Burgess Jr., Nicholson, Beatrice M. Burgess, in Lathrop Township for zero dollars.
Cornelius P. Healy, Hilda L. Healy to Cornelius J. Healy, Denver, CO, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Dolores L. Walters (nbm) Dolores L. Mood, Robert Mood to Robert C. Wert, Malvern, in Montrose for $1,500.
Byron D. Lesjack, Kristian B. Lesjack to Byron D. Lesjack, Hallstead, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Norma Ashcraft to Susan F. Wagner, Little Meadows, George Wagner, in Little Meadows Borough for one dollar.
James R. Johnson Jr., Monica L. Johnson to Kerry A. Eyrich, Montrose, Roxanne K. Eyrich, in Franklin Township for $79,000.
Scogic Inc. (by attorney) to Shaindy Meisels, Monsey, NY, in Forest City for $90,000.
Jeniffer J. Slater (aka) Jennifer J. Griffis to Alvin G. Slater Jr., Hallstead, Cheryl A. Slater, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.
Mary Isabelle Unis (aka) Mary Isabel Unis to Cory S. Allen, Montrose, Summer M. Swackhamer, in Montrose for $85,860.
United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to Timothy A. Carpenter, Hallstead, in Great Bend Borough for $40,750.
Todd C. Oakley, Kimberly M. Oakley to Todd C. Oakley, Springville, Kimberly M. Oakley, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Charles V. Steelman, Janice M. Steelman to Paula Jean Smith, Brooklyn, PA, in Brooklyn Township for $100,000.
Carolina E. Wilbur (nbm) Carolina M. Bennett, Wesley Wilbur, Lillian Philllips (aka) Lillian B. Phillips (aka) Lillian C. Lockwood, Samuel Bennett, Beverly Bennett, Thomas Bennett (aka) Thomas M. Bennett, Christine Bennett, George Bennett to Carolina E. Wilbur, Hop Bottom, Carolina E. Bennett (nbm), in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Carolina E. Bennett (nbm) Carolina E. Wilbur, Wesley Wilbur, Lillian B. Phillips (aka) Lillian C. Lockwood, Samuel Bennett, Beverly Bennett, Thomas Bennett (aka) Thomas M. Bennett, Christine Bennett, Lillian Phillips (aka) to Thomas M. Bennett, Monroe, CT, Christine Bennett for one dollar.
Caroline E. Wilbur Caroline E. Bennett (nbm), Wesley Wilbur, Lillian Phillips (aka) Lillian B. Phillips,, Lillian C. Lockwood, Samuel Bennett, Beverly Bennett, Thomas Bennett (aka) Thomas M. Bennett, Christine Bennett, George Bennett, to Ronald D. Phillips, Harford, Daniel S. Phillips, Raymond P. Phillips, Gary L. Phillips, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Elk Hill Partners to Kevin D. Coutts, Paupack, Maria Coutte, in Clifford Township for $299,000.
Keith Stone, Deneen N. Stone to Keith Stone, Thompson, Deneen L. Stone, in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Federal National Mortgage Assoc. (aka) Fannie Mae to William Kinzinger, Ithaca, NY, Janet Kinzinger, in Lanesboro for $16,500.
Sommerville Land Development Inc. to Truckstop 39 Inc., Harford, in New Milford Township for $525,000.
Charles F. Restaino, Priscilla F. Restaino to HLMA LLC, Tunkhannock, in Springville Township for $300,000.
David Strollo, Patricia M. Strollo to Aldred J. Ditommaso, Hyde Park, NY, Brenda Ditommaso, in Forest Lake Township for $85,000.
David Strollo, Patricia M. Strollo to Aldred J. Ditommaso, Hyde Park, NY, Brenda Ditommaso, in Forest Lake Township for $25,000.
Wayne R. Adams, Anne Adams to Charles D. House, Tunkhannock, in Harford Township for one dollar.
William A. Thompson, Lori Thompson to Drew D. Thompson, Toms River, NJ, in Oakland Township for $40,000.
Kenneth F. Zaleski, Lori Jeanne Zaleski to Mark T. Brennan, West Bristo, Melissa Brennan, in Silver Lake Township for $82,000.
Shannon Smoyer (by sheriff) to EMC Mortgage Corporation, Irving, TX, in New Milford Township for $4,832.
Patrick McDermott, Barbara McDermott to Marsha L. Morrison, New Milford, in Gibson Township for $197,000.
Guy E. Vandermark (estate) to John Vandermark, Montrose, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Guy E. Vandermark (estate) to Charmarie Bisel, Dimock, Guy E. Vandermark Jr. , in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Richard J. O’Boyle, Kathleen A. O’Boyle to Karen Barrie, Brackney, Mary Haigh, Richard O’Boyle, Molly Riordan, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Michael Anastasio, Charlene Anastasio to Charlene Anastastio, Philadelphia, in Gibson Township for one dollar.
Stanwood J. Snowman, Stephen D. Marshall (by poa) to Stanwood J. Snowman, Susquehanna, Stephen D. Marshall, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Stanwood J. Snowman, Stephen D. Marshall (by poa) to Stanwood J. Snowman, Susquehanna, Stephen D. Marshall, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Cynthia M. Hackel to Curtis L. Eshbaugh, RR1, Little Meadows, Pamela M. Eshbaugh, in Apolacon Township for $10,000.
Plastics Ave. Partnership to Regis M. Magnus (irrevocable children’s trust) Houston, TX, in Thompson Towship for $110,000.
Carol A. Franklin to Connie J. Birchard, Daniel M. Canfield, in Montrose for one dollar.
Karen J. Gudykunst, New Milford, vs. Thomas R. Gudykunst, Redmond, Oregon. Wed in 1991.
Rebecca L. Wallace, Springville vs. Michael L. Wallace, RR1, HopBottom. Wed in 1991.
Sarah E. Hibbard, RR3, Montrose vs. Chris E. Hibbard, RR5, Montrose. Wed in 1993.
Paul M. Stephen, RR1, Susquehanna vs. Maureen M. Stephen, RR2, Thompson. Wed in 1993.
Jeffrey E. Fitzsimmons, Susquehanna vs. Toni Fitzsimmons, Union Dale. Wed in 2004.
One Car Crash
Milford Krizauskas, 86, Susquehanna, was traveling on SR 11 in Lathrop Twp, March 31, when she lost control of her 1996 Ford Taurus, drifted off the roadway and crashed into a ditch. Krizauskas was not injured in the accident.
Just before midnight, March 31, someone broke into Fred’s Market in Susquehanna. The two front doors were broken, and approximately $220 in cash and $50 in change was taken, as well as four packs of Newport cigarettes.*
Kenneth Mead, 60, Montrose, was traveling west on SR29 April 11 in Bridgewater Twp, when he failed to yield to oncoming traffic as he turned into the Pump and Pantry parking lot. Buddy Russell, 39, Montrose, collided with Mead’s vehicle in the eastbound lane. Although both vehicles were moderately damaged, no one was injured in the accident.
Chad MacDonald, 24, Uniondale, was traveling northbound on I-81 March 31, near the Lenox exit, when his vehicle caught on fire. Clifford Twp. and Greenfield Twp. Fire Departments rushed to the scene and put the fire out. MacDonald was uninjured in the incident.
Lisa Norton of Clifford was traveling on SR92 southbound in Lenox, April 11, when she had a seizure and lost control. Her 1996 Ford Escort drifted off the road and hit a stop sign. Harford EMS transported Norton to CMC in Scranton.
Brian Benedict, 23, New Milford, was traveling on SR1005 northbound in Thompson Twp., April 9, when he lost control and hit a tree. Benedict was uninjured in the accident, and walked to a nearby residence to call for help.
Stolen Vehicle Accident
Larry Shockey, 31, Lafayette, IN, was driving northbound on SR4007 in Forest Lake Twp, April 8, when he lost control and crashed into several trees. Shockey was taken to EMHS in Montrose, and later transported to Robert Packer Hospital. Through the investigation, officials discovered that the Buick LeSabre he was driving was reported stolen from Lafayette, IN. Shockey was arrested for suspicion of DUI, as well as several other criminal and traffic charges.
Quarry Equipment Theft
Gregory Grover of New Milford reported that someone stole several pieces of quarry equipment from New Milford Sand & Gravel some time between March 29 and April 3. At least $3280 worth of equipment was taken, including a drive chain, steel drill and splitting tools.*
Scam Artist Burglary
Just before 5 pm March 21, two men appeared at the home of Charles and Sophie Banko in Auburn Twp. They identified themselves as local electric company employees, and told the Bankos that they needed to check their electric service after a car crash in the area. One man went into the basement with Charles Banko, 89, to check the circuit breaker, while the other talked with Sophie Banko, 80, and later searched for money. Although the Bankos were not injured, both men took off with an undetermined amount of cash.*
Fatal Dui Accident
Joey Benjamin, 18, Laceyville was driving southbound on Meshoppen Creek Road in Auburn Twp, April 4, when he lost control and hit a tree. The driver and two passengers, Danielle Hunsinger, 18, Laceyville, and a 13 year old female were taken to Tyler Memorial Hospital in Tunkhannock, all with moderate injuries. Another passenger, Brian Hensh, 24, Factoryville, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Susquehanna County Coroner. All four involved in the accident were not wearing seatbelts. Laceyville Fire & Ambulance along with Meshoppen Ambulance assisted at the scene. The 1991 Ford F150 involved in the crash was totaled. The investigation into the crash is still ongoing.
Andrea Gregory, 19, Hop Bottom was traveling northbound on SR11 in Lathrop Twp., April 7, when she saw an animal in the road and swerved to avoid it. She steered left, swerved back into the lane, lost control and ended up spinning around, rolling over twice before her 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser landed back on its wheels. Andrea was taken to Tyler Memorial by a private vehicle, where she was checked for injuries. Andrea was wearing her seatbelt, and was uninjured in the accident.
Just before 10am, April 1, someone broke into the Bridgewater Athletic Association Ball Field Concession Stand in South Montrose. So far, nothing has been reported missing.*
Sometime between October 12, 2005 and April 12, 2006, someone broke into a home on SR0247 in Clifford Twp. Bruce Bloxham, 87, Carbondale discovered that someone had cut a hole in the floor of his seasonal residence. So far, nothing has been reported missing.*
Jackie Thomas of Hop Bottom told State Police that someone stole 50 feet of cable wire and two “No Trespassing” signs from a location near SR2024 in Brooklyn Twp. sometime between March 31 and April 1.*
George Barber, 83, Hop Bottom, was traveling westbound on SR167 in Hop Bottom when Carole Raub, 61, Kingsley, was traveling southbound on SR11. The two collided at an intersection, where there are both flashing traffic lights and stop signs. Both Barber and Raub were uninjured.
Nicole Herman, 26, Stevensville was driving her 2000 Ford Ranger westbound on SR706 in Rush Twp., when she lost control making a turn. Her truck skidded off the road, hit the guardrail and flipped over three times, landing back on its tires. Although Herman was injured, she fled the scene of the accident. Charges are pending.
Clifford Township’s plan to install sewers in the Dundaff/Crystal Lake areas of the township could benefit a lot of families and there is no doubt that it will help keep Crystal Lake pollutant free. But it could also put some families thousands of dollars in debt.
At a public hearing on April 7 attended by less than a dozen township residents, some estimates indicate a cost of $8000 to $9000 in hookup fees and related work to tie into the Greenfield Township sewer system. Besides the initial costs, homeowners connected to the system will pay a monthly service fee of about $51 a month.
Asked what would happen to residents who do not have the required financial means, Michael J. Angerson, area specialist for the US Department of Agriculture, said there may be some help available for low income families. He said arrangements may be worked out with a local bank for one percent interest loans and added the county may have some CDBG funds available to help the homeowners.
Besides paying an initial tie-in fee estimated at $6,000 to $6,500, homeowners in the area to be sewered will be responsible for the installation of laterals from their homes into the main sewer line and for buying and installing grinder pumps. This could add another $2,000 to $3,000 to the cost.
Representatives of David D. Klepadlo & Associates, the engineering firm for the project, suggested that the township advertise for bids on the project but the supervisors took no action at the hearing.
The township may get grant money at or around the $1.3 million mark and it can borrow additional funds at a low interest rate. But township officials would like to search for additional grant money. Angerson said there might be some “loose change around” but he also cautioned against waiting too long to get the project underway.
“If we wait too long, we may lose it,” Angerson said of the grant money already pledged to the project. He said the township was fortunate to have the project grandfathered under the 1990 census which was originally based upon a poverty rate that increased the grant.
Angerson suggested that the township bid the project based on the estimated 150 units located in the original plan. He said that 90 additional units, which includes 40 units in the White’s Mobile Home Park, could be divided into sections and added as alternates in the bid specifications.
John White of White’s Mobile Home Park said he was not notified that the project was extended to include his park until a month and a half ago. Up to that time, he said he was told the park was not involved in the project.
“I listened to the township supervisors who said our trailer court was not involved in the project,” White said.
White said if the park remains in the project it would require a rent increase that could put him out of business. He said other trailer parks in the area, including one in Greenfield Township, are not tied into the system. He said he would be $50 or $60 a month higher than his competition if he had to pay monthly fees for each mobile home in the park.
White also suggested that the township look into the possibility of doing its own sewer project rather than connecting to Greenfield Township. Angerson said the township would never get enough grant money to finance its own sewer system
Nearly 30 people settled into a comfortable neighborliness in the small office in Harford on April 8th to witness another small bit of the long history of the little village take place. Among them were State Representative Sandra Major, and Ken Adams, one of the last members of the Harford lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.), the organization that built the hall in 1917 after a fire destroyed the original lodge hall.
Of course the Harford Township Supervisors were there,
too, Rick Pisasik, Terry VanGorden and Sue Furney. And
their solicitor, Drew Hailstone. The occasion was the
Supervisors' scheduled meeting, but the order of business
was to begin with an auction, to sell the Odd Fellows
building and property to the highest bidder.
Mr. Hailstone conducted the auction, first declaring
the legal proprieties and the "rules" of the proceeding, the
conditions of the sale. The winning bidder was to make full
payment by the end of the day, and would be expected to raze
the building within 6 months. The deed would include
covenants that will require that the property remain open -
"park-like," he said, "in perpetuity." The auction,
according to Mr. Hailstone, satisfied the Supervisors'
fiduciary duty to conduct the sale in a proper manner, and
to obtain the highest possible price.
Harford Odd Fellows Hall (top), inside (middle), a view
of the village from inside (bottom)
The highest bidder was the only bidder. As expected,
Bronson Pinchot, who was accompanied by his attorney,
offered $40,000, the minimum acceptable bid. When there
were no other bids offered, Mr. Hailstone declared the
winner to be Mr. Pinchot, who immediately tendered a
cashier's check for the full amount. He then asked, "is
there anybody who lives next door that could be trouble?"
(Mr. Pinchot's own house is next door.)
Mr. Hailstone outlined the long process that led to the
auction. He recalled that "to test the will of the people,
there was an informal referendum" on election day in
November 2004. His task became to clear the township's deed
of covenants created when the property was transferred by
the fire company; he also had to obtain the consent of the
Odd Fellows lodge, which had an open-ended right of access
to the building.
All of that was now behind. Mr. Pinchot said later
that the village will be a mess for a while. He intends to
demolish the Odd Fellows Hall and the old village store as soon as possible. He has also leased the old Deli Llama building to PennDOT for engineering offices during the replacement of the bridge over Leslie Creek at the foot of Market Street. He hopes to have it all over with and done as soon as possible, so that the properties can be restored and the village made whole once again.
The Supervisors have no immediate plans for the money. Mr. Pisasik said it would probably be added to the general fund, perhaps to replace a nearly similar amount that was used to build the township's 2 newest trucks. He said that the township would move immediately to remove the 2 sewer basins on the property. The township may also try to recover some of the paneling inside the building, perhaps to be used for wainscoting in the township building.
It was perhaps fitting that there was no other business to conduct at the meeting, so that the final disposition of the old building could stand on its own in the history of Harford. Some mementos can be seen in the photographs.
Tom Andzulis, Clifford Township‚s sewer enforcement officer, and his critics have been exchanging barbs at the township’s Board of Supervisors meetings for some time and the supervisors have decided enough is enough.
John Regan, chair of the Board of Supervisors, told both sides last week to document their gripes and/or responses to complaints and forward them in writing to the supervisors.
“We will read what you send us,” Regan said, “and if we want a response from one side or the other we will send you a copy of the document and ask you to comment on it in writing.”
Andrew Wyzykowski, one of Andzulis’s critics, got his last words in at the township meeting shortly before the supervisors decided they had heard enough bickering over sewer permits. He also submitted in writing what he said at the meeting as well as a file that included documentation from the state Department of Environmental Protection and copies of cancelled checks showing that he had paid all required township fees.
“I am presenting to each supervisor and to the secretary,” Wyzykowski said, “documentation to support my grievance about the way I was treated. I am presenting you with a list of the 19 times we attempted to contact Mr. Andzulis by phone and in person and received no response.”
Wyzykowski also gave the supervisors copies of what he said was incorrect paperwork submitted to DEP by Andzulis on October 5, 2005.
“The application was received by DEP on October 7,” Wyzykowski said. “DEP mailed it back to Tom on October 14, a time frame of one week. Tom brought it back to us on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2005, at least 12 days after it was mailed back to the township.”
Wyzykowski alleged that statements Andzulis made at a March 14, 2006 meeting of the township supervisors were false.
“Twice,” Wyzykowski said, “Mr. Andzulis said that only the land owner could request septic tests. Charles Dietz of DEP stated anyone can apply as long as he has the land owner’s consent.”
Township police were busy during the month of March. In his report, Officer Carroll noted 9 criminal incidents, two motor vehicle accidents, and three assists to other departments. He also issued 10 traffic citations and 13 traffic warnings
The North-Eastern Pennsylvania Telephone Company is known by most of its friends and customers simply as NEP. But the 100-plus year-old company has been adding subsidiary companies to its portfolio in recent years while keeping pace with today’s technology and tomorrow’s needs. So much so that it could add another meaning to NEP. Something perhaps like Never Ending Progress.
Last week, the company’s top brass entertained county officials and members of the Fourth Estate and announced it will soon be giving birth to another progressive company, NEP Wireless. By the end of this year, NEP Wireless - an $8.5 million company - will be up and running with cell phone service that will be linked to the world.
“It’s an aggressive schedule,” Mr. Tourje said of the construction timetable, “but we think we can do it. It’s also the biggest economic development plan in Susquehanna County in years and we will be providing employment opportunities by having the work done by local contractors.”
After much negotiating with the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), NEP Wireless acquired the rights to an area that incorporates all of Susquehanna County and portions of Wayne and Lackawanna counties. GSM is the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world and over 1.5 billion people around the globe use its service.
Tourje said NEP’s construction plans call for erecting a total of 27 towers, some of which might be made available to other companies on a rental basis. He said cell phones are a must in Susquehanna County and he is confident that bringing cell phone service to the county will enhance industrial and commercial development, particularly along Interstate 81.
Tourje said NEP Wireless will cater to a number of highways in the area. Besides Interstate 81, he said cell service will be available along routes 11, 171, 247, 106, 92, 706, 434 and 167.
Besides providing cell phone service, NEP will also have a complete line of new cell phones that can be purchased at what Tourje labeled “competitive prices.” He said the company’s plan is to enter into deals with existing stores and have them sell the phones for a piece of the action.
Can a small company in a small town - NEP is headquartered in Forest City- survive the competition of some of the world’s biggest giants in the business?
“We believe we can,” Tourje said. “There is an absolute need for the service in Susquehanna County. We have our license already approved. We have always kept up with new technologies for our customers and this is another step in keeping with the times.”
NEP has been providing telephone service to the Greater Forest City area and other parts of Susquehanna County for more than 100 years. In recent years, the parent corporation added new television companies cable service (NEPData Vision) and internet computer service (NEP DSL Internet) to its repertoire.
NEP has 37 employees and a payroll in excess of $2 million annually. In October of 1960, the company moved into its present headquarters on North Main Street in Forest City. The company is community-minded and does much for the area, including the annual installation of Forest City’s Main Street Christmas decorations and working with the Forest City Lions Club in collecting and disposing of residential Christmas trees after the holidays.
“We’ve been here 106 years,” Tourje concluded, “and we would like to stay another 106.”
News | Living | Sports | Schools | Churches | Ads | Events
Military | Columns | Ed/Op | Obits | Archive | Subscribe