Please visit our kind sponsors
All members were present at the April 19 meeting of the Susquehanna Community School District Board, as well as a number of guests.
The April Strategic Plan meeting had been held just prior to this meeting; the committee has been preparing rough drafts of seven plans that will be included in the final package, which should be in place by August.
Much of the Title funding that the district receives has been altered, with some program allocations seeing marked decreases, some changed from a formula grant to competitive grants, and still others apparently in limbo. But, the good news is that the district has received funding for technology improvements that were used to purchase 13 LCD projectors and 13 smart boards so that every high school classroom will have one of each, possibly before the end of this school year.
Property tax reform is still a probability, with the expectation being that districts will, in future have less time to prepare budgets for the following year. And, with significant increases in health insurance, fuel costs and retirement contributions, and federal funding cuts for special ed due to declining enrollment next year’s budget will certainly be a challenge.
A majority of teachers for grades 8 and 9, and all of the high school teachers have been participating in the homework.com program. The website is accessible by anyone, and lists each class’ assignments for the current week as well as past weeks. To access the assignments, a user just enters their zip code and then choose either the elementary or high school. Assignments can be found by a class listing or by a list of teachers. The site is also accessible through the school website. And, there are plans to upgrade next year, so that parents can access students’ grades by using a secure ID.
Two teams competed in the PA High School Computer Fair regional competition, one in desktop publishing and one with a multi-media presentation which was also used to help raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The board was treated to a visual presentation on both entries.
The district’s dual enrollment program with LCCC has been going well; currently an English course is being offered with plans to add more next year.
The elementary students participated in the American Cancer Society’s Daffodil Days, and raised more than $3,000.
Business Manager Gary Kiernan was pleased to introduce Robin Carmody, the district’s new assistant business manager.
The Special Ed. department has been busy with Child Study Team meetings, special ed referrals and student retentions, and scheduling summer testing.
The Education Association has scheduled their annual Car Show for May 21; proceeds fund a scholarship for students pursing a career in education. Officers for two-year terms will be elected at their next meeting. And, this year ten retirees will be honored on May 19 with a dinner at the Starrucca House, seven teachers, two secretaries and one nurse’s assistant.
The meeting adjourned briefly to discuss a contract issue.
Other actions approved by the board were as follows:
- Granting the Business Office permission to tabulate and award bids and to order supplies for the 2006-2007 school year subject to Board approval in May.
- May 9, 2006 as Teacher Recognition Day and sponsoring a breakfast on that day.
- A revised Memorandum of Agreement between the SCSD and the SCEA regarding the Benefit Buyout Plan.
- Revised/new school policies: Cellular Phone & Wireless Communication Device Policy; Digital Camera and/or Recording Device Policy; Student Wellness Policy; Student Graduation Project Policy. The revisions are a streamlining of existing policies, removing redundancies and the new (cell) policy is in anticipation of cell service coming to our part of the county.
- Revised/new SCSD Junior/Senior Discipline Code; the changes streamline the code and highlight that harassment of teachers outside of school will not be tolerated.
- The contract between the SCSD and Bethesda Day Treatment Center for the 2006/2007 school year; this program is for students with behavioral problems that cannot be addressed at the school, and is financed by Alternative Ed. funding.
- An agreement with the Scranton/Lackawanna Human Development Agency, Inc. Head Start Program, which helps fund transportation for the pre-K program.
- A change in the 2006/2007 school calendar to remove Good Friday as a makeup snow day.
- Converting the Susquehanna Community Pre-K Program into a Four-Year-Old, Half-Day Kindergarten Program for 2006/2007 and thereafter.
- Photography service provider Northeastern Exposure for the 2006/2007 school year.
- An agreement between the SCSD and the Susquehanna County Probation Officer for the 2006/2007 school year.
- A tax refund due to an assessment error.
- Accepting the following employees’ intent to retire at the end of the 2005/2006 school year: Diane Dunn, Health and Physical Education, Elementary; John Dunn, Health and Physical Education, High School; LaVern Kuhn, Health Office Aide.
- The following additions to the substitute list: Judith Burdick, Emergency; Christopher Williams, Elementary; Marion Hartnett, Non-Instructional.
- Accepting the following resignations: Andrew Ficarro, Assistant/Jr. High Golf Coach; Steve Felter, Boys Junior High Co-Baseball Coach; Dan Demora, Student Council Advisor, effective at the end of the 2005/2006 school year.
- Volunteers Phil Stein, Girls Junior High Softball.
- Hiring the following: Tom Ballard, Maintenance, full-time; Kyle Cook, Junior High Co-Baseball Coach.
- The customary list of activities and fund-raisers.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, May 17, 7:00 p.m. in the administration offices in the elementary building.
HARRISBURG – Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) announced today that Bradford, Sullivan and Susquehanna counties will receive over $500,000 in grant money from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
"By using the advantages of fertile soils and favorable climate, our farmers are able to produce a safe and affordable supply of food along with other agriculture products," said Pickett. "These funds will aid in keeping our soil and water healthy and reliable for generations to come."
Susquehanna County will receive $168,073 for the Susquehanna County COG Sewage Committee under the Sewage Facilities Enforcement Grant Program. The grant will be used to reimburse 50 percent of the eligible expenses for performing the sewage enforcement provisions of Section 7 of Act 537.
"Sewage facilities provide clean and safe water for our residents," said Pickett. "The maintenance and upkeep of these facilities can be quite expensive for small rural areas, and this grant will allow Susquehanna County to maintain adequately working facilities for its residents."
Commander of American Legion Post 357 Rick Rood addressed the Hallstead Boro Council at their April 20 meeting to discuss Memorial Day activities. Traditionally, a memorial service has been held at the riverside park; Mr. Rood asked if council would consider a change of venue, to the Legion’s Freedom Memorial Park. The riverside park has limited space, and the Legion park would comfortably accommodate more people. The usual parade route could be changed to the one used when the Legion dedicated their park, along New York Avenue to the Post. After discussion, a motion carried to approve. The parade will begin at 9:00 a.m., with the memorial service to follow.
Several complaints/concerns from residents will be addressed.
The light at the flagpole at the riverside park will be adjusted; it has apparently been moving so that it shines into drivers’ eyes rather than up. Councilman Ted Loomis agreed to see that it is adjusted properly.
An individual who has been parking his vehicle on the sidewalk on Main Street will be sent a letter asking that he not do that as it not only impedes pedestrians, but creates a problem by blocking drivers’ sight at an intersection.
Letters will be sent to several property owners giving thirty days’ notice to clean up accumulated garbage, after which they will be sent notice to appear before the district magistrate if it has not been done.
The health department will be contacted to find out what can be done about a reported problem with rats.
A motion carried to approve payment for ten hours’ comp time to maintenance supervisor John Gordon, who had tendered his resignation since the last meeting.
There was a lengthy discussion on replacing him, with several options brought to the table for discussion. It was agreed that applications would be accepted until May 5. A committee comprised of Mr. Loomis, Dave Callender and Mary Rudock will interview applicants on May 10. Approval was given for the committee to hire after interviews, with a salary range dependent on experience. The committee was also authorized to set a start date for the new employee.
The county will again be holding a waste tire collection, with pre-registration required. Information is available at the boro office.
A motion carried to recognize Barnes-Kasson Hospital as a provider of Advanced Life Support services.
A revised ballfield lease was available for review. It will be submitted to the Little League for approval.
DEP has sent a letter to the owners of the old foundry property requesting that a meeting be set up to discuss fines levied against them, and informing them that Hallstead’s council would also like to set a meeting date to discuss the status of the property.
There was some discussion regarding the road leading to the cemetery on Catherine St. Complaints had been received about its present condition. Although there is some question about whose responsibility the road actually is, last year council had authorized putting in stone to address prior complaints, but after winter plowing most of the stone has been moved. Council president Michelle Giangrieco agreed to contact the cemetery association for information before any further action is taken.
The boro has received its annual Liquid Fuels payment of $23,007.62.
Work on the new sidewalks on Main Street is expected to begin by summer.
The Blue Ridge Recreation program will receive the customary $200 annual donation from the boro.
And, council was invited to send a representative the a dinner meeting hosted by the New Milford Men’s Club the following Wednesday. Guest speaker Jason Legg would be presenting a program on meth labs.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, May 18, 7 p.m. in the boro building.
Alan Heller, Deborah L. Heller to Alan Heller, Susquehanna, Deborah L. Heller, in Oakland Borough.
Dolores Quinn to Maureen N. Quinn, Friendsville, in Choconut Township for one dollar.
James Merrit Welch (estate, aka) James M. Welch (est) to Chad H. Hollenback, Kingsley, Scott A. Adams, in Harmony and Thompson townships for $1,200,000.
Thaddeus J. Yarrish, Gina Yarrish to Patrick Lamberson, Bay Shore, NY, Teresa Lamberson, in Gibson Township for $200,000.
David P. Compton, Sandra A. Compton to Norman N. Norton Sr., New Milford, Tammy L. Norton, in Harford Township for $175,000.
Arlene M. Michaletz to Kimberly A. Goss, Montrose, in Montrose for $87,900.
Blanche Wasilewski, Roman Wasilewski (by power of attorney) to Robert A. Wasilewski, Friendsville.
Parks Family Limited Partnership (by trustee) to Parks Family Limited Partnership, Susquehanna, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Joseph F. Mayers, Sylvia Mayers to John Sisko, Lansdale, Joseph Sisko, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Federal National Mortgage Association (aka) Fannie Mae, to Thomas P. Cawley, Clarks Summit, PA, in Harford Township for $120,000.
Erich A. Hooper to Clyde J. Tims, Little Meadows, Mary Ann Tims, in Apolacon Township for $2,500.
Dorothy Thorn to Dolores Stone, Thompson, Paula Ralston, Cathy Megivern, Kenneth Thorn, James Thorn, in Thompson Borough for one dollar.
Anthony J. Candelora to John W. Wilson Jr., Doylestown, Laurie B. Wilson, in Gibson Township for $150,000.
Frances M. Potter to Michael J. Greene, Thompson, Jo Ellen S. Greene, in Thompson Township for $5,000.
Rag Apple to Darryl D. Heckman, Susquehanna, Patricia L. Heckman, in New Milford Township for $18,000.
Jean D. Applegate, Frank H. Applegate to Michael F. Applegate, Manasquan, NJ, in Springville Township for one dollar.
John Grant Bickell to Oneida Campground and Lodge, New Milford, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Sanford S. Lehrfeld (estate) to Frances Lehrfeld, Manalapan, NJ, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
William E. Shager, Rowena J. Shager to Harold L. Harris, Marie A. Harris, Somerset, NJ, in Harford and New Milford townships for $265,000.
William E. Shager, Rowena J. Shager to William E. Shager, South Gibson, Rowena J. Shager, in Harford and New Milford townships for one dollar.
Maurice Aubree, Anna T. Fisco-Aubree to Timothy Washburn, Montrose, Christopher L. Cole, in Montrose for $82,193.
Philip Sickler, Gertrude Sickler to Scot P. Sickler, Hop Bottom, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Philip Sickler, Gertrude Sickler to Scot P. Sickler, Hop Bottom, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Albert E. Fahey, Mary S. Carpenter to Mary S. Carpenter, Clearwater, FL, Josephine A. Crain, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Manzek Land Co. Inc. to James T. Aloia Jr., Karen J. Aloia, Blue Bell, in Middletown Township for $37,000.
Edward L. Brant (estate), Keith E. Brant, Marsha L. Brant, Mary L. Riecke, to Marie L. Brant, Susquehanna, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Carl Ernstrom, Rita Ernstrom to Jay Levine, Binghamton, Jinny Tauss, in Silver Lake Township for $335,000.
Richard A. Biddle, Geraldine T. Biddle to Joel K. Depetro, Exeter, David A. Mathis, David T. Burns, in Middletown Township for $79,000.
Eudora Bennett (estate), Community Bank & Trust Co. (trustee) to Michael J. Kowalewski, Michelle E. Kowalewski, Montrose, in Montrose for $150,000.
Carlon B. Clark, Josephine Frances Clark to Carl Jason Clark, NE Palm Bay, FL, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Charles Liebegott, Jane Liebegott to Charles Liebegott, Springville, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Dale J. Perry and Tammy Mae Crisman, both of South Gibson.
Phillip Charles Hodges Jr. and Alicia Beth Hanna, both of Forest City.
Elizabeth L. Martin vs. John R. Martin, both of Kingsley. Wed in 2001.
Following is the list of names drawn to serve as Petit and Traverse jurors for May, 2006, to appear in the Court of Common Pleas, Susquehanna County Courthouse, Montrose, on the first day of May at 9:00 a.m.
Apolacon Twp.: Melissa J. Rogers.
Auburn Twp.: Lorrie Bonavita, Roxanne Frasier, Susan Hallock, Sherolyn Hawk.
Bridgewater Twp.: Donald F. Bey Jr., Donald Blaisure, Mark Mead, Thomas H. Patrick, Keith Willson.
Brooklyn Twp.: Dorothy Kurpiela.
Choconut Twp.: Robert J. Farthing, Kim Homsher.
Clifford Twp.: Paula Beahan, Jacob F. Lopatofsky, Daniel Wayne Thomas.
Dimock Twp.: Tara L. Bushnell, Shannon M. Pratt.
Forest City Boro 2W: Christine Lukus.
Forest Lake Twp.: Ronald D. Smith.
Friendsville Boro: Dale A. Williams.
Gibson Twp.: Jackie Jo Bean, James Canfield, Darlene Dorang, Joseph C. Mikloiche, Elizabeth A. Nicholson, Marsha Tompkins.
Great Bend Boro: Raymond E. Holtzman.
Great Bend Twp.: Robert McDevitt, Larry A. Spencer.
Hallstead Boro: Gary R. Bennett, Andy Meagley, Lorilynn A. Musselwhite, Jody L. Resseguie.
Harford Twp.: John W. Bancey.
Harmony Twp.: Joan K. Greenleaf.
Herrick Twp.: Lauri A. Pass, Martha A. Shermanski.
Hop Bottom Boro: Heather R. Harris.
Jackson Twp.: Lanny T. Leonard.
Lanesboro Boro: Catherine French.
Lathrop Twp.: Steven R. Kress, Edgar S. Watkins.
Lenox Twp.: Leonard Hanas, Stephen J. Kilmer, Jason J. Perez.
Liberty Twp.: Karen E. Dickerson, Diane B. Rafferty.
Little Meadows Boro: Stephen Sobiech III.
Montrose Boro 1W: Gail A. Golden, Elizabeth E. Oleniacz.
Montrose Boro 2W: James R. Baker.
New Milford Twp.: Stanley C. Gumaer, Diana L. Osborn, William Solonewitz.
Oakland Boro: Jason Penny.
Rush Twp.: Sheyn R. Cook, Sally A. McGlynn, Barbara A. Newhart.
Silver Lake Twp.: Anthony J. Desanto, Lorna E. Everitt, John Grigalunas Jr., David Mitchell, David B. Mosch.
Susquehanna Boro 2W: Joseph R. Keevill, James P. Walsh.
Thompson Boro: Jessica Green.
End of year details were wrapped up by a full board for the Elk Lake School District at their April meeting. Preparations were also made for the next school year.
Girl Scouts donated arrow markers for the walking trail in back of the school.
A list of graduating seniors was approved. A Senior awards ceremony will be held May 15 at 8:30 a.m. Caps and gowns will be paid for by the school in perpetuity, according to a previous vote as recollected by the board.
The school calendar for 2006-2007 was presented. Martin Luther King Day is a holiday and can be used as a snow make-up day, but Veteran’s Day is not a holiday.
Two students were expelled. One was expelled for a year; the other expulsion was permanent.
Several personnel positions were filled. Those included In School Suspension Coordinator, cafeteria positions and a few substitutes and lifeguards.
A bid for $10,350.00 to have the gym floors refinished went to Rainbow Floors from Connecticut.
The Summer Learning Academy was approved for grades 6-7-8.
A Swimming Pool safety policy was approved. This was suggested by the insurance company. Safety checks and drills will be an expansion of safety programs already in effect.
The Wellness policy was approved, the template for which was provided by the state. A big concern discussed was competitive foods, which provide little nutrition, that will be accessible in limited amounts. An Early Entrance Policy was approved. This establishes a procedure by which a parent can request a young child be registered for school prior to the age of five by September 1 of that school year.
A video/audio policy was approved which outlines procedures for using surveillance on campus and notifying visitors of this activity.
A varsity baseball coach post was filled.
April 25 a meeting was to be held to discuss a possible Elk Lake Sports Hall of Fame.
Discussion ensued as to the responsibilities of the Athletic Director. One important task is to evaluate all uniforms and equipment at the end of each season and prepare a budget to purchase needed items.
The Career and Technology board met as well, and approved many of the same items.
A food service bid was tabled.
A reminder of the Spring legislative meeting was given. This will have been held April 20 at the county library.
The board will hold two meetings in May, on the 9th and 16th, which are open to the public.
Many representatives of COG’s 30 member municipalities were present at the April 18 monthly meeting.
President Elliot Ross shared a note of thanks from the Leadership 20/20 program for a presentation he gave to their participants, and copies of an article about the Susquehanna County COG in this month’s PA COG magazine were made available for review.
Most member municipalities have furnished the necessary information for the ordinance to reestablish membership in COG; those who have not were requested to do so. Once the final information is submitted, the ordinance will be brought up for adoption at the May meeting. It will then be advertised, and voted on at the June meeting.
Annette Rogers, representing new member Montrose Borough was welcomed.
Much of COG’s costs for insurance are reimbursable from DEP; this year, the line item for Errors and Omissions was denied, most likely because COG has been billed as a whole, rather than for three separate committees (COG, COG Sewage Enforcement and COG Codes). It was the Insurance Committee’s recommendation that COG’s insurance carrier be requested to provide separate billing when the annual policy comes up for renewal in June so that reimbursement will be received next year.
The annual audit of the Sewage Enforcement committee has been completed. In light of the amount of funds that are received and distributed by COG, the executive committee recommends that, in future, COG consider having audits done by a CPA, rather than a practitioner; a CPA could make recommendations, which a practitioner cannot. After discussion it was agreed to authorize office manager Karen Trynoski to obtain three price quotes from CPAs for the annual audits for review by the executive committee for the Codes audit, and next year for all three committees.
Randy Decker (PENNDOT) was present and noted that many of the area’s roads seem to be a bit dusty, but otherwise in good shape. In response to a question regarding one area that did not fare well over the winter, he explained that in areas where DSA (Driving Surface Aggregate) has been used, the roads should not subsequently be oiled and chipped. DSA creates too dense a surface and does not allow for drainage.
Another question was asked, whether an asphalt supplier in nearby Broome County was providing PENNDOT approved material. Mr. Decker said that they are not, but are gearing up to be approved for “super pave.” He promised to provide updates.
The Building Committee is still looking at potential sites for a new COG building, with three leads presently being followed.
Harvey Rosenkrans reported that he had met with Bradley Swetter, who had requested COG’s sponsorship for SEO certification. Sponsorship would be at no cost to COG, but would allow Mr. Swetter to receive a reduction in his certification costs. COG’s only commitment would be to consider employing him at a future date. Mr. Rosenkrans cited some of Mr. Swetter’s extensive experience and recommended that both Mr. Swetter and COG would benefit from sponsorship. A motion carried to approve.
DEP has rejected plans for development of land at Dunn Lake, due to a lack of social and economic justification. A list of criteria that had not been met was given by DEP, including insufficient job potential, the tax burden that would be seen by neighboring property owners if property values were to rise, no municipal waste collection. The plans are on hold at present.
SEO Duane Wood planned to attend an information conference the following day, hosted by the PA Seepage Management Association. Topic of discussion was to be pending legislation pertaining to certifications of septic systems in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
Mike Pasteka of Building Inspection Underwriters, COG’s third party UCC inspectors, brought updates on a number of topics.
Any public function that utilizes temporary structures and/or temporary electric service now requires a permit. He stressed that permanent structures would not need to be inspected, only those that are in place for specific events such as carnivals or fairs. COG would need to come up with a fee schedule for these inspections which would include one on-site visit. The majority of these type of events, he said, are set up by people who know what they are doing and would not require follow-up visits, but some provision would need to be included for when a problem is found. He added that all of COG’s members were sent relevant information some time last year. He would also be willing to put together a brief description of requirements, to be available when needed. And, it is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that a permit is obtained, whether it be personally or by agent (the host organization). A standardized check sheet that is used for these inspections is available for reference at the COG office.
Commercial buildings without a Certificate of Occupancy were the next topic. Act 95 has been amended to allow obtaining a certificate for older buildings; any change in a structure’s original usage or by alteration would require a certificate and in some instances a financial institution or insurance carrier could require one. To obtain a certificate for an older building, the owner would need to supply a drawing of the present structure, prepared by a registered architect or engineer. Dealing with uncertified buildings, he said, is a learning process, especially with continually changing regulations.
Demolition and construction debris, or more particularly how to dispose of it was the next topic. DEP strictly prohibits burning of debris, regardless of what any municipality allows.
As of 2004, both federal and state regulations mandate that any new, manufactured home must be frost protected, which changes the way foundations can be installed. Mr. Pasteka feels that the regulations would not involve prohibitive costs.
As of July, manufactured housing installers must be trained and certified by the state, and installers must supply a completed verification of compliance.
And, Labor and Industry will be conducting periodic audits of building inspectors, particularly in regard to how handicap accessibility is being handled.
Information on all of these topics is available at the COG offices for member municipalities.
If Clifford Township’s forthcoming Bicentennial Celebration has half the excitement as the people who are planning it, the township will give this area a really good time to remember.
So far, the Fourth of July Weekend will feature a wide assortment of things to do and places to see and while it may be an old cliché, there will be something for everyone.
The Historical Society, headed by Sally Fischbeck and Sandy Wilmot, is putting together a historical book and video that should be in the family library for years and years of reminiscing and laughter.
The Parade Committee which is co-chaired by Harry Phillips and Jerry Verboys will be one of the top attractions during the two-day celebration. It will feature something for everyone, including antique farm equipment, fire fighting vehicles, cars and motorcycles, musical groups, floats and munchies.
In the planning stages are such favorites as an old fashioned square dance and BBQ dinner, a genuine dozy-do dance caller, and a mouth-watering menu. Kathy Flora and the Mountain View Garden Club are capably planning for the entire event.
You won’t want to miss a visit to the township building where Jack Tellep and friends will be adding some finishing touches to a brand spanking new Veterans Memorial. And be sure to visit inside the building and around back to the playground/ball ballfield area.
Barbara Kunst is in charge of the artisans and vendors and the advertising committee is under the capable hands of Meg Suraci.
Board members of the Clifford Township Community Alliance have accepted an assortment of interesting assignments. Janice Bevacqua is secretary of the Bicentennial Committee; Cherie Swetter is responsible for dealing with the press, and Jim Pettinato heads up the finance committee.
Well, there it is. A quick look at the scheduled events of the Clifford Township Bicentennial Celebration which will be observed July 1 and 2.
News | Living | Sports | Schools | Churches | Ads | Events
Military | Columns | Ed/Op | Obits | Archive | Subscribe