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The Susquehanna County Jail Board is legal.
At its meeting last week, the Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution giving the Jail Board full control of the county prison system including the right to hire and fire.
A number of years ago the county had the choice of creating a Jail Board or allowing the jail to fall under the jurisdiction of the county sheriff. The commissioners in office at the time opted for a Jail Board, a move that required passage of a resolution establishing the board.
Roberta Kelly, chair of the current Board of Commissioners, said the resolution is required by law but extensive research failed to produce the needed document. County Solicitor Ray Davis recommended that the commissioners reaffirm the Jail Board’s status by adopting a new resolution.
Commissioner Jeff Loomis, chair of the Prison Board, said the commissioners wanted to make certain that the board is in full compliance with state statutes regarding the operation of the jail. He said passing the resolution gives the board the power to continue taking all action regarding the jail and to exercise all authority consistent with state law. Loomis pointed out that "while the Jail Board will do the hiring and firing" the county commissioners will have the opportunity to ratify the board’s decisions.
The three commissioners sit on the five-member Jail Board along with District Attorney Jason Legg and Sheriff Lance Benedict.
In another matter, Jim Jennings of Brooklyn Township and Tom Jurista of Silver Lake Township chastised the board for not having a county representative at the recent dedication of a memorial honoring six county soldiers who were killed in Iraq.
“Such an important event and no one shows up,” Jurista said.
Kelly said she and Loomis were attending contract negotiations that were set up months before.
“I hear a lot of excuses,” Jennings said, “but none of them are acceptable. Someone should have been designated to represent the county.”
The commissioners hired Crystal Bray of Susquehanna to the open, fulltime position of temporary clerk typist in the office of Emergency Management. The Salary Board agreed to pay her $7.85 per hour and no benefits for the non-union position.
"We're doing everything we can, as fast as we can." So said Roadmaster George Sansky at a meeting of the Harford Township Supervisors on July 25 to the small group of citizens who came out to hear the latest about flood damage – and what is being done to fix it.
There was other business on the agenda, but it seemed minor in light of the challenges facing Harford, not to mention many of her neighboring communities in the wake of the Great Flood of 2006. Much of what the Supervisors would have liked to accomplish may be put on hold as the township is forced to drain some of its accumulated resources to pay for the damage. And it isn't getting cheaper.
The Supervisors opened the one and only bid to supply the township with diesel and gasoline fuel. They accepted an offer from the Mirabito Fuel Group to deliver diesel at an estimated price (which will fluctuate in any case) of about $2.50 per gallon; gasoline came it at only slightly less. A bargain at current retail rates, the township doesn't pay fuel taxes, and the price will vary with an index maintained in Harrisburg for state government suppliers.
The Supervisors also considered a letter from the County Commissioners requesting more information about likely alternative polling places. New computer equipment for handicapped voters that will not conveniently fit into the township office (not to mention the inconvenience of turning the office over to the electorate for a couple of days a year) spurred the township to request that the county find some other place to put a polling station, perhaps the new fire hall, or the church lecture hall.
Rick Pisasik said that the township would do what it could to help relocate the polling station, but he agreed with others at the meeting – including Judge of Elections Maureen Warren – that it is the county's responsibility to find a suitable location. Ms. Warren said that she would contact the county clerk for information about the process of selecting a location – if there is such a process.
Work to repair the damage from the flood, and to try to keep it from happening again, was the focus of the meeting, however. The township is frantically filling out FEMA forms, and PEMA forms, and DEP forms, and DAP forms, and who knows what all forms. Like most municipalities in the area, Harford is short on cash to deal with such large projects. So they're applying for federal and state aid, which takes a lot of paperwork. Sue Furney said that the township had only recently finished the paperwork for federal funds arising out of hurricane Ivan. Ivan blew through in September, 2004.
The Supervisors passed a resolution to designate Mr. Sansky their agent for disaster relief applications. They passed another measure authorizing themselves to apply for any and all available financial support. Each of these items was accompanied by a suitably thick packet of forms.
The meeting then recognized a resident of Kingsley, who said he represented a number of his neighbors. He asked specifically that the township consider deepening Martins Creek through the village, which he said he hoped would not only keep such floods from happening again, but might also keep basements drier.
Mr. Pisasik replied that while such a project might be desirable in the long run, the township has a number of other projects that will claim its interest and resources. Moreover, in the case of Martins Creek, a number of permits would be required, presumably the most important of which would be from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Even should such permits be issued, there are questions of liability should the township elect to carry out such projects on private property.
Terry VanGorden said that he had inspected the area of interest and determined that about 1,200 feet of the creek would have to be reamed out to do much good. The problem then would become which 1,200 feet, starting where.
Mr. Sansky told the meeting that the large sluice under U.S. Route 11 at Kingsley was releasing water into a series of smaller, and in some cases homemade, sluices throughout the village of Kingsley. (Kingsley was badly flooded in the 1920's. A flood-control dam was subsequently built above the village, its outflow directed into that sluice.) Perhaps ideally a pipe under Kingsley's main street all the way to the creek would be a solution, albeit a very expensive one.
In the meantime, Mr. Sansky reported that he and his crew had just about finished repairing the badly damaged area around the intersection with Mill Street, virtually all of the work done by hand. He thanked the residents of Kingsley for their patience and assistance.
The biggest project by far will be the washed-out bridge on Pennay Hill Road. Estimates place the cost of its replacement at about half a million dollars. The township is awaiting engineering reports on that one. Others at the top of the list are the sluice at the outlet of Tingley Lake under Stearns Road, a large pipe on Lower Podunk Road, another on Miller Road, and the complete washout of Richardson Road.
A letter from the Harford-Lenox Little League Baseball Association asked permission to improve drainage under the ball field in back of School Street. Mr. Sansky asked for time to study that project more deeply before allowing more water to come off that field and into town.
Mr. Pisasik reported that the township had already spent some $14,000 on repairs after the flood. The township is "prepared to spend another $50,000" if necessary. Emergency repairs can be fully reimbursed under the county's disaster declaration. So-called "mitigation" projects, to keep such things from happening again, such as the sluice at Tingley Lake, or digging out Martins Creek, would be reimbursable from federal funds at only 75%; an additional 23-25% might be available from state funds. If such support is forthcoming, said Mr. Pisasik, the township might be able to handle the expense.
Until higher government subsidies come down the sluice (so to speak), however, the township must rely on its own resources, which are limited. "There are only four of us," said Mr. Sansky, referring to his crew of township workers. And the money just isn't available to do everything. For example, there won't be much time or money available for dust control on township roads for the remainder of the summer. "We're going to take a hit on dust this year," said Mr. Pisasik.
The next check from the state for maintenance of the roads in Harford Township isn't expected until April, 2007. When a check or two might be seen from the federal or state governments is anybody's guess. In the meantime, Harford will be filling out forms and watching its reserves dwindle.
“This is our opportunity to turn things around and get the county rebuilt instead of repaired,” said Roberta Kelly, chair of the Susquehanna County Board of Commissioners.
“Susquehanna County,” Kelly added, “will maximize all potential resources to rebuild our infrastructure and help seek the technical assistance needed to work through the maze of disaster recovery programs.”
Kelly said state and federal legislators have gone “above and beyond” to help put the county back together in what many believe was the worst flood ever in the county.
“We are getting real action from our legislators,” she said. “They have cut through the red tape in providing temporary housing for 21 displaced families.”
She singled out the efforts of US Senator Rick Santorum, Congressman Don Sherwood and Governor Ed Rendell. “They really do seem to want to take care of the needs of the county,” she said.
Kelly said crews from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation are working diligently to restore roads and bridges washed away by flood waters. In some instances, temporary bridges will be used while work is proceeding on rebuilding existing bridge sites.
”The Route 29 bridge opened last Friday,” Kelly said. “and work has begun on the Route 11 corridor that was so hard hit.”
Cleanup crews, many of them volunteers, have been doing yeomen’s work, Kelly said, adding that grant money through Northern Tier Planning and Development will finance additional work crews that will remove debris from area streams and creeks. She said the program will be coordinated through Mark Wood, Susquehanna County Emergency Management Coordinator and the Conservation Department.
Kelly said PENNDOT has been given a permit to clean and dredge Salt Lick Creek from Hallstead to New Milford.
Wood said the Red Cross has been coordinating cleanup groups, many of whom are helping elderly families clean out their basements and yards. He said churches, such as the Seventh Day Adventists and a group of Mennonites that has been camping nearby came to help. And, of course, he said neighbors are helping neighbors.
To date, Wood said 1,025 county residents have registered with FEMA at the school and another 675 have registered on line. He said the Disaster Recovery Center will remain open in the cafeteria of the Blue Ridge School Cafeteria through August 5. The Center is a readily accessible facility where applicants may go for information about FEMA or other disaster assistance programs or with questions relating to individual cases.
Wood said a lot of individuals who filled out the required forms have received federal checks already for replacing such items as furnaces and hot water heaters. He said the only time applicants must pay money back to FEMA would be if they accepted a low interest loan.
The hardest hit areas were along the Route 11 corridor in the Great Bend/Hallstead/New Milford areas. However, 34 of the county’s 40 municipalities filed for financial help as did three municipal authorities and seven volunteer fire companies.
County residents in need of transportation to the Disaster Recovery Center are urged to contact Barnes Kasson Transportation at 1-800-323-2051.
Federal National Mortgage Association (aka) Fanniemae to John J. Ward, Pamela Ward, New Milford, in New Milford Township for $42,684.
Thomas Rummerfield to Noreen M. Brown, Rutherford, NJ, in New Milford Township for $120,000.
Judith M. Ventresca (aka) Judith M. Albert, Angelo Ventresca, Jr. to Judith M. Ventresca , RR5, Montrose, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Angelo Ventresca, Jr., Judith M. Ventresca to Angelo Ventresca, Jr., RR5, Montrose, Judith M. Ventresca, in Jessup Township for one dollar.
Judith M. Ventresca (aka) Judith M. Albert, Angelo Ventresca, Jr. to Judith M. Ventresca, RR5, Montrose, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Angelo Ventresca, Jr., Judith M. Ventresca (aka) Judith M. Albert to Kenneth DiPhillilps, RR5, Montrose, Ellen DePhillips, in Jessup Township for one dollar.
Don Leon Peck, Jr. (aka) Don L. Peck, Jr., Barbara L. Pompey, Ruth A. Taugher to Jason Considine, RR1, Kingsley, in Harford Township for $160,000.
Mark D. Nealy, Katherine A. Nealy to Mark D. Nealy, RR5, Montrose, Katherine A. Nealy, in Jessup Township for one dollar.
Gisela Krause, Ronald Lipkowitz to Philip J. Pass, Sr., RR1, Union Dale, Barbara Pass, in Clifford Township for $29,140.
George Glenn Wilder, Mary Elizabeth Wilder to Donald Lee DePew, RR1, Lenoxville, Christine DePew, in Clifford Township for $132,500.
Jessica Landucci (estate) to Agostino C. Bozzo, Brackney, in Silver Lake Township for $58,000.
Adrienne Rigo to Paul Skasko, RR3, Susquehanna, June Skasko, in Lanesboro Borough for $1,500.
Rhodes Living Trust (by trustee) to Jacquelyn Renee Rhodes, RR7, Montrose, in Dimock Township for zero dollars.
Claire Lockburner to Sherre Boyanowski, RR1, Laceyville, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Robin M. Wallace (estate) to Michael L. Wallace, RR1, Hallstead, Stephanie R. Gray, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Robin M. Wallace (estate) to Michael L. Wallace, RR1, Hallstead, Stephanie R. Gray, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Michael L. Wallace, Stephanie R. Gray to Frank L. Benacquisto Jr., RR1, Hallstead, Christy Ann Benacquisto, in Liberty Township for $3,500.
Leonard F. Aldrich (estate) to Leonard D. Aldrich, RR1, Susquehanna, Susan E. Mincey, Beth A. Aldrich, in Gibson Township for one dollar.
Thelma Owens to Doris Shuta, Binghamton, NY, Michael L. Shuta, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Eric Wheaton (by atty), Mary Wheaton (aka) to Barry J. Wheaton, Tobyhanna, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Richard P. Bonifanti, Beverly J. Bonifanti to Thomas E. Roloson, Linda L. Roloson, Mattiottsville,. MD, in Bridgewater Township for $312,500.
Gerald Mensel, Barbara Mensel to Gerald Mensel, RR1, Nicholson, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Emery B. Benscoter, Julie A. Benscoter to Robert M. Springer, RR1, Springville, Barbara M. Springer in Springville Township for $400.
Gerald J. Mensel, Barbara Mensel to Gerald J. Mensel, RR1, Nicholson, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Joseph Wynne, Marie Wynne to Joseph Wynne, Jr., RR1, Kingsley, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Mary Rossi to Brian J. Morales, RR1, Nicholson, in Harford Township for $55,000.
Franklin D. Mastro to Elizabeth A. Mastro, Liberty, NY, in Rush Township for one dollar.
Myrtle L. Maas (estate) to James W. Robertson, RR1, Nicholson, in Lenox Township for $50,000.
Dewey B. Hunsinger, Helen Hunsinger to Dewey B. Hunsinger, Jr., RR1, Springville, Patricia A. Hunsinger, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Stephen S. Kwiatkoski, Beverly Kwiatkoski to David P. Kwiatkowski, Passaic, NJ, in Harmony Township for one dollar.
William L. Dittmar, Sharon K. Dittmar, Frederick R. Kulikowski, Cheryle L. Kulikowski to Fiondi Inc, Binghamton, NY, in Silver Lake Township for $85,000.
Florence Hugaboom to Harvey Hugaboom, RR2, Union Dale, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Florence Hugaboom to Lee E. Hugaboom, RR2, Union Dale, in Ararat Township and Borough of Union Dale, for one dollar.
Florence M. Hugaboom to Cheryl A. Rieman, RR2, Union Dale, Carol L. Cottrell, in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Stewart W. Phillips, Karen B. Phillips to John A. Bosco, Lana S. Bosco, RR3, Meshoppen, in Auburn Township for $290,000.
Peter E. Giannone, Erin C. Giannone to Lawrence T. O’Reilly, RR1, Friendsville, Christine M. O’Reilly, Thomas J. O’Reilly, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Lawrence T. O’Reilly, Christine M. O’Reilly, Thomas J. O’Reilly to Michael W. Deskiewicz, New Tripoli, in Auburn Township for $112,000.
Tim David Smith, Sr. to Tim David Smith, Sr., Kingsley, Roxanne Smith in Brooklyn and Harford townships for one dollar.
Adam Sanders, Jenifer L. Benedict (nbm) Jenifer L. Sanders to Adam Sanders, RR1, Nicholson, Jenifer L. Sanders, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Ronald J. Wallace, Noreen Wallace, Gary L. Wallace, Susan L. Wallace, Wayne A. Wallace, Diane P. Murphy (aka) Diane P. Murphy, Tammy S. Brant to David Joe Maloof, RR1, Montrose, in New Milford Township for $90,000.
Donald Gerola to Robert P. Hopkins, Ilaya Rome Hopkins, Bethesda, MD, in Herrick Township for $55,000.
Margaret Zory (nka) Margaret Heller to Margaret Heller, Union Dale, in Union Dale Borough for one dollar.
Seth Silow, Laurie Silow to Scott Ingerman, Sandra C. Ingerman, Landing, NJ, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Kenneth G. Miller to Lawrence M. Grasso (revoc living trust), Vero Beach, FL in Great Bend Township for $8,000.
Noreen C. Olszewski, Nora C. Olszewski to Charlotte L. Swackhammer, RR1, Montrose, Charles W. Swackhammer, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Carol M. Masters, Richard S. Masters, Eloise W. Masters to Carol M. Masters, Hop Bottom, in Brooklyn and Harford townships for one dollar.
Carol M. Masters, Richard S. Masters, Eloise W. Masters to Richard Masters, Kingsley, Eloise Masters, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Richard S. Masters, Eloise W. Masters, Carol M. Masters to Richard S. Masters Inc., Kingsley, in Harford Township for one dollar.
George L. Buffum, Joanne Buffum, Roy T. Mulcahy, Marlene A. Mulcahy, Gloria M. Andrews (nbm) Gloria M. Seward, Robert Seward to No Problem PA Inc, in Brackney for one dollar.
David M. VanDuren to Beverly S. Fraser, Montrose, in Montrose for $75,000.
Jason R. Buchanan, Robert C. Buchanan, Ester M. Buchanan, to Jason R. Buchanan, RD 3, Susquehanna, in Harmony Township for one dollar.
Gordon James Beidler to Larry M. Christian, Kimberly M. Christian, Avoca, in Harmony Township for $23,000.
Dorothy Cleary to Bernard DeCanali, Brooklyn, NY, Maderlene Grandidni-Cabelo, in Harford Township for $145,000.
Gerald A. Pawlukovich, Alice Pawlukovich to Nannette L. Buckley, Clifford, in Clifford Township for $75,000.
Margaret A. Zory (nka) Margaret A. Heller to Michael Canfield, Louise Canfield, Forest City, in Forest City for $98,500.
Mary L. Ewonishon to Andrew J. Ewonishon, RR2, Union Dale, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Mary L. Ewonishon to Andrew J. Ewonishon, RR2, Union Dale, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Bryant Keith Beach, Montrose and Lisa Ann Beach, Hallstead.
Clayton Densmore Brooks, Montrose and Rachel Nicole Groover, Springville.
Thomas English Faulkner, Dalton and Margaret E. Tuma, Endicott, NY.
Matthew John Oleniacz, Brackney and Megan Mitchell Felterman, Brackney.
Joseph Simone, Montrose and Kristina Michelle Donaldson, Montrose.
Timothy M. Lord, Montrose and Penny Marie Newhart, Montrose.
James Richard Warren, New Milford and Cindy L. Casella, New Milford.
Richard Rugar, Jr., Montrose and Roxane Irene Saugster, Montrose.
Corey David Gesford, Nicholson and Susan Kulikowski, Nicholson.
Clifford F. Smith, New Milford and Catherine Ann Ghent, New Milford.
Kenneth Eugene Soules, Susquehanna and Holly A. Meadows, Susquehanna.
London Kibler, Sr., Hallstead vs. Janet P. Kibler, Hallstead.
Alan C. Gage, Lawton vs. Jacqueline P. Gage, Constantina, NY.
FEDERAL TAX LIENS
Michael D. Lepre, Hop Bottom, $26,901.
Patrick L. Burke, Montrose, $8,794. Judgment.
New Milford Municipal Authority vs. John Bickell, New Milford Borough, $2,355.
Oakland Boro Holds Emergency Meeting
Oakland Boro Council held a brief emergency meeting on Saturday, July 29. Members present were president Ron Beavan, Randy Glover, Jack Agler and Dave Dibble, and secretary Flo Brush.
A motion carried to adopt a resolution authorizing Emergency Management Coordinator Paul Dudley to act in the boro’s behalf, and execute any necessary applications/paperwork with FEMA, to seek remediation for damage caused by the June flooding. A meeting with FEMA representatives was scheduled for later that day.
Before the meeting adjourned, Mr. Beavan asked council to consider what should be done about lower High Street, which saw a lot of damage, with drains washed out and ditches badly eroded from the raging flood. It would, he said, be a major project to fix it.
Also to be considered, the boro’s salt shed was badly damaged, to the extend that it is falling down and the boro’s stockpiles of salt and cinders were washed away.
The next regular meeting will be on Thursday, August 10, 7 p.m. in the boro building.
$20+ Million Approved For Disaster Assistance
The following is the most recent information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) about the ongoing recovery efforts.
10,271 individuals have registered for disaster aid by calling the toll-free number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for speech- and hearing-impaired applicants. The lines are open 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice. Registration Deadline is September 2, 2006.
$12.2 million has been disbursed to help disaster-affected homeowners and renters who need a place to live or who may need to make repairs for their homes to be safe, sanitary, and functional.
$1.5 million has been approved for Pennsylvanians in the form of grants to help cover eligible disaster needs under the Other Needs Assistance program funded by FEMA and the Commonwealth.
$8.2 million has been approved in Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster-loans. Under a Presidential disaster declaration, the SBA offers low-interest disaster loans to individuals as well as businesses of all sizes. Homeowners may be eligible for loans up to $200,000 to repair disaster-damaged primary residences and renters may be eligible for loans up to $40,000 for personal property such as clothing or furniture. Businesses and non-profits may be eligible for physical loss loans up to $1.5 million. Economic Injury Disaster Loans are also available to eligible small businesses.
22 FEMA Community Relations specialists are working in disaster-designated counties and getting disaster information into local communities.
A total of 22 counties have been designated to receive Individual Assistance.
A total of 25 counties have been designated to receive Public Assistance. The disaster declaration makes federal aid available to public entities for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and funding the repair, restoration, reconstruction, or replacement of public facilities, parks, bridges and other infrastructure.
Don’t Misunderstand Disaster Assistance
HARRISBURG – The disaster recovery process is difficult to understand at times. Disaster assistance is offered through different programs, agencies, and organizations, and in the first few weeks following a disaster, residents may be misled by rumors they hear about how to get help and the various assistance programs that are available.
According to state and federal disaster recovery officials, there are two easy ways to begin the application process. You may call FEMA’s toll-free number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 1-800-462-7585. Both numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week until further notice, and multilingual operators are also available to answer your call. Online registration is available at www.fema.gov.
Some clarifications for common misconceptions about disaster assistance:
I have reported my damages and losses to my county officials, so I am already registered with FEMA.
Not true. You must either call the FEMA toll-free number, or register online. If you have not done this, you are not registered for federal disaster assistance.
I got help from the American Red Cross, but I still need to apply to FEMA if I need assistance.
True. FEMA coordinates a number of programs to help disaster victims. These programs are different from the emergency food, clothing and shelter initially provided by the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and other voluntary agencies. Registration with the Red Cross or other voluntary agencies is not the same as applying with FEMA.
I have to visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) to apply for assistance.
Not true. There are two ways to apply for assistance. You may call FEMA’s toll-free number or register online. DRCs are designed to provide additional information or assistance. No appointment is necessary and you may visit any DRC even if it is not located in your town or county. Small Business Administration (SBA) officials are also available to assist with low-interest loan applications for homeowners and renters, as well as businesses of all sizes.
I have to wait for an insurance adjustor or inspector to visit before I can clean up.
Not true. You should begin cleaning your home or business as soon as possible to prevent mold and mildew. Remember to take photos and keep records of your clean-up efforts and expenses.
I already repaired my home. I don't need to apply.
Not true. You might qualify for reimbursement of expenses not covered by insurance such as costs associated with moving or storing your belongings.
I have to be poor to qualify for disaster assistance.
Not true. Federal and state disaster assistance programs may be available to those who suffered damage, regardless of income. The programs are not "welfare." The applicant's circumstances and unmet disaster-related needs are considered, not their income level.
I'm self-employed and out of work; I can still qualify for disaster unemployment benefits.
True. Disaster Unemployment Assistance, funded by FEMA and administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, provides benefits for workers who would not normally qualify for unemployment compensation including farmers, farm workers and those who are self-employed. Anyone interested in filing for disaster unemployment assistance should visit the nearest Career Link office or get information at a DRC.
I am a renter, so there is no help for me.
Not true. Renters may receive temporary housing assistance because of disaster damage or loss. A renter may also qualify to receive funds to cover serious disaster-related needs and expenses not covered by insurance and other disaster assistance programs. Renters can also qualify for an SBA low-interest disaster loan for damaged personal property.
Insurance and Disaster Assistance
I have flood insurance. I hear there still may be other help available to me.
True. Insurance is your main source for money to put your life back in order after a disaster. But there are some losses that insurance does not cover. Federal disaster assistance helps the “underinsured” with disaster-related expenses not covered by their insurance policy.
I have to wait for my insurance adjustor before I can apply for disaster assistance.
Not true. You can apply for disaster aid before your insurance adjuster contacts you. Read over your policy and learn the specifics of what it covers. Be sure to keep receipts of all repair work. Register for federal disaster assistance as soon as possible.
I have flood insurance, but I can't call because my premium will go up.
Not true. Your premium will not increase because of a claim. The insurance premiums for the National Flood Insurance Program are set by the U.S. Congress, and remain at the set level regardless of the number, or amount, of previous claims.
Common Misconceptions about Disaster Assistance Loans:
I don't have to fill out the SBA packet because I won't qualify, and I don't want a loan anyway.
Not true. All disaster assistance applicants who receive an SBA loan application packet must fill it out and return it, no matter what you believe your financial status to be. Only by returning the packet can you continue to be considered for further disaster assistance programs. You can receive face-to-face help in filling out the SBA loan application at any DRC. The SBA low-interest loan is the primary source of federal assistance for long-term recovery for homeowners, renters and businesses of any size. Call the SBA Helpline at 1-800-659-2955 for further information and assistance.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.
Susky To Look At Certifications
At the July 25 meeting of the Susquehanna Boro Council, Mayor Reddon asked council to consider enacting a policy that would prevent police officers from taking their certification certificates with them when they leave the boro’s employ, if the certificates have been paid for by the boro. Mike Matis agreed; he said that it had been discussed at the police committee meeting, where the feeling was if the boro has paid for the certification, it should not be used for employment elsewhere. Officers would be allowed to work for other municipalities, but not with the certification that Susquehanna had paid for. Council agreed to look into the legalities.
Mayor Reddon shared correspondence received regarding the proposed New York Regional Interconnect power line project. Independent judges for the New York State Public Service Commission will be reviewing the plan, and will be taking all comments into consideration, including those received from the boro in opposition to the plan, which Pennsylvania has filed to intervene.
Mayor Reddon reported receiving complaints about drainage problems and potholes, and a truck that had attempted to make an illegal right-hand turn onto Erie Avenue from Main Street. The truck hit a pillar, broke an axel, and tied up traffic in the attempt, and the driver will be cited.
During one recent day shift, Officer Andidora made ten traffic stops, and has been documenting locations where tree branches are obstructing stop signs.
Jim Davis of DGK Insurance was present to review the boro’s policy to be sure that all information was correct prior to renewal. Some areas of coverage saw increases, while others saw decreases, all of which add up to about the same cost as the current policy.
Shawn Burns, the boro’s Codes Enforcement Officer, has notified council of his resignation; he will stay on until a replacement can be found, and is willing to stay on as a rental inspector. After discussion, his resignation was tabled for the time being, and a motion carried to advertise for a replacement.
A motion carried to reschedule the streets committee meetings to the first Wednesday of the month, to be held consecutively with the police and codes committee meetings.
Albert Cuevas will be organizing another cleanup of the riverfront property on October 21. He said that adult volunteers with chainsaws would be needed, as a wood chipper will be onsite that day.
Mr. Matis updated council on the Agility agreement with PENNDOT. Options other than patching on PENNDOT’s part were discussed. With the boro’s contribution of street sweeping estimated at $1,600 per year, PENNDOT suggested that their contribution could be sign replacement, including posts and installations. It was agreed that this would be acceptable.
Mayor Reddon reported that there had been numerous complaints from homeowners on Prospect, Vine, and Washington Streets who had substantial water coming onto their properties during the flood that strongly smelled of fuel and sewage. Some believed that the mountain above is no longer able to hold water because of quarry operations. Excess water is also affecting catch basins, and eroding the streets. She said that the problem existed before the flood, the flood just overwhelmed the system. Ron Whitehead commented that a quarry cannot operate without a permit, and the permit includes a stipulation for reclamation of the land. After discussion, it was agreed to contact DEP for more information.
Mr. Whitehead gave an overview of a FEMA meeting that he and several other council members had attended the previous Monday. There was, he said, tons more paperwork to be filled out. He and Mr. Williams would be going over it all, and the boro’s application to FEMA has been submitted. Mr. Whitehead and Mr. Kelly had an appointment the following Thursday with FEMA, to go over the application and other relevant paperwork.
Mayor Reddon recommended hiring of police officer Joseph Devoe, with the customary probation period. Council did have some questions about the officer’s application and adjourned to an executive session to discuss it further.
And, council reviewed information from the county Tax Claim Bureau in regards to the annual upset sale.
After the executive session, council reconvened briefly. A motion carried to promote Officer Andidora to sergeant, and to approve a pay raise to $10.50 per hour. Mr. Devoe’s application was tabled pending receipt of copies of required certifications.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, August 8, 7 p.m. in the boro building.
PEMA, FEMA Warn Flood Victims Of Fraud
HARRISBURG, PA – State and federal disaster recovery officials advise those affected by the late-June flooding to be aware of anyone who asks for personal information over the telephone or claims to be able to register them for disaster assistance for a fee.
Callers claiming to be state or FEMA officials may try to solicit personal information from flood victims. In the past, callers have instructed the disaster victim to supply them with their bank account number and authorize the caller to electronically withdraw funds from the account. In return, the caller promises the victim a grant from the state to cover personal property losses due to the disaster.
“It is unfortunate that unscrupulous people try to take advantage of others after a disaster when they are most vulnerable," said Commonwealth Coordinating Officer James R. Joseph. “We encourage residents to be wary and to ask for identification of anyone claiming to be a disaster recovery official.”
There is never a “processing fee” to register for assistance, or a request to authorize the use of funds, state and federal officials said. Anyone who receives a call like this is urged to hang up and report the incident by calling the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-441-2555.
“The only way to register with FEMA is to call the toll-free application number,” said Tom Davies, federal coordinating officer. “It is both an efficient and secure application process.” The registration number is 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), TTY 1-800-462-7585. They are in operation from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.
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