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While the Susquehanna County Commissioners continue their search for a jail warden, they are also continuing to beef up the security at the jail but appear to be adamant about their refusal to bring back the former warden as a part-time corrections officer.
The commissioners have not offered a reasonable explanation for rejecting ex-warden Bill Brennan’s desire to return as a part-time guard. Instead, they appear to be ignoring him and the hiring of two more part-timers seems to give mute testimony to their decision not to rehire him.
The two part-time corrections officers added to the security staff at the jail last week are Dane Cornell and Justyn Lee, both of Montrose. They will be paid $11.57 an hour plus benefits in accordance with the prison bargaining unit contract.
At the same meeting, the commissioners created a second fulltime deputy warden and, sitting as the Salary Board, agreed to pay whomever is chosen to fill the position an annual starting salary of $28,000 plus benefits.
Also at the brief Salary Board meeting, the commissioners and Treasurer Cathy Benedict set the annual rate of pay for acting warden, Nicholas Conigliaro, at $35,000 effective June 26 and ending when warden is hired.
In other matters, the commissioners passed the following motions:
– ratifying the hiring of Andrew Genneken of Thompson as a deputy sheriff. The Salary Board then set his hourly rate at $9.70 per hour in accordance with the union contract.
– adopting a resolution authorizing Chief Clerk Sylvia Beamer to execute all required forms and documents required for the purpose of obtaining financial assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
– ratifying the hirings of Linnie Donohue, John Stopka and Joyce Lathrop to part time positions processing doe license permits in the treasurer’s office. The Salary Board agreed to pay them $6 an hour.
– hired Isaac Hobbs of Lanesboro and Gerald Daly of Montrose to the open fulltime positions of Caseworker II in the Children & Youth Services. The Salary Board then set their hourly rates at $13.73 plus benefits.
Harold Wegman, area chairman of the Area Agency on Aging, addressed the audience relevant to the licensing of home care agencies and registries in Pennsylvania. He said these agencies will require licensing in order to comply with Act 69 of 2006.
Wegman also spoke of recent amendments to the PACE/PACENET program and said if anyone is in need of information about the program or help in filing for it, they can call 1-800-225-7223.
Oakland Boro Council met for their final meeting in the old boro building on August 10. The building is slated for demolition later this month. Until a permanent (or even semi-permanent) base of operations is secured, for the time being meetings will tentatively be held in the Lanesboro Community Center. And, for the time being, the boro office will be at the home of secretary Flo Brush. As of the date of the meeting, council was still looking for an office trailer to use until a new, permanent home exists. Council president Ron Beavan had been given permission to purchase a trailer at the last meeting, price not to exceed $3,000.
On this evening, the meeting began with a video presentation of damage at the Bishop property on Prospect St. The Bishops’ attorney was expected to notify council that steps needed to remedy the situation within 30 days. President Ron Beavan said that he and a contractor had gone on a site inspection to determine where the water was coming from, and what could be done to fix it. If the boro were to purchase the materials and supply some manpower, with the contractor’s estimate of three days’ work, the total was estimated to be about $3,000. Randy Glover thought that another contractor should be contacted for a second opinion on the plan and the cost. He agreed to contact two, to see if an estimate could be obtained within a few days. Mr. Beavan stressed that, whichever plan/contract were to be decided, it should be soon, by Friday, August 18 at the latest so that work could be started as soon as the materials are procured.
There was also a problem with fuel in the water running through the Bishop property; Mr. Beavan said that DEP had been contacted and the situation would be monitored.
The streets committee had been unable to set up a meeting with (streets employee) Jeff Wayman due to scheduling conflicts. It was agreed not to disband the committee just yet, and that Gary Boughton would be the contact person as he is available during the day if any questions should arise.
A list of codes violations was reviewed. The CEO is keeping an eye on activity at one property, one is in the process of being cleaned up, another owner has ignored notices from the boro, and a court date has been set for another. There was some question about one continuing situation; the property was reportedly going up for a tax sale. It was agreed to get more information before any further steps are taken.
Mayor Dudley reported that the boro has received the title to its new police car; boro officers were expected to be on duty the following weekend. In the interim, Lanesboro police have been patrolling. A resident commented that there was one particular family whose children were seen riding four-wheelers throughout the boro at all hours, at times on other people’s property. Mayor Dudley responded that, as the boro has part-time police, it would be difficult for them to witness such things; residents can file charges, but they would be required to testify at a court hearing. Unfortunately not too many are willing to do that. The police will follow up on complaints, but those making them would need to be willing to follow through.
Good news for the boro; a grant for parks improvement has been approved in the amount of $32,000. Mayor Dudley was commended for the two years’ work it took to get it; she in turn commended the many people who helped it become a reality, whether it be by pledging time, materials or money. The grant will be used to create handicap parking, for playground equipment, and to erect a pavilion.
PennDOT has been requested to paint lines and “Stop Ahead” signs at several intersections.
With the boro’s salt shed destroyed in the recent flooding, an alternate means of storage will need to be found before winter. Several options were suggested and will be looked into.
A decision will need to be made as to what to do about water problems on lower High Street. Drains are in bad shape, especially between Second Ave. and Westfall Ave.
No takers were found for the boro building furnace, or for some of the fixtures (door knobs, etc.), so they will be disposed of during the demolition.
The lawn mower is being repaired, and the boro may be receiving insurance money for equipment destroyed by flood damage at the garage.
There was a long list of problems the boro truck has been experiencing. As some of them may be caused by a malfunctioning computer, a motion carried to replace it. Once the computer is replaced, whatever problems that remain will be addressed. Council had considered buying a new truck, but that is on hold for the time being.
There was some discussion about fireworks permits; an unknown, unauthorized person was reportedly signing permits on behalf of the boro. After discussion, it was agreed that Mayor Dudley would be authorized to sign permits, which require a license and a $500 bond.
Cynthia Beavan reported that there is an individual in negotiation with River Bounty to lease the hydro-electric plant. Her understanding is that, if the deal goes through, the boro garage at the site might have to be taken down. She will keep council apprised of any developments.
Resident Carol Trevarthan asked council to look into water problems at her property, coming from upper High St. It has been a problem spanning a number of years, in spite of pipes and ditches the Trevarthans have put in at their own expense. Mr. Beavan said that council would evaluate the situation.
A motion carried to make a donation to the Susquehanna Fire Department, in recognition of the work they did during the spring flooding.
The boro’s audit report is complete, and the auditor will be requested to attend the next council meeting.
Council’s last action was to carry a motion to enact an updated realty tax transfer ordinance, at the recommendation of the county.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, September 14, 7 p.m., most likely in the Lanesboro Community Center.
Shouldn't a town have the right to know who is residing within its borders? That was one argument in favor of a renter's ordinance, one of the big topics of discussion at the August 7 Montrose Borough Council meeting. Such an ordinance would require landlords to register what property they owned and who was living in it at any given time. In addition to this, they would be required to maintain certain standards regarding safety and living conditions. While the code enforcement officer currently has the ability to inspect property, it was stated that this might give him greater freedom in this area. It is hoped that this would be another means of keeping renters in line, through means of their landlords. Montrose has had problems in the recent past with renters within its borders. The ordinances of other local towns were discussed, and a suggestion made that a document be prepared for a future meeting regarding the specific focus of such an ordinance in Montrose. The issue will be examined further at that time.
Another large topic of discussion centered around parking violations and the ticketing thereof. With the cost of tickets as they are, when a citizen contests the ticket and takes it to court the borough may spend more money paying the necessary staff to be present at the hearing than it receives from the fine. Two or three tickets are generally taken to court a month. The council is looking into an ordinance change which would raise the fines ( currently $3.00 or $5.00, or a citation and $25.00 fine if this isn't paid within ten days) to $5.00 or $10.00, with a $50.00 fine should the original sum not be paid. The decision was made to advertise this change, and it will be adopted or rejected at the next meeting.
Also on the agenda was the issue of noise, and how to deal with it. Montrose currently has a nuisance ordinance, but the council is looking into a barking dog/noise ordinance which would be more in-depth and specific. The issues of what did and did not constitute excessive noise and reasonable sensitivity to noise were raised. Can the police be called if someone is mowing their lawn in the morning? Example ordinances were provided, and in the end it was decided that solicitor O'Malley would work on creating something in this direction to be discussed at the next meeting.
Regarding flood damage, a meeting with FEMA in New Milford was reported as having gone well. The borough secretary was appointed as a liaison for FEMA and PEMA reports.
Many other topics were touched upon as well. These included the creation of handicapped parking in front of the Catholic church and what to do with the ball-field. The latter is currently overgrown and in poor condition. As soccer teams also use the area, the idea of writing a grant to revamp it as a nice baseball/soccer field was put forth. Finally, at the end of the meeting, a motion was made and approved to hire Dale Smith as a full-time, instead of part-time, policeman. Upon this decision, the meeting was adjourned.
Peter Pisaneschi, Jr., Betty M. Pisaneschi to Paul G. Montalbano, RR1, Laceyville, Linda E. Montalbano, in Rush Township for $410,000.
James J. Walker, Karey R. Walker to Karey R. Walker, RR1, Carbondale, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Whitman K. Dixon Sr., Mary Heron to Mary Grave Heron, RR1, Hallstead, in Silver Lake and Liberty townships for one dollar.
Kevin Stone, Narthan Taylor, Kelly Taylor to Paul S. Nanni, RR1, Friendsville, Carol A. Nanni, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Charles H. Liebegott, Jane A. Liebegott, Donald J. Lockhart, Shirley A. Lockhart to Edmund E. E. Raines III, RR1, Springville, Christine E. Raines, in Springville Township for $167,500.
James R. Wert, Lois J. Wert to Deanna Skalka, RR1, Kingsley, in Harford Township for $309,000.
Richard L. Gelineau, Diane Gelineau to Randy May, Susquehanna, in Jackson Township for $5,000.
Dora L. Cook (nka) Dora L. Rozelle to David D. Rodriguez, RR1, Springville, in Springville Township for $75,000.
Daniel a. Cerretani, Susan Cerretani, Patricia Cerretani, Joseph L. Cerretani, Candace Cerretani to Anthony J. Cerretani, Waverly, NY, Laurie A. Cerretani, in Silver Lake Township for $219,000.
Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, John E. Colwell (by tax claim), Charles E. Colwell (by tax claim) to Sherry Kelso, Laughlin, NV, in Thompson Township for $100.
Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, Caroline A. Plonka (by tax claim) to Sherry Kelso, Laughlin, NY, in Susquehanna for $50.
Eugene E. Lewis, Hazel W. Lewis, Lewis Family Trust (by trustee) to Howard E. Lewis, Binghamton, NY, Joyce E. Lewis, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Michael Stark to Ruth E. Morris, Binghamton, NY, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Ruth e. Morris to Ivan Guzman, North Massapequa, NY, in Susquehanna for $11,066.
Fremont Investment & Loan to Leo Kerlylovicz (aka) Leo Kerylovicz, Mary Jane Kerylovicz, Forest City, in Forest City for $51,400.
Brandon Carey to Ruth E. Morris, Binghamton, NY, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Ruth E. Morris to Ivan Guzman, North Massapequa , NY, Mary Ann Guzman, in Susquehanna for $11,066.
Robert Watson (aka) Robert G. Watson, Jerilynn Watson (aka) Jerilynn M. Watson to David Scott Farrar, Marietta, OH, in Clifford Township for $40,000.
Justin E. Ross, Melissa C. Welch (nka) Melissa C. Ross to Justin Ross, Hallstead, Melissa C. Ross, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.
Thomas J. Flynn, Sarah Flynn (estate) to London L. Kibler Sr., Great Bend, Barbara A. Clayton, in Great Bent Borough for $56,000.
Delbert Austin, Virginia Austin to Thomas A. Colwell, RR1, Great Bend, Donna M. Colwell, in Great Bend Township for $225,000.
Helen Marie Hall (estate, aka) Helen M. Hall (aka) Helen Squires Hall, Millard L. Hall, Pamela Hall to Millard L. Hall, RR2, New Milford, Pamela J. Hall, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Reed H. Burman (aka) Reed Burman to Reed H. Burman, RR2, Thompson, in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Michael P. Fedor, Roberta M. Fedor to Randy A. Correll, Nazareth, PA, in Apolacon Township for $40,000.
Arthur Inden, Sheila J. Inden to Gerald Ginsberg, Phoenixville, in Herrick Township for $100.
Richard V. Baus Sr. to Richard V. Baus Sr., Levittown, Donna Hunnewell, in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Pro-Ko Properties Inc. to Sarah Ryan, RR3, Nicholson, in Lenox Township for $103,900.
Van Stephen Cady, Daniel S. Bonham, Linda M. Bonham to Robert B. Cooley, RR2, Kingsley, Rebecca H, Cooley, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Van Stephen Cady, Daniel S. Bonham, Linda M. Bonham to Van Stephen Cady, RR2, Kingsley in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Vincent A. Heron, Lisa G. Heron to Randy Payne, RR1, Hallstead, in Liberty Township for $87,500.
Arnold D. Brassard, Irene N. Brassard to TLC Properties Inc., Baton Rouge, LA, in Great Bend Township for $34,000.
James F. Kerr, Jacqueline M. Kerr to Darlene L. Bayuk, RR2, Hallstead, in Hallstead Borough for $175,000.
Jennifer Tighe to George G. Wilder, Forest City, Mary E. Wilder, in Clifford Township for $210,000.
Karl F. Laude, Sharon Laude to Barbara J. Wayman, Susquehanna, in Jackson Township for $25,000.
Clinton Crowther, Patricia Crowther to Kenneth G. Shino, Honesdale, Laurie A. Shino, Paul E. McGraw, Beverly K. McGraw, Robert G. Shino, in Herrick Township for $170,000.
Cora Groover to Cora Groover, RR2, Montrose, Harold E. Groover, Dale A. Groover, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Robert J. Clark to David B. Thomas, Windsor, NY, Diane Dellacornio-Thomas, in Jackson Township for $150,000.
James G. Smith, Arden L. Martenz, Arden Martenz to Thomas P. Ferro, Hallstead, Mary L. Ferro, in Hallstead Borough for $94,300.
Thomas E. Faulkner to Thomas E. Faulkner, RD2, Dalton, Margaret E. Faulkner, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Floyd Leo Kenyon Jr. (estate) to Ronald Chalker, Cross City, FL, in Franklin Township for $20,000.
James H. Walters, Maleah Walters to Thomas M. Horrez, RR1, Springville, in Springville Township for $142,500.
Carol A. Ramey to Mark D. Decker Jr., RR1, Springville, in Springville Township for $154,500.
The New Milford Municipal Authority has filed municipal liens against the following persons for failing to pay sewage tie-in fees to the authority:
Matthew L. Lewis, 18 Montrose Street, New Milford, $810.
Gerald Hine, Karen Hine, 45 Montrose Street, New Milford, $810.
Jeffery Herbert, 29 Maple Street, New Milford, $810.
David Casey, Debbie Casey, 16 Ward Street, New Milford, $810.
David Canfield, Alice Canfield, PO Box, New Milford
Robert Ralston, 27 Susquehanna Street, New Milford.
George E. Martin II, 91 Main Street, New Milford.
Ivan G. Smith, Sandra K. Smith, PO Box, New Milford.
Jonathan J. Coyne PO Box, Scranton.
Robert T. Lesko, RR2, Susquehanna and Heidi Lynn Murphy, RD2, Susquehanna.
Mark Steven Carvin , RD2, Susquehanna and Barbara M. Haggerty, RD2, Susquehanna.
Rory A. Maginley Jr., RR1, New Milford and Deborah Ann Cramer, RR1, New Milford.
Benjamin Ryan Orner, RR4, Montrose and Robin J. O’Reilly, RR1, Friendsville.
David W. Wilson Jr. and Jamie Dee Simons, both of Binghamton, NY.
Eric Christopher Russell, Binghamton, NY and Bethany Lou Decker, Wilkes-Barre.
Micholas Mase III and Vicki Carol Carey, both of Montrose.
William J. Frasier and Amanda Lee Mower, both of Hallstead.
Shawn Brown, Susquehanna vs. Kelly M. Brown, Susquehanna. Married June 26, 1998.
Todd M. Merkle, Thompson vs. Laura Merkle, Closter, NJ.
With the hiring of a local police officer tabled for another month, Thompson Mayor James Delaney is on a crusade to return police presence to the Borough.
Delaney said that he is concerned the town has been without a local police officer since the retirement of Thomas Rivenburgh last year.
"I started my campaign to hire a part time police officer because of the many calls I've received from local residents over the last few months," he said. "The residents of Thompson want police presence, even if it is only part time."
Last week Delaney began what he called a "one man" petition drive asking the Borough Council to hire a part-time officer.
"In a couple of days I got over 100 signatures," he said. The people want a police officer on duty to answer calls and show a presence."
Delaney said that in his role as mayor, residents call him with legal problems ranging from "cats walking across lawns to window peepers."
He also cited several burglaries and attempted break-ins at local businesses and residences as indication of the need for a local police officer.
When asked what the response time is for the State Police for a call such as an attempted break-in, the mayor raised his hands to the sky and said, "I'm still waiting."
Delaney went on to say that he "doesn't blame" the State Police. "They have a large area to cover and just can't do it all."
Delaney told the Transcript he took the concerns of residents and the petitions to last Monday's council meeting but "once again they tabled the issue."
According to Delaney while he understands that some members of the council have questions they want answered and "a few" taxpayers are concerned the hiring of an officer will bring an increase in local taxes, his "number one concern as mayor and a resident of the community " is the safety of its residents.
"We have problems in town that I feel would be less bothersome if we had a local police presence," he said. "You can't realize how much impact it can have just seeing a police cruiser in town."
Delaney cited several ongoing problems, such as "constant speeding, recent thefts from cars left open and teenagers out after curfew horsing around and interfering with traffic.
"While the borough does have a Crime Watch Committee, we're just regular citizens with no legal powers," he said.
Delaney explained that prior to Rivenburgh's retirement there had been a part-time police officer in town for "over thirty years".
He continued, "If it was a priority and we could afford it then, why isn't it a priority we can afford now?"
Delaney said that the council tabled any decision because several members said they needed more information about what the position would entail, what qualifications the officer would have and how much time the officer will actually spend in the borough.
As for the question of tax increases, the mayor said he felt the impact would be slight.
"Isn't the safety of our children, our elderly and for that matter our entire extended community worth a little money?" he said.
"This (the hiring of a police officer) will happen," Delaney said. "If I have to put the question of hiring a police officer on the ballot myself, it will happen."
The Susquehanna Community School District has finally received the long-awaited results of recent PSSA testing. Students have met or exceeded Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards in every category, the fourth year in a row for the elementary, and the third year in a row for the high school. Superintendent Bronson Stone commended the students and staff for doing a tremendous job, and singled out the eighth grade for “massive increases” in the students’ scores.
After 13 months of work, the district’s Strategic Plan is ready for public inspection. It will be posted on the district’s website for 30 days, after which it will be submitted to Harrisburg for approval. Among other things, the plan outlines goals for the next six years, based on state mandates for AYP, particularly in students’ scoring in reading and math PSSA testing.
Wednesday, August 16, from 6:30 to 8:30 the district will be hosting an “Early Childhood Night” with staff from the K4 and K5 on hand to showcase services available not only from Susquehanna County, but also from Lackawanna and Wayne counties. Vision and hearing screenings will be offered, as well as car seat checks and activities for children.
Future board meetings will include reports on Act 1 (formerly HB 39), the state’s property tax reform initiative which will implement many changes in how districts receive funding. A Tax Study Committee, comprised of one board member and a cross section of residents will make recommendations. Approved to serve on the committee were Chris Maby, Michael Kosko, Sally Iveson, Sharon Glover, and board member Martha Stanford.
Act 1 requires the committee to make recommendations to the board regarding the impact of converting a real estate based tax levy to a real estate and income tax based levy. The law states that the district must place a question on the 2007 ballot, asking whether residents favor an income tax/net profits tax to reduce real estate taxes. The income tax would be a maximum of one percent, and the reduction in real estate taxes would be for homestead or farmstead owners only. New homestead applications would need to be filed, and the earliest real estate tax reduction could be seen would be some time in 2010 or 2011.
Seventh grade orientation was scheduled for Wednesday, August 16, from 6 to 8 p.m.
A Blended Schools open house had been held that day, to provide resources for teachers.
Summer school ended July 27, with an average of 30 out of 37 enrolled students attending each day.
Transportation data from the 2005-06 school year has been submitted to Harrisburg for reimbursement, and routes for the 2006-07 year are completed.
Under New Business, a number of policies or changes to existing policies were approved as follows:
An Identification Policy, added to the existing Crisis Response Plan; in case of evacuation, identification would be required when parents pick up children, in the event that an emergency is manned by personnel other than the district’s (e.g., the Red Cross, etc.).
A revised/updated Emergency Medical Treatment Policy & Procedure Handbook, required under Chapter 4 (Strategic Plan); it will be updated again in October, in compliance with state guidelines.
The Chapter 4 Strategic Plan, which, in addition to specific policies, mandates keeping the graduation rate above 80% and the attendance rate above 90%; the district already exceeds those percentages.
A Teacher Induction Plan, part of the Strategic Plan, assigns a mentor teacher to new teaching staff members.
A Professional Education Plan; Act 48 requires staff members to receive a minimum of six credits or 180 hours in-service credits over a five-year period. It provides professional development to increase student achievement and use of technology to aid in that achievement.
A Student Services Plan, which describes the services provided to students (screenings, etc.).
A District Technology Plan, which outlines technology efforts over the next three years, one of which is to join an NEIU/IU18 consortium to provide Internet 2, which is high speed Internet. The only content is from colleges, universities and schools and provides endless research and learning possibilities with safe content. It should be available as of July 1, 2008.
An English as a Second Language Plan (ESL); at this time, the district does not have any students requiring ESL, but the plan describes curriculum offerings and exit criteria.
An Agreement for Services Tuition Rates with Bethesda Day Treatment Center.
A Concurrent Enrollment Agreement with Luzerne County Community College for the 2006/2007 school year. Last year, one English course was offered by LCCC with 15 enrolled; this year, four courses have been offered with about 60 students enrolled. Students in grades 11 and 12 are admitted after testing, and can earn college credit while taking classes at the district. A grant application is in the works to help with the cost; if approved, students’ only cost will be a $40 application fee.
A Letter of Engagement between DeHey McAndrew and Susquehanna Community School District.
A Trehab Student Assistance Agreement.
A maintenance contract for Beck & Beck Services, Inc. for the 2006/2007 school year (refrigeration and air conditioning).
Other items approved included:
Awarding Ray Swanson the Bus 4 transportation contract for the 2006-2007 school year:
Request for Homebound Instruction for five students.
Tenure for teacher Sharon Lubaszewski.
Permission for the Superintendent to tentatively hire pending Board Approval for any vacancies that may occur between August 10 and the beginning of the 2006/2007 school year.
Kathy Matis for 45 hours of Technology work as needed; Mrs. Matis has been instrumental in helping the staff to stay on schedule in the wake of the technology coordinator’s resignation.
The following resignations: Head Computer Technologist, effective July 21; Varsity Girl’s Head Softball Coach (if hired as Assistant Coach); Varsity Girl’s Assistant Softball Coach (if hired as Head Coach); JV Girl’s Head Volleyball Coach; RN (part time), effective June 19; High School Art Teacher & Yearbook Advisor, effective July 14; Family & Consumer Science Teacher, High School, effective July 21; Junior High Boy’s Head Basketball Coach; Junior High Boy’s Assistant Basketball Coach (if hired as Head Coach); High School Newspaper Advisor.
Hiring the following Instructional Staff for the 2005/2006 school year: Music Teacher, Elementary; Social Studies Teacher, High School; Art Teacher – High School; Family & Consumer Science.
Hiring the following non-instructional staff: School Nurse (part-time)- 2 days/week, Elizabeth Matis; School Nurse (part-time), 1 day/week, Julie Hargett; Head Computer Technologist, Michele Moody; Title I Aide, Elementary, Bobbi Edwards; Health Office Aide, Elementary, Brenda Reddon; Maintenance (part-time), 25 hours/week, John Mann.
Hiring for the following Schedule B positions: Girl’s Varsity Head Volleyball Coach; Girl’s JV Head Volleyball Coach; Girl’s Varsity Head Softball Coach; Girl’s Varsity Assistant Softball Coach; Assistant Football Coach; Junior High Boy’s Head Basketball Coach; Specialist Department Head; Corrine Sohns – Family & Consumer Science Teacher Mentor; Elementary Teacher Mentor; Elementary Music Teacher Mentor; Social Studies Mentor; Junior High Golf Coach; High School Art Teacher Mentor; Yearbook Advisor; Junior High Girl’s Basketball Assistant Coach; High School Health & PE Teacher Mentor; and Student Council Advisor, Ben Hibbard.
Internal transfer, Elementary PE, Scott Glidden.
Internship for Mark Snitzer with Tammy Stone.
The customary list of workshops/activities and fund-raisers was approved.
Approval of a list of School Per Capita Tax Exonerations were tabled until the September meeting; three had been received from Harmony Township, due to flood damage, and more were expected.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, September 20, 7:30 p.m. in the administration offices in the elementary building.
Clifford Township Supervisors received bids on the proposed sewer system for the Dundaff/Crystal Lake areas of the township last week and they were pretty close to the $1.9 million cost anticipated for the project three years ago. In fact, one bid came within $80,000 of hitting the proposed cost.
Stephen J. Draus, a project engineer with Malcolm Pirnie of Moosic, appeared pleased with the bids but he said his firm will look them over and get back to the supervisors. Draus said the bids are good for 60 days and that the sewer project was planned for 240 dwelling units including the mobile homes in White’s Trailer Court.
Chilewski Enterprises of Fleetville submitted the low bid of $1,980,577, followed closely by Pioneer Construction Company of Honesdale at $2,092,560. Other bidders included Henkels & McCoy of York, $2.2 43,893; James T. O’Hara Inc. of Moscow, $2,295,472; Abbonizio Inc. of Conshohocken, $2,663,298; and, Pact Construction of Ringoes, NY, $2,678,473.
While Draus appeared happy with the bids, John Regan, chair of the Clifford Board of Supervisors, continued to express some concern about the project. Initially, he expressed doubt whether the taxpayers in the area to be sewered could afford the hook-up fees which will be in excess of $6,000. Last week he compounded the issue by wondering if the township could get enough grant money to pay the lion’s share of the cost.
“If we cannot get enough grant money to pay for most of this project, where is the township going to get the money from?” Regan asked of no one in particular.
Earlier this year the township put itself in debt for a chunk of the project when it borrowed $230,000 from Community Bank & Trust Co. at an interest rate of 3.99 percent. The so-called “start-up money” has been used for engineering and design plans for the sewer system. The township will be reimbursed from federal loan and grant money anticipated for the project.
The plan to provide a sewage system in the Dundaff/Crystal Lake areas of Clifford Township began to develop in September 2002 when the township supervisors hired the engineering firm of David D. Klepadlo & Associates to update its Act 537 Plan for resolving sewage disposal problems. And, in January 2003, the plan to sewer the Crystal Lake/Dundaff areas appeared to be on its way with word that the project might be eligible for a grant equal to 75 percent of the cost from the Rural Utilities Service of the US Department of Agriculture.
As presented by Mr. Klepadlo, the plan called for the Crystal Lake and Dundaff areas to be connected to the Greenfield Township Sewer Authority’s collection lines and treatment facility off Route 247. Premature costs of the project were estimated at $1.9 million but Mr. Klepadlo said the cost could change dramatically between then and actual construction time.
The estimated cost of $1.9 million did not look bad on paper with the USDA paying three fourths of the cost. Had that happened, the township’s debt service would have been about $438,000. The USDA also said it would loan the township the remaining needed money with a four and one-half percent loan for 40 years. The township was looking at an annual payment of $23,807.
However, to reach that low payment, township residents living in the area to be sewered will need to come up with a one-time hook-up fee of $1,000 to Clifford Twp. and $5,200 to Greenfield Township. That was then and now the picture has changed dramatically. For openers, the USDA outright grant of 75 percent of the project has now been cut to 59 percent.
Also at last week’s meeting, the supervisors were advised by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) that the state is planning to install a new concrete bridge on Cemetery Street (SR2050).
Gregory Scochin, PennDOT assistant Liaison engineer, said the project should be completed in 2008. Unlike the existing bridge that is one lane, the new bridge will be two lane and will be capable of accepting a greater weight capacity. Besides leading to a couple of cemeteries, the street is the most traveled access road leading to the township municipal building, park and ballfields. And still more good news. Regan announced that the county is awarding Clifford a grant of $75,000 to construct its new cinder shed. He said the township may have to pay 10 percent of the balance. Regan said the township should get the money in September and will have the building constructed and in service in time for the approaching winter months.
The police report for July shows a total of 77 incidents including 32 criminal, and seven arrests. Police also investigated three traffic accidents in July and wrote 30 traffic citations.
HARRISBURG, Pa. – State and federal agencies continue to provide assistance and work towards recovery for the counties affected by the storms and floods that impacted the Commonwealth in late June.
There are currently 22 counties that have been designated to receive Individual Assistance (IA). IA designation allows for federal funds to aid disaster-affected households with disaster assistance funds in the forms of grants and loans. Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Columbia, Dauphin, Franklin, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Wyoming counties have been designated.
There are 23 days left to register for disaster assistance. September 2, 2006 is the deadline for Pennsylvanians living in disaster-designated counties to apply for federal disaster assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free number 1-800-621-FEMA (3362); TTY 1-800-462-7585. Online registration is also available at www.fema.gov.
25 counties have been approved for Public Assistance (PA) funds. The program provides assistance for work including debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the restoration of infrastructure to pre-disaster conditions. Adams, Armstrong, Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Columbia, Franklin, Indiana, Lackawanna, Lebanon, Luzerne, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne, and Wyoming counties have been designated.
More than 4,000 Pennsylvanians have sought information at Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) throughout the affected areas. Presently, one DRC is open, which provides helpful information about disaster assistance and recovery. The DRC is located in Columbia County.
FEMA has completed 9,354 housing inspections. Inspectors record all disaster-related structural damages to homes and document damages to personal property.
Nearly 11,000 Pennsylvanians have registered for disaster assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free registration number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362); TTY 1-800-462-7585.
$15,595 in Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has been approved for 145 eligible victims of the storms and floods. Commonwealth residents who have experienced a loss of income due to the June floods can apply for DUA by calling toll-free, 1-877-FILE-DUA (345-3382).
FEMA has approved a $228,273 Crisis Counseling grant for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Flood victims living in disaster-designated counties can call their county mental health number for assistance. Crisis Counseling helps disaster victims recognize normal stress reactions and emotions caused or aggravated by a disaster, and regain control over themselves and their environment.
$700,882 in federal dollars has been obligated for Public Assistance (PA) projects. FEMA awards grants to assist state and local governments and certain private non-profit entities with their response to, and recovery from, the disaster. FEMA pays seventy-five percent of the remaining costs, after the twenty-five percent commitment from the Commonwealth for PA projects.
FEMA has provided more than $16 million directly to Pennsylvania flood victims for housing and other needs assistance through the Individuals and Households Program (IHP).
7,182 assistance checks, totaling more than $14.1 million, have been disbursed to Pennsylvania victims in the form of rental assistance and home repair or replacement grants.
More than $1.9 million has been disbursed to 2,165 Pennsylvanians under the Other Needs Assistance program (ONA). ONA grants provide assistance to disaster victims to pay for serious, disaster-related needs not covered under any other program.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved more than 692 disaster assistance loans to homeowners, renters, and businesses totaling more than $25 million; more than $21.5 million to homeowners and renters, and nearly $4.2 million to businesses.
With repairs from the June floods well underway, issues related to the closure of The Camp At East Lake took up the majority of last weeks' New Milford Township Board of Supervisors meeting.
Township resident Gerry Bevan said that despite a judge’s order that the camp be closed due to an inadequate sewage disposal system, the annual Bicycle Club Race has scheduled registration and other activities at the camp.
"This is crazy," Bevan said. "On June 15 (Superior Court) Judge Kenneth Seamans ordered the camp closed and on July 28 and August 7 he denied a motion by the owners to reconsider his order. But there (in a brochure) is The Camp At East Lake listed as one center of activity for the (September) Bike Club race."
The camp closure, which has drawn both support and opposition from local residents, came after the camp owners refused to replace a 30-year old sewage system. The system, according to local officials still has cesspools.
"Why can't we just get this place closed permanently," Bevan asked.
Township Supervisor and acting chairman Dan Shibley said that as he understands the judge’s order, "The Camp At East Lake is closed."
"The owners have filed another appeal and this could go on forever," Shibley said. "At this time it is in litigation, therefore I can't comment too much."
Local resident Cindy Allen asked that the supervisors give much consideration to their actions as local Girl Scouts are involved in helping with the weekend’s race activities.
Allen said she was a Girl Scout Leader for many years and worked to educate bicyclists.
She added that there are very few ways local Girl Scouts are provided opportunities for community service.
"The girls have already signed up and are excited about the event," she said. "They work hard on this project both for the recognition they receive (from scouting) and the service they provide to their community."
"If you're (the Township Board of Supervisors) mad at the camp, then be mad at the camp," she said. "Don't take it out on the girls.”
Bevan replied the he felt it was unsafe to hold an activity which draws up to 200 people in a "place with no septic system."
Supervisor Jack Conroy recommended that the board notify the race sponsor that the camp is closed and "let him make the decision.”
After the meeting Bevan told the Transcript that while he was supportive of the Girl Scouts and of community service, he is very concerned the participants could take home "a little extra with them."
"How about E-Coli infections?" he said.
Allen countered Bevan's statements and said that camp isn't the real problem. "The Camp At East Lake is a wonderful place and a clean operation," she said. "The camp isn't the problem, it's politics."
In other business residents applauded the recent work to restore Highland Road Park and inquired as to the status of repairs of flood damage to Highland Road.
Supervisor Conroy said that the board expects to award the contract for repairs to the road on August 18.
As for funding of the repairs, Conroy said the supervisors are currently uncertain as to where funding will come from for the project. He said, "The road has to be fixed regardless of where the township gets the money."
At its meeting last Monday, the Thompson Township Board of Supervisors thanked the local Road Department for the work they accomplished during the June flood.
Supervisor Chairman Ardith Callender said that both recent restorative work and the time spent cleaning and repairing basins, drains, ditches and stream heads during the flood, "saved our community from a great deal of damage."
"Gelatt Road held up well from the flood," she said. "Whatever repairs have been done worked well."
Road Supervisor Robert Conklin told the supervisors that while most of the repairs from flood damage are "close to completion," there remains much restorative work to be done.
"We have some areas where in order to repair the drainage ditch, we first have to rebuild the road," he said.
Conklin cited damage to areas of Bear Swamp Road and Brown Hill Road as having erosion from the flood to the point where large boulders are exposed where road once was.
"In order to make a drainage ditch, we first have to make a road," he said.
According to Callender Thompson Township is one of only two municipalities in the county who will not be applying for disaster assistance.
"I've received several calls asking that we apply for aid," Callender said. "But we can't in good faith ask for taxpayer dollars to pay for work the township has been able to complete."
Mayor Reddon reported at Susquehanna Boro Council’s August 7 meeting that a Growing Greener grant application has been submitted to and reviewed by the county. As the application meets all requirements, the county has approved it and it has been sent on to Harrisburg for final approval. This grant is for $64,000 for an access road and parking at the riverfront park property. Expectation is that it will be approved by Harrisburg. Mayor Reddon thanked Margaret Biegert, the Conservation District, the county Housing and Redevelopment Authority, and the Parks and Rec. committee for their efforts in getting it through.
More good news; the New York Regional Interconnect project is on hold, at least for the time being. The plan NYRI submitted failed to include boundary lines and incorrectly labeled aerial photos, and would not provide service to some of the municipalities in the projected corridor. No action is pending for the time being.
Council discussed the Agility program; PENNDOT is willing to replace 14 street signs in exchange for street sweeping. It was agreed to proceed with the agreement.
Bids were put out for paving prior to the spring flooding. Two were received, to be opened this evening, but due to unforeseen flood damage, unexpected expenditures related to the flooding, and pending work by PA American Water on Jackson Ave., a motion carried to reject both, with apologies.
The boro’s real estate transfer tax ordinance needs to be updated; a motion carried to send the existing ordinance to the solicitor for review.
Winter parking was discussed; the boro’s ordinance decrees that from November 15 to April 15, all boro streets must be cleared of vehicles whenever there is snowfall of two or more inches. It was agreed that the ordinance is sufficient as it is, but needs to be more effectively enforced. Mr. Whitehead suggested that, as a courtesy, council advertise before winter to remind residents of the parking ban. Mr. Matis noted that the main problem has been no officers on duty when plowing is being done, making it difficult to enforce. Mr. Kelly asked if an officer could be scheduled during storms, to work in tandem with plowing. Mayor Reddon said that could be done.
A motion carried to adopt a resolution authorizing Roy Williams to act as the boro’s agent in dealings with FEMA.
A motion carried to advertise for fuel oil and a service agreement.
Mr. Matis and Mayor Reddon asked council to review a tax ordinance for consideration. It would aid in revitalization of both commercial and residential structures by giving a (temporary) tax break for improvements of dilapidated buildings. Overall, it would increase the boro’s tax base in the long run as improvements would increase the structures’ values. It was agreed to look it over, and to send it to the solicitor for review before any action is taken.
Washington Street residents are planning a block party on September 9 (rain date September 16), beginning at 3 p.m. to bring back the tradition of neighborhood get-togethers and to allow residents to get acquainted or reacquainted with their neighbors. Council received a letter from the planning committee with an outline of planned activities, which includes a bicycle parade for kids, music, food, and yard sales. The committee requested to close off Washington from Second to Fourth Aves. during the event. A motion carried to approve. The fire and police departments will be notified, so that they are aware of the event.
Mayor Reddon has obtained NIMS certification, and reminded council members that all of them must also obtain certification. Municipalities that fail to comply risk losing eligibility for receiving federal emergency assistance.
The mayor also asked council to consider changes to the boro’s rental ordinance. Honesdale has an ordinance that stipulates that out of town landlords must have a local agent to oversee their property, and in any case where three complaints of disruptive behavior are made within one year, tenants would be evicted. Council agreed that it was worth looking into.
Mr. Matis reported that FEMA and PEMA representatives went over 16 possible remediation projects with the boro; those that most likely would not be approved were eliminated, 14 are definite.
Mr. Matis has been approached by two individuals who are interested in purchasing the bridge that was removed from the Drinker Creek Park during remediation work. He asked if council should consider selling it. Mr. Kelly thought that this should first be discussed with the Parks and Rec. Committee, as the boro may be able to use them. Council will discuss it further after the Parks and Rec. committee makes a recommendation.
Mr. Matis also asked about scrap metal removed from the riverfront property cleanup. Disposal will be arranged.
The meeting adjourned to an executive session to discuss personnel issues. When the meeting reconvened, a motion carried to hire Laura Watson to the police department, pending results of a certification test she was scheduled to take the following Thursday.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, August 22, 7 p.m. in the boro building.
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