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The October 2 meeting of the Montrose Borough Council was full of decisions to be made. Although some issues were sent back to further committee review, many were resolved. The meeting boasted an unusual number of visitors, each bringing something different to the table for discussion.
One of the first orders of business involved a concerned parent, Betsy Stone, who lives on Jessup Street. She expressed her anxiety over the area in which she lives, where bushes, a hidden driveway, and poor visibility for drivers represent danger for her children, and the children of her neighbors. The council agreed that this was a problematic area for children. Concern was also expressed over the location of a preschool at the base of that street, where many parents drop off their own kids. After some discussion regarding speed limits and the possibility of sign placement it was decided that two new “Watch Children” signs would be erected. One will be on Ms. Stone’s property, and one at the base of the road for the benefit of the preschool. There will also be an increased police presence in the area for a while, and some of the shrubbery will likely be removed. As the problem has been more with visibility than speed, the speed limit will remain as it has been.
The next visitor to speak was Jeff Whitney, with schematics for proposed improvements to the Montrose Fire Department facilities. The renovations involve an addition with a four bay garage, a kitchen, a bathroom and a seminar room, a new heating system, and more parking. He requested a letter from the Borough declaring that their stipulations were met, a document necessary before the next phase of the project. The schematics, however, lacked exact measurements regarding distances between property lines and buildings, etc. Once a copy with these measurements is provided to the Borough secretary, the letter will be signed and the process towards renovation continued.
Brian Driscoll was also present, as a representative of the Central Bradford Progress Authority. This organization has been designated by the Susquehanna County commissioners to work towards economic development in the area. Towards this end they are applying to the Enterprise Zone Program, which is run through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). This program provides grants to develop areas designated as Enterprise Zones, which are deemed to be areas in need of economic development which have the resources to facilitate such. In order to apply for this program, however, a resolution must be passed by each of the municipalities which would be affected by the proposed development zone. In this case 14 municipalities would be affected, of which Montrose is one. The program costs the borough nothing, and does not override any of their existing zones, codes, or authority. The resolution was approved, though it will have to be advertised.
Also on the agenda was discussion of various resolutions which have been under consideration for some time. The first, the ordinance regarding the adoption of a 1% earned income tax, was approved for advertisement, after which a public audience will be held. The ordinance, if passed, will run for three years. Two others, a rental ordinance and an ordinance regarding a general curfew for minors, were sent back to committees for further discussion. The borough does not want to put undue pressure on landlords with excessive checkups and regulations, but does want to require renter registration. Finally, the noise/barking dog ordinance was approved during the second half of the borough meeting last month, which was held on a special day.
Before closing the meeting the council set the hours for Halloween this year. Trick-or-treating will occur between the hours of 5 and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31. The curfew, after which people are expected to be off the streets, was set for 9. These hours are shortened from last year, in part in response to community complaints.
Complaints against the borough’s somewhat lackadaisical approach to enforcing municipal ordinances continue to haunt the Borough Council.
At last week’s council meeting, Jim Griffins of Railroad Street again complained about conditions in his neighborhood, and Tony Maro of Hudson Street cited some health problems with a run-down apartment complex next to his home.
The two men had one common denominator between them – law enforcement.
“Who is supposed to be enforcing the ordinances?” Griffins asked. “I hear you arguing among yourselves about it,” he told the council.
“I think it is all the officials in the town,” Griffins responded to his own question. “But nothing is getting done. Nothing is getting enforced.”
Mrs. Griffins said she has observed a neighbor’s dog defecating in the middle of the street. “Right now, I have four piles of pit bull crap in my yard,” she said.
Mayor Nick Cost said he has been overrun with complaints, primarily health oriented and aesthetics.
“I am all over, responding to complaints,” the mayor said, “but I can’t be everywhere. I need help.”
Councilman Paul J. Amadio, chairman of finance, said he is working on a plan to provide the mayor with help, but it will not begin until January.
In another matter, Council President Jim Lowry was accused of using borough equipment on private property.
The charge was made by Robert Selinsky, who said he observed Lowry using the borough’s backhoe on the grounds of a new home constructed by the United Methodist Church on Dundaff Street in the borough. The structure replaces the church rectory that was destroyed by fire several weeks ago.
“You should be fired from this council,” Selinsky said. “You have no business doing private work on private property with borough equipment. Who do you think you are? You are a nobody when you do things like this.”
“I am not denying I was on the backhoe,” Lowry said. He said he had been working with the backhoe for the borough for two days and was returning it to the borough garage when he pulled into the church grounds.
“I moved two buckets of dirt, 48 feet each,” Lowry said.
Council passed a motion authorizing the borough solicitor to look into the matter and return with a report at the next regular council meeting.
Council awarded a bid to repair storm damage done to Upper North Main Street in June to Prince Excavating; they submitted a low bid of $12,500 to repair the road. Additional money received by the borough for the project will be used to install guard rails at the site.
The contract for the project requires Prince Excavating to complete the work by mid-October.
Action on a proposed landlord/tenant ordinance was held over, pending a review of changes made to the ordinance by Borough Solicitor Paul Smith.
HARRISBURG, PA – Three months after storms impacted the Commonwealth in late June, state and federal agencies continue to provide assistance. Although the application deadline has ended, assistance will continue to be disbursed to eligible applicants who registered by the October deadline.
22 counties were designated eligible to receive Individual Assistance (IA). Forms of assistance can include temporary housing, home repair for damage caused by the disaster that is not covered by insurance, under the Individuals and Households Program. Additional forms can include personal property replacement, transportation, medical and dental expenses, funeral and burial costs and other miscellaneous expenses.
25 counties were approved for Public Assistance (PA) funds. The program allows FEMA to help states, local governments and certain eligible non-profit organizations recover from a declared disaster. Eligible categories include debris removal, emergency protective measures, roads and bridges, water control facilities, the restoration of infrastructure to pre-disaster conditions, publicly owned utilities and parks and recreational facilities and other items.
4,264 Pennsylvanians received assistance from 20 mobile and fixed Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) during the time they were in operation throughout the disaster areas.
A total of 12,053 Pennsylvanians registered for disaster assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free registration number or filing on line. More than 48% of the applications received were from the four hard hit counties of Columbia, Luzerne, Schuylkill and Susquehanna.
$121,846 in Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has been provided to 176 eligible applicants.
FEMA approved a $228,273 Crisis Counseling grant for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The program helps disaster victims recognize normal stress reactions and emotions caused or aggravated by a disaster, and regain control over themselves and their environment.
More than $23.4 million in federal funds has been obligated for Public Assistance (PA) projects. FEMA awards grants to assist state and local governments and certain private non-profit entities repair or rebuild vital infrastructure lost or damaged due to a disaster. FEMA pays seventy-five percent of the costs for projects while the Commonwealth has committed to pay the non-federal share of twenty-five percent.
FEMA has provided more than $19.5 million to Pennsylvania flood victims for housing and other needs assistance through the Individuals and Households Program (IHP). 7,430 assistance checks, totaling $16.9 million, have been disbursed to Pennsylvania victims in the form of rental assistance and home repair or replacement grants. $2.6 million has been disbursed to 2,784 Pennsylvanians from 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 programs. Currently FEMA is providing 137 travel trailers and 15 mobile homes to residents unable to live in their damaged homes.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved 1,363 disaster assistance loans to homeowners, renters, and businesses totaling more than $48 million, more than $38 million to homeowners and renters and $10 million to businesses.
Total Applicants for Susquehanna County were 1,178. Funds dispersed were as follows: Housing Assistance, $2,028,603; Other Needs Assistance, $571,315; Individuals and Households Program, $2,559,918.
Mary E. Parrish (by attorney) to Denise Malandri, Dimock, Robert E. Malandri, in Dimock Township for $96,000.
Glenn Whitney, Christina Whitney to James S. Duffe, RR2, New Milford, in New Milford Township for $23,000.
Michael Beautz, Janet Beautz to Mark Marshall, RR1, New Milford, Alyce J. Marshall, in New Milford Township for $1,000.
Jean M. Weaver to Patricia A. Wood, RR4, Montrose, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Elaine J. Tingley, Kenneth Arthur Tingley to Amy J. Paolucci, RR1, New Milford, John R. Transue, in Harford Township f or $101,000.
Marianne Geyer to Howard Geyer Jr., RR1, Union Dale, Deidra Cleary-Geyer, in Clifford Township for $225,000.
Sarah A. Anderson (estate) to Jose Cesar Cruz, RR1, Friendsville, Lou Ann Cruz, in Choconut Township for $120,000.
Charles Murray, Karyn Murray, Jeffrey M. Barker, Kathleen M. Barker to Charles A. Murray, Fort Washington, Karyn D. Murray, in Harford Township, for $55,000.
Frank H. Holtsmaster, Kaye E. Holtsmaster to Steve Gordon, Lansdale, Denise Nees, in Ararat Township for $100,000.
Mary E. Gorton to Ronald Clyde Gorton Jr., RR2, Union Dale, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
PHH Mortgage Corporation to United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, King of Prussia, PA, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to Robert Paolillo, Forest City, Raymond Floccari, in Forest City for $77,500.
Paul O. Chiriaco, Linda Goodman, Winston D. Delozier, Margaret M. Chiriaco to William A. Walsh, Moscow, PA, Margaret A. Walsh, in Franklin Township for $35,000.
Gertrude Kent, Thomas A. Kent, Jennifer Kent to Diane M. Nowalk, RR1, Hop Bottom, in Brooklyn Township for $15,000.
Dennis A. Feece, Debra Feece to Karen Vandegriek, Montrose, in Montrose for $160,000.
Robert Davidson, Patricia Davidson to Gerald A. Zapoticzny, RR3, Montrose, Helen Zapoticzny, in Franklin Township for $170,000.
Marion C. Baker to Dean L. Baker, New Milford, Dale J. Baker, in Oakland Borough and Oakland Township for one dollar.
Susan D. Nulton to Raymond W. Dibble, RD2, Meshoppen, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Susan D. Nulton to Raymond W. Dibble, RD2, Meshoppen, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Susan D. Nulton to Raymond W. Dibble, RD2, Meshoppen, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Charlene A. Jacques to James R. Morris, Hallstead, in Hallstead Borough for $78,900.
Belva L. Very (trust by trustee), Wayne H. Very (trust by trustee) to Joseph Willy Saintvil, Brooklyn, NY, in Jessup Township for $17,000.
Jeffrey L. Cornell, Mary Ann L. Cornell to Thomas G. Follert, Montrose, Kristen N. Butler, in Montrose for $159,900.
Lawrence V. Wesolowski, Patricia A. Wesolowski to Patricia A. Wesolowski, Union Dale, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Lambert J. Debisschop (estate) to Mark H. Debisschop, Stafford, VA, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Andrew J. Ewonishon to Edward Shermanski, RR2, Union Dale, Martha Shermanski, in Herrick Township for $10,000.
Russell I. Heigh, Susan D. Heigh to Russell I. Heigh, Scottsdale, AZ, Susan D. Heigh, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Nancie Kosakevitch to Thomas Taft, Robbinsville, NJ, in Thompson Township for $900.
Paul S. Frisbie, Rita A. Frisbie to Mark L. Francis, Great Meadows, NJ, Diane D. Francis, in Liberty Township for $25,000.
John J. O’Neill Jr., Susan D. O’Neill to Bernice M. Ascani, Norristown, in Brooklyn Township for $121,000.
Mildred Green to Robert Signorello, Tunkhannock, in Dimock Township for $38,750.
John William Brooks, Wanda N. Brooks to Christopher N. Titus, Hop Bottom, Jennifer R. Titus, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Keith A. Harris, Regina Harris, Gregory S. Harris to Paul Kramer, Scranton, Debbie Kramer, in Apolacon Township for $4,000.
Linda Barrett to Martin G. McMahon, Morrisville, Susan McMahon, in Jackson Township for $42,800.
Leon Whitney, Linda D. Whitney to Joseph W. Prehodka, Metuchen, NJ, Judith A. Prehodka, Joseph A. Bartonek, in Thompson Borough for $37,375.
Admiral J. Johnson, Ruby Johnson to Tair Emini, Astoria, NY, Emi Shehu in Susquehanna for $18,000.
Jeffrey Clark, Louise Clark to Crows Nest 2 LLC, Kansas City, MO, in Susquehanna for $25,000.
Donald E. Heffner, Maria D. Heffner to George Walker, Susquehanna, in Oakland Borough for $63,000.
Robert F. Cole, Deborah E. Cole (by attorney) to Sandra D. Greene, Susquehanna, Jason Greene, in Susquehanna for $59,000.
Emily M. Yoselson (estate) to Barry R. Yoselson, RR7, Montrose, Marcia J. Yoselson in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Edward Rudock, Susan Green, Ronald Green, Linda Summerfield, Tasha Marie Warner (by guardian) to Erick Lockwood, South Gibson, in Brooklyn Township for $13,000.
William James Carrico and Rachel Renee Whitney, both of Montrose.
Kenneth Duane Gelatt, Jackson and Nora Hawley, Kingsley.
John Henry Stahl III and Diane L,. Westcott, both of Souderton.
The League of Women Voters (LWV) of Susquehanna County announces two upcoming events designed to keep citizens informed about issues and candidates on the ballot in the upcoming November 7 General Election.
On Wednesday, October 11, at 7:00 p.m. in the Montrose County Office Building downstairs conference room (31 Public Ave.), The PA Economy League (PEL) will present IssuesPA. This is a presentation of credible, non-partisan, current 2006 election intelligence. It is based upon gubernatorial candidates’ responses to PEL’s questionnaire and PEL’s own expertise on the state budget, finances, and key public policy issues. A public Q & A session will follow the presentation.
Speakers will be Gerald E. Cross, former Community Development Director for Forest City Borough and local government specialist, and retired eight-term State Representative, Stephen Stetler of York, PA. Some topics that are expected to be discussed: property taxes, Gaming Commission concerns, energy independence and global warming, legislative finance reform, emergency preparedness and disaster prevention (flood, avian flu), security in the port of Philadelphia and at the airports, education issues.
On Tuesday October 24, 7-8 p.m. state 20th District Senate candidates, Lisa Baker and Robert McNamara will debate. This event is presented in cooperation with the LWV of Wilkes Barre. It will take place at College Misericordia, in Dallas PA (off SR 309) in the Banks Student Life Center, Kennedy Rooms A and B.
All LWV events are free and open to the public.
Important dates for the 2006 General Election are as follows:
October 10: the last day to register before the general election. To vote, you must be registered. Fill out a registration form if: you have never been registered and will be 18 by the day of the election; you have moved; you have changed your name; you wish to change your party or nonpartisan enrollment.
October 31: last day to apply for a civilian absentee ballot; obtain a form from your county board of elections.
November 3: 5 p.m. is the deadline for the County Board of Elections to receive absentee ballots
November 7: General Election; polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
November 8: first day to register after General Election.
Following are the September 5 minutes of the Lanesboro Council meeting, as submitted.
Roll Call: Dan Boughton, Regina Dilello, Myles Limbert, Bob Mireider, Bill Roberts, Stan Rockwell. Also Present: Gail Hanrahan, Mayor Chris Maby. Absent: Colleen Wilkes.
Motion to pass minutes of previous meeting as presented carried.
Visitors: Yvonne Zeck wanted council to know of vandalism incident at her residence. Investigated by PSP, looking for potential follow-up. Council and mayor advised her to discuss matter with Chief Record, as he was attending the meeting. Also urged her to call police phone if anything out of the ordinary is going on for documentation purposes and to get the police there fast.
Jeannine Keefer, Cora Cameron, and Gerry Benson just visiting.
Invitation from PAWC for 10 a.m. recognition ceremony at the water treatment plant, 216 Willow Ave. in Susquehanna.
Letter from second juvenile in vandalism case apologizing for his actions. Maby noted the individual started his community service time, and has 17 additional hours to complete it.
Letter from Solicitor Dewitt for revised Real Estate Transfer Ordinance: Pennsylvania requiring all municipalities to have similar verbiage in their ordinances. Ordinance provided for review, solicitor is requesting date upon which it will be passed so that it can be advertised in the newspaper. Motion to pass at October meeting. Maby will inform Dewitt.
Letter from RotorCast regarding vehicles parking on the sidewalk in front of their business. After brief discussion, the matter will be forwarded to the police. First offense will be written warning, all offenses beyond the appropriate traffic law citation, making specific reference to Ordinance banning parking on sidewalk.
Police Report: 7 incidents, 25 patrol hours, 3 call out hours, 4 traffic citations. Yearly updates required for Record and Gow. This certification training for them will occur during September. Letter sent to Police Academy for resumes and letters of interest for a part time officer to work 1-2 shifts during the week. Record will provide update at the October council meeting.
Mayor’s Report: PennDOT issues regarding stream cleanup near bridges at a stalemate. PennDOT does not plan any further work. Work still needs to be done near the retaining wall, removing a wing wall from the stream near the Ron Lee property, fixing the bank of the small stream near Germantown Road to eliminate the overtopping and flooding of the road near Corse's, and fixing the embankment near the Viaduct where the guardrails are hanging in mid-air. Expecting a coordinated meeting between District 4-0 PennDOT, DEP, and local/state elected officials to resolve the matter. An official from Harrisburg PennDOT is also being asked to attend.
FEMA paperwork nearly complete. Lanesboro should be getting reimbursement for all of its flood-related work.
Grant for sidewalk study and engineering is in. Susquehanna County Housing and Redevelopment Authority is administering the contract. This grant will provide the plans and specs for the new curbing, sidewalk, period lighting, and streetscape landscaping along North Main and Viaduct Streets. The new sidewalk will be on both sides of each road for a majority of them, extending to Germantown Road on North Main and to at least the former D&H railroad bed on Viaduct Street. Survey work will be starting in the next several weeks.
Jaflo Depot Street tree trimming contract - $125/hour, with a not-to-exceed limit of $4,000. Work to start at Viaduct St. end and go to Mountain Road. If $ is not entirely used, work area will switch to Depot near North Main and work up the hill until $ is used up or work is complete. Motion to authorize work carried.
Tax Study Commission: Maby attended the first meeting of the Tax Study Commission recently coordinated by SCSD Superintendent Bronson Stone. The purpose of the study/study commission was to discuss the ramifications of adopting an Earned Income Tax to reduce property taxes. There is no change in revenue to the school district. If the tax were to be adopted, property taxes would be reduced by the same amount the earned income tax generates, with a caveat. The property tax reduction cannot be applied twice – if there is two or more earnings in a household, it would most likely be detrimental for them. A public informational meeting is scheduled for early October and will be advertised in the local newspapers. The final decision on placing an earned income tax will reside in the hands of the voters in the spring, when it is placed on the ballot. All are urged to attend the informational meeting to learn more.
DEP has scheduled a public hearing for the B&S quarry large mine permit. The meeting information is included in the Lanesboro Quarterly newsletter, and will be advertised in the Susquehanna Transcript.
Code Enforcement: there are 5 to 6 additional properties that are potentially condemnable. Shane needs to do investigative work related to property assessments before final determination can be made. Discussion ensued: council consensus is to allow owners to request additional time to allow for repairs. All cases to be handled on a case-by-case basis. Shane also presented several new revisions to ordinances that are related to building codes for review. These ordinances would provide additional backup for properties upon which there are problems related to building use, etc. After discussion, motion for passing a resolution related to Ordinances #1 thru 5, defined as #1 – ICC Electrical Code, #2 – ICC Plumbing Code, #3 – International Residential Code, #4 – International Building Code, #5 – International Mechanical Code carried. A second motion carried to advertise Ordinances #5 & #6, defined as #6 – International Property Maintenance Code and #7 – International Existing Building Code. The motion also stated that Ordinance #6 include verbiage that all items related to rental properties making specific reference to enforcement can be applied to locations only in which the tenant is current on all aspects of lease.
Community Center: Tool sale 9/8, month to date $475 in rentals.
Unfinished business: Sale of cannon property – Maby just secured a copy of the deed, asked that matter be tabled until October meeting so that deed bearings and distances can be drawn up to determine true shape of the lot. Maby also asked that council consider advertising it for sale based on bid with purchase price and expectation of property development. This would allow the council to consider offers that may be lower than others but potentially include the development of the property. Council agreed this was a good idea and would discuss the matter in more detail in October.
Zoning: tabled until October. Roberts doing some investigation on zoning ordinance. Maby checked with solicitor – the zoning ordinance can be enforced on all properties as long as they were compliant when the ordinance was adopted in 1971. For example, a property zoned residential that has farm animals on it can be forced to remove them. The matter will be discussed in more detail in October.
New municipal building: First meeting with the architect – Boughton, Mireider, Rockwell and Maby met with architect. The meeting was to discuss tenants of the building, spatial requirements (if any), and equipment (furniture, computers, phone lines, etc.) that would be located in the building. There will be another meeting, possibly two more with the architect to discuss building type and potential layouts. The feasibility study will conclude with line diagram floor plan options of the building and approximate building costs for each.
Loan: Maby solicited offers from PNB, PennStar, USDA, and the Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission. Northern Tier had a rate of 2.5% with a 10 year maximum loan length. USDA offered 4.5%, up to 40 years. Turnaround time is 3 to 4 months, based on the feasibility study and environmental review that is needed. PNB offered 4.59% for 15 years, which could be extended up to a 30 year loan. The rate would readjust every 5 years after year 15 to 68% of prime. Turnaround time is 30 days. PennStar offered a rate of 4.78% for up to 15 years, with other lengths available. Rockwell voiced concern that town may be spending money it doesn’t have. Maby noted that this matter has been discussed over several meetings, and that council has already agreed that fixing the existing building is not a smart move due to its age and deterioration. The challenge before council and the mayor is to work with the architect to find a solution that is economically feasible to the town both long- and short-term. Many things will factor into this – size, type, tenants, including those that we do not have but may be interested in. Modular construction will be evaluated, as will many other types of construction. Maby noted that a decision needs to be made quickly if council wants to have groundbreaking in the spring for a fall move-in. No price could be set on a loan amount until the feasibility study is done, but the paperwork can be started ahead of that. Maby also noted that in addition to Lanesboro doing its evaluation of the construction, there are DCED requirements that need to be fulfilled as well, including a check by DCED that Lanesboro can afford the structure we proposed. Maby also mentioned that the feasibility study can be rolled into the loan, as well as any other ‘soft costs’ (final plans, legal fees, etc.). He also reiterated the line of credit for the feasibility study would be ready soon and need to be signed by a member of council and himself. The line of credit will not exceed $25,000 and be used to pay only for the flood activity until FEMA reimburses Lanesboro and the feasibility study. Council acknowledged this. After additional discussion, motion carried to begin paperwork, using PNB as funding agency. Choice was based on rate, familiarity, and turnaround time. Maby asked that someone else or a committee become involved in the paperwork trail; Roberts volunteered.
New business: Mireider asked if a list of current debt (loans) and their payoff amount was available. Gail will bring to the October meeting.
Maby suggested there are possibilities of organizations looking for spaces to rent, and asked council if it could be pursued as a way of mitigating the cost associated with the new building. Council agreed and authorized him to proceed.
Following is the Silver Lake Township Police Report for September, as submitted.
Two N.Y. State juveniles were arrested for the burglary and theft of a Honda dirt bike from a locked garage at the Roman residence on State Line Road in Silver Lake Township. Charges filed by the Silver Lake Township Police.
Ronald L. Streater, 54, of Lower Rhiney Creek Road, Brackney, was charged Friday September 29, with burglary, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, criminal trespass and receiving stolen property, all felonies. Charges filed by the Silver Lake Township Police Department with investigative assistance from PSP Gibson.
On September 6, someone spray-painted several of the signs at the intersection area of SR4002 and John C. McNamara Drive. They also put duct tape over the newly purchased street sign. This activity is still under investigation.
MVA (HIT & RUN)
On September 16, at approximately 3:00 a.m., a vehicle traveling south on SR4001 Brackney Hill Road, ran off of the roadway and struck guard rails, small trees and pole guide wires before striking a GMC Sierra pick-up truck owned by Michael and Robin Doloway and parked in the driveway at their residence.
On September 25, Michael and Marianne Norwood of Rockville Centre, N.Y., reported that someone had taken a trampoline from their property on Laurel Lake. It was secured to a deck, but it was cut and taken away.
On September 28, Maureen McAvoy of Lake Arrowhead reported multiple, 2-3, large dogs had been roaming free and looting food from her animals on her property. She had seen the dogs a couple different times and had no idea where they came from or where they were going. Investigation determined a distant neighbor, Rebecca White, owned the dogs. White was contacted and made aware of the leash law and she agreed to take care of the issues.
Any information or questions for the Silver Lake Township Police, please call 278-6818, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. All information will be held strictly confidential.
As with many municipalities in the area, the focus of the October 2 Great Bend Township Supervisors meeting was the continuing process of flood damage recovery.
FEMA will cover some of the costs of repairing or replacing equipment damaged by the flood (what is not covered by insurance), but it is a FEMA requirement that flood insurance be purchased. A motion carried to purchase flood insurance for the township building and its contents, and for the pole barn, cost $2,150 per year.
The supervisors went over a list of damaged equipment, and determined which needs to be replaced and which can be repaired.
NTRPDC is administering a federally funded debris removal program, which will pay for cleanup, coordinators, training and man-hours to remove trees from creek beds. The program will allow for removal of tree debris in creek channels, but will not allow such debris to be removed from private property. The program was scheduled to begin this week, with a timeframe of six months.
The township was requested to supply a release for participation in the program, but paperwork supplied appeared to be intended for a program administrator. Secretary/supervisor Sheila Guinan would contact NTRPDC to find out if a letter of consent would suffice. Owners of property adjacent to the designated areas would also need to sign releases; several residents in attendance volunteered to see to it.
The township was also requested to supply manpower and equipment for removal of the debris from the site. There were some concerns as to whether the township’s backhoe would be big enough to haul away some of the trees, which were said to be quite enormous. And, the township road crew is presently down to one person, which would limit how much time could be spared. A resident suggested hiring someone on a temporary basis, but the supervisors said that the township would not be reimbursed for the cost to do that. Another suggestion was to hire a subcontractor, and allow him to use the township’s equipment. The supervisors said that would not be feasible; he would have to hired part-time by the township to be covered under the township’s insurance, but the township could hire someone on an on-call basis, as they do for snowplowing. After discussion, it was agreed to allot the township’s employee and backhoe one day a week to the project.
The supervisors also needed to supply a list of which areas should receive priority; it was agreed that the worst areas are Dubois, Trowbridge and Salt Lick Creeks, in that order. More will be added if time permits.
A motion carried to officially recognize that damage to Dubois Creek came about as a result of flooding that began on June 27, so that it would be officially recorded in the minutes.
An executive session would be held following the meeting to make a decision on Jim Shafer, who has not been able to work due to (prior) health issues, and to discuss an application received from an individual with a CDL, who is interested in on-call snow plowing. The supervisors would also inquire if he would be interested in working on the debris removal for the township, on an on-call basis.
Roadmaster Dave Sienko reported that, due to the personnel situation, it had not been necessary to rent a second backhoe. An offer had been received for the F800; it was agreed that it would be in the township’s best interest to put it out to bid.
At Mr. Sienko’s recommendation, the Volvo and the GMC trucks will be sent out to have rust removed and the bottoms repainted as a maintenance measure, and to have routine maintenance done so that the they will be ready for winter.
One price quote was obtained for a replacement plow for the Volvo; Mrs. Guinan would contact several more dealers to get additional quotes.
At the recommendation of the auditor, an account with Peoples Bank, used for the pension fund, will be closed and the funds deposited in the pension fund with Trustees Insurance.
The Bridging Communities committee has submitted a grant application for additional funding.
An assessment permit was issued to Anthony Gentile, and a land development plan for Richard Prezelski was approved; it had received favorable comment from the Planning Commission. It is for a 3,000 square foot addition to the building near the I-81 on-ramp, presently leased by Nitro Fireworks
Correspondence included a reminder that all elected officials must complete NIMS training; proposals are being accepted for 2007 Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Funds; and a Flood Recovery meeting for elected officials will be held on October 17 at the Shadowbrook Resort. It will provide important information on flood recovery permitting; Mr. Squier will attend.
Under unfinished business, Ralph Reynolds reported that cleanup of his property is almost finished. He expected to meet the September 30 deadline despite an injury he had sustained during the cleanup.
Joan Long reported that cleanup work on her property is ongoing; she expects to meet the October 12 deadline she had been given.
Mr. Squier was to have met with Ken Tingley, who had been given an October 4 deadline; cleanup is apparently underway, and Mr. Squier will reschedule the meeting.
Prior to the June flooding, the supervisors had discussed changing their meeting schedule to once a month. But, in the wake of the flood and the ensuing cleanup, the discussion had been put on hold. After discussion, a motion carried to meet only once a month, on the third Monday, beginning November. The October 16 meeting will be held as scheduled.
Public comment included a request for written permission for a property owner to clean a gravel bar out of a creek at his own expense. As it is permissible for a municipality to clean creeks within fifty feet of either side of a bridge, the supervisors readily agreed.
Another resident asked if an alternate supervisor could be appointed, to step in whenever one of them was not available; that is not permissible.
The supervisors’ final action of the evening was to extend condolences to the family of John Demer, who had recently passed away. Mr. Demer had worked for the township for over thirty years, making him the township’s longest term employee, and he was, they said, “the best.”
For the second month in a row the Great Bend Borough Council failed to make a quorum. For as long as anyone can remember, borough council meetings have been on the first Thursday of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the borough building. But for some reason, no more than three council members at a time have been able to get together at that time and place since August.
And they're the same three members. Bea Alesky, Rick Franks and Ron Cranage this time decided there was too much business to attend to. So, instead of simply waiting until next month, they rescheduled the meeting for a week later, Thursday, October 12.
Borough Mayor Jim Riecke, and solicitor Frank O'Connor also attended. But they don't count for a quorum, and one item on the agenda is to find a replacement for Jeff Burkett, who has announced his resignation from council. Interested denizens of Great Bend Borough are encouraged to contact a council member or the borough office.