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Issue Home December 27, 2006 Site Home

Long Jail Term For Shooter
Mt. View Fiscally Fit
A Silent Killer

Courthouse Report
Gibson Barracks Report
Hallstead Plans Road Work
January Jurors Drawn
COG May Have New Members
Great Bend Twp. Continues Cleanup

Long Jail Term For Shooter

A Susquehanna County man was sentenced to two consecutive jail terms of 20 years to 40 years in a state correctional facility when he appeared before Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans on a charge of criminal attempt/homicide.

Darren Gentilquore, 44, confessed to shooting Ryan Charles Bigelow, 34, of Hillsborough, NJ, and Ryan’s brother, Shaun Michael Bigelow, 36, of Somerville, NJ. Both men were taken to Wilson Regional Memorial Medical Center in Johnson City, NY, where they underwent emergency surgery for shotgun wounds in the stomach.

The shootings occurred about 3 a.m. on the morning of May 27 outside of Gentilquore’s home in New Milford Township. Gentilquore told State Police that he shot both victims with a Mossburg 12 gauge shotgun because they were trying to break into his home. A witness to the shooting, who was not identified because of his age, told State Police that Gentilquore was inside the house and the Bigelow brothers were right outside the door when they started arguing.

The witness said Gentilquore told the Bigelows to leave because he had a loaded gun. Ryan Bigelow yelled that if he fired the gun he would “gut you like the pig you are.” He said Ryan then began pounding on the door and Gentilquore shot him. He said Ryan fell to the ground and his brother began punching the door and when he broke the door window, Gentilquore shot him. No reason was given for the argument between Gentilquore and the Bigelow brothers, but one source said the Bigelows own land near Gentilquore.

Besides the jail term, Judge Seamans fined Gentilquore $2,000 and ordered him to receive anger management evaluation and mental health evaluation.

In another matter, State Police Investigator Rebecca Warner and Debra Millard, chief of the Susquehanna County District Attorney’s office, put a stop to some illegal hanky-panky that had been going on in Susquehanna County for several months.

The end result was the arrest of 33-year-old Michelle Lynn Shepherd of Susquehanna Depot on an assortment of charges that will have her spending considerable time in a state correctional facility.

Last week, Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans sentenced Shepherd to a state facility for a period of nine months to four years for theft by deception in Franklin Township. Judge Seamans added an additional nine months to four years on charges of thefts by deception in New Milford Borough and Great Bend Township. The added jail terms will run concurrent with the initial sentence.

Affidavits of Probable Cause allege that Shepherd obtained the checking account number of individual A and transferred money from it into individual B’s checking account. She then used checks from individual B’s account and was able to milk individual A’s account for about $8,000 before she was caught. The deceptions and subsequent thefts were discovered when the owner of the first checking account went to the bank because he had not received his monthly statement that is always mailed to him. A bank official said the unauthorized transfers were executed as electronic drafts and online transfers via the internet.

Further investigation revealed that Shepherd was living in a home next door to individual A and occupied by individual B, who apparently is Shepherd’s boyfriend. And where was individual B while all the shenanigans were going on? In the county jail on a non-related charge.

Besides the jail term, Shepherd was fined a total of $1,500. She must also make restitution to her victims and do 25 hours of community service.

In another matter, Judge Seamans sentenced Otis Lee Anderson, 20, of New Milford to the county jail for consecutive terms of one month to 11 months for theft by unlawful taking in New Milford Borough on July 15, and 11 months to 23 1/2 months and five years probation for burglary in New Milford Township on July 20, 2006.

Anderson also drew concurrent jails terms of 11 months to 23 1/2 months for burglary in New Milford Borough on July 8; one month to 12 months for receiving stolen property in New Milford Borough on May 24; three months to 12 months for criminal trespass in New Milford Borough on July 14; and, one month to 12 months for theft by unlawful taking in New Milford Borough on July 24. He was also fined $800 and must pay related court costs.

Other sentences handed down by Judge Seamans included:

Todd A. Spry, 21, of Conklin, NY, three to six years in a state correctional facility, five years probation, $1,000 fine, $410 in related costs and 50 hours of community service for homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence in New Milford Township on January 27. He was also sentenced to one to two years in a state correctional facility and fined $1,000 plus 50 hours of community service for recklessly endangering another person in New Milford Township on January 27.

Bradley William Megivern of Clifford, three months to 15 months in the county jail with credit for time served, plus $1,000 fine, and 50 hours community service for corruption of a minor in Forest City on August 15, 2004. He also received a concurrent jail term of 9 months to 23 1/2 months, $1,000 fine, related court costs for unlawful contact with a minor in Forest City on August 15, 2005.

Steven Daniel Bixby, 24, Elkton, MD, three months to six months in the county jail for unlawful contact with a minor in Lenox Township on August 6, 2005. He was also fined $1,000, must perform 50 hours of community service, and abide by the requirements of Megan’s Law.

Rosemary Rosengrant, 46, of Montrose, five years probation, $300 fine, continue with mental health treatment, for arson and related offenses in Springville Township on February 3, 2005.

Dennis E. Robinson, 22, of Susquehanna Depot, one year probation, $200 fine, 25 hours of community service for resisting arrest in Susquehanna Depot on October 9. He also received one year probation, a $200 fine, and 25 additional hours of community service for simple assault, also on October 9 in Susquehanna Depot.

Christopher Daniel McNamee, 45, of Montrose, eight and one-half months to 23 months in the county jail, $500 fine, for simple assault in Franklin Township on July 1.

Clinton Jeffrey McKean, 54, of Windsor, NY, three days to six months in the county jail, $1,000 fine for driving under the influence in Susquehanna Depot on July 10.

Allison Elizabeth Ezman, 33, of Carbondale, 36 months probation $750 fine, plus court costs, 50 hours of community service for access device fraud in Hop Bottom on September 5, 2005.

Melanie Marleen Barber, 23, of Montrose, one month to 23 1/2 months in the county jail, $500 fine, 50 hours community service for criminal trespass in New Milford Township on June 11.

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Mt. View Fiscally Fit

Health professionals recommend annual checkups to monitor health, and to anticipate potential problems before they become full-blown. In the same vein, Pennsylvania requires a yearly audit of all aspects of school districts' finances. After its financial health checkup, Mountain View School District is heading into 2007 in good shape, and is positioned to handle unforeseen expenditures with minimum disruption to its budget and monetary strength. This was the conclusion of Ernest Skiadas, CPA, of Endwell, New York. He made his report at the December 18 school board meeting.

Mr. Skiadas stated that the audit he conducted showed that Mountain View District received "a clean or unqualified opinion," a rating that is "the best you can receive." Revenues exceeded expenditures, resulting in an increase of $400,000 in net assets for the last fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30. Part of the increased revenue was because the School District received more of the taxes due it before 6/30/06. Mr. Skiadas said he had randomly chosen one of the tax collectors and examined his procedure and methods, along with records. Mr. Skiadas noted that he found no problems and everything was done correctly and professionally. He will select a different tax collector to monitor next year.

The General Fund balance has increased, and if current trends continue, the fund should increase for 2006–2007 the same as it did for 2005–2006. Because of state regulations, the Fund is at the point where it may be beneficial for the School District "to long-term plan to spend down" some of the Fund on projects, so that the District is not limited in its ability to raise property taxes if the need should arise.

Besides increases in revenue, Mr. Skiadas noted that the cafeterias and meal programs are taking less from the lunch fund, and are "becoming self-sufficient," as losses have dropped the last couple of years. He anticipated that the lunch program would likely support itself within the near future.

Mr. Skiadas said the School District had fewer areas to correct this time from the last audit, and noted there were much fewer comments indicating a need for corrective action since four years ago. Two areas he did bring to the Board's attention were the Food Service Fund and the Student Activities Fund. The Food Service Fund, the School District "needs to review the list of students eligible for free or reduced cost lunches at the beginning of the year." He had found a few students that were either not eligible or no longer in the District.

The Student Activities Fund's main problem was an old one re-surfacing after correction in previous years. Club advisors are not "keeping track of activities [cost]" and are relying on the General Fund to monitor the costs. Mr. Skiadas said that the lack of oversight "could result in theft" as happened in another school district, where the amount misappropriated was approximately $40,000. He stressed that the Board needs to "enforce the controls that have to be there" to prevent problems.

Mr. Skiadas ended by saying he was thankful and impressed by the cooperation and competence of the Business Office, headed by Mrs. Jennifer Stone, Business Manager.

Following Mr. Skiadas was Randall Krauss of Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC, the firm designated by the School Board to refinance and recall the District's bonds. Because of the soundness of the School District's financial health, and the fact the District is able to contribute $160,000 towards refunding, Mr. Krauss said that Mountain View has an A-1 rating, and will likely receive a Triple A rating once the process is complete, giving it the highest rating possible. After the Board voted its approval of the bond issue, Mr. James Zick, Board President, called for a brief recess after Mr. Krauss's presentation so that all parties could sign the necessary paperwork.

Board member Nate Tompkins and Business Manager Jennifer Stone reported on the high school roof survey. Ms. Stone noted that the survey revealed 9 areas in need of coating to prevent further damage. The Board voted to have a cost estimate done for replacement and repair of the roof for a more permanent solution.

After passing a number of motions relating from finances to field trips, the Board went into executive session to discuss personnel matters.

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A Silent Killer

NOTE: This is the first in a series of articles submitted by Virginia Hauser, Montrose, which we are happy to publish for your information on a problem which is becoming all too familiar to families, nationwide.

Did You Know That:

1. Mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours?

2. Mold is like roaches – if you see more than four or five roaches, there can be hundreds that you don’t see.

3. Mold is a living thing and if left unchecked, will spread to everything that it can, thus continually increasing the damage it can cause.

4. Your immune system is somewhat like the safety alarm system in your house.

5. Putting in a  new furnace will not cure your toxic mold problem.

6. There is such a thing as “good” mold.

7. Some doctors do not realize yet that toxic mold is a health hazard and can even kill living things.

8. Pennsylvania has joined other states and formed a Toxic Mold Task Force.

9. Mold is a necessary part of our environment.

10. They are doing what nature programmed them to do.

11. There are thousands of different types of mold.

12. Mold is mentioned in the Bible.

13. Within days, a single mold spore can easily produce a mature colony containing millions of spores – as long as there is moisture and food.

14. Molds can lay in waiting for a favorable environment.

15. They persist in a dormant state in an unfavorable environment.

16. Cleaning up mold must be done surgically.

17. Toxic Mold Prevention Month is January.

17. HR 1268: The US Toxic Mold Safety and Prevention Act.

18. You can be a carrier of dry toxic mold spores when you leave a toxic mold-filled house without protective covering.

19. If you are infected with toxic mold no – repeat, no- doctor or medicine can cure you.

20. New headlines: Toxic Mold The Silent Killer.

21. More headlines: Toxic Mold The New Epidemic.

After reading this list, if you wish to know more about toxic mold, continue to read this series of articles and at least be your own investigator – it may save your life, health and sanity.

Prevention is the solution – education is the answer – ignorance is not bliss.

Education and common sense can save your health and possibly your life. It can certainly save a lot of medical and hospital bills.

We start from infancy to teach safety. Don’t touch the stove, look before you cross the street, don’t drink and drive, don’t smoke, etc.

For mold to grow and flourish, there must be moisture and neglect. A leaky roof or windows, wet basement, dripping water pipes, old furniture in a damp attic or basement, all are breeding grounds for mold.

Other common places are under the sink and in the bathroom. In other words, any place where mold can grow.

Molds are fungi (sing. fungus). Mushrooms, too are fungi. The microscopic, plantlike “chefs” that help convert grapes to wine and wort to beer are also fungi. One genus of mold, penicillium, comprises hundreds of known species; some produce the antibiotic penicillin, and others turn milk curd into cheese. And some species of penicillium create the blue-green growth found on the forgotten oranges at the back of the refrigerator drawer.

Since molds comprise a family of diverse organisms, it is not surprising that they have different effects on humans. Only a few of the toxic metabolites of molds cause illness and the illnesses are divided into two general categories, allergic and toxic.

Allergic reactions occur when the body’s immune system recognizes a foreign substance and tries to expel it. Among allergic symptoms are respiratory problems such as difficulty breathing, sore throat, dry cough, nasal and sinus congestion, and skin irritation.

Toxic reactions include central nervous system problems such as headaches, memory problems, mood changes, liver and kidney damage, and cancer. Generalized aches and pains and fever may accompany mold-related illnesses.

A healthy human body always supports some amounts of mold and fungi. Usually, there is no known impact of this infection. When a foreign type of mold enters the body, it causes changes that can directly cause illnesses or allow the resident fungi to increase to a point where illness is observed.

High risk individuals include the very young (infants), the old, pregnant women, those already  impacted (such as smokers).

These variances explain why equal exposures do not result in illness among the entire exposed population.

Mold has become more serious of late, not because there are now mold cases for the first time. Mold has been around us for as long as dirt and water have been around; however, mold (and the problems it can cause) has become more publicized, as scientists and doctors have started trying to link mold to some horrendous causes of illness or death suffered by people living in homes infected with high levels of mold or with certain levels of mold that is more toxic in nature.

Several years ago, my attorney attended a symposium on this subject and knowing my interest in toxic mold, loaned me the book published for the purpose of dealing with mold claims.

This book examines why mold is a problem and what liability issues are arising through case law. They are geared toward those who represent builders, owners, architects, engineers and others associated with the building industry and hopefully explain some of the pertinent issues involved in the expanding area of practice.

My interest in this subject is because my husband, Harry and I are victims to toxic mold. No, there is no mold in my new house. We worked with an organization that purchased one of the oldest houses in our area – it had been vacant for a number of years, the roof and basement leaked, and since it was closed up these many years, this old, beautiful house became a breeding ground for toxic mold.

I had a friend who always said, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” and all of us were ignorant of the hazard to our health from toxic mold. So, we worked and had social gatherings and meetings in that house.

No doctors, the Department of Health, at that time, could help me. It was when I opened a Newsweek magazine in the library that the title of one article, “A Hidden Health Hazard,” by Anne Underwood, hit me in the face.

Our symptoms were there. Dorothy McPherson, a friend who is literate on the computer, used the addresses at the end of the article and our toxic mold file was born.

Watch the County Transcript for the next article in the ongoing series on toxic mold.

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Courthouse Report
Compiled By P. Jay Amadio


Christiana Bank & Trust Co., Sequoia Funding Trust (by trustee) to David W. Pritchard, Jr., Cresco, in Auburn Township for $50,000.

James M. Ely, Sr., Janice M. Ely to Joshua A. Harvey, Meshoppen, Rita K. Harvey, in Auburn Township for $235,000/.

David Carey, Barbara Carey to David D. Carey, Springville, in Springville Township for one dollar.

Barbara D. Carey, David D. Carey to Barbara E. Carey, Mehoopany, in Springville Township for one dollar.

Farmland Dairies Inc., Farmland Dairies LLC to Gary E. Johnson, Springville, Shirley A. Johnson, in Dimock Township for $6,000.

Claude Y. Boisson, Lois Ann Rasch to James Richard Dixon, RR2, Susquehanna, Kathleen E. Thompson, in Great Bend Township for $163,500.

Matis Lingerie Inc. (dba) Matis Manufacturing Co. Inc. to Richard Schneierson, Susquehanna, in Oakland Borough and Oakland Township for $75,000.

Dale L. Garrison, Deborah L. Garrison to Shawn L. Garrison, RR2, Nicholson, in Springville Township for $40,000.

Michael Siracuse to Daniel Siracuse, Meshoppen, in Auburn Township for one dollar.

Gerald F. Patton (estate) to Thomas R. Sorber, Owego, NY, Scott O. Sorber, Brian G. Sorber, in Silver Lake Township for $20,000.

Gladys O. Intili to Daniel P. Thompson, Clarks Summit, Debra D. Thompson in Clifford Township for $475,000.

Garth Alan Roberts (by attorney), Margaret C. Roberts (by attorney) to David Skinner, Montrose, Eleanor Skinner, in Bridgewater Township for $12,000.

Gary L. Latimer to Linda A. Fazio, RR1, Carbondale, in Clifford Township for $190,000.

Elizabeth A. Brown (estate) aka Elizabeth J. Brown (estate) aka Elizabeth A. June (estate) to T3K Rod and Gun Club LLC, Honesdale, in Harmony Township for one dollar.

Thomas J. Bolles, Lynn F. Bolles to TNT Partnership of PA, RR3, Montrose, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.

TNT Partnership of PA to Thomas Bolles (trustee), RR3, Montrose, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.

Larry M. Heimly to Keith A. Pote, Deptford, NJ, Brenda L. Bittner, in Bridgewater Township for $162,500.

June E. Raub to Leslie F. Major, Binghamton, NY, Ann Marie Major, in Silver Lake Township for $64,500.

Donald M. Overfield, Jr. to John Tyciak III, Trevose, in Bridgewater Township for $49,500.

Lawrence T. O’Reilly, Christine M. O’Reilly to David F. Stanley, Brackney, and Karen A. Stanley, in Choconut Township for $15,000.

Edith H. Karveller (estate) to Daniel McElwee, Montrose, Leonard Conway, in Jessup Township for one dollar.

Edward Devries, Raymond Devries to Robert Devries, Susquehanna, Rose Mary Devries, in Jackson Township for one dollar.

Eugene T. Stranko, Marlene M. Stranko to John Tofanelli, West Caldwell, NJ, Tracy Tofanelli, in New Milford Township for $98,000.

Jason D. Miller, Jessica E. Miller to Jason D. Miller, Wilkes-Barre, Jessica E. Miller, in Harford Township for one dollar.

Larry A. Holder to Larry A. Holder, Susquehanna, Linda Streznetcky, in Oakland Borough for one dollar.

Norma J. Jaget, Charles W. Jaget, Susan M. Cronk to Wayne K. Shontz, Jr., Thompson, Susan W. Shontz, in Thompson Borough for $250.

Ronald L. Lee, Lillian Lee to Albert R. Crawford III, Norristown, Kahen L. Crawford, in Borough of Lanesboro for $49,000.

Terry L. Underwood to Sherry C. Underwood, Endicott, NY, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.

Augustine L. Fabrizi, Lana A. Fabrizi to Richard A. Fabrizi, Susquehanna, in Oakland Borough for one dollar.

John J. Brozoskie, Donna L. Brozoskie to Joseph C. Megivern, RR1, New Milford, Linda J. Megivern in Harford Township for $167,000.

Zachary Lucas to Zachary Lucas, Forest City, Matthew Lucas, Natalie Lucas, in Forest City for one dollar.

William F. Hastings, Vickie E. Hastings to Dean A. Johnson, Union Dale, Valerie Johnson, in New Milford Township for $19,000.

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Gibson Barracks Report


On December 19, there was an altercation at the Susquehanna County Correctional Facilities in Montrose. During this incident Joseph Gerchman of Forest City struck Kyle Williams of Montrose, while both were in Delta Block of the prison.


Two elderly women are claim to have been victimized by Jessica Decker of Susquehanna, one on December 11 and the other on December 13. The first, Ethel Carson of Lanesboro, stated that Decker was visiting her in her home when she removed money from her purse. The second, Mary Ficarro of Susquehanna accused Decker of entering her residence and removing her purse, which contained money and other items. Decker was arrested in New York State and is awaiting extradition back to Pennsylvania.


The police have located a 16 year-old male reported missing on December 17 from Dimock. The boy ran away, and was originally thought to have been headed to New Jersey.


On December 17, a minor male from the Hallstead area was driving north bound on SR 4007 in Forest Lake Township. He lost control while attempting to negotiate a curve and exited the roadway to the west of the travel lanes. The vehicle then glanced off of a utility pole and impacted a series of trees. The driver suffered no injuries and refused medical treatment form responding EMS personnel. He was wearing his seatbelt.


Three crashes occurred due to a rock located in the roadway at exit 206 (Lenox Township) off of 81. On December 17, around 5:05 p.m. Megan Vanorden of Windsor, Robert E. Beiber of Johnson City, and John P. Siokas of Albertson, NY all struck the aforementioned rock in separate incidents. None of the crashes led to an injury, and the involved parties were wearing their seat belts.


On December 12, Dorothea Sniegos of Montrose reported that someone had been standing by her residence looking into her window, and that he or she fled upon being discovered. Further investigation revealed the person to be her ex-husband, Raymond Sniegos. The latter was charged with Loitering And Prowling At Night 3rd degree.


On December 16, Esther Depue of Montrose went for a walk around 4:30 p.m. and became disoriented. A ground search was initiated, entailing members from the Snake Creek and Montrose Volunteer Fire companies, along with the PA State Police. The State Police aviation unit out of Montoursville responded to assist in the search. Depue was located a short distance from her home through use of the State Police Helicopter's infrared camera and night vision equipment. When EMS personnel were directed to her she was found to be in good health, and was transported to Montrose hospital for a full medical evaluation. Members of the Broome County Sheriff's Department K-9 section also assisted in the search.


On December 14, Christmas trees were stolen off the lot belonging to Stillwater Evergreens in Union Dale, PA. It is still unknown who committed this act.


Between July 1, 2004 and December 13, 2006, unknown actor(s) went onto the property of Gene Strange of Scranton and cut down approximately 20 pine trees.


On December 8, Andy Meagley of Susquehanna was traveling Northbound on SR 1015. He lost control of his vehicle about 9/10 of a mile south of Riverview Drive in Harmony Township, entered a clockwise spin, and left the roadway. He then collided with an embankment twice and was ejected from the vehicle. He was not wearing a seatbelt.


Between the 8th and 9th of December, unknown actor(s) removed four sets of multi-colored Christmas lights from two pillars at the entrance to Stephen Lynch's driveway in Clifford. Two round exterior light fixtures attached to the pillars and one wooden sign with the victim's last name were also taken.


On December 8, at around 2:42 p.m., two unidentified white males drove a silver Jeep Cherokee with an expired Delaware registration into the front parking lot of the Blue Ridge High School. An unwitting student opened the door for one of them in passing. The perpetrator then entered the school and roamed the hallway for a few minutes. He left after spotting an approaching staff member. The two men were confronted by the dean of students outside the building in the parking lot. They fled, however, without explaining their presence or being identified. The State Police at Gibson are looking for anyone with information about the subjects or the vehicle. The vehicle is a mid-nineties model with light silver trim on the wheel wells. State police also wish to have parents remind their children that the side doors at their school are locked to prevent outside entry for a reason.

Anyone with information regarding any of these incidents please contact the Gibson barracks at (570) 465-3154.

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Hallstead Plans Road Work

The Hallstead Boro Council addressed several road related items at their December 21 meeting.

Resident Bill Moser, who lives near the intersection of Chase and Brewster, asked if the boro could offer a solution to the problem of vehicles cutting turns too close at that corner. Any number of drivers have been cutting across the ditch, and a truck driver recently drove over it, destroying sidewalks in front of Mr. Moser’s home and driving across his lawn. Adding insult to injury, the driver left the scene after causing the damage. During the incident, a stone in the ditch was moved, which would undoubtedly cause a problem during heavy rain, as water would be prevented from running into the storm drain. Mr. Moser asked if there was a cost-effective way to make drivers aware that the ditch is there, and that they should make wider turns. After a brief discussion, council agreed to have the maintenance supervisor install reflectors the next day, and to see what had to be done to re-place the stone.

Council will begin working on a plan to solicit bids for repaving for next year somewhat earlier than usual, as it is expected that many contractors will be very busy addressing damage from the June and November flooding. It was agreed that Dayton Ave. should be first on the list of areas to be taken care of.

James Gillespie recommended that council begin long-range planning to take care of drainage problems in the area of Pine Hill, as that would need to be fixed before any paving is planned. It was agreed that a site inspection should be done, with a contractor, to see what the options are.

One of the Christmas lights on Main St. is not working. Ted Loomis said that he had replaced a fuse, but that had not taken care of the problem. As Penelec had installed the outlets the lights are hooked into, they will be notified of the problem and asked to fix it.

Mr. Loomis also reported that there has been additional vandalism at the riverfront park. Lights on the trees there had been the focus of some mischief; bulbs had been removed and tossed into the street. After they had been replaced, the vandals had cut the wires to the lights.

At the request of DEP, a proposed ordinance was tabled, which would require that residences in a one-square mile area be hooked into the municipal water system, disallowing private wells. DEP requested a meeting with the boro solicitor, and provided information that it would be prejudicial for the ordinance to be limited to a specific area, rather than the entire boro.

One boro homeowner, Gary Wilbur has requested to be included in a buyout plan as a result of the June flooding. Council received information from the county regarding a hazard mitigation grant program, and a motion carried to appoint the county chief clerk, Sylvia Beamer, as the designated agent to handle the necessary paperwork.

COG requested that the boro enact an ordinance regarding recreational cabins, requiring that the owner(s) of any proposed structure obtain any relevant permits (sewage, etc.). After discussion there were some questions, and action was tabled until COG could be contacted for more information.

Council received a letter from J.R. Wolfe, who said that Robbie Sellitto of New Milford had spent his own money to repaint the lines on the tennis courts at the Chase Ave. park, and had fixed the net. Council will send Mr. Sellitto a letter of thanks, and an offer to reimburse him for the materials used.

And, a resolution was adopting, designating the National Incident Management System as the basis for any incidents that may occur within the boro. All council members have completed NIMS training; proof of such will be forwarded to the county emergency management agency.

The next meeting will be on Thursday, January 11, 7 p.m. in the boro building.

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January Jurors Drawn

Following is the list of names drawn to serve as Petit and Traverse jurors for January, to appear in the Court of Common Pleas, Susquehanna County Courthouse, Montrose, on the eighth day of January at 9:00 a.m.

Apolacon Twp.: Lora Johnson, Teresa Thorne.

Ararat Twp.: Ray Kilmer.

Auburn Twp.: Willard Docktor, Joseph Kulah, Darlene Salsman.

Bridgewater Twp.: Michael Abbott, David Myers, Ronald Roeder, Roger Sprout.

Choconut Twp.: John Abramo, Edward Patton, Peter Puterbaugh, Juanita Smart.

Clifford Twp.: Michael Barhite, Cynthia McCawley.

Dimock Twp.: Sue Blaisure, Terry DeLousia, Arvin Hibbard, Debra Teel.

Forest Lake Twp.: Michael Flynn, Randy Nash.

Gibson Twp.: Louanne M. Giles, J. Patrick Nicholson, Marcia Snyder.

Great Bend Twp.: Robert Bennett, Jack Cramer, Alan Roody.

Hallstead Boro: David Williams.

Harford Twp.: Charlie Ahearn, Wayne Wellman.

Harmony Twp.: David Lyons.

Herrick Twp.: Jonathan Shea.

Hop Bottom Twp.: Robert Hendricks, John C. Schwarztrauber.

Jackson Twp.: Annette Applegate, Jason Bedford, Marianna Bradley, Hope Cottrell, Elizabeth Hubi, David Lewis, Rebecca Wright.

Lathrop Twp.: David Carpenetti, Christopher Colombo, Paul Himka.

Lenox Twp.: Lillian Leo.

Liberty Twp.: Amy Darrow, Lisa Heron.

Little Meadows Boro: Philip Delsordo.

Montrose Boro 2W: Robert Alexander.

New Milford Boro: Cindy VanGorden, Wayne Wayman.

New Milford Twp.: William A. Furch, Lisa McGraw, Laura Novak, Harry Osborne, Walter Sauter, Richard Walworth.

Oakland Boro: Darren Bishop, Robin Gelineau.

Oakland Twp.: Carol Paquette.

Rush Twp.: Edward Kelley, Thomas Irvin Moore, Floyd Vanwinkle.

Silver Lake Twp.: Cynthia Conaty, Frank Ferencik, Carolyn Finch, Mary Heron, Andrea Shoemaker.

Springville Twp.: Marsha Clink, Helen Jones, Jonathan Wendell Jones II, Raylean Kisner, Kimberly Lane, Patricia Noble, Glen A. Potts, Dorothy C. States.

Susquehanna Boro 2W: Linda Bedford.

Union Dale Boro: Patrick P. Foster.

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COG May Have New Members

COG members learned at their December 19 meeting that two municipalities have expressed interest in joining COG, Forest Lake and New Milford Townships. Both have been sent packets of information.

Joe Collura, who conducted the review (audit) for the codes committee last year will do so again this year at the same price, $750. It was agreed that he should also do a review of the Sewage accounts in the spring.

New Milford Township had inquired about having COG make signs for a private road; COG would be willing to make them at the request of the township, but not for an individual. But, the township would need to be a member, as only member municipalities may purchase signs through COG. There was some discussion about the size required if the signs are purchased with liquid fuels money. PennDOT used to approve of four inch letters, with the sign size six by 24 inches, but new regulations require six inch letters on eight by 36 signs. The smaller ones may be used, but cannot be purchased with liquid fuels funds.

A rough draft of the employee policies and procedures are ready for members’ review. In drafting it, employees were asked for their input to see what items they would like to see included. Chuck Mead, who has been working on the policy with Annette Rogers, said that there had been a good interchange of ideas. The policy has been drafted with the idea in mind that COG is a small business, and should be fair to both employees and employer(s) alike. Chairman Elliot Ross commended Mr. Mead and Mrs. Rogers for all the “homework” and time they had put into drafting the policy. A meeting will be held with the executive committee next month to review it and discuss it further.

A representative from the Governor’s Center For Local Government is working on surveys submitted regarding the study on shared municipal police services. Ararat Township’s paperwork has apparently been misdirected and will be submitted again. Some time in January, a meeting will be held with interested municipalities. For the next phase of the study, DCED will pay for the cost of a consultant, and participating municipalities will need to sign an article of agreement to proceed with the study. As of this evening, a date of the meeting had not been set. It was noted that interested municipalities need not be a member of COG.

The budgets for the Sewage and Codes committees for 2007 have been prepared, with no changes from 2006.

Some time ago, member municipalities had been asked to adopt ordinances reaffirming their membership in COG. As of this date, Friendsville Borough had not submitted paperwork to COG to show that they had adopted the ordinance, and their annual dues have not been paid. It was said that Friendsville has not held any council meetings in about five months, and as of January 1 there would be only one official council member, who is also the boro secretary. There was some discussion on whether or not Friendsville should be recognized as COG members, particularly since there were several ongoing cases that COG’s SEO has been working on. After discussion, it was agreed that the SEO should notify the property owners involved of the situation, and that he would be unable to proceed with permit work. And, Friendsville will be notified that as of this date they would no longer be considered members of COG until proof was furnished that the ordinance had been adopted and dues were paid.

COG Sewage

The Sewage committee reported that they had received a request from a member municipality, to waive fees involved regarding properties that had been damaged by the June flooding. BUI has been waiving fees for some (minor) building inspections, but it was agreed that doing so is at their discretion. The question was, should COG continue to waive fees for minor sewage inspections, or offer a reduction in cost for some of those inspections? After discussion, it was noted that any inspections conducted by COG do involve a cost (man-hours and mileage), and while COG is sympathetic to the situations of property owners who would likely be dealing with the effects of flood damage for some time, the consensus was that any fees involved should not be waived as it would set an unfavorable precedence. A motion carried to continue with the fee schedule as it stands.

The representative from Ararat Township had a question about a situation where the sewage pipes to a property in Fiddle Lake had been damaged; would Ararat’s regulations apply, or was it covered under the sewer authority’s jurisdiction/regulations? It was agreed that the CEO should be contacted for further information, as he had inspected the site.

COG Codes

BUI, COG’s third party building inspectors, has made a recommendation to reduce the fees charged for commercial warehouses and storage facilities, to a sliding fee determined by the number of square feet involved, rather than a flat fee, to be fairer to those building smaller structures. It was agreed to amend the fee schedule accordingly.

There was some discussion about an ongoing court case regarding the UCC, where a township and its building inspectors had been sued by two (other) inspection companies. At issue is whether or not the municipality can contract with building inspectors, or whether a property owner can use an inspector of his own choosing. The outcome of the case was that the court upheld that the township and its building inspectors did have a valid contract (to conduct inspections). But, the two inspection companies had appealed the court’s decision, which in turn was overturned by the appellate court. At issue was the wording of Act 45, which dictates that a Building Code Official must issue a certificate of occupancy. A property owner can secure the services of a (different) CEO, at an additional cost to himself even when inspection fees are included in the cost of a permit. The point of concern is that the BCO would be required to issue a certificate of occupancy, and in effect, certify the inspection of another individual. The concern is that the BCO would be held liable for another inspector’s work. It was noted that COG does issue a cover letter with permit applications, outlining the procedures and fees involved, and that the fees charged by COG for permits do include the fees for any required inspections. COG will be keeping an eye on the case to see what the final outcome is.

And, it was noted that residential inspectors who were “grandfathered” under the UCC regulations will no longer be able to conduct inspections as of April, unless they have subsequently obtained certification. Grandfathered commercial inspectors would need to be certified by 2009.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 16, 7:00 p.m. at the COG offices in the New Milford Borough building.

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Great Bend Twp. Continues Cleanup

The Great Bend Township Supervisors continued dealing with flood aftermath at their December 18 meeting.

The first payment from FEMA has been received in the amount of $64,119.82. A motion carried to transfer $40,000 to the township’s line of credit (used to fund damage repair) as a principal payment.

EMC Insurance Co. requested a notarized Proof of Loss statement of the amount of damage caused to the township building and its contents; the total damages amounted to $44,300.

Several township residents have signed up for buyout of their properties under the county’s Hazard Mitigation Grant program. Once the county comes up with a plan, the properties will revert to the township, with the stipulation that new buildings cannot be erected at those sites. They must be used for recreation, such as parkland. If the sites are converted to sports parks, small buildings such as dugouts and concession stands are allowed, but even then there are restrictions that must be adhered to.

There was discussion as to what to do with the F800 truck, which had been under water during the flooding. The engine itself was not under water, but the cab and transmission were, and there is most likely water in the fuel tanks. It was agreed to get two repair estimates, and Roadmaster Dave Sienko was authorized to proceed, providing the total cost does not exceed $1,500.

The two residents who had volunteered to re-place the flagpole that had been removed during construction of the new building have withdrawn their offer. One said that they had come to the site several times, but the area where the pole was to be placed was not marked off as they had requested. Supervisor Bob Squier said that during the past month all three supervisors had not been at the building at the same time, so they had not yet determined a site for it. It could not be placed in front of the building, as that would impede parking, and the changed dimensions of the building would put it too close to nearby power lines. The supervisors agreed to decide on a location, and to have the township road crew put it in.

Permits issued during the previous month included an Air Quality State Only Operating Permit from DEP for Amadi Services, Inc; a corrected permit revising the blast plan of the original permit for Douglas Kilmer; and a GP-3 permit for Sandy Kazinetz, for (creek) bank rehabilitation, protection, and gravel bar removal.

Joseph Collura will again do the township’s annual audit for a cost of $825, the same price as last year.

The Hallstead-Great Bend Joint Sewer Authority is submitting an application to DEP for grant funding for an upgrade to their system.

A motion carried to continue the township’s membership in the NE PA Business Association for 2007, with dues at $30. Employee insurance is obtained through the association, and even though no employees currently receive insurance it was agreed to keep the avenue open in case the situation changes.

A motion carried to appoint Jacqui Glezen, Joe Gaughan and June Sienko as auditors; their terms will run through the end of 2007, and they must run in the next municipal election if they choose to do so.

There were several complaints about properties where there is an accumulation of junk vehicles and other debris. The procedures outlined in the township’s nuisance ordinance are being followed to address them. The supervisors were looking into a complaint about a property on Old Route 11, and will contact the county to determine who the present owner is.

A motion carried to approve the 2007 budget as advertised.

During public comment, the supervisors were asked when their next meeting will be; it will be on  Monday, January 2 at 7 p.m.

John Franks had some questions for supervisor Dave Sienko concerning his plans to be out of the area. Mr. Franks said that he had gone over the employee timesheets and found the situation to be “normal.” He commended the road crew for doing excellent work on Church Road, but expressed dissatisfaction with work that had been done by an outside contractor. And, he commended the supervisors for getting $150 in compensation per meeting.

Another resident asked that some deep ditches on Baptist Hill Road be taken care of before the roads ice up, as they could be a hazard.

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