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The Susquehanna County Salary Board last week tabled action on a motion that would have given its voter registrar a promotion plus an annual salary of $24,500 that reflects a weekly pay increase of $83.
Commissioner Jeff Loomis, who made the motion to change the job status of Laura Watts from voter registrar to voter registrar/director of elections, cast the lone vote against Commissioner Roberta Kelly’s motion to table the matter. Kelly said she had not been apprised of the motion until shortly before the meeting and she would like time to look into it. She also expressed concern about a pending lawsuit filed against the county by a veteran who applied for the position and was rejected.
A second motion on the agenda, also tabled by Kelly’s motion, would have changed the part time, non-union, voter registration clerk to fulltime voter registration clerk/clerk typist, a union position that would also include a benefit package.
Mrs. Watts has been a county employee seven months. She replaced Linda Hollenbeck who ran the voter registration office for 27 years prior to her retirement last year. Her job title during all those years was voter registrar.
Asked if she recommended the change in Mrs. Watts’ employment status, Chief Clerk Sylvia Beamer said she did not but added that she doesn't disagree with it.
In another personnel matter, the Salary Board created two part-time licensed practical nurse positions for the county jail. The non-union positions will pay $14 an hour with no benefits.
At the Board of Commissioners meeting that preceded the Salary Board meeting, the commissioners hired eight part-time county detectives that will be added to the district attorney’s recently organized task force. Those hired included: Laura Watson of Kingsley, Donald Carroll of Union Dale, Timothy Burgh of Montrose, Michelle Hillard of Meshoppen, Joshua Atherton of Nicholson, Dale Smith of Meshoppen, John Megivern of Brooklyn Twp. and Andrew Genneken of Thompson. All are part-time police officers or deputy sheriffs and all are Act 120 certified.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission last week filed suit against Nicholas Demaree of Brackney urging the court to order Demaree to remove fencing that the state alleges blocks the commission and the public from gaining access to state-owned land at Quaker Lake in Silver Lake Township.
At the same time the complaint was filed in the Susquehanna County Prothonotary’s Office, the plaintiff’s attorney, Michael Giangrieco, filed a petition for a preliminary injunction. An injunction could allow the state access to the waterfront property it owns on Quaker Lake while the lawsuit is argued in the courts.
According to the complaint, years ago the state purchased two parcels of land with frontage on Quaker Lake. The Fish and Boat Commission subsequently erected a parking lot and installed a boat ramp for public fishing.
The complaint alleges that Demaree claims he owns the land that was purchased by the state.
“Although plaintiff believes,” the complaint reads, “and, therefore, avers that the common boundary line between the defendant’s real property and its real property is the low water mark shoreline of Quaker Lake, defendant has asserted, by action and word, that he owns a portion of the plaintiff’s real property.”
“For 40 years,” Giangrieco said, “people were coming and going uninterrupted and the state was stocking the lake for fishing.” He said the Fish and Boat Commission has continuously maintained and improved boating, fishing, public, emergency and law enforcement access to Quaker Lake from the two parcels of land owned by the commission.
“In or about May, 2006,” the complaint alleges, “defendant erected a fence over a portion of the plaintiff’s two parcels of real property claiming that said portion was actually owned by the defendant.” The petition for an injunction points out that the Fish and Boat Commission has no other access to Quaker Lake except the two parcels of land it purchased in 1968 and 1970.
Giangrieco said each parcel of land owned by the Fish and Boat Commission was acquired pursuant to the Project 70 Land Acquisition and Borrowing Act for the specific purpose of providing land for recreation, conservation and historical purposes.
Besides wanting the fence removed, the lawsuit asks the court to stop Demaree from erecting any obstacle that would obstruct the plaintiff and the general public use of the property and access to Quaker Lake.
Giangrieco said a preliminary injunction will restore both parties in the lawsuit to their original status and allow the plaintiff to utilize the lake front portion of its land, exercise its lake rights and allow the general public to engage in recreational fishing and boating activities.
Act I of 2006 requires schools in Pennsylvania to develop budgets earlier than ever before, even before the governor and the legislature have decided what they will contribute. The Blue Ridge School Board began preparing a budget for the fiscal year that begins in July at a workshop on January 22. It was a grueling session for Robert Dietz, Principal in the Elementary School, who has already announced his retirement at the end of this school year. He will leave a very austere plan for his successor.
The session opened with a report by Food Service Director Linda Cole-Koloski, whose operation serves an average of 900 meals a day at the school. For the past three years, Ms. Cole-Koloski has operated a summer program that provides lunches and snacks for virtually anyone participating in a program sponsored or supported by the school. This Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was financed entirely from state funds administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (DoE).
Recently, Ms. Cole-Koloski was informed that the subsidy would no longer be available to Blue Ridge, since the District fell above a new needs threshold. Ms. Cole-Koloski immediately got to work to find a way to restore funding. Through some creative head-counting supported by DoE, she was able to get the subsidy reinstated for another three years.
Last summer was a special challenge for the Blue Ridge food service operation. Not only did they serve more meals than ever under the SFSP, but the flood in late June brought the Red Cross, FEMA and PEMA, and many suffering local residents to the school, operating as a temporary shelter and recovery center.
The Board recognized Ms. Cole-Koloski's achievements and dedication with warm applause, and Board President Alan Hall noted that she was also recently recognized by the Silver Lake Fire Company for 25 years of service.
The school principals reported on their efforts to continue improving students' scores on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA). The schools are now using "bench-mark" testing in advance of the actual PSSA in order to gauge the effectiveness of teaching toward the PSSA itself.
This April, for the first time, students will "field test" the science component of the PSSA, which will become an official part of the standardized testing regimen in 2008.
Mr. Dietz reported that Ms. Bleck found that her young reading students comprehended more material after reading aloud than reading silently to themselves. So this year the PSSA will be bent slightly to allow students to read the selections aloud before answering comprehension questions. Adults will monitor the process, but not participate. It is hoped that this approach will lift reading scores even higher.
Superintendent Robert McNamara introduced some wording for a proposed referendum question on "tax reform" for the primary election in May. The referendum, required by Act 1 of 2006, gives voters an opportunity to decide to offset some property taxes in favor of either an Earned Income Tax (EIT) or a Personal Income Tax (PIT). Either approach would offer some homeowners a reduction in taxes. However, the EIT would make up the difference by taxing earners' wages; the PIT would tax virtually all income. Mr. McNamara said that, at a 90% collection rate, the district could expect about $861,000 in revenue from 1,711 eligible households from the Personal Income Tax.
A Tax Study Commission last Fall recommended no change to the tax structure in the Blue Ridge district, advising that neither the EIT nor the PIT would benefit the majority of district taxpayers. Nevertheless, the referendum is required by the law. So Mr. McNamara is proposing a question that offers the Personal Income Tax (at about 1% on essentially all income except Social Security). He said that the PIT has the advantage that it is more broad-based. An observer suggested that another motivation might have been to discourage the large number of senior citizen homeowners who would have benefited most from the EIT.
At the time Act 1 was passed last summer, the PIT wasn't even a legitimate option, although the law allowed school districts to consider it in anticipation of eventual passage. The PIT was recently passed by Harrisburg.
Blue Ridge was the only district in Susquehanna County that signed on to an earlier scheme, called Act 72, that would have displaced some property taxes with gambling revenue. Act 1 of 2006 repealed Act 72, and, in the opinion of Mr. Hall, was the gesture of a legislature that had given up on real tax reform, and simply "dumped" the whole mess onto the local school districts.
The referendum question must be determined by March 13 in order to find a place on the May 15 primary ballot. The Board will consider it through February. The district must also advertise the measure, and the Board is hard pressed to find a way to educate the public about the question – and about the Board's position on the PIT. Lon Fisher said that he didn't think many people know what a Personal Income Tax is, or what it could mean to voters and taxpayers in the district. No one yet knows either how it would be collected. Mr. Hall said that it was possible that someone working outside the district might have to pay the tax both where they work and where they live. There is still considerable confusion about the entire program. The Board will host a hearing on the referendum, probably in April, to try to help educate the public.
However the money is raised, spending is largely determined by the budget. Each year administrators present their proposals, and the Board tries to squeeze some of the fat out. Mr. Hall had already warned of a "bare bones" budget this year, hoping to hew to a tight line in the face of uncertain state subsidy, declining enrollments, and taxpayer resistance.
Mr. Hall was the primary interrogator; there were very few comments or questions from others on the Board. He started with James Corse, the Activities Director, who had already cut nearly $4,000 from his current year budget. He gouged $8,000 from athletics to give about $1,400 more to other activities. Only boys’ soccer would get new uniforms next year.
However, under relentless pressure from the Board President, Mr. Corse conceded that some intramural sports could be cut, as well as the entire budget for forensics (a debating team hasn't met at Blue Ridge in over two years). Since they meet only eight or nine times in a season, coaching and refereeing costs make intramurals expensive activities to support. Mr. Dietz and Board member Priscinda Gaughan asked administrators to take care that athletics for the younger children not be cut too deeply. By cutting intramural sports for which a club already exists, some $5,000 more could be removed from Mr. Corse's budget.
It was also noted that physical examinations are given to every student who signs up for a sport. Many of these never actually participate, so the cost of the physical is presumably wasted. Mr. Hall proposed that parents be billed for physicals for students who fail to show up for the sport.
Then it was Mr. Dietz's turn in the hot seat. Mr. Hall put the Elementary School budget under a microscope for nearly and hour and a half, questioning Mr. Dietz closely on every line in his budget. Some of the major items included the Artist in Residence program, which is shared with the Intermediate Unit, at a cost to Blue Ridge of about $2,500. There was also the Dibel assessment program, which is used to identify children who need remedial help. The first year of the Dibel program was subsidized. Mr. Dietz said he considered it important in his school, even though the cost of some $14 per child in Kindergarten through third grade (plus some equipment) would now be borne entirely by the district. (Board member Harold Empet spoke up at this point, objecting to numerous programs that begin under grant subsidy but then are continued at the expense of the district.)
There was some dispute over the need for a computerized encyclopedia at $500 per year (another program that was funded by a grant in the first year).
Mr. Hall wondered at the cost of over $3,200 for calculators for fourth grade math. The cost includes four projection packages for the calculators (one per class), plus one calculator for each student.
He also made a substantial and apparently arbitrary cut in a request for new computer equipment in the Elementary School office.
Mr. McNamara reported that the district had 14 applicants for the position Mr. Dietz will be leaving behind. One wonders how many would remain if they had attended this budget inquisition.
In past years, by the time Mr. Hall had finished grilling one principal, the others tended to get off fairly lightly. This time, when he was done with the Elementary School, Mr. Hall adjourned the workshop, presumably so he could be fresh to press the others just as hard the next time.
If you want to see Mr. Nebzydoski and Mr. Manchester sweat, consider attending the next few board meetings, which are usually on the second and fourth Mondays of the month, beginning at 7:30 p.m., in the cafeteria in the Elementary School.
Richard A. Schwab, Sandra J. Russell Schwab to Richard A. Schwab, RR3, Montrose, Sandra J. Russell Schwab, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Chester E. Kilmer, Jr. to Maurice Diaz, New Milford, in New Milford Township for $100,000.
Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas (by POA, FKA) Bankers Trust Co. to Justin R. Lawrence, RR3, Meshoppen, in Auburn Township for $72,000.
William N. Russell to Cory M. Peranich, RR1, Brackney, in Silver Lake Township for $56,000.
Jean Roe (aka) Jeane R. Row to Timothy K. Roe, RR2, Thompson, in Susquehanna and Oakland boroughs for one dollar.
Debra Wilcox Whalen to Wayne Wilcox, RR1, Forest City, Keith Wilcox, Anthony Wilcox, in Forest City for one dollar.
Peter Renz, Eileen Renz to Dennis F. Palumbo, Franklin Square, NY, in Clifford Township for $20,000.
Federal National Mortgage Association to Bank of America, Getzville, NJ, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Jesse Colwell to David Colwell, Mechanicsburg, in Oakland Township and Oakland Borough for one dollar.
Susan Beth Vorndran Ellington, John P. Ellington to Paul A. Brennan, Clarks Summit, in Brooklyn Township for $34,000.
James Carley, Jane Carley to James Carley, RR1, Montrose, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Eric R. Blachek, Helen E. Smith, Kenneth E. Smith to Eric R. Blachek, RR2, Hallstead, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Zhong Jiang to JT Spano LLC, Hillsborough, NJ, in Forest City for $45,000.
Charles H. Snyder aka Charles H. Snyder, Jr., Michelle L. Fox-Snyder to Anthony J. Kuchinski, Cresco, Robin R. Kuchinski, in Jackson Township for $94,000.
Gary J. Rudert, Bonnie Joe Rudert to Michael J. Bednarz, Danville, NJ, Kelly Bednarz, in Jackson Township for $122,000.
Thomas W. Gamba, Cynthia M. Gamba to John Morris, Larksville, in Middletown Township for $25,000.
June H. Huston, Richard W. Huston to Robin Lee Huston, New Milford, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.
Robert Boryszweski (estate), John O'Brien, Jane O'Brien to Francis J. Pinkowski, RR2, Montrose, Francis J. Pinkowski, Jr., Michael J. Pinkowski, in Forest Lake Township for $65,000.
Edward O'Brien to Edward Stelacio, RR4, Montrose, in Rush Township for $3,500.
Peter Dutter, Jr., Diane Dutter to Peter F. Dutter, Springbrook Township, Ann Marie Dutter, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Albert F. Cooper, Jr., Vilma P. Cooper to John H. Sanders, RR1, Little Meadows, Richard P. York, in Apolacon Township for $105,000.
Kenneth D. Corbin, Dawn M. Corbin to Skip Tracy, New Milford, Mary E. Thoden, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar (corrective deed).
Skip Tracy, Mary E. Thoden to Phillip S. Skrzat, Telford, Stacy Skrzat, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.
Robert L. Lesjack, Barbara Lesjack to Kevin M. Lesjack, Forest City, Melissa Lesjack, in Forest City for $150,000.
Ricky Lynn Kuder, Jr. and Natasha L. Chapman, both of Meshoppen.
Richard Conrad Masters and Beth Ann Tingley, both of Kingsley.
Jeffrey A. Greenwood and Jennifer Lynn Phillippe, both of Springville.
Jason Scott Heeman and Kelly Balmer, both of Starrucca.
Robert S. Zapolski and Amy Lynn Miller, both of Meshoppen.
Brian W. Small, Montrose and Maria L. Delanoy, Maine, NY.
Hawker Financial Corp. obtained a judgment in Susquehanna County Court against Robert J. Balendy, 755 Hudson Street, Forest City, in the amount of $2, 653.
Palisades Collection LLC obtained a judgment in Susquehanna County Court against Elizabeth Pittsman, 408 Susquehanna St., Forest City, in the amount of $3,031.
Some time ago, three railroad cars had been donated to the boro of Susquehanna; questions have been raised as to ownership of two of them. At their January 23 meeting, the Susquehanna Boro Council discussed what response should be made to the Chemung Valley Historical Society, which is claiming ownership of the two cars. The two cars in question were abandoned at the Binghamton railroad yard and donated by the railroad, which delivered them to the boro three years ago. The boro was given a notarized document by the railroad, stating such.
After discussion, it was agreed to respond to the society, stating Susquehanna’s intent to renovate the cars, and pointing out that they have been in the boro’s possession for the past three years and have been covered under the boro’s insurance policy. If the society does intend to pursue the matter, they will be given sixty days to remove them. From the point of notification, the boro will begin to assess storage fees. And, a time limit will be given for a response.
Correspondence received from PennDOT indicates that an area on Franklin Ave. where there has been continual water problems requires a 42” drainage pipe where a 24” pipe is; the 24” pipe had been installed by PennDOT some time ago. But, PennDOT cautions that an engineer’s plan must be submitted to PennDOT before any changes can be made as it is a state road. It was agreed that something must be done, so Mr. Williams will contact three engineering firms to get prices for having a plan drawn up.
Other items of business included the following:
A reminder that vehicles must be off the street and sidewalks must be cleared when (and if) snow comes.
A request for a peddler’s permit for ten days in May from Jim Delaney. He has permission from the owner of the Shops Plaza to set up a tent to sell plants.
Discussion on pedestrian crossing signs available through PennDOT.
A schedule for spring cleanup, tentatively at the end of April, with pothole filling to be done by the end of May.
Repairs to the police Jeep, which were substantially lower in cost than had been expected.
The boro’s amusement tax ordinance, and the fact that revenues from it have not been collected for the past two years. Keeping the ordinance “on the books” would require a boro representative to visit every business within the boro to make an inventory of items that would apply (pool tables, juke boxes, video game machines, etc.). As the boro would only average about $500 revenue per year, it was agreed that the ordinance should be rescinded.
Authorization to contact an electrician to repair several street lights on the Veterans Memorial Bridge that are not working.
Motions carried to approve the following:
Participation in a county tire recycling program again this spring.
Purchase of a new copier and service contract.
Purchase of new rugs for the boro building hallway and the police offices; a service contract covering rental and cleaning of rugs for those areas was not renewed for 2007.
The meeting adjourned to an executive session to discuss a personnel issue.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 13, 6 p.m. in the boro building.
In November, 2005, the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) sent a scientist to the New Orleans area to test the mold spore levels. Per the National Allergy Bureau of the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology, mold is considered dangerously high when it reaches above 1,300 mold spores/cubic meter inside of a building. In housing that had not been remediated, the spore counts were around 650,000/cubic meter. In buildings that had been “fully remediated” with bleach and other toxic chemicals, it was down to 20,000/cubic meter (still dangerously high for long-term health consequences).
Outside, levels are considered hazardous above 13,000/cubic meter. In the flooded areas, outside air was testing out at 80,000. Air in areas nearby that had not been flooded were around 48,000, and in quite distant areas, around 20,000. So, just walking around in the general area of the Gulf hurricane area is likely to be a health risk.
Toxic mold symptoms are the primary suspects in the tripling asthma rate over the past 20 years.
In 1994, researches at Harvard University’s School of Public Health studied 10,000 homes across the United States and Canada. “Half had water damage, mold and mildew associated with a 50% to 100% increase in respiratory symptoms,” Harvard researcher John Spengler told USA Weekend. A Mayo Clinic study pegged nearly all of the chronic sinus infections afflicting 37 million Americans to molds.
An architect purchased my grandmother’s old Victorian brick house. Anyone would assume he checked it out. However, after a period of time, one of his three boys became ill. There are two cellars in the house. The one under the dining room had mold. The house has hardwood floors and that flooring had to be removed when the mold was being cleaned up. No one else in the house had become ill. This man did a fantastic job restoring the old house and the property.
In New York City’s Spanish Harlem, a group of nuns has taken on the mold fight. The Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Service works with landlords and if necessary, testifies against them in court – to clean up moldy tenements where the asthma rate is double the norm, according to epidemiological reports provided by one of the nuns, Susan Lachepelle.
In determining whether a particular illness is due to mold exposure, a number of factors including the source, exposure, duration, frequency and the overall health of the individual must be considered.
Allergic reactions are usually handled by treating the symptoms. In all cases, the source of allergic exposure must be removed before symptoms will subside.
Medical treatment options for toxic reactions are not completely effective. In all of the years Dorothy McPherson and I have been researching, we have not found what one could describe as “a cure.” One scientist claims that the toxic mold spores remain in the body.
I believe the term should be classified as remission, as in AIDS or cancer.
Another thing to remember is that there are some drugs that can be given to combat systemic fungal diseases that can have serious side effects. Skin infections need treatment for as long as several months to completely eradicate the infection. Some toxic impacts are irreversible.
I lived through this and I know the frustration. The sheer hell of knowing you are the host of one of the most dangerous toxic molds – Aspergillous fumigatus – and your doctors can only “experiment” on you. I thank God, every day that Dr. Dana was/is able to allow me to function and live as normal a life as I have. As long as I take the medication and follow healthy living, I believe I shall survive.
However, I do have one very serious problem – I have not slept one full night since both Harry and I became infected (sleeplessness is one of the symptoms).
The family of another victim refuses to awaken their father if he is able to sleep during the day. I have tried everything except sleeping medication. The doctor suggested music or reading. Often I just get up and have some hot chocolate and listen to C-Span. I do fall asleep in my chair and often never see the full program.
Both Harry and I were exceptionally healthy. He died June 28, 2003, at age 91. We were both activists in our communities. It is truly sad that both of us had to suffer needlessly the last years of our lives.
Following is the list of names drawn to serve as Petit and Traverse jurors for February, to appear in the Court of Common Pleas, Susquehanna County Courthouse, Montrose, on the fifth day of February at 9:00 a.m.
Auburn Twp.: Aaron Lawrence, Fred Storey.
Bridgewater Twp.: Joseph Cherundolo.
Brooklyn Twp.: Darin Bain, Diane Nowalk.
Choconut Twp.: Clifford Smith.
Clifford Twp.: David Bean, Kim Bostjancic, John Coombs, Pete Freely, Jane Halstead. Randal Pettinato, James Pettinato, Sheridan Ross.
Forest City 1W: Richard Dragwa.
Forest lake Twp.: Lenora Hoffa.
Gibson Twp.: Jeffery Bartlett, James Seese.
Great Bend Twp.: Harry Bowles, Kimberly Darrow, Christine Schell.
Hallstead Boro: Laura Bonner, William Moser, John Pavlisak, Shirley Travis.
Harford Twp.: John Revie, Eleanor Ross.
Harmony Twp.: Susan Gallagher.
Herrick Twp.: Charles Owens.
Jackson Twp.: Verna Salada.
Jessup Twp.: Karen Blaisure, Richard Embleton, Richard Hitchcock.
Lanesboro Boro: Robert Hazen.
Lathrop Twp.: Elmer Beebe, Jamin Merritt, Monica Turner.
Lenox Twp.: Ruth Cook, Robert Frost, Jr.
Liberty Twp.: Thomas Henry, Randy Payne, Thomas Perkins, Phillip Thomas, Warren Weeks.
Little Meadows Boro: Marlin Corwin.
Middletown Twp.: Francis Burns, Jr.
Montrose Boro 1W: Gerald Brown.
New Milford Twp.: Anthony Conigliaro, Judith Dibble, David Parsons, Brooke Reese.
Oakland Boro: Larena Nickerson, Carol Skiba.
Oakland Twp.: Laurence Grausgruber, Merle Jennings.
Rush Twp.: Melvin Graham.
Silver Lake Twp.: Kimberly Bickford, Scott Hadaway, Richard L. Henry, Jr., Douglas Lattner, Traci Luce.
Springville Twp.: Julie Benscoter, Erlinda Billiot, Gertrude Bronson, Ruth Casselbury, Tracey Daly, Michele Green.
Susquehanna Boro 1W: Jeffrey Welch.
Susquehanna Boro 2W: Neil Hall, Bruce Walsh.
Susquehanna County offices up for nomination for the municipal primary election being held on May 15 are: District Attorney, County Treasurer, County Coroner, County Commissioner, County Auditor, Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans’ Court and Recorder of Deeds.
Local offices in the various townships and boroughs of Susquehanna County up for nomination are: supervisor, assessor, auditor, constable, school director, borough council.
Petitions to run for these positions will be made available in the Voter Registration Office.
The first legal day to obtain signatures is February 13. The last day petitions may be filed in the registration office is March 6.
If you are interested in running for office, or need information on positions up in your district, call the Voter Registration Office between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at (570) 278-4600, ext. 220.
Important election dates for 2007 are as follows.
February 13 – first day to circulate and file nomination petitions.
March 6 – last day to circulate and file nomination petitions.
March 7 – first day to circulate and file nomination papers nominating independent candidates of political bodies or candidates of minor political parties.
March 14 – day for casting lots for positions of candidates on the primary ballot.
March 21 – last day for withdrawal by candidates who filed nomination petitions.
April 16 – last day to register or change party before the primary.
May 8 – last day to apply for a civilian absentee ballot.
May 11 – last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted civilian absentee ballots.
May 15 – municipal primary polls open between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
May 16 – first day to register or change party after primary.
May 22 – last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted military and overseas absentee ballots (must be postmarked no later than May 14).
August 1 – last day to circulate and fie nomination papers.
August 8 – last day for withdrawal by candidates nominated by nomination papers.
August 13 – last day for withdrawal by candidates nominated at the primary.
October 9 – last day to register or change party before the municipal election.
October 30 – last day to apply for a civilian absentee ballot.
November 2 – last day for County Boards of Election to receive voted civilian absentee ballots.
November 6 – municipal election polls open between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
November 7 – first day to register after municipal election.
November 13 – last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted military and overseas absentee ballots (must be postmarked no later than November 5).
The Harford Township Supervisors closed their meeting on January 23 by offering their appreciation to the local fire company "for the personal and professional contributions" of its members "before, during and after" the flooding in late June of 2006.
The Supervisors will present a certificate to the Harford Volunteer Fire Company at the installation of fire company officers on Saturday, January 27. Announcing the recognition certificate, each supervisor recounted the efforts of the local firemen during the emergency: the long hours, pumping basements, protecting road crews, and many other acts of kindness and effort.
During the business meeting, the supervisors also adopted the annual agreement with the fire company that covers the firemen during fund-raisers, and when they are called out on mutual-aid to help other emergency operations. At the last meeting the supervisors discussed some of the wording in the agreement and tabled the issue for clarification. The new agreement no longer has a limit of 20 miles for mutual aid operations; they are now authorized to provide assistance to "any other [fire] company" that requests it.
Having been properly advertised, the supervisors also formally adopted an ordinance requested by the Council of Governments that requires maintenance agreements with property owners operating on-lot sewage systems with a flow rate of less than 800 gallons per day. (Larger systems come under the supervision of the state Department of Environmental Protection.)
Harford will again play host to a county-wide tire recycling program, to be held this year on May 5, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The township supplies only the location (and access to a restroom). All other expenses and requirements are the responsibility of the county. Persons interested in dropping off tires should contact the county recycling center for more information.
Supervisor and Roadmaster Terry VanGorden was given authorization to spend about $600 to insulate the backroom ceiling in the township building garage area. After installing new windows and doors throughout, this last improvement should help to minimize heating costs.
Mr. VanGorden also asked for authority to investigate the cost of "motor paving" the main roads in the township. Motor paving tends to produce a more even surface by laying materials (stone, etc.) in a consistent way. However, the process also tends to be expensive, using up to about 2,200 tons of materials per mile, not to mention the cost of the machine and its operator. Since "investigation" doesn't cost anything, Mr. VanGorden was so authorized.
The largest issue before Harford supervisors remains the two projects to rebuild the bridge on Pennay Hill Road, and to enlarge the sluice under Stearns Road at the outlet of Tingley Lake. More specifically, the issue is how to pay for the work. They have hired a firm to prepare the engineering for both projects. Now they have to find the money.
The supervisors examined proposals from three banks for various types of loans and lines of credit. They seemed to be most interested in the submission from Peoples National Bank, which offered three options, along with what appeared to be the (slightly) lowest rate. The plan Rick Pisasik seemed to be favoring was a ten-year note at 4.25% for the first five years.
The supervisors decided to try to arrange for up to $500,000 in financing. Some of that will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the Pennay Hill Road bridge. But it doesn't all have to be spent at once. So the supervisors want to know if the loan principal can be put out at interest in the meantime, perhaps even in the same bank. They will consult further with their attorney before making a final commitment.
The Harford Township Supervisors will meet next on Saturday, February 10, beginning at 10:00 a.m., in the township office on Route 547.
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