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The Forest City Borough Council drew some constructive criticism from Paul Mihelc, borough Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC), for failing to adequately cope with a disaster declaration during the Valentine’s Day Blizzard.
Mihelc said he could understand that the borough declared the disaster to cut through the red tape in securing services to assist in snow removal. But he said the borough must be prepared to activate the response and recover aspects of any or all applicable local emergency plans.
“The borough staff was inadequate to man municipal equipment for a 24-hour shift,” Mihelc wrote in a letter to the governing body. He said that prior to winter, the borough should line up part-time help to run equipment around the clock.
Mihelc said as EMC a part of his responsibility is to make recommendations, and he started off by suggesting that Borough Ordinance 439 should have been implemented for the snow emergency. “I have an obligation,” said Mihelc, “to propose mitigation strategies and or suggestions to aid and hasten recovery efforts in the municipality should a similar event occur.”
Mihelc said Borough Ordinance 439 that addresses snow removal should have been implemented. The ordinance allows the mayor to declare snow emergencies and also regulates parking in order to expedite snow removal from the streets.
Mihelc suggested that the borough be divided into quadrants in order to facilitate street cleaning. He further said the borough should make arrangements to secure bigger equipment to expedite clean-up operations.
Council and Mayor Nick Cost agreed to meet further on Mihelc’s recommendations and take action to create a clean-up plan using his suggestions.
The borough is continuing its investigation to uncover homes where sewer lines are emptying into storm drains rather than into sewage mains. A number of homes have been found already and the owners will be told to make arrangements to correct the problem as soon as possible.
The borough has been advised that Shane Lewis, its code enforcement officer, will not be certified to perform all of the inspections required by the Uniform Construction Code. The council’s Personnel Committee will interview qualified firms to do the inspections that Lewis cannot do.
There is generally much laughter at a Montrose Borough meeting, as the council members sport a healthy sense of humor. This enlivens the meetings, but does not keep business from being done. The March 5 meeting was no exception, as amidst jokes several serious issues were dealt with.
Two of the visitors at the meeting were representatives of the Montrose Library and Historical Society. They brought with them a PowerPoint presentation, and used it to outline some of the services which the Library offers to the community. Although funding cuts have caused the library to eliminate some of its adult programs, it still has many resources and initiatives available to the public. From a Babies and Books program to on-line ancestry research aides and other research databases, it promotes life-long learning. It provides books to nursing homes, home-schoolers, daycares, and the jail. They are hoping to move to a new building, but assured those present that the old building on the square will continue to be in use, only with the entire building then serving as the historical society museum. The presentation was very informative, and at its conclusion library card applications were given to the council members and visitors who lacked one.
Another visitor to the meeting came seeking assistance with a problem. A priest attended, on behalf of the Catholic church, to request help with a parking dilemma. Certain people have been persistently parking in front of the church, despite being asked to move and offered space in the church parking lot. This at times poses problems with the hearse's ability to approach the front of the church for funerals, etc. The priest wanted it made so that no one could park there except for church business. This led to a discussion about how to discourage the practice, whether parking in that area was legal at all, and whether or not landlords had to provide adequate off-road parking such that the tenants in question would have convenient spots elsewhere. In the end it was decided that things needed to be looked into further, but that the council would try to assist the church in this matter.
Parking seemed to be a theme of the meeting, as potential plans to change the parking spaces on Church Street from angle to parallel parking were also touched upon. It was generally agreed that there is a danger with the spaces as they are now, as people back out into traffic lanes. The speed limit was also mentioned, as currently people racing to make it through the red-light increases the danger. No definitive action was taken at this meeting; action on the parking spaces might originate first with the Restoration Committee, a correspondence from whom prompted the discussion. Aside from this, there was also a request from the Street Department that the police give reminder notices regarding parking on even or odd days behind certain borough businesses. It was noted that people do not always obey signs or other notices regarding this matter.
The Street Department also requested that people be reminded to please not throw snow into the road, or leave piles of snow in the road after plowing. This presents a danger to all.
After several months of deliberation, various alterations, and being many times tabled, the curfew ordinance was finally approved for advertisement. At the previous meeting a version had been submitted which eliminated the usage of a regular holding facility. The new ordinance will be available for public perusal.
Another policy change was also considered. A motion was made, and passed, to amend an existing ordinance with a resolution which would raise zoning fees. The change would raise the permit fees from $5 to $30, and hearing fees from $175 to $300. These are the prices charged by some other area municipalities.
Dairy Extension Educator, PSU Bradford County
The dairy industry in Pennsylvania and in particular, our own northern tier has been in a state of “transition” for the last number of years. That’s putting it mildly to many local dairy farmers, who would put the last few years of the dairy industry in much stronger terms than “transition.” The survivors in our industry however, have always adjusted to the challenges that history has thrown at them, by not making excuses and by making things happen. They have always adjusted and make changes to their operatioins and, in turn, make their own history.
A new challenge for the dairy industry is in today’s news. As of March 2, 2007, future corn prices at the Chicago Board of Trade will peak in 2007 at $4.24 per bushel ($151.00 per ton before basis adjustments) and $7.78 per bushel for soybeans ($259.00 per ton before basis adjustments). What effect will these futures prices have on the profitability of our local dairy farms?
Well, as many ag economists might say, it depends! It depends on the answers to questions like:
Are the corn and soybean futures market predictions accurate?
What will be the future prices of milk and the mailbox prices to dairy farmers be in 2007?
What effect will the 111 currently operating ethanol plants, along with the 75 under construction, have on the long-term forecast for corn and soybean prices?
How many acres in the U.S. will be transferred this year into corn production from other commodities?
How much higher will dairy farm gate prices have to be to offset higher corn and soybean prices?
What effect does various milk production per cow figures, (i.e.; 65 #’s, 75#’s or 85 #’s per cow), have on potential dairy farm profitability with high feed prices?
Obviously, these are just a sampling of the questions that need to be answered before we find out for certain the impact these high prices will have on our local dairy industry. At Penn State, we are in the process of developing a model that will look at milk production per cow, feed costs per hundred weight of milk produced, and potential income over feed costs, based on various commodity prices going into traditional dairy cow rations.
This model, along with other related topics, will be discussed at an upcoming PSU Dairy Extension meeting being held at the Troy Fire Hall, Friday March 23, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and concluding by 2:00 p.m. Speakers on the program include the following.
Dr. James Dunn, PSU Professor of Agricultural Economics, will address the following topic: Insights into Corn, Soybean and Ethanol Markets. The discussion will include the various uses of corn and how much each responds to price and what it means to livestock and dairy producers.
Dr. Ken Bailey, PSU Associate Professor of Dairy Markets and Policy will give his insights into: Dairy Outlook for 2007 Given Current Market Conditions. This discussion will look at current market conditions and the effect these conditions will have on milk prices and the overall future milk supply, both domestically and for export.
Gary Hennip and J. Craig Williams, PSU Dairy Extension Educators, will show examples using the milk-feed price model put together by Penn State Dairy Extension Specialists.
Reservations for this important look into the future can be made by contacting the Bradford County Extension office at (570) 265-2896 or the Tioga County Extension office at (570) 724-9120, no later than Monday, March 19.
William E. Zick, Brenda J. Zick to William E. Zick, RR1, Hop Bottom, Brenda J. Zick, in Lenox Township for one dollar (Corrective Deed).
Grace Gruber to Bernhard Gruber, Lanesboro, Grace Gruber, in Lanesboro Borough for one dollar.
Manzek Land Co. Inc. to Steven J. Cosman, Brewster, NY, Doreen A. Pastore, in Jessup Township for $90,000.
Daniel Albert, Jr., Cindy S. Albert to Daniel Albert, Jr., RR2, Kingsley, Cindy S. Albert, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.
Fox Enterprises Inc. to Jeffrey J. Bernzak, Rye, NY, in Susquehanna Depot for $175,000.
Michael Scioli, Jr., Gerianne M. Scioli to Richard Greenberg, Verona, NJ, Katherine Greenberg, in Bridgewater Township for $262,500.
Katherine C. Watrous (lifetime trust no one by trustee), Peter S. Watrous (lifetime trust no one by trustee) to Peter S. Watrous (lifetime trust no one), RR2, Hallstead, in Franklin Township and Great Bend Borough for one dollar.
Katherine C. Watrous (lifetime trust no one by trustee), Peter S. Watrous (lifetime trust no one by trustee) to James Monteforte, Hallstead, Diane Monteforte, in Franklin, Great Bend and New Milford townships for $90,000.
Michael D. P. Axworthy, Carrie L. Axworthy to Arnold B. Caddick, RR5, Montrose, Deborah S. Caddick, in Forest Lake Township for $80,000.
Joseph M. Barnhart to Allan Green, Endwell, NY, Sharon Green, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Todd Lesjack, Michelle Lesjack to Todd Lesjack, Forest City, Michelle Lesjack, in Forest City for one dollar.
Susan M. Beddoe to Susan M. Beddoe, RR1, Hallstead, Jay J. White, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Dorothy B. Kropa (estate) aka Dorothy Kropa (estate) to Walter J. Kropa, New Milford, Carol S. Kropa, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Bank of America (by POA) to John Megivern, Carbondale, Jennifer Megivern, in Clifford Township for $202,500.
Loretta F. Cartin to Walter J. Slivinski, Holland, PA, Danielle L. Slivinski, in Harford Township for $20,000.
New Milford Municipal Authority to Weldon Flewelling, News Milford, Ruth Ann Flewelling, in New Milford Borough for $5,000.
Peter F. Dutter, Ann Marie Dutter to Donald C. Dougher, Scranton, Ryan J. Dougher, in Lenox Township for $65,000.
Maura Jordan, Michael Andzulis to Laurie O'Neill, RR1, Union Dale, in Clifford Township for $141,500.
James Barry, Jr. to Robert Durst, Carbondale, in Forest City for $72,000.
Carlton Farrell to Peter H. Farrell, Dimock, Janice E. Farrell, in Dimock Township for $250,000.
John E. Termotto, Johanne J. Termotto to Bremer Hof Owners Inc., Union Dale, in Herrick Township for $100.
Jean Mundy to Jean Mundy, RR1, New Milford, Gary E. Mundy, in Harford and Gibson townships for one dollar.
Susan D. Legg, David Lanesey to Raymond S. Stone, Montrose, Megan H. Bordley, in Montrose for $93,000.
Charlene A. Jacques to Theodore J. Loomis, Hallstead, Nancy Ann Loomis, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.
Jerry F. Vail, Sr. to Jessica Louderback, RR1, Kingsley, in Harford Township for $33,500.
Gerald Perlman, David J. Trachtenberg to Gerald Perlman, New York, NY, David J. Trachtenberg, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Leo Kerlyovicz (aka) Leo Kerylovicz, Mary Jane Kerylovicz to Ernest P. Rivenburg, Forest City, in Forest City for $72,000.
John E. Muklewicz, Lorna J. Muklewicz to Richard J. Delaurentis, Hatboro, Anthony J. Delaurentis, in New Milford Township for $242,000.
Patricia A. Biagi to Patricia A. Biagi (Rev Trust) Goshen, NY, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Michael Studzinski, Ingeborg Studzinski to Robert L. Snyder II, Jacksonville, FL, Jolyn Snyder, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Meryl Jo Solar to Meryl Jo Solar (Rev Trust), RR2, New Milford, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Bruce F. Taylor, Sr., Sherry L. Taylor to Bruce F. Taylor, Sr., RR2, Susquehanna, Sherry L. Taylor, in Harmony Township for one dollar. ?
GMAC Mortgage Corp. to United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Philadelphia, in Hallstead Borough for ten dollars.
John Stopka, Stephanie Stopka to Bryce R. Williams, RR6, Montrose, in Bridgewater Township for $3,000.
Oakland Boro’s present building inspector and CEO, Shane Lewis addressed council at their March 8 meeting. Mr. Lewis had been “grandfathered” in to do building inspections under the UCC, but, as of April 9, he will no longer be eligible to do so. After researching several qualified firms, his recommendation was that the boro use Codes Inspections, Inc., Dushore, as their building inspectors. Their fees were considerably less than other firms he had contacted, they have 38 inspectors on staff, and their response time is 24 hours, well below the 72 hours state regulations call for. Several boro officials had met with a representative from Codes Inspections, and were well satisfied with what they had to offer. After discussion, a motion carried to appoint them as the boro’s building inspectors. A one-year contract is required, but the boro does have the option to withdraw at any time, with 60 days’ notice. A resolution was approved, accepting Codes Inspections’ fee schedule. Mr. Lewis will be the boro’s “middleman” for any permits requested.
Under the UCC, Mr. Lewis may still conduct commercial inspections for the next two years, and a motion carried to retain him as the commercial inspector. Mr. Lewis also recommended that council draw up an assessment form for new building/renovations, that would be submitted to the county for assessment purposes, to ensure that the boro receives the proper tax revenues. A nominal administration fee will be charged to those seeking permits for the assessment form.
Mr. Lewis gave a rundown on current codes violations. Some have been stalled due to the winter weather, but most are cooperating. Contempt of court charges will be sought against one property owner who had been ordered by the court to address violations by March 7, but had not done so.
Mayor Dudley gave a report for police activities during the month of February. The majority of hours used were for officers’ updates. One traffic patrol was conducted, and a report of a theft was investigated, with the item in question found. Another officer was hired, Officer Brush has been acting as police chief, filling out necessary paperwork, and, a grant application was submitted with the assistance of the NTRPDC.
After complaints from neighbors, council had sent a letter to resident Shannon Martin about her outdoor wood furnace. Her father, Bob Martin addressed council in response. He said that the furnace had been put in late in the season, and it was his intention to put a higher smoke stack on it as soon as the weather allowed. He said that the timing had not allowed for obtaining seasoned wood, but that they were planning ahead for next winter to ensure that seasoned wood was available (seasoned wood does not smoke as much as newly cut wood). Council president Ron Beavan expressed appreciation for his willingness to work with council to address the complaints.
Council is considering enacting an ordinance to regulate such furnaces, and had obtained sample ordinances that they are reviewing and will discuss further. Some suggestions were to include requiring a permit, so that those wishing to install one would be aware of requirements, and to restrict use to seasonal operation, to ensure that they are only used for heating purposes during the winter season and not for other purposes, such as heating swimming pools during the summer.
A committee has been researching the cost of a new garage for the boro equipment, so that they may plan for financing it. With many factors to consider, council wants to have an accurate idea of the cost before proceeding.
In light of a recent incident in New Milford, where there had been a break-in at their water plant, council discussed installing an alarm system at the boro system’s pump house, and with this in mind one price quote had been obtained. A motion carried to get a price from another company that serves the area, and to proceed with having an alarm installed by whichever firm offers the best deal.
A committee had researched the boro’s parking ordinances. It was found that there were three presently in effect, dating from 1948, 1965 and 1974. There were some questions about the one from 1965, which had been amended by a handwritten notation, and none of them contained a clause to nullify any previous ordinances. Mayor Dudley said that the committee recommended that all three be consolidated into one ordinance, containing a clause to nullify any previous existing ordinances. After discussion, it was agreed to consult with the boro’s solicitor before proceeding.
It has been the boro’s practice to close off a section of Walnut St. during the winter, as it is too dangerous to plow and is a hazard for any motorist attempting to drive on it. But, there are always those who ignore “road closed” signs and even knock them down and drive over them. Council agreed that, over the summer, they will see if a sturdier barrier of some sort can be put up, preventing the road from being used, in preparation for next winter.
Mayor Dudley said that she had been contacted by a representative of Susquehanna’s Parks and Rec. Committee, asking if Oakland, along with Lanesboro, would be interested in pursuing joint grant funding for a wood chipper, which would be used by all three municipalities as needed. Council agreed that they would be interested in pursuing it.
And, council agreed to send a letter to a property owner, requesting that a tree be trimmed. It is leaning dangerously over the sidewalk, and could be a hazard were it to fall.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, April 12, 7 p.m. in the Lanesboro Community Center.
Low-income Pennsylvania families in need of heating assistance will stay warm longer as PA extends the application deadline and increases the crisis benefit amount for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Secretary of Public Welfare Estelle B. Richman announced.
Crisis grants will be increased to $400 and the program extended to March 30, or until all available funds are expended. LIHEAP recipients who have already received $300 in crisis benefits can now apply for an additional $100 if they find thmselves in another home heating emergency.
Individuals seeking crisis grants should contact their County Assistance Office at (570) 278–3891 or 888-753-6328.
Following is the Silver Lake Township police report for February, as submitted.
On February 2, at approximately 6:30 p.m., Lou Brotzman of Brackney slid off of the ice covered roadway of SR4002 and into a deep ditch causing some damage to his Isuzu. Fortunately, Mr. Brotzman was uninjured and able to get his vehicle back home under its own power.
On Sunday, February 4, at approximately 12:10 a.m., Steven F. Zapolski was arrested for driving his 1999 Chevrolet work truck after imbibing enough alcohol to render him incapable of safe driving. Mr. Zapolski was treated and released pending court action.
On February 7, at approximately 10:00 a.m., an individual attempted to enter a residence in the Hawleyton Road area by first pushing on the front door with his shoulder several times, and then trying to enter a side attached garage door by utilizing a screw driver or similar tool. The individual left, but came back a short time later, but apparently was driven away by the appearance of a dog in the house. A witness was able to get a description of the actor and vehicle. The actor was a black man with long black hair with a blonde streak, very tall and thin. The vehicle was a small red vehicle with many dents and scratches; possibly N.Y. tags. Anyone with information on this incident please call Silver Lake Township Police.
On February 8, Mrs. Linda Carey of Silver Lake Township, reported that someone was using her husband’s identity to fund accounts. Investigation showed that different social security numbers were being used. This activity is under investigation.
Any information or questions for the Silver Lake Township Police, please call 570-278-6818 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. All information will be held strictly confidential.
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