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It seems fair to say that the atmosphere at the August 15 New Milford Township meeting could be aptly described as “volatile.” For yet another month the air in the hall reverberated with shouts and, at times, personal verbal attacks. The township solicitor was not present, which Mr. Hunter attributed to not expecting such a crowd after the public meeting on Tuesday. Contrary to this expectation the hall was again filled to the point of visitors standing along the back wall. Many concerns were expressed, many requests made, and about two-and-a-half hours spent before an uneasy peace was made for another evening.
When the floor was opened to public input, Fred Ehmann opened the discussion by asking if the township had yet investigated the matter of Carey Road ownership. He stated, despite the supervisors' assertion that as far as they were concerned the township only owned to the hedgerow, this ownership technically extended 1,604 ft. Might this, he asked, extend the road to under the saw-shop? The supervisors answered that it might, though they were not certain. Mr. Ehmann asked then about the “No Trespassing” signs, with this in mind. Mr. Hunter stated that the supervisors were considering vacating the road. He said that this was a matter of public safety, as some people hadn't the sense to come out of the rain and no one not affiliated with the quarry had a need to be on it anyway. Mr. Ehmann argued that it was important that the road be open to the public, both for scenic reasons and so that the quarry could be observed. Mr. Hunter wondered what scenery they were interested in seeing up there and stated that they could adequately observe the operation from the culvert.
Another hot topic throughout the night revolved around plans for Sutton Road. The township is looking into widening the road to include two, 12-foot lanes, and to blacktop 1,700 ft of road off 848. This will also involve widening the bridge, and may involve the loss of land by two residents on either side of the road. The question was raised – why are these alterations being made? There were two basic answers given – that people were complaining about safety concerns, and that they were recommended to do so by Mark Keklak. This solution did not satisfy some of those present, however, who wanted weight restrictions placed on the bridge (the supervisors answered that this would require a survey) and asked the supervisors to push the mining operation for construction and use of a road on the back side of the project instead. It was pointed out that were that bridge to ever collapse, some people would be stranded in the area, and emergency vehicles would be prohibited access to it.
Mr. Ehmann produced aerial photographs of the mine, blueprints for the current erosion and sediment control plan, and planned methods for handling future discharge. Mr. Ehmann felt these designs to be inadequate and insufficient, and pointed out that one of them had already been denied by the Fish and Boat Commission. He related that the original permit was for 10 acres, but the mine is currently operating on around 42 acres. At one point, he related, the mine expanded to 28 acres and was fined for it. At this point they admitted to having violated the mining code.
Ms. Goff was once again present at the meeting, and requested several specific actions. Could, she asked, something be done about the noise, perhaps an ordinance? The supervisors stated that there is no one to enforce such an ordinance, currently the township mostly scrutinizes for building and sewer code compliance only. There was some suggestion that perhaps this needed to change. Ms. Goff also wondered if a tarp ordinance might be enacted, as it is not currently required by the Department of Transportation that a tarp cover a load unless there is visible debris leaving the truck. The residents of Sutton Road, she reported, would also like a stop sign to be erected where Carey Road intercepts Sutton Road, as visibility is poor in this location.
There were several additional testimonials and questions, regarding matters such as the effect on existing water sources (i.e. the pollution of springs and pools), the addition of unwanted water, the safety of children, the visual impact of the mine, etc. A retired educator stood up to speak of his childhood spent in Scranton as a mining town, and the problems which that community faced. He spoke also of the damage done to wildlife in Wyoming, when mining grew prominent there. Many people spoke of the presence of “illegal aliens” working in the mines, though this appeared to be pure speculation and fear as no one brought forth definitive knowledge that employees were illegal.
The meeting became, at points, exceedingly rowdy. People yelled, attacked other visitor's legality and scruples, and spoke over each other. Multiple conversations were carried on at once, repeatedly during the night. Visitors called for Mr. Hunter's resignation from the chief supervisor position multiple times, including one request that he resign that night. He declined to do so, and stated that he only had a few months left in his term anyway.
Todd Schmidt was present, as part of B. S. Quarries. He refused at times to answer questions, but did apologize for his part in a vocal argument with Mr. Ehmann, and provided some information before leaving the meeting early. The operation, he said, is a bluestone operation, not a gravel pit as was being argued by certain of its opponents. He stated that they ground stone which was unsuitable for mining, rather than just dumping it. In answer to questions as to groundwater usage, he stated that the sawmill uses recycled water with only mild addition necessary, and that the grinding process utilizes surface water from storm events. He asked those assembled a “rhetorical question,” as to whether they really wanted to be told the truth or to be told what they were looking to hear. He argued that if the latter was true, Mr. Ehmann would have the answers they sought. The permit application, he said, was very detailed and complicated – easy to misread and easy to misrepresent. B. S., he said, would be reviewing it to meet concerns which have been brought up – even though they have not publicized this process much.
Near the end of the meeting two new ordinances were proposed to resolve the issue and stave off similar disputes in the future. One person inquired what needed to be done to enact a land-use ordinance. This would allow the township to dictate what land purpose land would be used for. It was answered that the collection of signatures would be a good starting point, to demonstrate the desire by a large segment of township residents. Another proposed ordinance would limit all quarries in the area to five or ten acres, so that small mining projects would be allowed to thrive but mass mining would be prohibited. Ms. Goff stated that when she went to DEP she was directed to talk to her county or township supervisors; this ordinance would regulate what DEP does not. Either of these may be brought for consideration at the next meeting.
About 250 people walked quietly into the Blue Ridge High School auditorium on Tuesday, August 14. They were there for an important public meeting set up by the DEP, Department of Environmental Protection, Pottsville District Office, and headed by Mining Manager Thomas Callaghan and Dan Koury, Watershed Manager, both present. This public meeting was requested by a growing number of concerned citizens in the area and the county, to limit and control large-scale mining.
DEP set up a video camera to record the speakers and testimony from local residents opposing the expansion permit of B & S Quarries in New Milford, and requesting the DEP to take care of (alleged) violations at the present B & S Quarry site in New Milford.
First speaker and well prepared with many facts was Fred Ehmann, retired attorney and resident of New Milford Township, who lives near the quarry. Armed with large photographs of the quarry and delivering significant information, Mr. Ehmann informed the audience of the (alleged) violations of environmental codes by B & S Quarries.
Ehmann is also a member of the environmental-activist group, RESCUE, which has a local chapter. He is appealing to the DEP to seriously consider whether the social and economic ramifications with environmental degradation warrants allowing B & S to expand.
Ehmann explained that no plans or designs were submitted with the application for discharging into the Salt Lick Basin and other watersheds in the area. Environmental impact needs to be seriously addressed. Flooding possibilities from downhill discharge is another concern. There are presently 43 points of discharge planned. The erosion and sedimentation plan is inadequate. The Fish and Boat Commission has filed concerns that the erosion and sedimentation control plan is unacceptable and needs to be rejected.
The Lyncott Landfill is near the quarry and there is concern of migrating contamination from the quarry to the landfill to the surrounding properties. Blasting could impact the landfill. Neighbors complained of ponds being altered by sedimentation and wells having problems with increasing sedimentation.
Ehmann's list of concerns entailed: need for monitoring of nearby springs and the affect on wells; Old Mill Village at risk from water discharge coming downhill; truck traffic that increases dust and noise and damages roads.
William Burchell, homeowner on Route 843, related that the latest counts of passing trucks, daily, Monday through Friday, range from 195 to 270 per day. Burchell stated, " The roads we rode bikes on and walked on, no longer exist. We can't even open windows from all the dirt, dust, noise. " This is unbearable for the residents.
Rick Ainey, New Milford Borough Council member, spoke of the borough's concerns about traffic, water and noise issues. He reminded all of last year's worst flooding, and that this mining operation could contribute to future floods with increased erosion of the mountain and poor planning of its use of huge amounts of water in production and the elimination of it. B & S Quarries has reported that their crushers alone will use 45,000 gallons of water per day. Noise pollution from the blasting, truck traffic, crushers constantly running are jeopardizing the "rights to a peaceful home" for residents and need to be addressed.
Margo Burchell spoke next and appealed to the DEP to protect them and the environment and enforce the DEP regulations. Margo stated, "This town will become a mining town. You, B & S, are hurting people; destroying our homes, hopes and dreams. B & S, stop and think, and do the right thing."
Jaylyn Goff, one of the nearest neighbors to B & S, complained of all the noise, truck traffic, blasting felt and heard, wetlands being inundated with sediment, wells being adversely affected, and plummeting property values. Jaylyn appealed to DEP to enforce their regulations and "ensure our country life."
Kathy McCabe related all the changes from a "relaxed, country atmosphere" to the horrors of trucks in the middle of night robbing her of a peaceful night's sleep and of black diesel smoke polluting the air, so that keeping windows open and hearing the sounds of nature are a thing of the past.
Joyce Stone, board member of RESCUE, encouraged all to sign up and join RESCUE. She and others have worked the past 20 years on local, environmental issues that need addressing to make sure our government agencies are doing their jobs in keeping our area clean and safe for future generations.
Fred Ehmann spoke again to end the public comment segment and gave more detailed analysis of what B & S is (allegedly) doing to the area. This mine is circled by high-quality, special protection waters like Wellman’s Creek, Meylert Creek, Salt Lick Creek Basin and their tributaries, which have aquatic life of high-quality, cold water fishes. These waters need to be properly protected.
B & S intends to mine 350,000 tons a year. Sixteen discharge points are pointed in the direction of Old Mill Village and the wetlands in the plan proposed. Ehmann emphasizes, "This application needs complete rejection."
The DEP was questioned by Martha Broad about the violations, "Why is the quarry still operating if they are violating regulations?" All present were polite and considerate during this proceeding. The prevailing sentiment was disapproval of the quarry expansion. Present were two County Commissioners, Roberta Kelly and Mary Ann Warren.
DEP will post updates on the ongoing, review process of the application at the Montrose County Extension Building and Thomas Callaghan, DEP District Mining Manager, can be called at (570) 621-3118 or email him at email@example.com. Refer any further questions and concerns to him or to RESCUE. Local contacts are Fred Ehmann at firstname.lastname@example.org and Bill Burchell at 465-7554.
Owner, Tom Bolles and his company engineer, Todd Schmidt, were requested by this reporter for a public comment and declined.
The possibility of acquisition of the historic downtown water tower was looked upon by the Susquehanna Boro Council with some measure of eagerness. The tower is a local landmark and, unquestionably, has historical value. Many council members, over many years, have heard complaints about how it looks, as well as questions about what could be done to restore it. But, since it was privately owned, there was little that council could do until recently, when the current owners offered to gift it to the boro. At their May 8 meeting, council gladly accepted the offer. Acceptance of that offer has turned out to be a Catch 22.
Two items of correspondence reviewed at council’s August 14 meeting were letters pertaining to the tower. The first, from boro solicitor Myron DeWitt was in response to an inquiry from council member Roy Williams. Mr. DeWitt’s letter stated that the Boro Code provides that the boro may acquire property by gift when it is deemed to be in the best interest of the boro. Mr. DeWitt advised that before the transaction is complete, the boro should determine if it has a guaranteed source of money for maintenance, repair, cleanup or fencing; if not, it would become a liability of the taxpayers and might require an increase in taxes to cover same. Other questions he raised are whether the boro had the tower inspected by an engineer and obtained a report as to its structure integrity, whether any immediate maintenance is required, and/or an estimate of the costs of future maintenance. He also asked if the boro has received written assurances from its insurer that they would be willing to cover damage to and liability on the tower. And, if willing to provide coverage, would the insurer require that the tower be fenced off; if someone were to attempt climbing it, the boro could be liable for any injuries incurred. Mr. DeWitt’s other questions involved environmental issues; has an assessment of the property been done? Based on its history of being a railroad site, there is a good possibility that there are contaminates in the soil. If the boro assumes responsibility, the boro would then be liable if any cleanup of contaminates was required. Mr. DeWitt also asked if there had been any investigation of the contents of the tank and pipes. “Obviously,” the letter said, “in its present state the water tower is a liability when considering maintenance costs, potential personal liability, potential cleanup of the soil and any contents of the tank. In as much as the standard under the Section 201 of the Borough Code for acquisition of property by gift is that it shall be ‘deemed in the best interest of the borough’ I believe that the aforementioned issues need to be resolved so that the council can be certain that there will not be any large liability imposed upon the taxpayers as a result.”
The second item of correspondence was from James Davis of DGK, the boro’s insurance carrier. He, too, said he had been contacted by Roy Williams, who asked if Mr. Davis could write a letter to council about a few issues. The letter went on to say that it would be wise to get an inspection by an independent engineering firm before the boro takes possession of the tower to find out if there are any structural or environmental issues that need to be dealt with. “If there are any major issues after inspection, it would probably be best to walk away from the deal,” he said. If the boro should choose to take possession, the boro would be responsible for maintenance and repairs, and for ownership of the property. Regular inspections would need to be scheduled, as well as addressing of any issues that might arise. Also, it would be best to prevent access to the tower, perhaps by placing fencing around its base, or limiting access in some other way. And, the tower has been in place for some time. Some thought might be given to the costs of taking it down eventually, when it wears out. He closed by saying that should the boro choose to acquire the tower, DGK could certainly insure the exposures surrounding the tower; Mr. Williams has some valid concerns regarding the voluntary acceptance of the additional liability exposures of owning the tower; these concerns should be discussed and understood before a final decision is made.
Ron Whitehead has long been in favor of the boro acquiring the tower, and had looked into it long before the gift offer had been made. He said that there is grant money out there to pursue to refurbish the tower, but there is one stipulation; it must be owned by the boro. Another Catch 22 is that there are grants that could cover the cost of an engineering study, but, again, the boro can’t get grant money to fund the study unless the boro owns the tower. So the question was, “should we take a chance?”
The tower is estimated to be about 75 years old. Some time in the 1970’s, the Army Corps of Engineers had conducted a study of the property itself and the nearby Shops Plaza, which was where the old railroad roundhouse used to be. Mr. whitehead agreed to contact the ACE to see if they would be willing to conduct a more up-to-date study.
After a lengthy discussion the consensus was that ownership of the tower would be a benefit to the boro. Its historical value would enhance tourism to the area, which would, in turn benefit locals businesses and the boro. “The only way we’re going to get it fixed is to take ownership… If we don’t take a chance, nothing will get done.”
In other business, a motion carried to enact an ordinance restricting the use of ATVs within the boro.
The 2005 liquid fuels audit has been completed, with favorable findings.
Councilman John Bronchella was welcomed back to his first meeting following an illness.
A motion carried to approve setting up a bank account for donations for a Harvest the Arts Festival the boro will be hosting.
A resolution was approved, appointing Roy Williams as the boro’s NIMS coordinator. Mr. Williams said that the county coordinator strongly suggests that all elected officials take the NIMS courses and be certified; they cannot participate in disaster decision making without the certification.
During the course of the meeting, an executive session was held to discuss a codes litigation issue; at the end of the meeting, another executive session was held to discuss a legal and a personnel issue.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, August 28, 7 p.m. in the boro building.
Despite some roof repairs that have yet to be completed, all administrators reported readiness to begin school at Blue Ridge on Tuesday, August 28. At the Board meeting on August 13, each of the principals commended the maintenance department for work accomplished over the summer to make the classrooms clean and bright for the start of school. The rooms "look beautiful," said Matthew Nebzydoski, Principal of the Middle School. Superintendent Robert McNamara said that all of the many summer activities and maintenance work at the campus were "extremely well coordinated."
John Ketchur, Director of Information Systems, gave a brief presentation before the start of the meeting, showing off the district's new website (same address as always: http://www.brsd.org). The new look is made possible by SchoolCenter, a commercial web-site hosting and design service specializing in schools. According to Mr. Ketchur, the new site will be easier to maintain and offer a consistent "look and feel" throughout. Tools and training will be provided to faculty and staff to help them keep their own pages up to date. The new site is also expected to have much more detailed information available.
Some of the work to develop the new site was done by Donna Tewes. At the meeting the Board approved a recommendation that she "work in summer 2007 for webpage/elementary computer support" at a salary of $25.20 per hour. It wasn't clear what might have happened had the Board not approved the measure, since Ms. Tewes has presumably already completed the assignment. It was said that this very thing had become a personnel issue.
Among other personnel items, the Board accepted the resignations of Phyllis Ferenczi, the Assistant School Nurse, and Susan Pipitone, teacher in the High School. They also hired Jennifer Wildenstein as a First-Grade Teacher, Barbara McCain as a Learning-Support Teacher, and Brian Woodruff as a long-term substitute for two teachers on leave of absence. The latter three attended the meeting to accept the Board's warm welcome.
The Board approved a new contract with Bethesda PA Treatment & Healing (also known as Bethesda Day Treatment) the outfit that provides "alternative education" services to obstreperous youth in South Montrose. It also approved an agreement with Craige's Photique for photography services for the new school year. "Preliminary" bus contracts were also adopted.
And members accepted a recommendation to employ an aide for the speech therapist. Mr. McNamara estimated that the aide would be paid about $12,000 for the first year, subsidized through the ACCESS program, funded by the state and federal governments to help provide health-care resources in the schools.
The Board approved agreements with Luzerne County Community College and Lackawanna College to offer "dual-enrollments" to qualified Juniors and Seniors that will allow them to earn college credit while still in High School. Some of the courses in prospect: Economics, Accounting, Writing, Criminal Justice, Business Law and Psychology.
Perhaps the biggest package to be accepted at the meeting was an agreement to "participate" with something called eschoolmall.com. Touted as the latest thing to solve all of your purchasing problems, eschoolmall supposedly streamlines the entire purchasing process from wish list to delivery. eschoolmall.com is a subsidiary of Horsham, PA-based ESM Solutions, which markets procurement services primarily to local government entities and schools.
According to Business Manager Loren Small, by using the eschoolmall.com system, Blue Ridge will be able to streamline its entire ordering, bidding and purchasing process for general supplies, and "all of it paperless." He estimates that the startup costs of about $15,000 can be recouped in less than two years. He said that local suppliers can be integrated with the system. All data are hosted by eschoolmall.com. He hopes to reduce staff time substantially, once everyone is trained in the use of the new system; eschoolmall.com can also be easily merged with the financial system currently in use at Blue Ridge.
High School Principal John Manchester reported on the establishment of a scholarship fund through the Susquehanna County Community Foundation. The idea was first broached by Michael Thornton, Mr. Manchester's predecessor. Mr. Manchester said he thought the minimum balance in the fund should be about $2,500. An early contributor to the fund was the class of 1977, which made a donation at their recent reunion. The "substantial" scholarships would be awarded to students with demonstrated need.
Middle School Principal Matthew Nebzydoski bubbled over with exuberance describing results of the latest PSSA testing. He said that students had improved reading scores some 20 percentage points just between seventh and eighth grades, and that the percentage of students scoring "advanced" in reading rose substantially. He said he couldn't wait for the students to return so he could congratulate and thank them.
New Elementary School Principal Matthew Button said that the new Universal Breakfast Program for his pupils will open its doors at about 8:20 each morning, giving each student at least 20-25 minutes to eat before classes begin.
And now that the state legislature has passed a budget, Board President Alan Hall is looking forward to finding out what's in it for Blue Ridge. He is also looking toward passage of a "classroom of the future" bill that would make laptop computers available to high school students.
Mr. Hall also warned that the legislature is considering a bill that would require all schools in the state to start sessions after Labor Day; he encouraged residents to contact legislators with their opinions.
Beginning on September 10, the Blue Ridge School Board will resume twice-monthly meetings, usually on the second and fourth Mondays, beginning at 7:30 p.m., in the cafeteria in the Elementary School.
William T. and Joshua Hannum to Gerald S. and Harold A. Davis, in Gibson Township for $20,000.00.
Edward W. Kalsinski, Kim Marie Chernesky (NKA), Kim Marie and Tony Ezman to Michael Chernesky, in Ararat Township for $10,000.00.
Luise E. Wohrer to Joseph Soliman, in Lenox Township for $280,000.00.
Cynthia H. Peters (NBM), Cynthia H. and David Cicon to Donald J. and Margaret H. Miller, in Silver Lake Township for $61,000.00.
Herman C. Ebhardt to Donald L. Richardson, in New Milford Borough for $73,000.00.
Thomas H. and Patricia Patrick to Kenneth J. and Barbara J. Robbie, in Franklin Township for $270,000.00.
Ruth Bush (AKA by Atty), Ruth I. Bush (AKA for Atty), Doris B. Favret and Linda L. Frailey to Donald M. Gula in Great Bend Township for $16, 900.00.
John Yannone, Jr. to John Jr. and Jennifer L. Yannone, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Louis Lauzar to Adam Lauzar and Julie Bokreta, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Lee E. Benedict (Trustee) and Anita M. Benedict (Trustee) to Lee E. Benedict (Trust) and Anita M. Benedict (Trust), in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Lee Edwin (Trustee) and Anita Mary Benedict (Trustee) to Lee E. Benedict (Trust) and Anita M. Benedict (Trust), in Springville Township for one dollar.
Robert W. and Nancy J. Shive to Kenneth Horton, in Lenox Township for $70,000.00.
Ralph L. Hoatling to Ralph L. and Joanne Hoatling, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Wade E. and Joy M. Morgan to Leonard J. and Jodi E. Macon, in Choconut Township for $67,500.00.
Clifford H. and Ruth H. Arthur to Marilyn and David Heverly, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Gerald D., Gail M. and Gerald E. Burke to Patrick A. Burke, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Robert K. and Margaret Ann Hollowbush to Bradford F. Hollowbush, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
James D. and Susan L. Simons to Jennings B. Birtch Jr. (REV Trust) and Betty M. Birtch (REV Trust), in Franklin Township for $130,000.00.
Nicole L. Mack (NBM), Nicole L. and James J. Bernosky to Gary S. and Barbara J. Stone, in New Milford Borough for $90,000.00.
Gary S. and Barbara J. Stone to Gary S. and Barbara J. Stone, in New Milford Borough for one dollar.
Jeffrey A. Gunn to Scott A. Adams and Chad H. Hollenbeck, in New Milford Borough for $50,000.00.
Hollis, Diane, Elbert (AKA) and Elbert C. Seamans to Elbert Seamans, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Federal National Mortgage Associates (AKA) and Fannie Mae to James and Vesta Adriance, in Forest Lake Township for $20,000.00.
James and Vesta Adriance to Kevin L. Day and Sarah M. Taylor, in Forest Lake Township for $28,000.00.
Carmelite Recollects of the Sacred Heart, Inc. ( By Director) to Robert E. and Colleen D. Peterson, in Middletown Township for $226,500.00.
Sophie Holzworth (AKA) and Sophie T. Holzwarth to Edward A. and William E. Holzwarth, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Walter Holofchak, Jr. to Seth W. Watrous (Trust No Two) and Jeffery A. Gunn, in Franklin Township for $128,000.00.
Robert and Sandra Kurosky to Michael H., Marie A., Stephen M., Andrew W., Paul J. Orzechowski, in Forest Lake Township for $105,000.00.
Julianne M. Suchy to Joseph K. Zawisky, in Forest City for $176,000.00.
Ronald G. Sr. and Kathy J. Brown to Ronald G. Sr., Kathy J. and Derek N. Brown, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Ronald G. Sr. and Kathy J. Brown to Ronald G. Brown Jr., in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Lois A. Steele to William John Steele, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Lawrence T., Christine M. and Thomas J. O’Reilly to Michael J. and Carolyn E. Stupka, in Auburn Township for $150,000.00.
Donald R. Strope (AKA Estate) and Donald R. Strope, Sr. (Estate) to Amy L. Rutherford, in Silver Lake Township for $45,000.00.
Donald R. Strope, Sr. (AKA Estate) and Donald R. Strope (Estate) to Jan E. Donato, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Donald R. Strope, Sr. (Estate) and Donald R. Strope (Estate AKA) to Rebecca L. Spiess, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Donald R. Strope, Sr. (Estate) and Donald R. Strope (Estate AKA) to Ann Morrison, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Donald R. Strope, Sr. (Estate) and Donald R. Strope (AKA Estate) to Jon M. Strope, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Donald R. Strope, Sr. (Estate) and Donald R. Strope (AKA Estate) to Amy L. Rutherford in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Josephine Louise Kunkle (AKA Estate), Josephine L. Kunkle (Estate) and William Robert Decler to William Robert and Nancy L. Decker, in Bridgewater Township for $33,381.46.
Gary Alan and Susan Golis Campbell to Daniel R., Jr. and Karen D. Ricci, in Bridgewater Township for $270,200.00.
Matthew T. and Donna L. Lewis to Donald L. Richardson, in New Milford Borough for $12,500.00.
ATL Holdings LLC to Timothy G. and Mary C. Edwards, in Susquehanna for $23,000.00.
Victor and Mildred Cappucci, Cappucci Trust (By Trustees), Richard and Charlotte Place to Brian D. Gregory, in Auburn Township for $32,000.00.
Gardy Pupos to Cheryl L. Koval, in Lanesboro Borough for $87,450.00.
James and Marel A. Delaney to Raymond and Raymond Grant, Jr., in Thompson Borough for $16,700.00.
James and Marel A. Delaney to Raymond and Raymond Grant, Jr., in Thompson Borough for $8,300.00.
Mark Lewis to Mark and Valarie Marie Lewis, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Lawrence G. Micks, Jr. and Julie Anne Vavrina, both of Montrose.
Adam C. Eyth and Jennifer L. Alderfer, both of Tonawanda, N.Y.
Robert R. Templeton, IV and Sarah M. Sienko, both of Port Crane, N.Y.
Rickey Kendricks and Jessica J. Severcool, both of Montrose.
Joseph F. Bonifanti of Tunkhannock and Lucrezia C. Woodruff of Montrose.
Paul J. Schopperth and Melinda R. Tyler, both of Montrose.
Nicolas Anthony Ott and Kimberly Lynn Pavelski, both of Susquehanna.
Tony Lyn Chapman of South Montrose and Tami L. Santarelli of Factoryville.
Will G. Talbert and Darcia Christine Pachuta, both of Meshoppen.
A residence in the vicinity of Lakeside was broken into sometime on or before the 13th of August. The burglar(s) pried open a padlock to gain entry to a home which had been foreclosed on, and is now owned by Countrywide Home Loan Services in Calabasas, CA. Upon entrance into the residence the culprit(s) found it to have absolutely nothing of value inside and fled via a front door.
On the 10th of August, Tekla C. Darrow of Hallstead reported that someone had stolen her car battery. The vehicle, a black dodge neon, had broken down while Tekla visited a friend at the “old schoolhouse” in South Montrose. The theft occurred sometime in the last month or so.
MISSING PERSON – RUNAWAY
On August 15, at around 12:20 a.m., a 15-year old, white female ran away from her residence on Hunsinger Rd. in Rush Twp. The girl is reported as being 5'7” tall, weighing 130 pounds, and having brown hair and blue eyes.
HIT AND RUN COLLISION
On August 13, at around 10:30 a.m., an accident occurred on SR0081 at MM 231 Southbound in Great Bend Twp. A tractor trailer of unknown make, model, and driver, sideswiped a Dodge Druango driven by Abdul Hakeem of Syracuse, NY and continued on without stopping.
On August 4, Jeffrey Holbrook of Great Bend was driving a 1997 Suzuki motorcycle on Franklin Street when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a parked and unattended vehicle sitting in front of a driveway. Holbrook was transported to Barnes-Kasson for treatment of minor injuries.
On August 9 at 12:35 a.m., Joshua Palmer of Jackson Twp. became disruptive and verbally violent during an argument in front of 19 Washington St. in New Milford Borough. Charges are pending at this time for violations of PACC.
On August 2 at 2:15 a.m., Robert Reed, Jr. of Starrucca, PA was traveling on SR 1009 in Harmony Twp. Reed failed to negotiate a left curve properly, causing his vehicle to leave the roadway and strike a guardrail before spinning across the road and impacting with an embankment. Reed was seat-belted, but still sustained an injury and was transported to Barnes-Kasson Hospital for treatment.
TWO VEHICLE CRASH
On August 10, Nicole Gemme of Harleysville, PA was driving on SR0081 Northbound in New Milford Twp. Gemme was in the process of slowing down as she approached a construction zone, but became distracted and drove her vehicle into the rear end of a tractor trailer driven by Donald R. Ladd II of Homer, N.Y.
Kingsley Community Church was recently vandalized when, sometime during the evening, an unknown person spray-painted his or her initials and some vulgarity on both sides of the church's sign.
COLLISION – TRAFFIC
On the 12th of August Stephen Yankovich of Uniondale, PA was traveling westbound on SR 374 in Gibson Twp., when his vehicle lost traction on the roadway while negotiating a turn. The Mustang exited the travel lanes, struck guardrails, began a clockwise rotation, traveled back across both travel lanes, entered into a roll, and came to a final stop upon its roof. Yankovich suffered minor injuries and was transported to Marion Hospital in Carbondale, PA. Charges are pending for violations of PAVC.
On August 4 an accident occurred on SR 106 in Lenox Twp. The incident happened as Marie Praefke of Taylor, PA was emerging from a driveway onto SR 106, while Alisha Burgess of Kingsley was traveling West on the same road. Praefke collided with Burgess' vehicle after failing to grant right-of-way. Praefke was charged with D.U.I. and related traffic offenses.
THEFT FROM A MOTOR VEHICLE
Sometime overnight on August 2, one or more unknown persons pried open the passenger-side window of a 2004 Infiniti belonging to Michael Kesenich of New Milford, PA. This caused the window to shatter. Once access to the vehicle's interior was achieved, $70 in U.S. Currency was removed.
Between the 3rd and 4th of August, a burglary occurred at the Village Snack Bar, located within the Village of Four Seasons in Herrick Twp. The unknown perpetrator(s) obtained entry to the snack bar by sliding open an unlocked window. Once inside, the unknown person(s) removed a cash register with $150 in it. The perpetrator(s) also removed a golf cart from a residence and drove it into the lake at the beach area.
On the night of July 29, water was put into the fuel tanks of three tractors which James Hartman of New Milford uses for cutting hay. Hartman was cutting hay at the Penn-Can Blueberry Farm in New Milford Township at the time.
In the early morning hours of August 3, unknown offender(s) opened the window of a vehicle belonging to Carol Wood of Montrose while it was parked at Montrose Produce. The offender(s) stole the victim's wallet, which was later located, missing $200, by the victim in the Pump and Pantry dumpster.
Joseph Klecha of Springville is accused of tailgating, passing, and blocking the roadway as he chased Tylene Dodge of Meshoppen around Carl Teel and Herb Button roads in Springville Twp. on July 30th. As Klecha was following Dodge down SR 3004 approaching SR 0029, he lost control of his vehicle, left the roadway, and struck a garbage dumpster owned by Waste Management of Old Forge. Klecha then fled the scene on foot. Charges have been filed against Klecha at District Court 34-3-01.
HIT & RUN ACCIDENT UPDATE
The person responsible for backing into another vehicle on August 2, which was legally parked in the Chamberlain Insurance Co. parking lot, has been positively identified. James Cronk of New Milford backed up his 1993 Plymouth Voyager and struck and damaged the Toyota Corolla. He then parked his van in its original spot and left the scene without notifying the custodian of the Corolla. In light of this, Cronk will receive citations for Careless Driving and for leaving the scene of an accident.
Terry VanGorden chaired the meeting of the Harford Township Supervisors on August 11 in the absence of Rick Pisasik. Wearing his other hat as township Roadmaster, Mr. VanGorden expressed frustration with the way his roads are used, and the attitude of some drivers.
Harford Township has been spreading a material called "AEP oil" in strategic places along many of its dirt roads. Mr. VanGorden tries to schedule this work in the evening, because the oil has to be allowed to dry for several hours to have maximum effect in controlling dust. The crew places signs and cones to redirect traffic during the procedure.
Unfortunately, some drivers ignore the signs and drive right over the newly laid oil. According to Mr. VanGorden some even complain later about the oil that spatters on their vehicles. The oil picked up when moist by car tires is that much less remaining on the road.
The oil works very well to control dust when applied properly. But some drivers defeat the purpose by driving over newly oiled areas and are asked for patience when they see crews spreading oil in the evening.
Mr. VanGorden also reported that several hundred dollars worth of signs have been defaced, stolen, or otherwise damaged, including speed limit and stop signs. Evidence shows that some have been deliberately pushed down by vehicle bumpers. "It's frustrating," he said.
And then there are the ATV's. "Parents have got to control these kids on the four-wheelers," said Mr. VanGorden. Riding the small vehicles on public roads is prohibited by law, but the drivers are almost impossible to catch; the registrations often can't be read, and many of the machines carry no registration at all.
Mr. VanGorden said that he has seen ATV riders on newly laid patches of oiled road, often "doing doughnuts" – spinning the machines in tight circles. Aside from the danger to the riders and to other traffic, the ATVs can quickly tear up a dirt road, oiled or not.
In other business, the Supervisors signed on to the county Emergency Operations Plan, on the recommendation of County Emergency Management Coordinator, Mark Woods. Such a plan must be updated every two years by each municipality; now that the township has passed a resolution to turn it over to the county, the county will be responsible for emergency planning.
There wasn't much news about the projects to replace the bridge over Butler Creek on Pennay Hill Road, or the sluice under Stearns Road at the outlet of Tingley Lake.
The township has submitted an appeal to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) for more funds for the Pennay Hill Road project. FEMA originally allowed $300,000 for the work, but engineers estimate the total cost at over $400,000. In addition, the engineers are doubtful that the project can be completed by the current deadline of December 31 of this year. So the township will have to file for an extension to that as well.
So far the Stearns Road project is all at township expense. During the flooding in the summer of 2006, the outlet of Tingley Lake overran the road because the culvert pipe couldn't carry the load. The project will replace the pipe with a much larger one, but engineers estimate the cost at over $200,000. Those estimates are based on PennDOT costs, but the Supervisors think that the work can be done by local contractors at a much lower cost. They are still studying options and polling contractors.
The next meeting of the Harford Township Supervisors will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 27, at the Township building on Route 547.
The Susquehanna County Housing/Redevelopment Authority’s Montrose office will be relocating from the Community Bank Building to 11 Public Avenue in Montrose, effective Wednesday, August 22. The scheduled move may result in some downtime in services during the week of August 22. The office phone numbers will remain the same. For housing assistance, contact 278–3011 and for Redevelopment Programs, contact 278–4096.
Montrose Area School District is busily preparing for the start of another school year. Fall sports have begun, the custodial staff are readying the buildings, children are receiving bus assignments, etc. The August school board meeting was full of pertinent discussions for the impending beginning, as well as talk of a few ends.
Mr. Ognosky, district superintendent, read aloud several thank-you notes. The notes were from retired staff, who were recently treated to a nice dinner and a gift certificate in appreciation of their years of service.
Aside from retirees, the district is losing various other employees. Included in this rank are two of the video club advisors, which led to some discussion about the potential for finding replacements. The board and administration stated that these men, who helped create the club, have done a great job with it and will be missed.
The district asks that people who received blank transportation postcards in the mail please contact Mrs. Gesford, the transportation secretary at 278-6227. Blank cards were sent out if the district did not have all the information on a student, and was thus unable to assign them a bus time, etc. If those concerned contact Mrs. Gesford the matter can be straightened out.
On a more problematic transportation note, district drivers are facing training difficulties. The board and administration discussed this issue, which involves the current lack of driver trainers in the area. Every four years contractors have to re-certify, which process involves a full 10 hours in the classroom and 10 hours behind the wheel. This is a state rule, not a district one. Currently, the closest attainable training is at I.U. 19 in Dunmore. It was reported that the contractors would like the board to talk to Sandra Majors, and see if the I.U. might be able to send someone up to the area for the benefit of local drivers. Were this to happen, the district would allow use of one of their classrooms.
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