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Should golf carts and ATV's be allowed on Montrose streets? That was one of the questions raised at the September 6 Montrose Borough Council meeting. Complaints had been coming in regarding these matters, and there are differing opinions as to the resolution. Technically, Officer Hillard reported, such vehicles were not supposed to be allowed on the road at all. However, as some ATV owners live outside of town and need gas, the police have been letting it slide so long as a person is traveling from one destination to another (not merely joyriding) and is not causing a ruckus. The question was raised, however, of how far is a reasonable distance? Another member also raised a valid point: if the borough starts being really strict on small vehicles, what might happen to private vehicles used for plowing in the winter, etc.? Regarding golf carts, there is not yet any official policy. In the end it was agreed upon that decisions will be made on a case by case basis, with the present policy serving as a guide – vehicles moving from one place to another with a purpose, which are not causing any disturbance or problem, will likely be allowed to continue.
The Sweet Spot requested that Public Avenue be closed on May 17 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for a Chocolate and Wine Festival. The council did not want to summarily dismiss the idea, but had some concerns. How would the amount of alcohol people drank be monitored, for instance? It was also mentioned that Montrose has an open bottle law, which might impact the festivities. The council decided it wanted more information before rendering a decision.
Another large topic of discussion was the Montrose Municipal Authority, and the feasibility study which was recently completed regarding its becoming a joint organism with the Bridgewater Municipal Authority. The study contained a pros and cons list, within which it stated that Montrose Borough was opposed to the action. Mr. Maxey stated that he did not remember the council ever making an official decision on this; and believed that this part of the study should be corrected. He also related that he and Mr. Chamberlain had made an unannounced visit to the Montrose facility, and noted a distinct decline in its cleanliness and appearance from when it was under a previous manager. It was felt that the council needed to become better versed in what is happening with the authority. As for the reason for the study, the representative from Bridgewater was unable to attend the meeting that evening, so further discussion was put off. Mr. Yeager, however, did express his opinion that if the council does approve any action, strict regulations regarding who pays what need to be in place.
At the August meeting the possibility of a Sex Offender Ordinance had been raised, following the recent passage of one in New Milford Borough. A sample was brought before the council at this meeting for consideration. Ms. O'Malley, the borough solicitor, brought up the fact that under Meghan's Law perpetrators already have to register their address with police, even without an ordinance. This led to a brief discussion on Meghan's Law. There are multiple tiers for offenders, with the least restrictive tier having only to notify law enforcement, etc. of their presence and the most restrictive sphere potentially leading to community notification. Ms. O'Malley also asked if the offenders in Montrose caused problems, and it was answered that through the years some did, and some did not. Currently, the way the New Milford ordinance is written, an offender pretty much cannot be anywhere within the borough. Adding another dimension for consideration, a question was asked regarding offenders who would live outside the borough and work within it. This too was tabled, as the council will wait and observe what happens with the New Milford legislation.
There was action regarding the police force at the meeting as well, along with some discussion of recent borough events involving the force. It was stated that a letter of dismissal would be given to Aaron Newhart, the police officer suspended at the August meeting, with a request to turn in his equipment. Two new officers were hired part-time: Rhonda Smith and Robert Marmo. It was reported that police intervention had been required during the past month when an irate resident, told to stop burning, threatened borough staff and crudely suggested harm to certain other residents should they burn. Charges were pending.
The flood of 2006 may have taken place fifteen months ago, but its ravages are still being dealt with. At their September 4 meeting, one of two major topics the Great Bend Township Supervisors discussed was what to do about flood damaged homes that have not been taken care of. A number of them appear to have been abandoned, with their owners walking away and not dealing with cleaning up. One is scheduled to be sold at a sheriff’s sale; in another case, a new home has been built behind where the old one still stands. Only a few of the damaged houses within the township have been entered into the buyout program. What, then, to do about the damaged structures that have not been repaired or taken down? To start, the property owners will be contacted to let them know that it is their responsibility to have the damaged homes taken down and the debris properly disposed of. If it is not done, the township will proceed with legal action if necessary. The supervisors will check around to see if there are more such buildings than the ones they are aware of.
The subject of zoning came up as a result of a notice the supervisors received about an informational program on zoning that will be held on Monday, October 22 at the Blue Ridge School. Supervisor Bob Squier remarked that he, personally, did not like zoning, but felt that it is needed. With the increase of people migrating to the area from the cities and more on the way, he feels zoning is necessary to control development. A resident asked if zoning could have done anything about the gravel pit in New Milford Township; the answer was that zoning would have had to be in place before the pit was begun. The process to adopt zoning takes about four years; the first step is to draft a comprehensive plan. If New Milford enacted zoning now, the quarry would be grandfathered in, but any subsequent expansion would be regulated under the zoning ordinances.
It was remarked that many quarry operators obtain a five-acre permit, but then mine more, sometimes as much as nine or ten acres. And, as DEP only inspects intermittently, many of them apparently get away with it.
The supervisors ratified a Designation of Agent resolution dated August 30, 2007, resolving that Mark Wood, Susquehanna County EMA Coordinator is authorized to execute for and on behalf of Great Bend Township all required forms and documents for the purpose of obtaining financial assistance for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
A quote from CDG Excavating for extra work needed to be done on Brants Crossing (due to DEP requirements) was approved; cost will be from $10,000 - $15,000 plus materials, which the township will supply.
Ralph Reynolds was present in response to a letter he had received from the supervisors. He said that his property has been significantly cleaned and he should be done soon. He commented that it had taken a long time to clean up after the flood.
Dixie Russell tendered her letter of resignation as the township’s Emergency Management Coordinator, and John Russell also resigned as deputy EMC. A letter would need to be sent to the county EMA coordinator, informing him that the township no longer has an EMC. Mrs. Russell turned in all of the equipment she had relevant to the position, as well as paperwork and books. The resignations were accepted with regret. One of the supervisors remarked that, following the flood of 2006, Mrs. Russell had given up her whole summer (to do the job).
Several residents were present to continue discussion on a complaint that had been brought up at the last meeting, regarding speeding motorists on Old Rte. 11. One said that he had checked with the State Police, who said that speed limit signs must be posted every half-mile. Brush obstructing the signs would also need to be cleared. The supervisors said that trimming and mowing would be done.
Another resident asked about the railroad bridge on Old Rte. 11; he asked if the railroad could be contacted about getting a stress study done on the bridge. The bridge is almost 100 years old, having been built in 1915 and some of the concrete façade is showing signs of deterioration. Supervisor Bob Squier said that the township is responsible from the road level up, and he had suggested cleaning and repainting it.
Another complaint concerned speeding motorists on Randolph Road; Mr. Squier said that the complaints could be passed along to the State Police.
The roadmaster’s report included information on a public meeting to be held Thursday, September 27, 7 p.m. at the township building to discuss PennDOT’s plans for SR1033. As anyone who travels the road knows, the road is showing severe deterioration and PennDOT plans to reconstruct it.
The 2005 Liquid Fuels Tax Audit from the Dept. of the Auditor General was received, and all is well. Their only recommendation was to earn more interest on the liquid fuels account, which was taken care of some time ago.
Sheila Guinan will attend training on the new way to report Liquid Fuels Tax spending on October 10.
The supervisors will look into a complaint about the amount of dust on Airport Road; calcium had been applied twice but dust is apparently still a problem. A resident asked that oil be applied, and that speed limit signs be posted. The supervisors will see what can be done.
It was noted that when replacing or putting in a new swimming pool, a permit is required; there needs to be an electrical inspection.
Joan Long had appealed her codes violation case; Judge Seamans found her guilty of violation of Ordinance 55. She has to pay the fine or she will spend some time in jail. The fine can be increased after 30 days, and if it is not paid, the township can put a lien on the property.
In response to a complaint about burning (furniture, household garbage) on McHugh hill, the supervisors will send a letter and a copy of the township’s ordinance. DEP will be contacted if the situation continues.
The supervisors approved sending one of the township’s road crew to LTAP training on traffic control, in Montrose on September 11, and to send all three to a winter maintenance workshop in Tunkhannock on October 9.
A letter and a junkyard permit will be sent to Nelson Carter about his property on Rte. 171.
And, as two of the road maintenance workers have just passed their three-month mark working for the township, a review will be scheduled.
The next meeting will be on Monday, October 1, 7 p.m. in the township building.
September's meeting of the Great Bend Borough Council on the 6th covered a routine agenda, but with just a hint of zoning in the Fall air.
The meeting actually started with a brief presentation by Tom Schill, Community Development Program Manager for the Northern Tier Regional Planning & Development Commission. The Northern Tier Commission offers planning and fund-raising assistance to a five-county area. Mr. Schill told council members that he and his staff of 16 are prepared to help the borough find funds for projects they're having trouble getting done. Several council members asked him for specific examples, in light of past efforts by the borough to obtain grants for streets and parks; most council members weren't interested in hearing about loans, low-cost or otherwise. They told him that the borough has been repeatedly told that the municipality is too small, or doesn't meet certain criteria, for grant funding. Mr. Schill suggested that council prioritize its needs and then contact Northern Tier to arrange a session to see what could be done.
One of council's priorities at the moment is to find a way to restrict (or eliminate altogether) the establishment of "adult-oriented" businesses. Some time ago, a developer hinted at a plan to create a "massage" business in the borough. Looking a mile south at a similar business in the plaza area, council decided they would rather not have anything like that in their little town. They asked solicitor Frank O'Connor to come up with an ordinance that would somehow keep such businesses out of Great Bend Borough.
Mr. O'Connor has been trying to build upon another ordinance already on the books, but has been having some difficulty finding "language" that would accomplish what council wants and still be constitutional. He said that massage "therapists" are not currently licensed in Pennsylvania, so that approach won't work. More recently, he has been trying to develop language that would restrict such businesses to those with medically-oriented operations.
Another approach he is considering would restrict where such a business could be located – so many feet from a church, school, residence, etc. This would be a form of zoning, where commercial and residential or other types of enterprises are confined to defined areas, effectively keeping such grouping separate. Mr. O'Connor did mention that a formal zoning procedure could help.
In fact, the state is offering an informational program on zoning at the Blue Ridge school on the evening of October 22, from 7 to 9 pm. Formal zoning is still uncommon in this part of the world, but several communities are considering it as a way to control and plan for development and growth.
Zoned or not, the borough is concerned about its appearance and the list of properties that bother council as unsightly or otherwise unacceptably maintained grows longer each month. Ron Cranage, Borough Codes Enforcement officer, has served triple duty this summer, filling in as a borough employee to keep the lawns mowed, while also serving as a councilman, not to mention a full-time job of his own. Mr. Cranage said that, now that the borough has another worker, he will begin to gather the paperwork and photographs necessary to bring cases before the district justice in an attempt to clean up some of these issues. He reported some success in face-to-face encounters already.
The borough does have an ordinance covering the installation of mobile homes, but a request for subdivision for the placement of a new "single-wide" modular on 7,000 square feet was approved as long as it satisfies borough set- back requirements.
Borough Secretary Sheila Guinan sent 6 or 7 letters to suppliers soliciting bids for propane. She got exactly one bid, from Mirabito Oil. So the only choice was between a $1.69 "flexible" price that could rise to as high as $2.01 per gallon, or a fixed price deal for $1.86 per gallon for the year. Council chose the former, considering that the borough is currently paying substantially higher already, and betting that the price of fuel will continue to rise.
One of Great Bend Borough's outstanding features is its three parks. One of them was badly damaged during the flooding of June 2006. Ron Cranage has recently taken on the additional responsibility to maintain and enhance the parks. The borough is receiving money from the federal and state governments to restore the facilities at Recreation Park. Mr. Cranage said that the buildings in Rec. Park have been demolished in preparation for replacing them, but it now appears that the concrete slabs under the restrooms will also have to be taken out and replaced. And at least one of the toilets has to be replaced as well. He has also purchased some high-power floodlights for Greenwood Park, which will be installed soon.
Council received a request to match $5,000 allocated by Hallstead for the installation of a new track in that borough. With all of the money Great Bend Borough puts into its own parks, there isn't a lot left over for others.
The Great Bend Borough Council can be expected to meet next on the first Thursday of October, beginning at 7 p.m. at the borough building.
The U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded $3,167,740 in the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program to local fire departments and emergency medical services organizations in Pennsylvania. Nationally, the fiscal year (FY) 2007 AFG awards will provide more than $490 million to fire departments and non affiliated emergency medical service organizations throughout FEMA’s ten regional operations. This latest round of FY 2007 fire grants are being awarded to 185 local fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations throughout the country, with an additional 47 awards being distributed from the FY 2006 funding and nine from the Fire Prevention and Safety program. These FY 06 awards are supplements to those awards made in the latter part of FY 06 and into calendar year 2007.
Round 6 of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program includes awards to the Clifford Township Vol. Fire Company for vehicle acquisition, $237,500 and the Jessup Hose Company #2 for operations and safety, $25,974.
Clara Kops (EST) to Roy T. R. McGrann, in Choconut Township for $145,000.00.
Charles E. Engdahl to Sandra J. Brown, in Forest Lake Township for $100,000.00.
James and Darlene D. Hanson to James and Darlene D. Hanson, in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Benjamin R. and Sara Rue (AKA) Ponczek and Sara G. Rue to Sara Rue and Benjamin R. Ponczek, in Uniondale Borough for one dollar.
Daniel Alan and Deborah Ann Hearn to Timothy A. and Donna Anderson, in Bridgewater Township for $379,000.00.
Amy J. Gawron to William L. Jr. and Danielle M. Parisot, in Clifford Township for $187,460.00.
Paul Goodwin to Timothy and Frances Stevens, in Middletown Township for $500.00.
Susan E. French, Rosemary (AKA) and Rosemarie Amann to Christy L. and Joseph L. Everitt, in Silver Lake Township for $4,000.00.
Patrice J. (FKA) Williams to James A. Volz and Richard S. Kauffman, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Soltis Trust (By Trustee) to Robert Barrett, in Herrick Township for $90,000.00.
Karen Vandegriek to Robert Ippolito, in Rush Township for $245,000.00.
Fred H. (TDBA), Robert R. (TDBA) and Mark A. (TDBA) Williams and Freds Market to Robert R. (TDBA) and Mark A. (TDBA) Williams and Freds Market, in Susquehanna for $35,000.00.
Mary Pat Tigue to Mary Pat Tigue and Daniel M. Brenner, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Richard W. and Annette VonStetten to Daniel and Brittney Henrichsen, in New Milford Township for $80,000.00.
Barbara Dimek to Bryce R. Williams, in Bridgewater Township for $88,000.00.
Penelope Carter Dougherty to W. Kevin Dougherty, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Donald and Marie Iannarone to Walter and Mechelle J. Sutton, in Auburn Township for $55,000.00.
Leonard and Jean Marie Azaravich and Jean Marie (NBM) Murphy to Leonard P. and Jean Marie Azaravich, in Springville Township for one dollar.
James W. and Gail Baker to Chestnut Rehabilitation Services, LLC, in Choconut Township for $115,000.00.
Wells Fargo Bank (By POA) to Richard C. and Dianne Billig, in Montrose for $34,000.00.
Winifred R. and Lori Lee Towner and John C. Inhulsen to Scott D. and Mary Beth Johnson, in Forest Lake Township for $62,050.00.
Alan L. and Judy M. Rogers to Paul and Joy A. Walker, in Oakland Township for $15,000.00.
Rail Trail Council of Northeastern Pennyslvania to Donald Reid and Ellen Ann Felley, in Uniondale Borough for $100.00.
Donald R. and Ellen A. Felley to Joan E. Paye, in Uniondale Borough for $300,000.00.
Frederick George (ESTATE AKA) and Frederick G. (ESTATE) Keyes to Matthew and Kara J. Hayes, in Lanesboro Borough for $66,950.00.
Lorin T. Jr., Elaine L., John D. and Joanne R. Bleuer to Alicia Blomberg Copland and Joan Bleuer (Trust) Blomberg, in Silver Lake Township for $125,000.00.
Robin L. Price to John A. Price, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Ramon A. and Marion T. Serra to Phillips Farm Industries, LLC., in Oakland Borough for one dollar.
John and Susan Mascelli and Donald Rakus to Donald Sr. and Donald Jr. Rakus, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
Karel Motl to David and Amy LaRue, in Ararat Township for $230,000.00.
Betty Glemboski to Marie Graziano, in Lathrop Township for $255,000.00.
Philomenia R. Kovaleski to Alfred T. and Kathryn M. Evans, in New Milford Township for $135,000.00.
Philomenia R. Kovalski to Alfred T. and Kathryn M. Evans, in New Milford Township for $20,000.00.
Scott Nelson (By POA) to Timothy Robert and Andrew J. Grillo, in Franklin Township for $20,000.00.
Gladys C. Bennett to Gladys C. Bennett, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Larry W. and Barbara S. Wheeler to David and Sharon P. Shadduck, in Silver Lake Township for $6,500.00.
Michael H. Kearns to Michael H. Kearns and Faye J. Wade, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Nick Venturella to Thomas B. and Gina M. Maquire, in Gibson Township for $145,000.00.
Stanley F. and Delores Ann Hanlon to Michael P. and Catherine S. Pardoski, in Harford Township for $79,500.00.
Donald R. and Carolyn E. Ransom to Donald R. Jr. and Sheri L. Ransom, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Carolyn E. and Donald R. Ransom to Randall S. and Jane M. Ransom, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Daniel Nathan Leichliter and Rachel M. Milliron, both of Laceyville.
Joseph Jerome Fabrizi and Pamela Ann Hampton, both of Friendsville.
Scott Charles Nier and Cornia Starr Stewart, both of RR 2, New Milford.
Robert Jeffrey Antoniotti and Stacy Marie Truesdale, both of Scranton.
William Bainridge Akridge and Tracy Brooks Landers, both of Davis, CA.
Following are the Starrucca Borough Council Minutes of the August 1, 2007 meeting, as submitted.
The Starrucca Borough Council met for their, regular, monthly meeting on August 1 at the Community Hall. President Rhone, Lou Gurske, Donald Haynes, Robert Buck, Fred Rhone, Anthony Palonis and Mayor Downton were present. (Helen Haynes was absent).
President Rhone called the meeting to order, and the minutes from the previous meeting were read. Motion to approve carried.
The Treasurer’s report was given and motion to approve carried. Mr. Gurske was opposed.
The bills were presented for payment. Motion to approve payment carried. Mr. Gurske was opposed and stated he was opposed only to the bills of Dennis Whitmore, Attorney Bugaj and Lanesboro Materials.
The following correspondence was received:
A letter from Honesdale ALS, although sent to the Borough address was addressed to former secretary Pat Schneyer. Secretary Travis asked the Mayor for permission to open the same. Mayor Downton granted the permission and the letter was an invitation to a Dinner Dance. The information was made available.
In Borough Reports:
Mr. (Darl) Haynes, FEMA Agent explained to council the flood work left to be completed under declaration 1649, PW 2575 and PW 1686 consisting of stone placement and some ditch work on the following roads: Leach Creek, Fairmount, Jacobs Ladder, Buck, and Stephano. A total of 872 + or - tons of modified will be needed.
Mr. Buck made the motion to authorize Harmony Township to complete the work under the current intergovernmental agreement (same pricing as gained by quotes in the spring for the summer work). Motion carried. Mr. Gurske was opposed, as he stated that all FEMA work must be bid out.
Mr. Rhone made the motion to purchase the material needed for the FEMA work from B&S Quarries (Lanesboro Materials) for the quoted price of $4.95/ton plus $3.17 trucking = $8.12/ton delivered. Motion carried. Mr. Gurske was opposed stating, “You’re outspending the borough’s ability to pay its bills.” Mr. Rhone explained that FEMA has already dedicated the money for these projects, (quotes attached).
Motion to purchase the 872 + or - ton needed for the FEMA work titled under the PW‚s 2575 and 1686 under declaration 1649 from B&S Quarries (Lanesboro Materials) carried. Mr. Gurske was opposed.
In New Business:
Mayor Downton asked for copies of all bills from Attorney Bugaj since he started working for the borough.
President Rhone asked Mayor Downton if he is on the Depositions Committee or not, and referenced a letter from the attorney asking his (Downton) intentions.
Mayor Downton stated he did not receive such a letter and he “just got his dates mixed up” was the reason he missed the last depositions. He asked for the date on the letter (July 30) and stated, “That’s only two days. I didn’t check today’s mail, but I’ve already made it clear I wasn’t part of the committee, I haven’t been made aware of meetings with the attorney, and I still plan to sit in on the depositions as mayor.” Mr. Rhone attempted to clarify Mayor Downton’s intentions of serving on the committee by addressing him again directly. Mayor Downton again responded he doesn’t want to serve on the committee and never did. He told council he intends to be there and sit in on Mr. Weldy’s deposition as mayor only, and if he is refused he will assume a conflict of interest exists between the borough, Solicitor Bugaj and himself and he will hire his own attorney. Mr. Gurske defended, stating that Mr. Downton did not get the letter. Mr. Palonis pointed out that since a motion was made to appoint Downton to the committee, a motion must be made to remove him from the same. Motion to remove Mr. Downton from the committee motion carried. Mr. Gurske abstained.
There was another discussion on the same issue and a motion to depose Mayor Downton on various borough issues carried. Mr. Gurske was opposed.
Mayor Downton addressed Mr. Rhone, stating, “Fred you’ll be sorry, you had a chance to let it die. You better prepare for more trouble for your son.” Secretary Travis addressed the mayor about his conduct. She asked if that was proper action for a mayor, to threaten a member of council. Mayor Downton did not answer.
In other business:
Mr. Rhone made the motion to bid out the Buck’s Road Bridge Rehabilitation Project for opening next meeting. Mr. Gurske asked for copies of the bid package and reminded council, “This must be bid, you can’t just get phone quotes.” President Rhone asked him (Gurske) to listen while he read the entire bid advertisement. It was agreed the advertisement would be placed in the Weekly Almanac newspaper only. Motion carried.
The surveys are completed on the Buck Road and Stephano Road. The attorney has drawn the descriptions on the same and resolutions have been prepared. Motion carried to adopt the resolutions for both roads and forward the same along with the maps to the attorney and further authorize him to have them duly recorded with the Wayne County Recorder of Deeds. Mr. Gurske was opposed, “Not to the Stephano road,” he stated. He added, “The work done on the Buck Road is not for the general public.”
Mayor Downton asked to look at the maps and asked several questions about the Buck Road. He told council they had the surveyors prepare it how they wanted it, not how it is. He asked what happened to the old road, and accused the council of “doing away with it.” President Rhone stated he wasn’t sure exactly where the road he was referring to was located, and asked him if he had any documentation to please present the same, as the surveyor has prepared the map based on documents and landmarks found.
Mr. (Darl) Haynes told council they need to apply for a DCED grant for the Stephano Bridge project. He stated it could be tackled next month, as the due date is in September. Mr. Gurske stated, "You already got a grant for that bridge.”
Mr. (Darl) Haynes reminded the committee of Mr. Weldy’s deposition, set for August 10 at 9:30 a.m.
There was no public comment.
No further business to come before the board, motion to adjourn carried.
Robert Martin asked for copies of the survey maps. The secretary explained the borough doesn’t have the capability to copy them. Mr. Palonis suggested the Court House, once they have been recorded.
As I write this, the deadline for getting a letter to the editor rapidly approaches. I am not one who usually writes about rumors, but my Transcript has not yet arrived to confirm the story I have been told. Word is that Mr. Scroggins is about to become a regular columnist for the Transcript. I am not able to comprehend why anyone would put this pseudo-intellectual on the staff of a newspaper. Mr. Scroggins leaves the impression that he is obviously one of those individuals who have seen the world from the comfort of books and computers. He has no idea of what the real world is like. He writes his drivel about information not proven to be fact. He assumes things as truth because they were in print by someone somewhere. At no time does he allow the facts to get in the way of the truth. His letters have been against feminists, Jews, military and anyone who would use fluoride toothpaste on their kid’s teeth! It is so obvious that his life’s goal is to see his word in print. This would not be a bad thing if it were worth reading. In the letter to the editor he has not obtained the same measure of believability the column might afford him. Giving him a forum of a column where his words might be viewed as having merit is very dangerous. I also understand this column is to be called “The Road Less Traveled.” At least that is fitting. When his wife questioned Robert Frost upon his return home from his mistress’ house, he wrote the poem of the same name. It will at least allow the reader to assume that the words and facts presented are an adulteration.
Recently I received a postcard in the mail requesting a repurchase of my Transcript subscription. When, or if, my Transcript arrives, I will have to give it some serious thought as to whether I wish to renew. Bad enough that it should arrive late, but adding credence to a charlatan is beyond my comprehension.
Fred B. Baker, II
EDITOR’S RESPONSE: We have heard many, many comments from our readers about Bob’s editorials, and the majority of those comments have been positive, whether or not the reader agreed with what he wrote. It is obvious that he puts a lot of time and research into his subject matter. And, an editorial is the expressing of an opinion, whether it be in the Letters to the Editor section, or in a column. As you know, readers will often disagree with editorials, whether they be letters or columns, and we do allow them the forum to do so. Giving Bob his own column will make it easier for readers to find his editorial if they choose to read it, and by the same token anyone who would prefer not to read it can just skip over it more easily than they could if it were in the Letters to the Editor section.
The New Milford Borough Council September meeting was called to order by Scott Smith, President of the council. Rick Ainey again brought up the issue of building permits and COG's (Council of Governments) involvement with them. COG gives out building permits and sewage permits with fees. Marty Broad was present from COG and explained COG's involvement with permits in the borough.
There is concern that COG is giving out permits to the borough residents. The borough gives out building permits to its residents with fees; call the borough for any building permits. Any pools with over 36" of water need permits and fencing around them. Any building of over 1,000 sq. feet need permits.
The borough's codes are in compliance with the UCC (Uniform Construction Code) of the State of Pennsylvania. Occupancy Permits are required for the completion of buildings. Jody Cordner is the Solicitor for the Borough and Amy Hine, Secretary, will be contacting her with questions about the permit situation and COG's involvement.
The railroad built a tower on their property and have no permit from the borough, and may be exempt from such. The tower is for track switching. The borough board is looking into the possible need for a permit and if there are any height violations. Any project over $500.00 requires a permit.
Also discussed were the signs around the borough of "no gravel pit" and whether permits are required. These may come under code of "temporary signs" and there is a limit of 60 days duration for such and a $2.00 fee.
Darrell Sands of Montrose was present and spoke to the possible need for a borough police force. He is presently working as a security guard for the Pump and Pantry in New Milford. He is a former police officer and interested in working for the borough to meet the needs of park security with the teenage loitering and vandalism problems and general theft in the neighborhoods. Darrell discussed what may be needed and what is involved. The borough would need an ordinance to start a police force.
Darrell offered one of his four-wheel drive vehicles to start the borough off. He could then patrol homes and businesses as a deterrant to crime. He said, "There is a lot of drug trafficking in the county." He has been involved in law enforcement for thirty years. Grants can be applied for to supply vehicles with lights and radios. He can arrest offenders and bring them to the local magistrate. He emphasized that his focus is to be "a public servant, not a commando" to the community. He is concerned for everyone's safety and well-being.
The board is looking over his résumé, and Rick Ainey had financial concerns. The cost of having a minimal police force may be as high as $75,000 yearly, and that would be too much for the borough to handle financially, unless monies from grants or elsewhere were forthcoming. So, Rick suggested having Darrell as a part-time security guard to supply some coverage. The thought was to start small and see what the trend and needs are and build it up with time.
Terry Gulick, board member, received a letter from the Page Lake Association President, John Ward, concerning the DEP finding that the dam at Page Lake is a high-hazard dam, dated 2-06-07. There is the possibility of flooding if the dam should fail. Terry will look into what emergency-action plans exist or need to be implemented.
Susquehanna County Planning Commission’s Bob Templeman gave the borough advance notice of an upcoming public meeting on zoning, October 22, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Blue Ridge High School.
Chris Allen, board member, gave an overview of street repairs. Streets are to be repaired by end of September that were damaged by the flood. Grant was submitted for repairs, with Sandra Major giving a support letter, to pave the borough parking lot which has a $40,000.00 estimate for the front lot and curbing. Still waiting to hear from FEMA concerning funding for the bridges and parks. Chris mentioned also the need for a leaf blower and gave estimates from $150 to $300 for different models. Board approved a cap of $300 for authorization of purchase by the street committee.
The ditch alongside the parking lot by the pool is still not repaired. Jim Carr, board member, was concerned this repair may set a precedent for other areas in the borough that will bring more requests for ditches to be installed to solve water problems. Chris Allen wants it done right. A row of dirt could hold it back from private homes and be cost-effective, as suggested by Rick Ainey. Chris Allen will look into this further.
Postmaster, Roger Stone, in New Milford came into borough office and asked to make Washington Street one way. Rick Ainey would like to move the post office to another, better location.
Mary Ann Warren, County Commissioner, was present and mentioned that the Storm Water Management Plan is proceeding and more will be discussed at the upcoming county meeting this Wednesday, the 12th, starting at 10:00 a.m. in the Montrose Extension building.
Rick Ainey went to last month's DEP meeting at Blue Ridge High School and was complimented by Mary Ann Warren for doing a good job speaking about the concerns about the B & S gravel pit in New Milford. Two hundred and fifty people attended and several spoke. Amy Hine called DEP for a copy of the hearing tape. A public meeting with the owners of B & S and their engineer is being planned to gives all sides a chance to talk. Bolles and Schmidt, B & S owner and engineer, were present at the DEP public meeting and declined to talk or comment.
RESCUE, the local environmental-watch group, is offering a barbecue at the borough park on October 6 during the day. There will be chicken barbecue, chinese auction, book sale and information available.