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Commissioners Get Questions
The Susquehanna County Commissioners, minus one, met on Wednesday, November 27, for their regularly scheduled meeting, without Commissioner Jeffrey Loomis.
A number of audience members expressed disappointment that Commissioner Loomis has not attended three consecutive meetings.
“Where is Mr. Loomis?” Al Aronowitz asked. “Is he still on the payroll?”
Commissioner Kelly responded, “He is still on the payroll,” but there is no mandatory stipulation written, anywhere, that he has to continue to come to the meetings.
Jim Jennings added, “Well I hope that people remember this, his dedication (leaves something to be desired), when the next election comes around.”
Mr. Aronowitz added, “The budgets have yet to be done, Commissioner Loomis should be a part of that process.”
Tom Jurista stated, “We appreciate that you are still coming,” referring to Commissioner Kelly.
It was announced with regret that P. Jay Amadio has resigned from the Rail Authority and requested that the Commissioners consider Jim Jennings, Brooklyn, to fill his slot.
As Commissioner Kelly attempted to make the appointment, John Hoffman voiced his disagreement, stating, “Why not wait and let the new commissioners make that appointment?”
Mrs. Kelly stated that she had “no problem” with appointing Jennings and that “Jennings has proven his commitment to the county time and time again.”
She added, “To delay or put it off would not be proper, as similar appointments were made on the Rail Authority when we (the current Board of Commissioners) took office, and we are just doing business.”
Hoffman stated, “I don’t agree.”
John Franks said, “This type of appointment would be setting a precedent for other (sections of government) if this appointment were allowed.”
Commissioner Warren stated that she did not have a comment on the appointment.
The motion did not pass.
John Franks requested information on the recent parcel of land purchased from SOLIDA by the Church of The Latter Day Saints. “Don’t they (SOLIDA) have to have a financial statement every month?”
Actually, the financial statement is required to be given to the state once a year. Franks added that SOLIDA’s solicitor, Atty. Mike Dewitt, “was not forthcoming with information” because Franks was not an (administrator or government official).
Jim Jennings suggested that maybe the county commissioners would have “more clout” in acquiring information about the land, the purchase price and what the financial report has to say about the transaction.
“The taxpayers have paid millions and we can’t find out anything,” Franks commented.
In other business: Jerry Cronk was reappointed to The Susquehanna County Housing Authority for a term of five years.
Resignation was accepted, with regret, from Karrie Phelps, a part-time dispatcher for 911, as per the 911 Coordinator, Art Donato’s recommendation.
Patton Weidow, Susquehanna, was hired to the open, full-time position of Deputy Sheriff, Range 10, Rate set at $9.70 per hour, benefits per the Court-Related Bargaining Unit, effective 11/19/07.
Commissioners adopted Resolution 2007-28 authorizing Barnes-Kasson Hospital to provide the Medical Assistance Transportation Program an increase in the client reimbursement rate, which will be effective January 1, 2008. The increase was from 12 cents per mile to 20 cents per mile.
Commissioners also adopted Resolution 2007-29 which approved a Tax Abatement as authorized by the Areas Tax Exemption Act, Act 42, of 1977, in cooperation with the Borough of Hallstead and the Blue Ridge School District, establishing there, a term of tax abatement for new housing under construction soon.
Commissioner Kelly said, “This is a great program; they currently have 60 individuals on a waiting list. There is a need for this.”
It is believed that construction is set to begin in 2008.
Ann Whynman again requested information on the status of repairing the lock on the upstairs door of the County Office Building. It is reported that if there were an emergency or fire, people could not exit through that door and would be stuck inside the building. Whynman raised this safety issue at the September 26 meeting of the commissioners.
Sylvia Beamer informed Ms Whynman that the door parts were ordered and they were awaiting someone from the company to come and properly install it.
Whynman requested that another call be made to acquire an actual date; Ms Beamer agreed.
The next meeting of the Susquehanna County Commissioners will be held in the County Office Building on Wednesday, December 5, at 10 a.m.
Money & Sports At Mt. View
It was largely athletics which elicited ire at this month's second Mountain View School Board meeting, though it was not the only thing discussed. Criticisms included problems with the high school principal, the athletic director, the basketball coach, the superintendent, and the cafeteria food. Clarification was provided regarding a tax collector vacancy, a bus driver vacancy, grants and tax credits, snow days and school transportation. Tokens of gratitude were given to two of the retiring board members (the third resigned at the last meeting), and public acknowledgment made of generous donations. Overall, a lot happened during a meeting which did not stretch as long as it has been known to in the past.
Mr. John Halupke and Mr. Ordie Price will not be resuming their seats on the board in the near future, barring unforeseen circumstances. They were presented with tokens of appreciation from the board, and commended for their service. In their places will be Mr. Roy Twining and Mr. Jay Wescott respectively. Mr. Donald Twining will be the third new board member, filling the spot vacated by the resignation of Mr. Tompkins. Mr. Halupke, however, will still be working for the district in a manner of speaking. Though denying remuneration, it was announced he will be filling the role of chief negotiator for the upcoming contract negotiations with the MVEA. When questioned, it was explained that he has completed successful negotiations in the past for the district, and would serve again in this capacity with reimbursement of mileage as his only fee. He explained that under standard procedure three board members, the president, and the negotiator could serve on the negotiating committee, and that volunteers for these spots would be considered after the new members joined. When the district paid an attorney for this job in the past, he related, the results were unsatisfactory.
Finances received some attention at the meeting, through talk of taxes and employment. Lenox township was slated to be without a tax collector for the month of December. Dr. Chichura explained that he researched the law regarding this, and planned on meeting with the supervisors of that township. It is their responsibility to fill the spot within 30 days. If they fail to do so, however, the district can appoint their own treasurer or secretary to this role, so that the taxes are collected. A bus vacancy will not be filled, however. Students have been assigned to other buses, but visitors were assured that this will not put the buses over capacity. The district will not only save money through this means, with the approval of a Sterling Act Tax Credit it will also be compensated for money lost when residents working in Philadelphia pay their tax money to that city.
The district is applying for a grant which would not give it money, but rather provide a potential source of technological learning for students. The grant would be through Renaissance Learning, Inc., which provides the materials for the accelerated reading and accelerated math programs. It would involve the donation of hand-held units to monitor student understanding in nine classrooms. In exchange for the district's ability to experiment with this technology, the results of the experiment would be used as research for the company. Other noteworthy donations (noted in the meeting with gratitude) included money for interactive white-boards from the elementary PTO and kettle drums from the band booster club.
One visitor asked how decisions as to school cancellations or delays were made, feeling that a recent decision not to delay had been made in error, and alluding to jokes made last year on the news about how tough Mountain View students are. It was responded that the decision was at the discretion of Dr. Chichura, who at times consulted with area superintendents and other people throughout the district, or who might use a drive around the area to assist in the decision. The alluded to joke, he maintained, was in relation to students attending during last winter's cold snap, which decision he defended by the persistence of the cold regardless of delays or days off. The visitor seemed to be seeking an agreement that others would be involved in future decisions, but did not receive it.
The athletics department also received its share of censure. Visitors expressed displeasure with the new athletics director, arguing that he often redirected questions to the vice-principal instead of answering them. They were also upset over a letter sent home to basketball players, asking them to sign consent to rules which appeared to demand they ride the bus to and from games regularly. This letter was signed by the secondary principal and parental questions, it was claimed, had brought repercussions upon the students at the next practice. It was clarified that athletic policy supersedes individual coach policies, and while it is encouraged that students ride the bus for purposes of unity, with a waiver they would continue to be allowed to use other transportation by parents or appointed guardians. Ms. Vagni, the principal, was not present at the meeting to address complaints directed specifically at her, and thus no explanation or justification of the matter was given, and it could not be definitively resolved. Despite one board member's assertion that he did not care whether she was there to defend herself or not, the matter was eventually squelched as a personnel issue, and not something to be addressed in a public meeting.
Finally, a report was given on a recent meeting of the Mountain View Wellness Committee. Highlights from the minutes included the realization of requirements for vending machines at the elementary level and the alteration of the current machines to meet them, a recent workshop about more interactive playground games, the incorporation of breakfast programs, and the high school walking club. Specific concerns included the use of physical activity as a punishment and the use of food as a reward.
Susky Tower Fate “Up In The Air”
The subject of tourism played an integral part in two major discussions at the November 27 Susquehanna Boro Council meeting.
First, the SCDA (Susquehanna Community Development Association) has been working with TREHAB on the Elm St./Main St. project, revitalization of the downtown area through grant funding. Elm St. manager, Margaret Biegert addressed council to give an update on the project. The Elm St. committee is working on a five-year plan and council was given a detailed report of the committee’s plans and a quarterly report listing accomplishments to date. The SCDA hosted a Harvest of the Arts celebration and the annual Hometown Days, and their next activities include the annual Christmas tree lighting and a breakfast with Santa for area children.
One of the Elm St. project’s focus is to do something about blighted buildings and vacant lots. Information on both was given to the boro’s codes officer. Mrs. Biegert said that this is important, as the blighted properties affect others in proximity, particularly property values. She asked that council continue to work with the SCDA and the Elm St. committee, perhaps set up a subcommittee to address this problem.
Alice Deutsch, a member of the board of directors of the SCDA told council about the efforts of the Endless Mountains Business Association, of which she is a member. The association would like to work with the SCDA and other local organizations to promote tourism in the area as a cooperative effort. With the number of historical landmarks and places of interest in the area, all communities could benefit by promoting tours, perhaps of several days’ length, so that others could enjoy what our area has to offer and, at the same time, bring tourism dollars to local businesses.
One of those landmarks, the Susquehanna water tower, has been the subject of discussion for quite some time. For anyone who is not aware of the events pertaining to the tower, a little background. At a meeting in May, council had carried a motion to accept an offer from the Matis family to gift the tower to the boro. After concerns were raised by boro solicitor Myron DeWitt in August, council again discussed the situation and agreed that the only way to proceed would be to accept the tower. There are grant programs where funds might be obtained for an engineering study and refurbishing the tower, but it must be owned by the boro. A private owner would not be eligible for such funding. Another motion carried, with two votes for (Ron Whitehead, Tom Kelly) and two votes against (Bill Perry, Bill Kuiper); Mayor Reddon cast the deciding vote, in favor.
One concern that was raised, was that lead paint had been used at one time, and it was thought that there was a very expensive process needed to first strip it down, which would involve containing the tower. Mr. Whitehead said that there were other methods available, where the surface would be sealed and then painted. But, again, to obtain grant funding for any of this, the boro would need to own the tower; grant funding for a privately owned structure would be next to impossible to obtain.
Mr. DeWitt sent further correspondence to council, dated November 19; it said that he had been contacted by secretary Ann Stewart, who advised that council planned to proceed with acquisition of the tower. His letter went on to say that after conversations with Mrs. Stewart and councilman William Perry Jr., he was advised that not all of the issues previously raised had been addressed. He also said that he was advised that council members Ron Whitehead and Tom Kelly, whose terms expire at the end of 2007, provided the necessary votes to pass the resolution to accept the tower (it was actually a motion). Mr. DeWitt’s letter went on to say that without resolution of issues he raised in August, the boro’s taking title of the tower does not comply with the Borough Code, that before doing so, it must be deemed in the best interest of the boro to take possession of the tower.
Based on his own experience with environmental assessments that had to be done for the SOLIDA property, DEP required deed restrictions regarding liability for cleanup, restriction of use to non-recreational purposes, testing results from construction of the (Veterans’ Memorial) bridge, anecdotal accounts regarding deposits of fuel oil in the ground adjacent to the fire company building and the known use of this property as a former industrial and railroad site; it is, his letter said, imperative that an environmental assessment be done prior to the boro acquiring title and the taxpayers possibly held liable for the property and the structure located on it.
His letter went on to say that he had consulted an environmental law attorney and the PA State Borough Association (PSAB) to get second opinions regarding his concerns. They confirmed his opinion that the issues he addressed in August should be addressed as a precondition to even considering accepting this property. “Based upon these concerns and the large liability issues involved here, I cannot certify to the title nor complete this transaction until these issues are resolved.”
His letter also questioned the actions of two council members whose terms were expiring, whether those council members had the authority to bind their successors to take title to the property and the potential liability it involves. Mr. DeWitt offered to attend the November 27 meeting, and stated that it is his intention to put this matter on hold pending the resolution of the issues he raised in August, “I do not wish to be an obstructionist, but it is my duty and obligation as solicitor of the boro to provide independent legal advice and protect the taxpayers from unnecessary liability.”
Mr. DeWitt was present at the meeting, and reiterated his concerns. Mr. Whitehead responded that the boro had an opportunity to acquire a known historic landmark. “For seven years, people have been asking me, ‘What is council going to do about the tower?’ I researched the lead problem. There are options, and there are ways to get grants. There are only about 200 (such) towers left in this country. Other towns have restored them. It is the first thing you see when you come into the boro… we have the opportunity to get it now. If we don’t, it could get torn down. I am going to pursue grant funding after (my term expires).”
Mr. DeWitt responded that it is his job to determine the facts and apply them to the law. He had been approached by Roy Williams in August and asked to look into it. He outlined the process that had to be gone through for the SOLIDA property. “If you know there’s a possibility of contamination, you must use due diligence before you sell it. He cited the possibility of contamination as a “big red flag. I would not recommend taking on a possible liability.” According to the PSAB, he said, council must look into first getting an environmental assessment and a structural report.
Mr. Kelly asked why there would need to be consideration for a cleanup if the ground were not disturbed. When the boro building had been built, it was built on a slab, as were all of the other buildings in the area. DEP was also contacted when the boro had the opportunity to acquire the riverfront park property; council was told that as long as the ground was not disturbed by digging, nothing would need to be done. Mr. DeWitt said that any workers who might work on the tower would need to know that there could be contamination, so that they could wear protective gear. He said that, according to the PSAB, council must look into an environmental assessment and a structural report before acquisition. He added that he had not seen any figures about the costs for those. Mr. Whitehead responded that acquiring it was an opportunity that had come up; he asked why a restriction couldn’t be put on the deed in accordance with DEP regulations, in the event that the tower might be sold (by the boro), as had been done with the SOLIDA property.
Mr. DeWitt said that council should look at getting an engineering report and an environmental assessment, to be informed before a decision is made. He stressed that grant funding is not guaranteed.
Mr. Kelly replied that there is grant money available. He also felt that a precedent had been set as far as the environmental issue, with all of the structures that had been built in the vicinity.
Mr. DeWitt responded that the present council could not bind a new council to a long-term obligation/liability, such as the acquisition of property. He suggested that a non-profit corporation be set up to take ownership, rather than the boro.
Mayor Reddon asked if the studies could be done before the boro takes possession; Mr. Whitehead asked, where would the money come from? The boro would have to own the tower to get grant funding for the studies. Mr. DeWitt asked, what happens if the boro does take the tower and cannot get grant money; what happens then?
Mrs. Biegert asked if the solution wouldn’t be for the boro to take the tower in a long-term lease, for a nominal sum, say a dollar a year for a hundred years. Would that make it eligible to get grant funding for the studies and/or restoration? Mr. Kelly asked if the next council couldn’t then “undo” the decision if the tower were leased.
Mr. Whitehead made a motion to rescind the motion to take the tower; if the next council decided to proceed, he would be willing to continue working on grant applications. The motion died for lack of a second, and Mr. Whitehead left the meeting.
Mr. Kelly asked if taking out a loan for a new truck for the streets department was the same thing; couldn’t the new council “undo” that? Mr. DeWitt responded that an equipment loan was not the same situation.
Mr. Kelly stated that he would not vote to change the original motion (to accept the tower). Mr. DeWitt replied that he could not, in good faith, certify the title to the tower. Mr. Kelly said, “Whatever we say goes until it is changed.” The title transfer was scheduled to take place this week. “What I see,” Mr. Kelly said, “is that it will eventually crumble and fall, because no one wants to do anything with it. The action was taken.”
Mr. DeWitt said, “I can’t certify the title… we need to know what we are exposing the boro to.”
Mr. Kelly said, “We wouldn’t have the park, the sidewalks (on Main St.), the new boro building… if we’d said ‘you can’t do this because of what might happen.’” Mr. DeWitt suggested that council look into setting up a nonprofit corporation to take ownership of the tower. Mr. Matis said that if the boro does not accept it, it could be sold; the adjacent property is scheduled to be sold this week, and his family is looking at liquidating all assets.
A resident asked council, “Why do you have a solicitor if you don’t listen to him?” Mr. Kelly responded that council does take his opinion into consideration, but, in this instance, “we should do something. It is a priceless piece of history. I stand with our decision.”
Mr. Matis said, “We are all in favor of this project, (but) we are in favor of doing it the right way.”
Following further discussion, Mrs. Biegert asked council to give her time to look into the lease idea. Council agreed.
In other business, at the request of an Elm Street resident, council will look into enacting an ordinance to regulate noise disturbances, for example, a band that was said to be playing loudly for long, continuous periods of time. A sample ordinance was given to members for review.
Mayor Reddon reported that residents on Jackson Ave. and Church St. had requested that additional street lights be placed in their vicinity. One solution might be to replace the existing mercury lights with sodium vapor, which are more expensive to install, but in the long run are more efficient to operate and provide better lighting. Penelec will be contacted.
PennDOT has agreed to inspect the wall on East Main Street; concerns were raised by emergency personnel who were responding to a call, who noticed that the wall appears to have moved.
Council approved hooking up the new greenhouse to the boro building’s electric service; a small space heater will be needed short-term in the spring.
The 2008 budget is ready for inspection and will be adopted at the December 11 meeting; tax rates remain the same.
The December 25 meeting has been canceled, as it is Christmas Day; it will not be rescheduled.
A motion carried to proceed with a truck loan from Peoples National Bank, $45,000 over a five-year term.
A motion carried to reinstate police officer Joe Demuro, who had moved out of the area but recently returned.
And, a letter from Mrs. Biegert asked council’s assistance with getting information on acquisition and demolition of blighted properties to property owners in the Elm St. project area.
The meeting adjourned to an executive session to discuss personnel issues.
In the Mountain View School District election, Roy Twining received 253 votes as a write-in candidate. Twining also received approximately 18 write-in votes which were misspelled.
We inadvertently named John Halupke (with 202 votes) as the winner, when in fact Mr. Twining is the actual new Mt. View School Board member.
In The Blue Ridge School District, “Laurie Brown Bonner” is the correct name, instead of “Lorraine Brown Bonner.”
We apologize for any inconvenience.
John Galazin to John V. Galazin (Rev Living Trust), in Harford Township for $10.00.
Alan D. and Elizabeth A. Naylor to John F. and Antoinette Durante, in Springville Township for $95,000.00.
Leroy Scott to Gary L. Constable, in Great Bend Township for $55,000.00.
Kitrina M Phillips (NBM) Kitrina M. Rogers to Kitrina M. Rogers, in New Milford Borough for one dollar.
Kimberly and Rodney W. Wallace to Rodney W. and Kimberly Wallace, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
David A. Sisco to Bruce C. and Judith A. Jones, in Jackson Township for $60,000.00.
Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (By Attorney) to Rexford, Sr. and Cathryn Gregory, in Auburn Township for $61,480.00.
Ralph and Carole Muscarelle to Ralph Muscarelle, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
James E. and Marcia E. Perkins to Timothy C. and Misty L. Perkins, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Patrick McLaughlin to Leonard A., Jr. and Janet Dellilo, in Susquehanna for $71,400.00.
Betty Jean Harris (NKA) Betty Jean Little Depue and Daniel L. Depue to Paul J. Knotek, in Franklin Township for $66,000.00.
Clem Chantiam, Imtiaz Ali Mahmood and William A. Curry, Jr. to River Industries of PA, Inc., in Oakland and Great Bend Townships for $275,000.00.
Sean Michael Gaynor of Jackson and Brittany Jill Page of Susquehanna.
James Harry Clark of Hop Bottom and Ruth A. Gillespie of New Milford.
Gary G. Shoff and Linna S. Grabawski, both of East Syracuse.
Keith E. Whittaker and Verena Vogt.
Krista Michelle Hammond vs. Franklin Gerald Heckman, married 2005.
Jerald Lynn Homshen vs. Kim Homshen, married 1979.
Lisa Solo vs. Christopher Solo, married 2002.
The Pennsylvania Climate Office needs people to help them monitor and report on the weather in the Northern Tier region of Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, and Wyoming Counties.
Recent weather trends such as warmer winters and more frequent heavy rain have generated interest from climate and weather officials to expand and modernize their Citizen Weather Observation Program (CWOP) in our area.
Paul Knight, Pennsylvania State Climatologist, is working with the Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission (NTRPDC) to determine the most appropriate agencies and methods of monitoring our weather and climate trends. The plan is to review and upgrade the existing cooperative network of volunteer weather observers and place up to twenty new sites in the region. The expanded network will be determined with the assistance of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Forest Service, and PEMA and other public agencies.
In addition to establishing new weather observing sites, a web based system will also be developed to incorporate and share the new and existing weather data networks for all in the Northern Tier.
For more information, contact Kevin Abrams, NTRPDC Executive Director, toll-free at 888.868.8800 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or Paul Knight, State Climatologist, at 814-863-1842 or e-mail email@example.com.
Aileo To Receive Red Cross Honor
Four nurses in the United States have been selected by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to receive the 41st Florence Nightingale Medal, nursing’s highest international honor. The medals will be awarded by American Red Cross President and CEO Mark W. Everson at American Red Cross national headquarters on Monday, December 3.
“The American Red Cross is incredibly proud of the winners of the Florence Nightingale Award,” said American Red Cross National Chair of Nursing Vivian Littlefield. “Their dedication to serving people throughout the world in times of need is an inspiration.”
The ICRC awards the Florence Nightingale Medal to nurses and volunteer aides worldwide who have shown exceptional courage and devotion to the sick, wounded and disabled in times of war and peace.
Nurse Brenna Aileo of Springville will join an elite group of 51 U.S. nurses who have received the medal since the ICRC first issued it in 1920. This year, only 35 nurses around the world will receive the award.
Brenna Aileo, a former Army nurse, began volunteering with the American Red Cross in response to September 11, 2001 events. Three years later she became a health consultant for the Red Cross Service to Armed Forces, reviewing and clearing staff for overseas deployment. Since taking on this role in 2004, no staff member has returned from a deployment site due to medical reasons.
Locally at the Susquehanna County Chapter, Brenna is an instructor for both Disaster Services and Health and Safety Services, a local and national disaster volunteer and is always willing to help with local special events.
"Trying To Get It Done Cheap"
The typically light agenda for the Harford Township Supervisors' meeting on November 27 officially listed only an update on the Stearns Road project. That project will eventually replace a sluice under Stearns Road at the outlet of Tingley Lake. A new, larger sluice is expected to reduce the chance of another flood at the lake like that during the summer of 2006.
The required permit has been received from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). A report from the engineering company that designed the replacement says that the township now has the authority to bid the work.
The engineering study put the the project cost at about $200,000, basing estimates on state wage rates, among other things. The township Supervisors think it can be done more cheaply using local contractors, and will be contacting Rock Estabrook to help get an idea of what to expect. Rick Pisasik, outgoing chair of the Board of Supervisors, wasn't sure the project needed to go through a formal bidding process, since the township could purchase the materials separately; contracted labor might be held below the $10,000 threshold for requiring bids. The 11-foot sluice pipe specified by the engineers alone could cost as much as $50,000, according to the engineering report. The engineers have reportedly said that the township might be able to complete the project itself, as long as the work adhered to the engineered specifications.
Mr. Pisasik said that the township is not waiting on financing to begin the work. A line of credit from Peoples National Bank is already in place. However, the township has applied for an interest-free 10-year loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Bank that would pledge the township's liquid fuel subsidy as collateral for the half- million-dollar note. Since the project so far will be at the sole expense of Harford Township taxpayers, the Supervisors are looking for ways to minimize the cost. "We're trying to get it done cheap," said Mr. Pisasik.
The other major project resulting from the 2006 flood, replacing a bridge over Butler Creek on Pennay Hill Road, is expected to be fully reimbursable by state and federal emergency management agencies. Originally, the reimbursement required completing the work by the end of this year. The township has already applied for an extension on that deadline, but the Supervisors were not clear that they had written approval for the extension. There was also a disagreement between the engineers and the reimbursement authorities about some aspects of the replacement's design. Township Secretary and Supervisor Sue Furney will be clarifying these issues.
At the last meeting, the Supervisors reported that DEP had cited the township sewer system for violating effluent standards – the quality of the water coming out of the sewage plant. DEP has now said that there would be no fine, and the Supervisors have pledged to do what it takes to keep it from happening again.
The Supervisors found no fault with the contracting operator of the sewer plant (which will receive a rate increase in next year's budget). Apparently the DEP tests that resulted in the violation were made during the week of the Harford Fair. It seems that the Fair had installed new "low-flow" water fixtures, which reduced the amount of water being used, but also resulted in more highly concentrated sewage. The plant operator adjusted the flow through the plant, but evidently not in time.
Ms. Furney said that the sewer system, which is now about 12 years old, will soon need some work anyway. "We need to update some things in the plant," she said. The engineering company that designed the system, and the system operator will be meeting to discuss the system and its future needs.
The Harford Township budget will be up for formal adoption at the next Supervisors' meeting, on Saturday, December 8, beginning at 10:00 a.m. That will be the last public session of the year. Garry Foltz, newly elected to the Board, will join Ms. Furney and Roadmaster Terry VanGorden for a reorganization session on Monday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.
CORRECTION: The report on the last meeting of the Harford Township Supervisors, which discussed the proposed budget for 2008 in some detail, contained a misstatement. It said that the assertion that property tax rates had not increased in at least 12 years was "not strictly correct," because the millage allocated to the Fire Company had been increased from 0.38 to 0.75 in 2001. In fact, in that regard the report was not "strictly correct." In the 2001 budget, the overall millage was not increased. The larger increment for the Fire Company was allocated from township revenue, leaving the rate for the township property tax the same.
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