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The Susquehanna County Commissioners, minus one, ended the 2007 reign with a balanced budget.
"We are in good shape," Commissioner Roberta Kelly stated.
The motion (by Kelly) to accept the proposed Susquehanna County budget for 2008 was passed (by Warren) and the millage for Susquehanna County will be as follows; 11.5 mills for General Real Estate for the General Fund, 1.01 mills for Debt Service, and .33 mills for the Library Fund, with a total millage for real estate of 12.84.
"We are starting the year out very good and we will be fine until April without having to worry. I am very proud. You can ask our County Treasurer Cathy Benedict about (how good shape we are in)."
Mrs. Benedict replied, " No, I don't care to comment!"
Kelly added that for the first time in three years, "We have not had to take out a Tax Revenue Anticipation Loan to carry us over.
"I hope that the new administration will be set . The budget is available for them to visit and (readjust) as needed. They will be able to look into the 911 issue and address the concerns with the new system," Kelly I informed the audience.
When asked where the extra money had come from, Ms. Kelly said, "It was there, already."
At this point Susquehanna County Treasurer Cathy Benedict exited quickly from the room, regardless of the discussion of the county budget for 2008.
Ms. Kelly said, "The budget was well worked and there is a carryover until April."
Mary Ann Warren added, "It was balanced," and, "911 will be addressed, by the new administration, as the outcome affects every Susquehanna County resident."
Gerry Bevan questioned the "purpose" of a letter (from Commissioner Loomis to department heads and "almost everyone but Kelly and Warren"), which criticized the work the other two commissioners did on preparing the 2008 budget.
Jim Jennings stated, "He (Loomis) chastised them."
Mr. Jennings also inquired about Jeff Loomis indicating that he was taking vacation he was due, which was why he hadn't been attending commissioners’ meetings. "Do commissioners get "allocated" vacation?" Jennings asked of the current commissioners. Warren and Kelly both answered a resounding "No!"
Ms. Kelly told the audience and Mary Ann Warren, "It was a privilege to work with you.
"I wish MaryAnn , Mike and Leon, well and hope that they are successful" (in their upcoming four years).
"I would like to make a final motion to grant full-time, regular status to Gary Wilder, effective immediately."
Jim Jennings added that such a motion would "save the county a lot of money."
The motion died for lack of a second.
In other business, seminar payments totaling $ 231.20, for Ray Osburn, Children and Youth, "Forum on Shared Case Management" and Susan Adamec, and Kenneth Zahora, "Children and Youth Association Quarterly Meeting," were approved.
Susquehanna County Conservation District Board of Directors were appointed for four year terms each: Robert Warriner, Montrose, (Elk Lake) Farmer Director; Jean Castrogiovanni, Montrose (Bridgewater Township) Farmer Director; and George Gardner, Montrose, Public Director. Each appointment runs from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2011.
Al Aronowitz questioned why the three appointed were from the Montrose area.
Commissioner Kelly directed the question to James Garner. Garner responded, " That is how they fall this year, they are from three different areas (with a Montrose address)."
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning bid for the Courthouse was awarded to Aire Serve Heating & Air Condition, South Montrose for $4,500 for items on the bid spec sheet. Repairs not listed on the spec sheet are to be billed at $65 per hour during normal business hours and $97.50 outside normal business hours. However, a motion was added after discussion from the audience about the high wage for $65. Al Aronowitz commented “It was a very high single bid contract."
Commissioner Warren added that it will be accepted for January, 2008 and "will be revisited in January by the new administration."
Commissioner Warren informed the audience that the reorganization meeting will be held on Monday, January 7 at 8:30 a.m. in the large courtroom in the courthouse.
The next county commissioners’ regular meeting will be Wednesday, January 9 at the County Office Building at 10:00 a.m.
Oakland Boro Council was to have met on Thursday, December 13 but the meeting was postponed due to weather conditions. They met instead on Saturday, December 22.
First item on the agenda was a rundown of codes violations; some are proceeding; one is being handled by the police department; yet another property has changed hands since the situation began. The owner, who lives out of state, did not show up for a court hearing and has been found in contempt. Council will file the necessary paperwork with the county to have a stipulation put into the deed, that the property is in violation and must be cleaned up. This action was taken because it appears that the property will soon be sold at a tax sale.
A water problem on State St. was discussed; council will keep an eye on it, as the new sidewalk replacement project is set to begin in early spring. Homeowners in the affected area will be receiving letters that existing stone sidewalks must not be removed; the stone is now the property of the contractor, and its disposal was included as part of the project bid.
The new garage has been started, although things slowed down somewhat due to the recent weather. The frame should be completed shortly, and the floor will be poured once the ground thaws. A problem has arisen with the electric service. The plan had been to tap into the existing lines at the adjacent building, but it turns out that will not be possible. The service could not be split into two meters, and the adjacent building does not run the same amperage that the garage will. The bad news is that it looks like council has two options; to run the lines underground (a distance of about 300 feet), or install two utility poles. The poles would probably be less expensive, but it will still cost approximately $2,000 per pole. Underground lines would need to wait until spring, but poles could be put in now.
The 2008 budget was officially adopted. General (real estate) taxes will be raised by 2.6 mills, and water usage fees will be raised by $10 per quarter, beginning in April.
Council usually gifts the boro’s two employees with a $25 gift at Christmas time, but when the subject was brought up for discussion, Doug Arthur said he had been told that it was not permissible to do that. Mr. Beavan said that council had looked into it, and it is legal, within certain guidelines, which this situation does meet. The motion to approve carried, with Mr. Arthur opposed.
Concerns have been raised about bus stops on Prospect Street being moved; where they are now, children are waiting in the intersection and could possibly be unable to get out of the way if a vehicle coming down the hill is unable to stop, especially when the roads are icy. It was agreed that council should send a letter to the school district, asking if the stops could be moved, perhaps consolidated into one in the middle of the block.
There have been some complaints about the bridge sidewalk not being cleared of snow. Council agreed that plowing the streets and clearing the fire hydrants should take precedence; after discussion it was agreed that someone should be hired on an as-needed basis to clear the walk when it snows. Mr. Arthur questioned why overtime was being paid for plowing; shouldn’t comp time be offered instead? Council agreed to discuss it further.
A group of citizens has been holding an annual holiday decorating contest, with prizes funded through private donations. This year’s first place winners were the Wayman, McDonald and Hall homes. Spirit awards were given for the Lawrenson, Boughton and Kern homes.
Outgoing council members Dave Dibble, Randy Glover and Mr. Arthur were thanked for their service to the boro.
Council will meet to reorganize on January 7, 7 p.m. at the Lanesboro Community Center, with their regular monthly meeting immediately following.
Following is the list of names drawn to serve as Petit and Traverse jurors, to appear in the Court of Common Pleas, Susquehanna County Courthouse, Montrose on the seventh day of January at 9:00 a.m.
Ararat Twp.: Stephen Nayduch.
Auburn Twp.: Karen Adams, Joelle Burgess, Cheryl Greenspan, Jennifer Kinney, Love Tyler.
Bridgewater Twp.: John Benio, Gary Campbell, Theodore Carroll, April Fowler, William Kohnke, Brian Taylor, Douglas Wilcox.
Choconut Twp.: Joseph Bahan, Eugene Brown.
Clifford Twp.: Jane Marcho, Eugene Brown.
Dimock Twp.: Louise Baker, Karin E. Dorman, Patricia Kwader, Jennifer Sobeck.
Forest Lake Twp.: Terri Evans.
Franklin Twp.: Renee Hendrickson, Harvey Hollenbeck.
Great Bend Boro: Wanda Depue, Sue Earley.
Great Bend Twp.: Thomas Layton.
Hallstead Boro: Mark Findley, Darlene Preston, Peggy Woosman.
Harford Twp.: Grace Allen, Susan Sadlon, David Sodlon.
Harmony Twp.: Christine Kulikowski-Gill.
Jessup Twp.: Stephen Wilcox.
Lanesboro Boro: Kyle Cook, William Roberts.
Lathrop Twp.: Stanley Pratt.
Lenox Twp.: Stanley Cominsky, Bruce Leach, Aline Price, Scott Ransom, Jeffrey Smith, Laura Stone.
Liberty Twp.: Wendy Moser.
Little Meadows Boro: Donna Wiles.
Montrose Boro 1W: Jeffrey Kerr, Betsy Stone.
Montrose Boro 2W: George Stone.
New Milford Boro: Joseph Taylor.
New Milford Twp.: Mark Conklin, Harold Empett, Jean Glover.
Rush Twp.: Ray M. Ellinger, Carl Sheridan.
Silver Lake Twp.: Jacqueline Adams, Gary Boll, Christopher S. Lewis, Richard Phillips, Daniel Slezak.
Springville Twp.: Mark Rosengrant, Robert Saylor, Kevin Valvano.
Susquehanna Boro 1W: Daniel Lake, Wanda Peksa.
Susquehanna Boro 2W: Brian Crawford, Heather Groover.
Union Dale Boro: Anthony Orefice.
Community Bank & Trust Co. to Thomas O. and Amylee A. Motter, in Lathrop Township for $212,000.00.
UTC Land Management Group, Inc. (AKA) United Timber Corp. to Robert T. Humphrey, Sr., in Harford Township for $3,000.00.
Patricia L. and Carl S. Benedict to Great Bend Borough, in Great Bend Borough for $80,000.00.
Melissa M. Tolan to Melissa M. Tolan, in Herrick Township.
Wendy A. Mack to Great Bend Township, in Great Bend Township for $75,000.00.
Brian D. (By Sheriff) and JoAnn P. (By Sheriff) Rhone to Wells Fargo Bank (Trustee) and Delta Funding Home Equity Loan, in Oakland Borough and Township for $3,919.33.
Thomas J. and Wanda D. McColgan to LTS Holding LLC, in Clifford Township for $151,000.00.
Edward K. Leh, Karen E. Worthing, David Leh, Jr., Karen Lambert Leh, Lorraine Leh Pearson and John Pearson to Leh Family LLC, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Evelyn P. and Anthony S. Gerchman to Cindy L. Gerchman and Frank E. Wood, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
George B. and Sue Stephens to Debra Ann Mead, in Liberty Township for $124,000.00.
William G. and Janet M. Roe to Franklin Township, in Franklin Township for $80,000.00.
Joshua L. Taylor and Allene N. Taylor (FKA) Allene N. Reinhart to Great Bend Township, in Great Bend Township for $100,000.00.
Keith Richard and Sandra Lord to Liberty Township, in Liberty Township for $110,000.00.
Manzek Land Co., Inc. to Stephen M. and Suzanne T. Ahmie, in Forest Lake Township for $169,000.00.
Montrose Borough to David Warner, in Montrose for one dollar.
David Warner to Esther T. Welden and Janet A. Fish, in Montrose for $82,500.00.
Nicholas, Jr. and Mary Ann Sabuacak to Cynthia Ann and Harold Jay Luther, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.
Arthur Stephano (AKA) A. Stephano and Jere L. Stephano to Leroy James and Ashley Megan Pratt, in Brooklyn Township for $18,000.00.
Shary Skoloff to Delaware Highlands Conservancy, Inc., in Harmony Township for one dollar.
Act Properties LLC (By Atty) to Robert Mannion, in Forest City for $35,000.00.
Leonard Przybyszewski to Robert Fray, in Auburn Township for $19,500.00.
Bryant and Vanessa Kasson to Bryant and Vanessa Kasson, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Harvey, Jr. and Sharon Rosenkrans to Scott and Jan Rosenkrans, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Donna L. Perico to Harmony Township, in Harmony Township for $36,000.00.
Richard (AKA) Richard L. Prezelski to Choconut Land Company LLC, in Choconut Township for $321,970.00.
Primary Closing Corporation to Adrian A. and Melanie S. Balfour, in Clifford Township for $390,000.00.
Butch and Patricia Watson to Thor W. and Tari K. Trowbridge, in Bridgewater Township for $29,000.00.
Mike E. (AKA) Michael E. and Judith A. Molenko to Michael J. Molenko, in Brooklyn Township for $125,000.00.
Edwin F. Shinn (AKA) Edwin F. Shinn, Sr. to Edwin F. (Revoc Living Trust) and Cecilia T. (Revoc Living Trust) Shinn, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Elizabeth A. Gudaitis to Elizabeth A. Gudaitis (Trustee), in Forest City for one dollar.
Jack L. Bishop, Sr. (By Sheriff) and Lisa M. Yachymiak (By Sheriff) to Peoples National Bank, in Brooklyn Township for $2,700.48.
David Alan Brush of Hallstead and Annette Finelle of Scranton.
Justin Michael Mroz of Hallstead and Kelly Gregory of Susquehanna.
Joshua Aaron Rundell and Lorrie Marie Walter, both of Laceyville.
Jeremy Wagner vs. Christy L. Wagner, married 2004.
Robert P. Hunter vs. Jacqueline Hunter, married 1993.
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