Please visit our kind sponsors
Water quality reform was the focus of Forest City Borough’s February 4 meeting.
Borough secretary Susan Coleman announced that effective March, 2008, individuals serviced by the Lackawanna River Basin Sewer Authority (LRBSA) will experience a sewer rate increase – the first in fifteen years. The new residential sewer use fee will be $240 per year, up from $180 per year. The rate increase is intended to help offset the cost of PADEP–mandated improvements to LRBSA facilities, improvements that have been necessitated by the Chesapeake Bay Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
Hired to help Forest City Borough solve its sewage problems, Gary Wilding and David Lamereaux of KBA Engineering outlined PADEP guidelines for water quality protection. Forest City Borough residents will hear more about water quality issues in the coming weeks. Educational posters are to be strategically hung throughout the town, and stormwater ads are to be placed in local newspapers. Also part of an education and outreach program, a public meeting will be scheduled to discuss wastewater.
Mayor Nicholas Cost announced that garbage is piling up in town, and fines will be issued to offenders.
Council is reconsidering selling its pick-up truck, since the vehicle only needs new tires and is economical for summer use.
Borough solicitor Paul E. Smith announced that the first two requirements have been met under the Consent Order between Forest City Partners and Rails - Trails: the borough has applied for funding from the USDA Office of Rural Development and has submitted preliminary plans for a new sewage system with KBA Engineering.
On a related issue, council member Robert Trusky announced that he plans to notify governor Rendell about delays in the borough’s stormwater project. Mr. Trusky expressed his frustration with PennDOT and stated that the project should have been completed years ago.
The borough plans to hold interviews for another police officer position.
Also on the agenda is a parking ordinance, which is intended to solve snow removal problems associated with people parking vehicles in the way of plows. Council announced that signs must be posted at each block, explaining the parking policy.
The Montrose Borough Council met on February 4 for its regular monthly meeting, which proceeded pretty much in its regular fashion. Topics discussed included parking, permits, wood stoves, and proper notification of potential appointees.
The daughter of Albert Belinsky came to the meeting with concern that her dad had not been notified about the postponement of his appointment to the municipal authority the month before. She stated that Mr. Belinsky had not known about the decision until he saw it in the newspaper. A council member apologized, explaining that sometimes the January meeting is the first time that council members even know who is up for a given position. Still, he said, if a nomination is postponed someone ought to make sure that the person be notified in good time.
Various decisions were made, the stated reasoning behind which involved the support of borough businesses. A request to forgive parking meter fees on juror day for the Scher trial in early March was denied. The fines had not been waived the last time the trial occurred, and council feared that doing so this time would be limiting to other commerce and taxpayers in the area. It might also set a precedence for the future. Council decided to send a letter to the county suggesting other parking possibilities.
Two peddler's permits were also denied. One, for TNT fireworks, would, it was decided, conflict with the sales of an existing business. The other was for Frontier Telephone. Apparently a representative of this company has been going door to door asking to see residents' phone bills and presenting to them other deals. The representative was told that he needed to seek a peddler's permit, though he claimed that he was not selling anything.
A community resident approached the council in support of an ordinance which would regulate the use of outdoor wood burning stoves. Currently there is no need to acquire a permit from COG to build one, and there has been no ordinance directly regulating their installation and use. The visitor complained of one stove in particular, on Chenango Street. The problem, the visitor explained, with outdoor wood stoves is that the smoke stacks are often at street level. Thus smoke is blown into areas people use. This might be why they are often utilized in rural areas; but as oil prices increase, it appears that their use in residential areas increases as well. In this situation the prevailing wind may not have been taken into account, and the owner of the stove reportedly planned on using it through the summer to heat domestic water. The visitor, a neighbor to the stove's owner, reported that the smoke traveled up a hill and could be smelled within his children's rooms, and that a nearer neighbor had actually received so much smoke that he thought his house was on fire. Council brainstormed for a bit regarding what could be done, expressing that should be to alleviate the burden on the current neighbors and to prevent such situations from occurring frequently. It was finally concluded that the zoning officer would be sent to investigate what was being burned in that particular stove, and if it was really producing an unusual amount of smoke. Sample ordinances were discussed, which could allow the borough to stop stove use in the summer. Additionally, it was stated, the borough's current nuisance ordinance already covers the presence of noxious fumes from outdoor burning. It was written to deal with burn barrels, but could be applied to outdoor stoves as well.
The reception which the borough extended to WNEP's Go Joe in July is still being recognized. Ms. Walsh reported that in December the dress rehearsal of a Christmas choral she participated in was taped by the station for a Christmas eve airing. The station expressed that they did this because they wanted to pay the community back for the July reception.
When it snows, PennDOT is responsible for plowing Main Street (U.S. Route 11) through Great Bend Borough. The plows can't do a good job with cars parked along both curbs. There are rules about this sort of thing, posted on signs along the street, but many ignore them. That may have to change.
At the Great Bend Borough Council meeting on February 7, council member and President Jerry MacConnell reported on a conversation with state representative Sandra Major in which she warned that PennDOT has become frustrated about parking along U.S. 11, in Great Bend and Hallstead, and presumably in other towns as well. Residents are advised to heed the rules, because the State Police may be called in to ticket improperly parked vehicles, particularly when the snow plows have work to do.
Otherwise, the meeting was a mixed bag, covering a wide variety of issues. It started off with an executive session that considered wages for the Borough's three employees, each of which will get a budgeted raise, retroactive to January 1.
One of those employees, Secretary Sheila Guinan, reported on a listing provided by the county Council of Governments of the three building permits issued by COG in 2007 for Great Bend Borough. She also told council that the Borough had received a "warranty deed" for a property on Spring Street that was flooded in the summer of 2006. This property was purchased by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA has solicited bids for demolishing the structures on the property. When that is done, the borough will own an empty lot which must remain so. FEMA will accept no further responsibility for the property if it is flooded again. So the property can have no structure on it that is not open on all sides (a pavilion), and must be used as green space or a park.
Water is always a problem: can't live without it, sometimes can't live with it. Extra water is a nagging problem on borough streets, especially when it turns to ice. Council will solicit bids for installation of drainage along Washington Street to help alleviate the problem there. Some other water problems, notably where Mountain Vista Lane joins Main Street, may be addressed when the borough considers paving as warmer weather approaches.
Council member Ron Cranage reported on some successes in court as his swan song as Codes Enforcement Officer for the borough. Two property owners who failed to show up for hearings with the District Justice were each fined $300 for violations of ordinances that control the condition of their properties. Another was given until June 1 to clean up or a similar fine will be imposed automatically.
Mr. Cranage also told colleagues that increased responsibilities elsewhere might require him to resign his seat on Council. Mike Wasko asked him to consider carefully; good council members are hard to find.
Last month Council considered a bid to install a gutter and downspouts on the borough garage. At a little over $1,000, some thought it the price might be a little high. Since publication of that information, three others have come forward with bids, two of them lower. Although, because of the small amount of money involved, the bidding was not formalized, Council faces a conundrum: on the one hand, they are bound by law to at least consider the lowest bid; on the other hand, the later bids were presented only after the only first bid was announced, giving subsequent bidders what might be considered unfair advantage. In the end, Council decided to solicit new bids from all of the applicants.
At the tail end of the meeting, Mike Lonzinsky arrived representing the Fire Company to make a couple of points. The Fire Company has installed the flags along Main Street the past couple of years, and is willing to do so again this year, around Memorial Day. But, Mr. Lonzinsky said, the flags are shot and need to be replaced, along with some of the poles and brackets. Council will scout around for people and organizations willing to donate flags.
Mr. Lonzinsky's second item was a request, about parking, this time on Church and John Streets, the important access routes to and from the firehouse. He said that too often parked vehicles on both sides of those streets leave only one narrow lane for the Fire Company's big vehicles to negotiate. He asked Council to consider something – anything – that would relieve the situation. An ordinance would be required to make a street one-way. Mr. Lonzinsky said that the preferred solution would be – you guessed it: alternate-side parking. Council will look into what that would require, with the understanding that the borough has no way to enforce it.
If you come to the next meeting of the Great Bend Borough Council on March 6, you can park in the lot in back of the building at Elizabeth and Franklin. There's usually plenty of room by the 7:00 p.m. meeting time.
John F. and Connie J. Urciuoli to Thomas P. Fratick, in Rush Township for $40,128.00.
Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Mary E. Stevens, in Herrick Township for $100.00.
Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Beulah Wong and David Tai, in Herrick Township for $100.00.
John A. Franklin, Linda K. and Raymond Lee to Linda K. Lee, in Lenox Township for $100.00.
John A. Franklin, Linda K. and Raymond Lee to John A. Franklin, in Lenox Township for $100.00.
Harry, Sr. and Christine M. Masters to John C. Foose, Jr. and Kerry J. Swain, in Lenox Township for $10,000.00.
Mark C. Galvin to Mark C. and Jennifer L. Galvin, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Lanesboro Borough to Dale Rockwell, in Lanesboro Borough for $4,000.00.
Robert J. and Joan I. Potter to Robert J. and Joan I. Potter, in Thompson Township for one dollar.
Robert D. and Judith A. Haley to Vincent R. and Cynthia M. Branning, in Oakland Borough for $65,000.00.
Charles M. Tell and Dolores A. Tyneway to John Taylor Marshall (Trust), in Harmony Township for $19,887.00.
Ella Rose Stark to Michael and Lana Hodge, in Thompson Township for one dollar.
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (By POA) to Roger Steen, in Little Meadows Borough for $7,600.00.
Joan Volinsky to Alexander R. Wardlow, in Harmony Township for $1,300.00.
Heather M. Diehl to James J. Foltz, in Brooklyn Township for $60,000.00.
Lillie M. and John D., Sr. Simmons to John D., Sr. and Lillie M. Simmons, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Barbara Zielinski to Walter Zielinski, in Springville Township for $61,500.00.
David and Cecily Q. Charsky to David and Cecily Q. Charsky, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Margaret Krauser Doolin and Charles W. Hagerman (Estate) to Larry R. Larue, in Jessup Township for $165,000.00.
Tannie Korty (Est) to Robert F. and Tammy A. Korty, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Lewis R., III and Shirley Marlin to Todd A. Fleming and Jo Ann Lewis, in Dimock Township for $200,000.00.
Dennis O. Overfield to Dennis O. Overfield, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Dennis O. Overfield to Dennis O. Overfield, in Montrose for one dollar.
Charles M. Tell and Dolores A. Tyneway to John Taylor Marshall (Family Trust), in Harmony Township for $116,125.00.
Ronald and Susan Crawford to Edward B. Greene, III, in Harmony Township for $10,000.00.
Frank A. Lista to Frank A. Lista, in Gibson Township for one dollar.
Peter R. and Jane O. Nurse to Mario B. and Christine A. Gabriel, in Springville Township for $213,000.00.
Ronald G. and Linda J. Conklin to Mark and Bernadette Kanna, in Silver Lake and Liberty Townships for one dollar.
David M. Rebello and Calley R. Hunter, both of Brackney.
Gerald L. Arthur of Great Bend vs. Lynne J. Arthur of Susquehanna, married 1974.
The Great Bend Township Supervisors met on February 4 with Sheila Guinan and Joseph Gaughan in attendance.
Former and current supervisors reported receiving a number of inquiries from residents, about the transactions listed in the weekly County Transcript Courthouse Report; some seemed to think that property owners who had entered into the FEMA buyout program after the flood of 2006 were being paid for their properties by the township. Not so. When the properties were approved for the buyout program (by FEMA), the owners received fair market value directly from FEMA, after any insurance payments or prior FEMA payments had been deducted. The township was not involved in the transactions, and no funds for the buyouts were handled by the township. Once the buyout is completed, the property itself is deeded to the township; FEMA, through the county, bid out demolition of the structures on those properties. The township has received title insurance on the Mack property from FEMA, and warranty deeds on the Mack and Taylor properties. Once the township takes possession of the properties, there are restrictions as to what can be done with it.
The township purchased two radios for the two bigger trucks, and one hand-held unit. The radios have been programmed to use the Hickory Grove communication tower, and all were tested to be sure they work well within the township’s limits. The cost, in addition to purchase of the radios, will be $10/month per unit, with a price guarantee of two years.
The supervisors received an annual report from COG, listing all sewage testing permits and UCC building permits issued (by COG) during 2007.
COG’s SEO was to have attended this supervisors’ meeting, but due to a family emergency had been unable to; he was to have discussed issues with the Dixon/Thompson sewage system.
The supervisors are still waiting to hear from DEP regarding the saw mud pit on the Allard property.
Ralph Reynolds is still in the process of cleaning up; things were somewhat slowed by the weather, but should be completed within the month.
The Carter property issue has been referred to the district justice.
Joan Long was sent a violation letter from COG for moving trailers without permits. Ms. Long said that it was her understanding that a permit was not required if the trailer was not being moved for the purpose of setting up to live in, if it was just being moved from one site to another a permit was not needed. Mrs. Guinan explained that the state UCC requires that a permit be issued any time such a structure is moved, to ensure that it is set up according to codes. She suggested Ms. Long contact COG for information on what exactly is required when a trailer is being moved.
The other issue regarding Ms. Long’s property, an ongoing violation of the nuisance ordinance, was also discussed. At issue was whether or not the township should proceed (again) with legal action. Ms. Long asked for more time; the supervisors noted that (this time), the situation has been going on for two years. It was noted that it should take 30 days or so to get the case to court. Mr. Gaughan noted that there was to be some unseasonably warm weather in the area the following week. He urged Ms. Long to take advantage of it and get as much cleaned up as possible before the court hearing date.
Another property owner had refused to accept a certified letter; the supervisors discussed and agreed on an alternate means of getting it delivered.
And, the Conservation District is waiting for information from DEP regarding the Kilmer property on Towner Road. At the Conservation District’s recommendation, in the meantime, the supervisors have not processed a driveway permit application.
A meeting was held about a sluice on Old Route 11 that is not working properly. The affected property owner, the railroad and local state officials were present; the township was not represented because the problem does not involve the township, it is between the railroad and the property owner. At issue, at the moment, is just who owns the railroad property as it has changed hands some six or so times since the late 1970’s. It would appear that the land was transferred in small parcels, and that not all of the parcels were transferred each time the railroad changed hands. The railroad’s attorneys are involved and once ownership has been determined, the owner will need to address the problem, which appears to be a clogged, possibly broken sluice pipe.
The next meeting will be on Monday, March 3, 7 p.m. in the township building.
Following are the approved Starrucca Boro Council minutes from their January 7 meeting, as submitted.
The Starrucca Borough Council met to reorganize on January 7 at the Community Hall. Mr. Kirk Rhone, Mr. Arthur Kopp, Mr. Donald Haynes, Mr. Robert Buck, Mr. Fred Rhone, Mrs. Barbara Glover, and Mayor MaryAnn DeBalko were present. Mr. Anthony Palonis was absent.
Mayor DeBalko opened the meeting. Motion to nominate Mr. (Kirk) Rhone as President, carried. Mr. (Kirk) Rhone (nominee) and Mr. (Fred) Rhone (brother) abstained.
Motion to nominate Mr. Donald Haynes Vice President, motion carried.
It was decided a nomination for “President Protem,” “Ordinance Committee” and “Vacancy Board” was not needed.
Mr. Kopp, Mr. Rhone and Mr. Haynes were appointed to the Hall Committee, which shall also include the ballfield and the street lights. Mrs. Glover declined the appointment.
President Rhone, Mr. Buck and Mr. Rhone will serve on the Road Committee.
President Rhone, Mayor DeBalko, and Mr. Darl Haynes will serve on the Bridge Committee.
Motion to appoint Mr. Rhone, Mr. Kopp, and Mr. (Darl) Haynes to the Depositions Committee motion carried, Mrs. Glover opposed.
Motion to set the meetings to be the first Wednesday of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the Community Hall in Starrucca, and advertise the same, carried.
Motion to retain Attorney (Ronald) Bugaj as the borough’s Solicitor carried. Mrs. Glover abstained.
Motion to add Solicitor Bugaj to the Depositions Committee as counsel carried. Mrs. Glover opposed.
Motion to appoint Laura Travis as the borough’s secretary/treasurer, rate of pay to remain the same ($2,700.00 annually) carried.
Motion to use the Wayne Independent as the borough’s primary newspaper and the Weekly Almanac as the secondary newspaper carried.
Motion to appoint Andrew D’Agati as the borough’s Sewage Enforcement Officer (SEO) and his rate of pay will remain the same (borough sewage fee) carried.
Motion to appoint Building Inspection Underwriters (BIU) as the borough’s building code official carried.
Motion to use H.A. Thomson for the borough’s treasurer’s bond carried.
President Rhone stated that Wayne County alerted the borough of the resignation of Tax Collector Kathryn Downton, and the need to immediately appoint a replacement, as the county is preparing the 2008 tax bills now. Motion to accept Kathryn Downton’s resignation as Tax Collector carried.
Motion to appoint Tracy Fisher as Tax Collector carried (Wayne County will be notified).
Motion to form an Intergovernmental Agreement with Harmony Township for the borough’s road work in 2008 carried.
Motion to apply for a CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) in the amount of $40,000 for the Stephano Bridge carried.
No further business, motion to adjourn the reorganization meeting carried, meeting adjourned.
The regular meeting (first meeting of the year) immediately followed.
President Rhone opened the meeting and the minutes from the previous meeting were read. Motion to approve carried.
The treasurer’s report was given and motion to approve carried.
The bills were presented for payment. Motion to approve payment carried.
The following correspondence was received:
A letter from the NRCS was read.
An annual report from the NEPA was left for review.
Mr. Kopp will contact Penelec concerning a blinking pole light in town.
Motion to allow the use of the hall for the Girl Scouts cookie distribution carried.
In borough reports:
Mr. (Darl) Haynes reported the Depositions Committee continues their work. Mr. Downton’s deposition has begun and the committee awaits Mr. Weldy’s answers. The committee will have a full report upon completion.
Motion to retain Mr. (Darl) Haynes as the borough’s FEMA agent for the year 2008 carried. Mr. Donald Haynes (brother) and Mrs. Glover abstained.
Motion to allow the borough auditors to sit in on the depositions carried.
Mr. (Darl) Haynes, Auditor, spoke of a form the auditors will prepare to get the necessary paperwork from former Tax Collector Kathryn Downton.
No further business to come before the board, motion to adjourn carried, meeting adjourned.
The Susquehanna County Rail Authority is still awaiting two appointments to empty seats, as well as the appointment of a new chairman for the organization. These appointments are made by the Susquehanna County Commissioners, according to members of the authority.
Attending the February 8 Rail Authority meeting were: Acting Chairperson, Ken Bondurant; Secretary/Treasurer Thomas Wooden; member Joe White; Rowland Sharp, former chairperson; Robert Templeton, County Planning; Tom Jurista, Jim Jennings; Staci Wilson, Susquehanna County Independent; and Carole Canfield, Susquehanna County Transcript.
Bondurant stated he had sent letters to the commissioners asking them to meet with the authority “on the commissioners’ schedule.” The authority would do its best to accommodate them on their time schedules for a meeting time. He said that he expressed the importance of this meeting, so that the authority and the county could get moving on the possibility of securing a site for the railroad to come through Susquehanna County in New Milford (Sommersville). “This would have a big impact on this county.”
Wooden stated, “The possibility of freight could later become passenger train service as well. The train is coming through, whether or not Susquehanna County takes advantage of it; it can only benefit our county and the residents/taxpayers. They need a place between Scranton and Binghamton, and the proposed New Milford site is the perfect location. The importance of this to Susquehanna County’s economic development is crucial.”
The authority also shared a letter from Bob Wert stating, “It seems that it would be possible to ‘put the county’s oars in the water’ to get commuter service to the county.”
Included in that correspondence was the suggestion of how to approach a preliminary study for future passenger rail service to Susquehanna County and a January 27, 2008, article, “Amtrak to study Tier link” from the Press & Sun Bulletin.
In the article, it states that the possibility of reinstating passenger rail service from Binghamton to Scranton is being studied by Amtrak, at the request of the state. “Establishing a consistent link to New York City for Binghamton residents will not only provide more transportation options for upstate travelers, but will also boost economic prospects throughout the region,” said Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY. Schumer, in November, sent a letter to the state and Amtrak CEO Alexander Kummant urging them to conduct the study.
Amtrak on January 25, 2008 announced its intention to complete the study; however officials did not offer an estimate on the cost for the study, but said it would start within the next few weeks.
The article also stated that “the route would have added significance, as officials in Pennsylvania and New Jersey push to provide passenger rail service between Scranton, PA, and Hoboken, NJ.”
The article concluded, „”The project, known as the New Jersey-Pennsylvania Lackawanna Cutoff Rail Restoration, is in planning stages. If completed the line would mark the first time in more than three decades that commuters would have a rail link from the Southern Tier to the Big Apple.”
Wert, who was previously the General Counsel of The Southeastern Transportation Authority (SEPTA), also added that since he did not know where the railway matter stands within the county, in the wake of what he has read about the Rail Authority in the past, in the paper, he is sending this information, and if he can be of help, they should feel free to contact him.
Ken Boundant said, “With Amtrak beginning this study, it is a very positive interaction between the two states and Senators from those areas.”
There was more discussion regarding the appointment of a chairman and the two vacant seats, with Rowland Sharp interjecting, “If I was the problem before, then what is the problem now? (now that Sharp is just a member), I am on the sidelines here, I am not acting, nor am I voting... I was used as the excuse last year, now I am not in the acting (position), and we still have received no answer from the commissioners. I do believe they owe this Rail Authority an answer,” he concluded.
Boundant stated, “We have tried to keep them (the commissioners) as informed as possible, and have received no response.”
Jim Jennings suggested that the authority “go to the meetings and hound them. Get to the meetings and be there in person.” Jim Jennings also suggested the authority ask to be put on the agenda, as now the public comment statements are not included in the commissioners’ minutes. (This policy began when the new commissioners took office).
Tom Jurista said, “This (railway possibility) will pass over us, below and north of us; it is clear that passenger service will come through Susquehanna County, and we currently have no land for it to come through here, it is for the future.” There are three states involved, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
“Freight is still there, but it won’t stop here (in Susquehanna County), because there is no land to come through here,” Wooden said.
Wooden added that the USDA Rural Development Grants/Loans has applications to help small towns and rural areas with infrastructure, but the deadline is March 28, 2008.
Boundant added, “The difficult part is the funding, and without the commitment from the commissioners, we won’t have the ability to move on it. It needs to have local matching for any grant, etc.”
Bob Templeton suggested that attempting a positive approach to the matter would be a good way to proceed. He said that holding a meeting with the Rail Authority and the public, along with Senators/Congressmen/Representatives, etc. would be a great place to start. The Rail authority agreed and decided to look into that suggestion.
The Susquehanna County Rail Authority meets the second Friday of every month. The next scheduled meeting will be held on March 14 at the Susquehanna County Office Building.
Although no actual decisions could be made on February 7, due to lack of a quorum, New Milford Borough Council honored a citizen of the month and discussed agenda items.
Goldie Small, 99 years young, was honored as New Milford Borough's Citizen of the Month, by Council Vice President, Jane Zick.
New Milford Borough Council Vice President, Jane Zick, presents The Citizen of the Month Award for February, 2008 to Goldie Small.
According to Zick, Goldie has been a member of the United Methodist Church for 65 years, as well as serving on the administrative board of the church as secretary/treasurer, and Goldie remains active in church activities. She was a librarian for the Pratt Memorial Library, as well as secretary/treasurer for the library board. Small has been president and treasurer of the Women's Club, president of the Civic Club, and plays cards weekly with her friends, as well as enjoys an occasional dinner out with her friends and family. She actively uses her computer, playing bridge and keeping track of her family and friends. Goldie likes to get out and still drives at her young age of 99. Her 100th birthday will be April 1. She currently works two days per week at the Great Bend Senior Center. Mrs. Small stated that she didn't feel she deserved the award, but, "Thank you very much, I appreciate it!"
Attending the meeting were council members Teri Gulick, Jane Zick, Sue Abbott and Mayor Joe Taylor, along with Secretary, Amy Hine.
Zick conducted the meeting, reporting that the Hall property on 121 Church Street had been inspected and needs to be brought up to date. The owner was informed that the building had to be inspected by the structural engineer to determine if it is inhabitable by people. It needs to meet proper building inspection requirements, and the owner was so informed.
The Sheridan property, at 47 Montrose Street, is still in the attorney's hands. It was reported that it needs a sewer hookup, as well as other items from previous violations. A certified letter stating such was returned to the borough unclaimed. This property is also in the attorney's hands.
Mayor Joseph Taylor reported, "Everything in town is fine." He also answered the question of what will be done with the skating rink. "Joe (Monteforte) the owner, is waiting to sell the property, nothing is going in there at this time."
A letter from the Lakeside Outing Club, as per John Ward, was read regarding the questioned increase of water from Page's Lake. It stated that the winter draw is down and that it "does not increase water in the creek."
The letter further explained that alternative spillways prevented excess water build up. Ward stated that the water would have to travel 36 feet plus four feet to go over the spillway currently. He stated that that is the reason the water is lowered before winter, to prevent excess water spillage into the streams. He added that the club is as concerned as the borough in preventing excess water downstream in New Milford.
Zick reported that she, Teri Gulick and Sue Abbott had attended a meeting on flood mitigation on February 6, at the Emergency Management Agency Conference Room in the County Office Building, and there were two more meetings on the EMA agenda. She said that a favorable report from EMA stated that they "were pleased with New Milford Borough, due to the reports and paperwork for the flooding had been done, turned in and are up to date... We are one of the few towns to actually have this done and up to date," she was told.
The next two meetings will be: "Duties & Responsibilities of Emergency Management Coordinator" held Tuesday, February 26 from 9 a.m. until noon at the County Office Building; and "Susquehanna County EMA Initial Damage Reporting" held Monday, March 3, from 9 a.m. until noon, or 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., held at the County Office Building EMA Conference Room. It is noted that registration for both classes is required and may be made by calling 278-4600, extension 286. It was further noted that each course is "required for those working for the PEMA Basic Certification."
A letter from Susquehanna County Housing/Redevelopment Authority was read regarding the grant monies that may be available to assist residents of New Milford with housing rehabilitation. There are over 300 names currently on the waiting list for assistance and after analyzing their list, "We have a significant number of residents from New Milford waiting for assistance."
The letter states that the Redevelopment Authority has administered the county-wide housing rehab program for over 20 years and they have successfully secured funding and administered the program on behalf of Susquehanna Borough, Forest City Borough, Oakland Borough and has just been awarded funds on behalf of Montrose Borough.
There would be no requirements form New Milford Borough, other than to adopt a resolution authorizing the Redevelopment Authority to apply for the funds. The program currently offers grants up to $15,000 for owner occupied units that meet the low income criteria. Items such as siding, windows, doors, furnaces and electrical systems are some of the repairs utilized under this program. Councilwoman, Sue Abbot stated that she would be glad to see it happen in New Milford Borough, Teri Gulick echoed Abbott, and Zick added, "It would be good, whatever help we could get."
Zick and Gulick reported that COG's monthly meeting made no mention to the upcoming new building they have been working on. The building is slated for location on Route 706 near The Heart Lake Church. They also reported that nothing further has been discussed as to a regional police coverage.
Discussion netted that the COG rental agreement with the borough will be up in July. COG must give a 30-day notice, if they are indeed going to move. "They actually have never indicated they are moving," Zick stated. She added that the building space COG now uses will be up for rent, should COG actually move.
The grant for the streets and parking lot was discussed, officially today, $41,000 is available in grant monies and the job will have to be put out to bid.
The job includes the parking lot, sidewalks and curbing, and needs to be set with prevailing wage requirements, if it is over $25,000.
When asked about a couple bids already received, it was stated that it needs to be re-bid and the amount of asphalt and thickness (among other things) need to be "specified." The sidewalks will be concrete. Mayor Taylor commented that it needs to get signed, documented/back and gotten started.
Secretary Amy Hine suggested that the side driveway be added as a line item, in case there is not enough money to cover that portion. All in attendance agreed.
Mr. Doug Wood suggested that the thickness be set at 2-3 inches, or " you will be able to see where every car has been parked."
The position of cleaning for the borough building has three people showing interest, and they will be contacted further on requirements and cost.
A question regarding the continuation of the Rail Authority was raised, with Sue Abbott asking if it is going to be an intermediate train site. She said that this could add a lot of traffic and jobs to the area, but hoped it wouldn’t be too much traffic.
Carole Canfield stated that there were still two positions needing fulfillment, and also an appointment for a chairman for the Rail Authority, as the Susquehanna County Commissioners were not in attendance at the last meeting. She added that the Rail Authority was "looking forward to a good relationship with the commissioners, and that they noted the commissioners may not have been in attendance at the January meeting due to conflicts in appointments."
Secretary Amy Hine reported that the Alert Security Grants were awaiting an answer from Pennsylvania Emergency Management, as well as Susquehanna County Emergency Management. She added that EMA Coordinator, Mark Wood has a call into PEMA to find out more pertinent information on this grant.
The question of outdoor furnaces was again visited, with reports from various audience members offering municipality names to Amy Hines' list of contacted areas, regarding their handling of the outdoor furnace and the smoke it can cause. She has checked with Hallstead Borough, which has one such furnace, but just a few complaints; Great Bend Borough and Township have no such furnaces; Montrose, has none; Thompson Borough has none and Oakland Borough is working on an ordinance, which they sent up copies of.
Teri Gulick mentioned that in New Milford Borough, “People are too close, that they would not like the smoky atmosphere invading their homes during the summer months."
Gerry Bevan stated that in Clifford, one person does have an outdoor furnace, but he has an extension chimney on it now.
Earl Armon stated that Nicholson also is a possibility to check for such an ordinance against the outdoor furnaces.
Sue Abbott added that Jefferson Township in Lackawanna County has had a number of outdoor furnaces and cannot do anything about them, as they had no ordinance against them in place.
There will be a public meeting on February 27, regarding the bridges and discussion on the benefits of opening or leaving them closed on Church Street. Both bridges on Church Street have been closed since the flood. Several audience members added that they would like to see them opened back up. Earl Armon asked if there was any action going to be concluded at the February bridge meeting. "No, it is being held to clarify opinions of whether or not to re-open the bridge(s)," Jane Zick said.
The borough is working with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and PEMA (Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency), for monetary assistance for opening them back up.
Amy Hine is going to ask the Blue Ridge newspaper , "The Raider Reader" to include information on the junior/senior council member program. This program allows a student(s) to sit on the board and learn how local government works.
Rumors concerning the library purchasing the lot which was formerly "Tubbs"/"Main Street Grill" were discussed. According to Zick, the library was offered the lot, but she was not certain of the amount nor if the house was included at that time.
According to Mayor Taylor, the asking price for the entire lot, house, etc. was $135,000, which includes the double lot out back. "I don't know what was actually offered to the library, but I do know they were approached." Zick also serves on the Library Board.
Eleanor Lempke added, "People should know about this, as they may want to offer support to the Library, if this is a place it would be interested in obtaining, and if a need is there."
Zick added, "They shouldn't have a problem" with the money if it is something the library is interested in.
Gulick said that there were complaints about the property at Church and Union, due to junk cars, a boat, trailer and etc. Reportedly there are 9-12 vehicles, most of them not running, on this spot.
A formal complaint was lodged and the matter will be taken care of properly.
Again, there will be a public meeting on February 27, 7 p.m. at the borough building to discuss the opening of the Church Street bridges.
The regular monthly meeting of New Milford Borough Council will be held March 7, 7 p.m. at the borough building.
News | Living | Sports | Schools | Churches | Ads | Events
Military | Columns | Ed/Op | Obits | Archive | Subscribe