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A Major Step Forward
On Tuesday evening, April 29, I attended the hearing on the proposed zoning ordinances for Liberty and Silver Lake specifically, and the twelve municipalities of the NTC (Northern Tier Coalition) in general. Other than supervisors and Planning Commission members, there were two people from Liberty and about a dozen from Silver Lake. This hearing was advertised. One person spoke against zoning, others asked questions or made constructive comments on sections they found fault with. Overall a productive meeting, however, there were far too few of the public present.
If you are planning on doing things on your property that you know most of your neighbors will find offensive, then you should probably be against the proposed ordinance. If you are concerned about how your neighborhood will develop, if concerned about what neighbors do with their property affecting you and such things as your property value and vice versa, then you should be attending these meetings so that your questions and concerns can be addressed.
There are those opposed to this that have never attended a meeting and have no idea what is in the proposed ordinance, but they’re against it. Why let facts get in their way when they can make up such amazing stories. There will be further rounds of meetings, get to them and see for yourself what is proposed. Don’t depend on those who have never laid eyes on the proposed ordinance to tell you what they want you to think.
Al Capone and Albert Schweitzer are both people most of us have heard of, but just being people doesn’t mean they had a great deal in common. Likewise, all zoning ordinances are not alike. Yes, there are those that tell you what color you can paint your house and that might make sense to them; these NTC ordinances are as close to that as Albert was to Al. The NTC came up with a very basic zoning ordinance with only two districts, 1. Residential and 2. Rural Agricultural, which most in the NTC and Liberty Township area are proposing. Several in the NTC have created additional districts due to industrial commercial and lake development, to better meet their needs.
I talked to a supervisor from Dingmans Twp. (Pike County) a few years ago. He was instrumental in writing their first zoning ordinance many years ago. There were many ready to lynch him at that time; nothing much had changed in the township in a hundred years. A few years later, when many from the NYC area had started moving in, those same people were upset that the ordinance wasn’t stricter.
We know there is going to be a high speed rail line – NYC to Scranton, and there is a good possibility of an extension to Binghamton with a stop in New Milford. Tell me that will not affect the NTC and Liberty Twp. Do you want to make decisions on the future of our area, or would you rather wait and let people from the NYC area make those decisions? Predictions of the future are most always wrong except for one; there will be change.
Ordinances enacted after a proposed development is submitted would not affect that proposal; however, if reasonable and legal would affect future proposals. Such after-the-fact ordinance would simply be thrown out by the first court it arrived in. Waiting until something comes up is waiting too long.
The NTC started in 2001 with five municipalities and quickly grew to twelve, covering the northwest quarter of the county. That’s 41 elected officials, and why would they want more work and meetings? Through talking to many others across the state, they were aware of many problems coming our way, and how unprepared we were to meet them. The main thrust has been land use planning, but this has led to many after-meeting conversations, leading to exchange of ideas, joint road projects and use of equipment, joint purchases, etc. In those seven years there have been at least ten meetings per year, and several special meetings; that’s over 70 meetings, all advertised and open to the public. Does all this mean they have come up with zoning ordinances that will make for a perfect future? Of course not. There are many state laws and court decisions limiting what can be done at the local level, but this can be a major step forward in taking control of our future.
We, the people of Susquehanna County, were honored to have the only memorial built in any of the Welcome Centers in Pennsylvania. It was built with donations and most of the money coming from Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. They did the planning and the site work.
It is a memorial built to honor the 109th Infantry Division for its many, many years of service, as well as to honor the eight local soldiers killed in Iraq.
I am embarrassed by the lack of respect and interest taken by the local military company and other service organizations to continue the memorial in memory of these men. I guess that three memorials are enough to go to.
PennDOT has stepped up to the plate and has maintained this site, and we choose to ignore it.
Everybody wanted the credit for having it built, but now, who cares? I feel like Don Quixote, alone and fighting windmills.
New Milford, PA
Stop The Bleeding
Several people (including yours truly) have red faces today. The recent announcement regarding the value of milk used for manufacturing dairy products took a drop in the month of April (except Class IV). It was anticipated that April’s prices would at least stay even with March and could even increase some.
With dairy farmers’ continuing to watch their input costs escalate, the last thing dairy farmers need is a decline in milk prices. In April, the value of milk used for ice cream, etc., declined to $15.29 per cwt. In March, it was $16.63. The big one (!), milk used for cheese, went down to $16.76, from March’s $18.00. The value of Class IV milk increased some from the ridiculous March price of $14.14 up to $14.56.
This also means that the advance price for April’s produced milk will be $14.56 per cwt (paid around May 25). With April’s Class I price previously announced at $21.86, this will compensate for some of the lower value of manufactured milk.
Can’t something be done? Of course there can! It would be up to Congress. They could peg the value of Class I milk at January’s value of $24.22. This could be done for several months.
Congress could also place a floor price under manufactured milk of $20.00 per cwt for a period of time.
Finally, another thing that could be done would be to peg the basic formula price at $20.00 per cwt. This would return a Class I price at $23.25 in Boston, but, under this scenario, the value of manufactured milk would continue to drag along at a cheap value.
Why do farmers have to take a back seat?
We are certainly aware that most people are suffering from the energy costs. However, bus drivers, many truckers, airlines, etc. are applying surcharges for their services. While this is going on, our dairy farmers continue to witness a severe enlargement in their cost spread, compared to their income.
And farmers do feed the country!
All dairy farmers should contact their US Representatives and US Senators and demand that some positive action be taken to combat the dairy farmers’ dilemma.
“Milk Income Loss Contract” (MILC) payments are not the answer!
It is now or never!
Pro Ag can be reached at (570) 833–5776 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manager, Pro Ag
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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