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Issue Home September 10, 2008 Site Home

Montrose To Lend Its Police
Great Bend Township Continues Road Work
PSP File Criminal Homicide Charges
Courthouse Report
Rail-Trail’s Attorney Contacts FC Council
Lanesboro Council Meeting Minutes
Starrucca Borough Meeting Minutes
Great Bend Wants To Look Better

Montrose To Lend Its Police
By Melinda Darrow

At the September 2 meeting of the Montrose Borough Council, a decision was made which might greatly effect New Milford Borough.  In an executive session near the meeting's end, council approved  a three-month trial police protection agreement with New Milford, lending their police force to help monitor the other town for 15 hours a week.  The agreement, it was stated, would not be in effect, however, until New Milford approved it also. 

The borough will, it is hoped, be soon getting a bit of extra publicity.  A representative from the Montrose Restoration Committee attended the meeting to ask that money be released so that the MRC can pay to place brochures (previously made with similar money) in four highway rest areas.  She also presented drawings for the streetscape project, which required the council president's signature.   

Montrose is facing a problem common to municipalities at this time, scrambling for salt.  American Salt, from whom the borough had purchased its salt since 2004, is now reserving this suddenly precious commodity for larger buyers, having informed Montrose they could give them none this year.  The cheapest salt price the borough could find, when looking for another source, was Bradco Supply, at $85/ton.  This will be a price increase from last year, which was $46.87/ton.  It was stated at the meeting that part of the salt deficiency stems from the number of storms occurring in the west, causing the supply normally used in this area to be diverted.  Montrose committed to purchasing 100 ton, and were guaranteed 60 ton by the company.   

The gas company water situation was broached again, though no real update could be made.  The spot which the borough would lease was approved, to which water could be pumped, allowing the gas company trucks to not drive through the borough to reach the lake.  The borough is waiting, however,  for the company or the county to contact it before moving further on it. 

This discussion led to one regarding the waste water produced by gas drilling, and what is done with it.  Council president Joel Maxey spoke of trying to convert the sewage plant to an industrial waste plant, were the companies willing to assist in the renovation.  He expressed an opinion that somebody was going to make money on the process, and Montrose might as well be the ones to do it. 

Mr. Maxey, however, may not be involved in council decisions in the future.  After the executive session, he read a letter announcing his resignation, due to his plan of moving out of the borough in the near future.  He thanked the council-members and the borough secretary, stating that they would be missed and jokingly requesting that someone tape the street department foreman's reports for his later perusal.  After some discussion, however, the other council members declined to accept the resignation, tabling it until the next meeting, after which the sale of the home ought to have become final.  If all goes according to plan, at that point, then, the council will accept it with stated regret. 

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Great Bend Township Continues Road Work
By Barbara Whitehead

The Great Bend Township Supervisors met on Tuesday, September 2 and took care of business in short order.

One price quote for salt had been received at the last meeting, and was tabled for further action until additional prices could be obtained. As none could, a motion carried to accept the quote form Cargill, at $54.50/ton.

Roadmaster Walt Galloway gave a rundown of work finished during the last month. Parks Valley, Penney Hill, Downs and Locust have been completed, and some minor work remained on Tarzen Road. Next on the list are Colwell, Highland, Brent, and Grant Street.

Permits issued included UCC permits to William Gilbo, Dawn Mervine, Leland Weed, Stateline Evangelical Wesleyan Church and Robert LaPatta. The township also received a land use questionnaire from JEB’s PA Bluestone Quarry, LLC, pertaining to a property on Baptist Hill Road.

A property on Harmony Road with an out of the ordinary sewage system had changed hands. The supervisors approved an on-lot sewage management agreement for the property, which COG will administer. The agreement outlines that the system requires regular maintenance and testing.

Correspondence included the Great Bend Hose Co.’s 2007 Cash Flow Report, notice that the county Flood Mitigation Strategy and STAPLE/E paperwork has been completed, and a Flood Risk Evaluation Report from FEMA, a survey on the creeks in the township that has to be filled out, listing which need attention and which do not.

Public comment consisted of two questions, the first regarding brush cutting, which will be done when the road work has been completed, and second, whether or not a permit is required for a storage shed. The supervisors advised that COG should be called for more information, as there are some that require assessment permits and some that do not.

The next meeting will be on Monday, October 6, 7 p.m. in the township building.

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PSP File Criminal Homicide Charges

On September 2, Pennsylvania State Police at Gibson served a Criminal Homicide warrant on Gustavo Xavier, 37, of Uruguay at Community Medical Center, Scranton. Additionally, Xavier faces Aggravated Assault charges for the beating death of Lisa Parlanti, 37, Birney Avenue, Moosic.

Xavier is accused of having a verbal altercation with the victim on August 30 in Franklin Twp., Susquehanna County. The initial verbal altercation became physical in that Xavier repeatedly struck the victim with a metal post, ultimately causing her death.

Xavier was arraigned before District Judge Thomas Golden, Dunmore, Lackawanna County. He was then transported back to Susquehanna County to be arraigned before District Jude Jeffrey Hollister, Montrose. Xavier was remanded to the Susquehanna County Prison without bail.

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Courthouse Report
Compiled By Lauren P. Ficarro


Harold V., Jr. and Carolyn J. Hartley to Carol L. Hartley and William J. Maitland, Jr., in Lenox Township for one dollar.

Mildred Graham to Jack Floyd Dymond, in Susquehanna for one dollar.

Mildred Graham to Jack Floyd Dymond, in Dimock Township for one dollar.

Nicholas (AKA) Nick and Libby Maletich to Alexis Eckert, in Herrick Township for one dollar.

Joyce Siracuse to Leigh A. and Tyler J. Claus, in Montrose for $96,000.00.

Horace E. Baldwin (Trust By Trustee) to Horace E. Baldwin (Trust), in Rush Township for one dollar.

Michael E. and Alayne D. Kipar to Brandy S. Knight, in Rush Township for $61,697.40

Bruce F., Sr. and Sherry L. Taylor to Bruce F. Taylor, Sr., in Harmony Township for one dollar.

Kenneth D. and Jackie L. Hoffman to Scott and Mary Kozar, in Ararat Township for $227,000.00.

Carlton D. and Enid L. Ball to Carlton D. and Enid L. Ball, in Springville Township for one dollar.

Janet E. Mensch (By POA) to Lance H. Zeyher, in Auburn Township for one dollar.

Fred H. Williams to Robert L. and Dawn M. Gaffey, in Thompson Township for one dollar.

Fred H. Williams to Fred H., Robert R. and Robin Williams, in Thompson Township for one dollar.

Mitchell Leon Friar to Martin J. and Beatrice Quinn, in Brooklyn Township for $90,000.00.

Richard S. and Janice L. Spering to Arvin F. and Roselyn P. Hibbard, in Dimock Township for $14,000.00.

Carla R. Spering (NBM) Carla R. Spering-Hanson and Jon Hanson to Arvin F. and Roselyn P. Hibbard, in Dimock Township for $81,500.00.

Daniel A. and Lynne B. Graham to Daniel A. and Lynne B. Graham, in Jessup Township for one dollar.

Jacqueline (AKA) Jackie Vonschlegel to Fred F. Mittmann, in Montrose for one dollar.

Fred F. Mittmann (By Atty) to Daniel Canfield and Jean A. Swine, in Montrose for $200,000.00.

Linda J. Schlick to Linda J. Schlick (Trust), in Rush Township for one dollar.

Peter R. Niven to Ronald C. and Carol L. Dubas, in Oakland Township for $125,000.00.

Philip G. Wilmot to Jason M. and Christine L. Henke, in Gibson Township for $62,000.00.

Fannie Mae (AKA) Federal National Mortgage to George Stevens, Rebecca D. Jesse and Diane Marshman, in New Milford Township for $61,500.00.

Byrd Pressley and Patricia C. Caprio to Byrd Pressley and Patricia Caprio, in Forest City for one dollar.

Robert E. Jr. and Beverly B. (By Atty) Lee to Great Bend Limited Partnership, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Theodore K. and Amanda C. Russell to Theodore K. and Lennas L. Russell, in Dimock Township for one dollar.

Jack L. Bishop, Sr. and Lisa M. Yachymiak to Jack L. Bishop, Sr., in Dimock Township for one dollar.

Gerald P. Gerstel to Guy E. Gerstel, in Forest City for one dollar.

Mae Cheslock Wright to Sandra I. Post and Kathy Vanaman, in Thompson Township.

Rodney D. and Nancy J. Stone to Rodney D. and Nancy J. Stone, in Choconut Township for one dollar.

Samuel J., Donna M. and Samuel P. (Estate) Cosmello to Stanley L. Gontarski, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Jeffrey T. (TADBA) and Colleen R. Haberle to Douglas L. Haberle, in Liberty Township for one dollar.

Avner and Theresa Cohen to Theresa Cohen (Rev Trust), in Herrick Township for one dollar.

John M. (By Atty) and Doris R. Singlevich to Doris R. Singlevich, in Herrick Township for one dollar.

Raymond L. and Wanda S. Osterhout to Pamela Pompeo, in Great Bend Township for $160,080.00.

Jerry P. Georgopoulos to Dawn E. Georgopoulos, in Jackson Township for $10.00.

Ed I. and Eleanor M. Conroy to Ed I. Conroy, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.

Samuel P. (Estate), Dominick George (Estate AKA) Dominick G., Samuel J. and Donna M. Cosmello to Gregory Neil Powers, in New Milford Township for $30,000.00.

George F. and Maybelle Golis to George F. and Maybelle Golis, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Henry J. (By POA) and Ann M. (By POA) Bennett to Vicki Cate, in Herrick Township for $200.00.

Paul A. and Pamela E. Kelly to Paul A., Pamela E., John M., Laurence M. and Judith E. Kelly and James and Kathleen Kelly Curtin, in Herrick Township for one dollar.


Robert L. Tompkins and Deborah Lee Anderson, both of Binghamton, NY.


Matthew S. Shager of South Gibson vs. Colleen E. Shager of Lawtonead, PA, married 2003.

Tammy A. Walker-Hanrahan of Brackney vs. Christopher M. Hanrahan of Endicott, NY, married 2000.

Mary Hubal-Avery (AKA) Mary Hubal of Thompson vs. Philip M. Avery of Blue Ridge, GA, married 2005.

Amy B. Legg vs. Todd M. Legg, both of Montrose, married 1995.

Marie A. Spencer (AKA) Marie A. Williams of Hallstead vs. Carl J. Spencer of Binghamton, NY, married 1994.

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Rail-Trail’s Attorney Contacts FC Council
By Stephanie Everett

Four days after last month’s discussion between Lynn M. Conrad of the Rail-Trail Council and the Forest City Borough Council, borough solicitor Paul Smith received a letter from Rail-Trail attorney David J. Gromelski. At its September 3 meeting, borough council reviewed this letter. Gromelski expressed the need to bring the borough’s storm water pipe down to ground level in order to prevent blow-outs of the trail. According to Gromelski, “This problem has been discussed numerous times with borough council, with no resolution in sight,” adding that Rail-Trail will take legal action if necessary.

In response to the letter, Solicitor Smith pointed out that at last month’s meeting, a motion had been passed to arrange a meeting between Rail-Trail’s engineer and the borough engineer in order to arrive at a solution. Evidently, no such meeting has yet occurred. Smith suggested that Gromelski may not have known about the meeting at the time he wrote the letter.

Mayor Cost wishes to remind Forest City residents that ATVs are illegal to drive on borough roads. Individuals in violation may be fined, or the ATV may be impounded.

Cost also announced that the “Welcome to Forest City” signs will be replaced. Four new signs will be installed – one at each entrance to town.

Council accepted the advertised burn ordinance, which regulates outdoor burning in town.

Solicitor Smith announced that No Parking signs will be placed along Commerce Boulevard.

Presently, Forest City is advertising a full-time, temporary Public Works position.

Some Forest City residents are unhappy with the condition of their sidewalks. One man stated that backing out of his driveway is like running over a curb, and another resident stated that her sidewalk is so hilly that it presents a safety hazard. Council will look into the matter.

If Forest City’s new neighborhood watch program goes into effect, council will provide $100 for neighborhood watch signs.

Thinking of springtime, Mrs. Mihelc requested permission to re-contact Geese Police regarding wild geese invading Kennedy Park. Mihelc explained that it is necessary to register with the company in advance. Council agreed to an inquiry.

John Mroczka has been hired as a new Forest City police officer. Also concerning law enforcement, the new police contract passed, following an acceptance by the majority of council.

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Lanesboro Council Meeting Minutes

Following are the July meeting minutes of the Lanesboro Borough Council, as submitted.

Call to order: on July 29, 2008.

Roll Call: Dan Boughton, Regina Dilello, Bob Mireider, Dale Rockwell, Stan Rockwell, Colleen Wilkes. Also present – Secretary/Treasurer Gail Hanrahan, Mayor Chris Maby. Absent – George Houghton.

Action on minutes of previous meeting: Motion to approve as presented, unanimous, so carried.

Correspondence and Resolutions: Letter from PA DCED denying request for more funds, but extending contract for Mountain Road (DCED contract C000029283).

Two certified letters dated April 7, from BS Quarries regarding applications for DEP permits. First letter is for a blasting schedule/notification, second letter is for removal and sale of stone.

Letter from DR Mitchell Permit and Licensing Services regarding DEP application for a small noncoal mining permit in Lanesboro, believed to be Kaiser’s sand pit.

Letter dated May 26 from PennDOT District 4-0 regarding a Mountain Rd. field visit with someone from Lanesboro (does not mention who). Letter states, “Although currently a little rough riding on the field viewed today, the large aggregate will benefit this roadway greatly by adding much needed base structure.” It also suggests improvements at the Depot/Mountain intersection by shifting the intersection into the field, and states that PennDOT “would like to look at the condition of the existing pavement more thoroughly and possibly offer a less costly alternative to conventional paving.” A typical section of portions of Viaduct Street, showing a realignment done years ago when the road was next to the Landry Driveway, is also included with the letter.

Letter dated April 4 from Wascavage Permitting regarding a DEP questionnaire for a permit to conduct a small noncoal mine operation. Area shown on map is near the Lanesboro/Harmony Township boundary on Germantown Road.

Letter dated June 12 from the Susquehanna County EMA office announcing a Public Assistance Seminar for County and Local Applicants on July 30. Two sessions will be held – 10:00 a.m. to noon, and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Letter dated June 11 from COG, regarding sewage planning prior to subdivision approval.

Permit paperwork from Codes Inspections, Inc. for Brad Mead residence on 91 Side Ave. Estimated construction cost is $30,000.

Letter dated June 2 from Eastern Industries, updating surcharges for “unprecedented increases in asphalt cement and fuels,” with costs ranging from $11 to 13 per ton.

Email from SCHRA updating funding availability for the sidewalk projects – our North Main/Viaduct St project is not eligible for the Safe Routes to School funding, and if it were, “there is only 12 million statewide.” The TEP funds usually used on projects like ours “will probably not be available until 2010.”

· Letter dated May 16 from the Susquehanna County 911 Center. Letter requests to “please make sure that all of the roads in your municipality are posted with the correct road name.” There is also a national mandate that all road signs be brought to current standards by 2010 (reflective backgrounds) in order to continue receiving liquid fuels funds. The cost is approximately $75 to $100/sign. New Street Name and Stop signs are needed at Germantown Road, Depot @ North Main, Tannery (both ends), Grove St, Depot @ Viaduct, Jefferson St, Side Ave, Barnes Ave, Grand St, and Convent St. The Stop sign at the Main St./171 intersection were replaced with the sidewalk construction and compliant, but a new street sign needs to be installed. Speed limit signs are needed throughout Lanesboro, located just beyond each intersection, in all directions, plus spaced every 0.5 miles elsewhere (roughly 30). The approximate cost to purchase and install the signs is $5,500. Liquid fuels money can be used for this. After discussion, motion to have Myron develop a bid package for purchase and installation of signs. Bid package to be reviewed in September, and then advertised for opening at the October meeting. Colleen will coordinate with Myron on this matter. Unanimous, so carried.

Letter dated May 1 from the Susquehanna County Conservation District informing Lanesboro that we are not eligible to receive grant funding (over $110,000 available through the conservation district), because at least one municipal or employee must be certified through a two-day course, and we have none. The letter continues on and lists a website where you can learn more information. After discussion, no action was taken.

Received phone call from Susquehanna County EMA Office – the Notification and Resource Manual must be updated (last updated in June, 2005, must be updated every two years). Maby will update with council’s approval. After discussion, council approved Maby updating the manual.

Code Enforcement: Maby received a complaint from Lesko’s regarding loud music extremely late at night and burning of trash in yard by residents living in Potter property on the corner. Police did a follow-up meeting – the situation has since been resolved.

Community Center $550 in rentals for month.

Mayor’s Report: Multiple requests for 4th of July firework authorizations, all of which were signed. Some permits also may have been signed by council members as well (this is legal in PA). The police then received numerous complaints about others launching fireworks, not only on the 4th of July, but on the following weekends as well. Since they had no idea who had permits and who didn’t, they could not enforce anything. Maby would like to revise the Lanesboro policy and have all permits for fireworks authorized only by the police in the future. If council is agreeable to this, the revision must be made and approved by a motion. Doing this would eliminate confusion over who has permits, who doesn’t, and allow the police to monitor the situation more closely, especially on non-holiday weekends. After discussion, motion to have Myron develop an ordinance. Only police shall write the permits, which will be available for nationally recognized holidays only (with approved variances). Fireworks to be used between 8:00 p.m. to midnight only. Permit shall be for a one-time use only. Unanimous, so carried. Dale to coordinate with Myron on this matter.

Police Department would like to attend the funeral for the officer in Port Dickinson – council unanimously approved.

Discussed possibility of submitting a bid to Susquehanna regarding their police bike. Money to purchase it could come from a police item that is under budget. After a brief discussion, council consensus is to pass on making a bid, as the only time the bike would probably be used was during Halloween.

Announced that a grant application in the amount of $18,000 +/- for the soccer field was approved. Items listed in the grant included curbing and sidewalk, completing the remainder of the perimeter fencing, grandstands, leveling the field, and lighting. Given the skyrocketing costs, it is likely that some of these will not be able to be installed. Maby is going to research donations, free labor, etc. to try and keep costs down. Will provide update at next meeting.

No bids were received for the police car on Maby would like to re-advertise, with a lower opening bid ($1,500 was the base bid). After discussion, council approved reposting, with a $750 base bid, with follow-up at the September meeting.

Was informed by Gary Wilder that there is an issue with the 911 mapping addresses. All of Turnpike Terrace has been reassigned to the 2nd Ward of Susquehanna. Maby provided information to Myron Dewitt for processing.

Reminded solicitor via email (cc’d council on the same) that an ordinance needs to be developed regarding the use of older buildings for storefronts and the associated ADA issues. Lanesboro needs this ordinance to be compliant with L&I rules. This will be an issue in next year’s L&I audit if an ordinance is not developed.

Unfinished business: Police coverage in Great Bend – possibility of tabling until further notice at such time that gas prices stabilize. Concerns about misquotes in newspaper and having to defend the police in another town. Any decision should be made by motion and vote. After discussion, motion to table this discussion indefinitely. Secretary to write a letter explaining this to Great Bend, thanking them and telling them Lanesboro may be willing to revisit this in the future when gas prices are not as volatile.

Floor plan of municipal offices and post office in Community Center: Two plans will be presented by Jason Fissel as a follow-up to the 7/15 meeting he had with council – all were invited but some did not attend. One layout will depict the offices and post office fronting on Main St, with the Community Center in the rear of the building. A second plan, reversing this, will also be shown, incorporating a possible layout put together by Mireider. Pros, cons, and a rough idea of doors, changes, etc. for each will be discussed. Also to be discussed is hiring someone to construct. After discussion, the layout with the community center in the rear of the building and the Post Office and municipal offices in the front of the building was chosen. Jason Fissel will be hired as a seasonal employee to construct the offices. He will provide a list of materials needed, which Lanesboro will purchase. Quotes will be secured by Bob from the Home Center, Erie Building Materials through Todd Glover, and Colwell Electric. Electric heat will be used in the Post Office to keep costs down, and to match what they have in their current office.

Vote on ordinance authorizing borrowing of $50,000 to pay for Mountain Road improvements: Ordinance has been advertised and is ready for adoption. After discussion, motion to authorize George Houghton or another council member in George’s absence to sign the paperwork. Unanimous, so carried.

Possible cul-de-sac on Jail Hill: ROW would need to be purchased, and cul-de-sac needs a minimum 50’ diameter for vehicles to turn around, per standard guidelines. After discussion, motion to hire a surveyor to stake out the existing right-of-way. An on-site meeting will follow this to determine available options so that a cost-effective decision can be made. Dale to coordinate effort of finding surveyor – Southern Tier Surveying and Joe Kempa among others to be contacted. If cost is less than $1200, Dale is authorized to make the agreement, otherwise to be discussed at the September meeting. Unanimous, so carried.

Jefferson St. completion: Todd Schmidt of BS Quarries attended and provided an update. BS is planning to finish the work but needs some assistance with the railroad. The issues that need to be resolved are the removal of the abandoned tracks, and adjusting the grade approaching the active lines. Todd feels it is important to have someone from the railroad on site while this work is being done to make sure there aren’t any problems. After discussion, Stan will contact Dick Hensel at the railroad about the matter. Maby asked Schmidt if the work will be done this year – he replied they would mobilize as soon as they could when they heard back from the railroad. Council had no further questions for Todd.

Mountain Road project: Engineer sent a letter to council providing a punch list of work done compared to what was in the plans for the base bid to review. The work completed to date is incomplete. Major items include the knob at the Mountain Rd./Depot intersection has yet to be removed, and the sidewalk on Main St. is not as wide as it should be. Engineer estimated (via email) that approximately 70% of the work to be done is complete. After discussion, council authorized Dale to contact Myron about putting a letter together about remainder of work to be done. In lieu of removing sidewalk on Main St. and reconstructing to the 5’ width indicated on the plans, the money should be used on Mountain Road. Mountain Road should be paved 100’ from the intersection, and the scrub growth in the western (Kilgore side) ditch cleaned out, along with removing the knob between the roads. Maby provided Dale an extra copy of the bid plans for Myron to use. Dale to coordinate effort between Myron and the engineer, with work to be completed this fall. Gail confirmed that no bill has yet to be sent to Lanesboro. When it arrives, it will be held, and contractor will not be paid until work is complete.

New business: Hole on Barnes Ave. – a hole has opened in the pavement in Barnes Ave., above the drainage pipe that crosses underneath it. The bottom of the pipe has rotted away, and the stream (when running) is pulling material downward from around the pipe. After discussion, council approved having Dan fill it with stone, and monitor for the remainder of the year. Maby to develop an estimate to make permanent repairs to it including replacing the pipe. This estimate will be used in assembling next year’s budget, unless the problem has to be addressed beforehand.

Dick Consla has converted his two-family apartment into a single unit, and would like to have the billing changed. Council tentatively approved, with Shane needing to verify the change. Maby to contact Shane about scheduling a visit and letting Gail know that it is acceptable to change the billing.

A representative from the Chesapeake gas company is willing to speak at an informational meeting in Lanesboro. Colleen to coordinate – this meeting will not be held during a council meeting.

Possible relocation of “Welcome to Lanesboro” sign and the cannon to area under the viaduct at the intersection of Main and 171. Second option is on Main St. on the former Welch property. Tabled until next meeting.

Visitors: Dennis Martel informed council of upcoming public hearing regarding BS Quarries on August 7. Provided flyer, and asked if council would post. Council agreed to put in the bulletin board. Wanted to know if slides and pictures could be presented at the public hearing. Council stated that they have no equipment and have projected on the wall in the past. Regina noted that DEP had contacted her regarding the occupancy size of the center. Provided a copy of geological resources to Stan. Also asked if minutes could be put in the Transcript.

Roland Salomon stated he has a relative who is a geologist experienced with issues such as the rock bank overburden on Viaduct St., and is very concerned about the steepness of the bank and possible slides. He feels council has a responsibility to ask for remediation. Council noted the site is reviewed by state regulatory agencies who monitor issues such as these.

Other visitors included Robin Hobbs, Will Potter, Justine Ord, Fran Arthur (and daughter), Deb Dilello (and friend), Herman Moffit, Tim Tompkins, and Wayne Arthur (and wife). Questions posed by Deb Dilello were included in the discussions of Barnes Ave. Questions by the Athurs and Ords were addressed in the discussion of Mountain Road.

Adjournment: motion to adjourn, pending a brief executive session to determine a salary for Jason Fissel. All in room were asked to leave except council and Fissel.

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Starrucca Borough Meeting Minutes

Following are the Starrucca Borough Council meeting minutes from August, 2008 as submitted.

The Starrucca Borough Council met for their regular monthly meeting on August 6 at the Community Hall in Starrucca. President (Kirk) Rhone, Mr. Arthur Kopp, Mr. Donald Haynes, Mr. Fred Rhone, Mr. Anthony Palonis, Mrs. Barbara Glover and Mayor (MaryAnn) DeBalko were present. (Mr. Robert Buck was on vacation.)

President Rhone opened the meeting and called for an executive session to discuss legal matters.

The meeting was re-opened and the minutes from the previous meeting were read. Motion carried to approve.

The Treasurer’s report was given and motion carried to approve.

The bills were presented for payment. Motion carried to approve payment.

The following Correspondence was received:

A notice of a price increase from Adams Cable.

A new regional manager has been selected at B.I.U. (Building Inspection Underwriters).

Blooming Grove Sand & Gravel is in the process of having their red-ash anti-skid State approved.

New surveys may be needed for CDBG grants. Secretary will contact Wayne County Redevelopment Authority.

A letter from Honesdale EMS was read. (No action taken).

In Borough Reports:

Mr. Rhone stated that he, Mr. (Donald) Haynes, and Mr. Kopp met to “ventilate” the Hall and plan to cut a hole in the floor in the near future. He also spoke on behalf of the Road Committee, stating that they got together recently to patch potholes. He thanked Mr. Palonis and Mr. (Kirk) Rhone for the use of the equipment, Mr. Kopp and all those who helped.

Mr. (Darl) Haynes on behalf of the Depositions Committee reported that they had met with the Borough Solicitor, Gerry Moran and Edwin Tyler from the Auditor General’s office and turned over more than 200 pages of documents.

He added that the deposition of Jack Downton took place on July 25. During Mr. Downtown’s 2007 tenure as mayor, and a member of the Depositions Committee, he met with the Auditor General’s office, at his home for approximately two hours, according to his own testimony, concerning the $5,000.00 transfer, the $11,000.00 PEMA/ FEMA monies, and the $70,000.00 loan. He never reported the same to council or the borough’s solicitor.

Mr. Haynes stated a fact-finding report would soon be submitted. He also asked that anyone having documents that can be turned over to the Auditor General’s office to help clear up borough matters to please make them available.

The secretary then read a copy of a letter from the borough’s solicitor addressed to Mr. Gerald Moran (Auditor General’s office).

It read in part that Starrucca Borough Council intends and is committed to cooperating with agency investigations regarding all matters in Starrucca Borough so that the controversies can finally come to an end and the borough council can go about its business of running the borough. It further states: “As I expressed to you at our meeting on July 11, 2008, as well as on a prior occasion, I am concerned that your investigation is a one-sided attempt directed against specific members of borough council. It is extremely unfortunate that the general public does not have the confidence in you and your office in investigating a matter as serious as has been brought to your attention by the Deposition Committee. It is very disconcerting to us to find out that immediately after our meeting with you and Mr. Tyler on July 11, I understand that you and Mr. Tyler drove up to Starrucca Borough and met with Paul and Loreda Everett in the early afternoon, along with Pat Schneyer. I also note with disappointment that you summarily went over our letter and the documentation submitted to you on July 11, and showed little, if no interest in the very important points that we were bringing to your attention on that date.

“Frankly, Mr. Moran, I question your ability to be objective in this investigation and to treat the members of Starrucca Borough Council fairly, which is your duty. I am asking that your office assign another investigator to this case as soon as possible and to arrange a meeting with myself and the Deposition Committee members to move this matter along. Please understand that this request is likely to your own benefit, since your investigation is likely tainted through your actions to date.”

Mr. Kopp added that the Depositions Committee bent over backwards to supply the Auditor General's office with the needed information for their investigation.

Motion carried to have Paul Everett subpoenaed on various borough issues and have the borough’s solicitor ask the questions. Mrs. Glover was opposed.

Mayor DeBalko presented a pamphlet from the D.C.E.D. offering a class (Lackawanna County) on gas drilling affects on the borough. She stated that she would like to attend on August 21. Motion carried to authorize the class fee of $25.00 be paid on her behalf and that of any other official wishing to attend.

Mrs. Glover questioned the anonymous donations the borough received. After a discussion, it was decided that the secretary would contact the attorney for an answer.

In Unfinished Business:

A note from Ruth Mroczka was read, stating that she will serve as chairman of the Wind Turbine Committee. Motion carried to support that appointment motion.

Motion carried to appoint Dave Soden to the Wind Turbine Committee.

Mrs. Glover stated she was unsure of her service on the committee, but will let the council know.

Mr. Kopp asked if anyone took notice of a recent article in the Weekly Almanac where Mr. Louis Welch reported problems with his windmill. There was a brief discussion.

In New Business:

The secretary reported to council the problems she was having recovering the building permit fee of $61.50 from Starrucca Borough Auditor Paul D’Agati. Motion carried to give Mr. D’Agati until August 15 to pay the fee, if not, to take the issue to the District Magistrate. Mrs. Glover stated that someone ought to go talk to him, and offered to do this on the council’s behalf. She also stated that the building permits used to be listed on the agenda.

Motion carried to subpoena Loreda Everett on various borough issues and to further have the borough’s solicitor ask the questions. Mrs. Glover was opposed.

In Public Participation:

Mr. Frank Buck wanted to thank all those involved in the opening of Buck’s Road Bridge. He stated there was a great turnout of about 60 people. He also said it was a nice joint effort. Mrs. (Diana) Hurlburt added it was very nice of the officials (Senator Lisa Baker, Representative Sandra Major, Wayne County Commissioners Tony Herzog, Wendell Kay and Brian Smith, as well as Wayne County Treasurer Brian Fields, and Chief Clerk Vicki Lamberton, Chris Goetz and Scott Macieack from PennDOT, Mike Riley from ProCon, and Boy Scout Leader Don Walker and many members of council) who took time out of their busy schedules to attend.

Dave Soden spoke of the research he’s done concerning windmills, working with Wayne County Planning Commission’s Ed Coar. He stated many of these ordinances are written and used as a tool to keep things out. He told everyone Starrucca Borough needs to have a positive approach, as revenues for the borough could be gained from such a venture. Mayor DeBalko pointed out that Waymart’s wind farm has guided tours and the Florida company has worked closely with the landowners to address their issues.

Mrs. Glover stated that she and her husband have seen a lot of windmills in their travels and she is in favor of tapping into the natural resources available.

No further business to come before the board, motion carried to adjourn.

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Great Bend Wants To Look Better
By Ted Brewster

The Great Bend Borough Council expends a lot of effort trying to keep their little town presentable. Each time they meet, the list of code enforcement items seems to get longer. It was no different on the evening of September 4, when there were no fewer than nine properties with issues of concern on the list; and another was added, a vacant residence on Church Street that, according to Codes Enforcement Officer and Council Member Bret Jennings, you "can smell from the road." Some of the older ones were struck off as improvements are made. There is still one, however, that is proving to be a conundrum.

The owners of the property are thought to live in New York State. The Borough tried to have a letter served by a constable, but without jurisdiction in New York, the owners would have to be caught in town in order to deliver the message demanding cleanup. So far, they have refused to take delivery of certified letters at the post office in Great Bend, where they have a box. What to do?

Council member Jerry MacConnell has been concerned for some time about the condition of sidewalks in town. Many of them were last laid down when the sewer was installed under a partial grant. Lawns and other growth along the walks threatens their longevity, according to Mr. MacConnell. The borough will task its part-time maintenance helper to take some edging tools to the problem as time permits.

Most recently, the Borough purchased some "nice tables" from Sam's Club for placement in its three parks. Within days, a couple of them in Greenwood Park were defaced by vandals. Borough employee Dick Button does his best to keep the parks closed and locked at night. In one case, however, a fire was started in a trash can in Greenwood Park that also burned one of the posts supporting a pavilion roof. In that incident the culprits where identified and caught by the State Police. As juveniles, they are being protected, but some Council members would like them prosecuted "to the fullest extent of the law" as an example, if nothing else.

That was a lucky appearance by the state troopers. Great Bend Borough has been negotiating with Lanesboro for months to hire that town's police officers to patrol in Great Bend. The Lanesboro council recently decided to put the idea on hold, citing the rising cost of fuel for its patrol car, which would have to make a 20-mile round trip to service Great Bend. Great Bend Council members would like to find out if the Montrose police would be willing to offer such a service, as has been rumored they are providing to New Milford.

Speaking of fuel, Council opened and accepted the only bid to supply the Borough building with propane for the coming year. Members decided on the "fluctuating" price option, which has a stated price of $2.40 per gallon, with a differential of 35 cents, meaning the price could move down or up by that amount over the term of the contract with Mirabito.

Council considered a proposal to lay new drainage pipe down Grant Street to Elizabeth in cooperation with Great Bend Township. Under the proposal, the Borough would purchase about 80 feet of pipe which the Township would install.

Council is still trying to decide if it wants to spend $2,000 for new signs at either end of town, in its continuing beautification program. For $646 each, local sign maker Rosenkrans would provide signs of 40 by 96 inches similar to the signs up the road in Kirkwood, NY. Poles and installation would be extra, bringing the cost in line with what Kirkwood is thought to have paid for theirs. Vandalism could also be expected, and would cost extra.

Vandalism or not, Mr. Button got his share of encomiums at the meeting for the wonderful condition of the parks, the town's pride and joy. One of those parks, recently known as Recreation Park, the one with the ball field, will be subsidized by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post number 6223. The current VFW commander (and former Council member), Ron Cranage, attended the meeting to ask that the park be renamed to "Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Park." He said that a dedication ceremony would be scheduled for Veterans’ Day in November. In return for renaming the park, the VFW would present the Borough with a check each April for its upkeep. Council gladly accepted the proposition.

If you want to help keep Great Bend in good shape, or for any other purpose, you can visit the Borough office at its new address, 81 Elizabeth Street, Great Bend, PA 18821. No, the building hasn't moved. The county-wide readdressing program finally arrived in Great Bend. You would come to the same address the first Thursday of each month, at 7:00 p.m., to keep tabs on your community and its leaders.

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