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Issue Home October 15, 2008 Site Home

Walkout At Commissioners’ Meeting
Elk Lake, Vo-Tech, & Energy
Courthouse Report
Montrose Seeking Salt Alternatives
Gibson Barracks Report
FC To Implement Recycling Pickup
Christmas Bureau Sign-Ups Open
Oakland Hears Reports
Great Bend Supers Hold Short Meeting
FSA Limits Increase

Walkout At Commissioners’ Meeting
By Carole M. Canfield

The October 8 Susquehanna County Commissioners’ meeting was attended by Commissioners Warren, Allen and Giangrieco, Treasurer Kathy Benedict, Chief Clerk Sylvia Beamer, approximately 10 audience members, representatives from Seneca Group, Hank Stiehl of Hay Group, Inc. and several reporters.

Although the Seneca Group information was presented during the Retirement Board Meeting, the news media requested a copy, or at least a press release regarding the information about the retirement monies quarterly report.

The Seneca Group handles monies from the county, regarding the retirement fund.

This meeting, however, a new approach was utilized by Seneca and the county commissioners.

The commissioners had previously asked Seneca to provide actual copies of investment, standings, etc., at their last quarterly meeting. The request was made so the commissioners could have a chance to review the documents and thus prepare any concerns or questions they may have.

Originally, Seneca representatives “read” most of the 15-17 page documents to the commissioners and audience, but most of the information, without the documents provided to the meeting, was almost impossible to understand.

The group also provided “canned press releases” to members of the media; however this one, half-page recap was not a true reflection of the entire 15-17 pages of information that Seneca and commissioners held.

However, at the October 8 meeting, the Seneca representative began to speak to the commissioners about the finances.

A member of the press requested if the usual press release was available for the media (so reporters could follow and see the financing and what the retirement funds are doing).

The representative of Seneca stated that the commissioners requested the information a week ahead of time. There was no mention of a press release. This leaves the responsibility of informing the news media, as well as taxpayers in the audience, to “our” commissioners.

The commissioners did not make any move to inform the media and those in attendance. They also did not answer why this practice was put in place.

At this point, several members of the media closed their books and walked toward the door. The majority of those in attendance also walked out of the meeting, with the media, showing their distaste for the way these violations of the Sunshine Law goes on consistently.

“This is just too much, we are not informed for a reason, and it continues to get worse, as the commissioners keep their public meetings extremely short and more often than not, they don’t answers or concerns from the audience, not wanting to ‘debate’ issues with the reporters, let alone the taxpayers,” stated a reporter after leaving the meeting. This information is a taxpayer’s right to know, it is their tax monies being used, and they are not provided with any information. In fact at the last meeting with Seneca, reporters were told that they could not have the documentation because, “You wouldn’t understand and may provide wrong information.” (Commissioner Michael Giangrieco.)

If the commissioners really wanted the people of the county to have a say in the governing of the county, they could easily provide information to the media, as done in previous years. It appears this is not the case here.

In other action, Charlene Moser was appointed Emergency Management Agency Coordinator, filling the seat left vacant when former coordinator Mark Wood resigned, approximately eight weeks prior. Moser covered the job responsibilities as well as her own administrative assistant duties for those eight weeks. Commissioners agreed that the effective date of the position would be August 14, 2008 to compensate Moser for those duties. The fulltime position holds a $33,798 salary. It is non-union, has a six month probationary period, has a minimum of 40 hours per week and benefits as per the County Policy Manual.

The reading of requests for training seminars raised a question from Al Aronowitz, regarding the $5,550.00 cost to the county. The 11-day training is for Stephen Janoski, the newly hired 911 tech. According to Commissioner Warren, Stephen needs to attend this conference to become more familiar with the 911 operations. The conference includes ECS-1000 and RescueSTAR Installation and Maintenance and is held at Lombard, IL. Commissioner Warren added, “Stephen is a really good, hard working person,” and has a large amount of education pertaining to this field, coming into the position.

Commissioner Michael Giangrieco stated that somewhere down the line, a possible project may be underway. This project could concern an extraction tax for the gas and oil companies throughout Susquehanna County. The impact that these heavy trucks have on county roads is overwhelming and there are other disadvantages to look into as well. There will also be a Susquehanna County Gas & Oil Exploration Task Force formed, again looking for impact on landowners, plus solutions and items that drilling, etc., may have on county residents. The committee to be formed for this will include landowners, business owners, and municipal officials, Giangrieco surmised.

Commissioners adopted Proclamation 2008-11 proclaiming October, 2008 as “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” in Susquehanna, as well as Proclamation 2008-12, proclaiming October 5-11, 2008 as “Fire Prevention Week” in Susquehanna County.

They also signed the maintenance agreement between the County 911 and Business Electronics, Inc, annual fee of $3,950 for the period of November 1, through October 31 for the voice recorder equipment in the 911 center.

Commissioners authorized the planned maintenance agreement between the county and Thompson Johnson Equipment Co., Inc, annual fee of $2,600 for the period January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009 for the Bobcat (used to load the bailer) the Komatsu (clamp truck used to move the bails) and the Toyota (Fork Truck) at the Recycling Center.

A purchase agreement between Susquehanna County and Eastern Copier for the purchase of a Konica 7033 in the Register and Recorder’s Office in the amount of $10,413.30, to be paid in three annual installments. Signed also was the maintenance agreement with Eastern Copier for the 7033 to be installed in the Register and Recorder’s Office, in the amount of $57.50 per month with the overages to be billed annually at 4.015 per copy starting at 69,001 copies.

Also approved was an agreement with Drug and Alcohol, Specific Service agreements between Susquehanna Drug and Alcohol Commission and the following for the term dates July 1, 2008 through July 1, 2009: Choices at Nesbitt and Libertae.

The resignation of Paul Johnson, dispatcher 911, was accepted with regret, effective October 18, 2008. Paul worked for 911 for a number of years.

Carol Ainey, Hop Bottom, was hired to a part-time temporary clerk position in the 911 center. Her duties will be mapping and readdressing. Ainey will receive $8.50 per hour, varied hours, no benefits and the position will end no later than December 31, 2008.

A motion by Commissioner Giangrieco to authorize the commissioners to sign an agreement with Community Bank to increase the credit limit on the county Visa card to $50,000 versus the previous $20,000. Kathy Benedict, treasurer, was also requested to sign the agreement. The motion passed.

This motion was met with some concern by Al Aronowitz, who asked who had access to the cards and what were the requirements and needs of said cards.

Commissioner Warren stated that the cards were primarily used for the out-of-town conferences and meetings. She said that she had one of the cards herself, and that Giangrieco and Allen refused their cards. Treasure Benedict reported that there are four cards at this time, three of which are in her office and one that Commissioner Warren carries.

The commissioners’ meeting is held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at 9 a.m. in the EMA Conference Room, in the County Office building.

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Elk Lake, Vo-Tech, & Energy
By Melinda Darrow

Elk Lake board members received appreciation and proffered entertainment at the October 7 school board meeting. A letter from the drama department was read, expressing its gratitude for the board's support, and offering each member two free tickets to A Pirate's Life for Me. The fall performance is scheduled for November 5 and 6.

Positive district news was given in the various administrator reports. Mrs. Staats, special education director, expressed her opinion that the Wednesday in-service schedule was a great thing. Elementary Principal, Mr. Pirrone, spoke of an anti-bullying assembly by a magician. The program, presented k-6, was said to have been a huge success. An anti-drug assembly is planned for the near future. Dr. Cuomo, the high school principal, spoke of the dual-enrollment program. Juniors and seniors have been met with to present the option.

The board was questioned regarding their

plans for a vo-tech expansion, specifically if they were still considering it. Mr. Tewkesbury, acting as board president for the evening, replied that they were in the talking phase. A public meeting would be held should the district move ahead with the plan, it was stated in response to a second query. The proposed construction might occur near the pavilion, at the back of the school. Mr. Tewkesbury gave his personal opinion that with the current economical situation there would be expanded need for a vo-tech program.

The energy education program has been progressing. Mrs. Guiton has been established in an office, and is slated to attend training in Georgia in the near future. Dr. Bush explained that the district would expect employees to abide by the new policies. He cited such relatively simple changes as closing classroom doors when the HVAC is operating, turning off various office machines when not in use, and turning off computers at night.

Two new staff were appointed at the meeting. Barb Lantz was hired as a one-year full-time cafeteria worker, and Suzanne Card as a full-time associate.

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We apologize for misinformation printed in last week’s issue, regarding the un-availability of Interfaith to help Susquehanna county families, this year. Upon speaking with Mrs. Brenda Loubet, Interfaith, we discovered that not only was that information incorrect, Interfaith is, in fact, helping more families this year than last year. The number of families expected to utilize Interfaith this year is 600.

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Courthouse Report
Compiled By Lauren P. Ficarro


James and Laurey Christian to Daniel K. and Cathleen A. Regan, in New Milford Township for $299,000.00.

Michael T. and Josephine A. Goskowski to Russell and Tammy Mancuso, in Clifford Township for $110,000.00.

Raymond A. and Barbara A. Schulz to James F. and Elizabeth M. Hotz, in Franklin Township for $20,000.00.

David F., Jr. (Estate AKA) David Franklin Lauer, Jr. (Estate) to David F., Sr. and Lorraine Lauer, in Springville Township for one dollar.

Bruce, Effie, Harold and Lori Vail to William J. Humber, in Bridgewater Township for $90,000.00.

Rita A., Rita A. (Rev Trust By Trustee) and Ronald W. (Rev Trust By Trustee) Powers to Mark Powers, in Middletown Township for one dollar.

Ronald W. (Trust By Trustee) and Rita A. (Trust By Trustee) Powers to Mark and Ronald Powers, in Rush Township for one dollar.

Ronald W. (Trust By Trustee) and Rita A. (Trust By Trustee) Powers to Mark and Ronald Powers, in Middletown Township for one dollar.

Ronald W. (Trust By Trustee) and Rita A. (Trust By Trustee) Powers to Mark and Ronald Powers, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.

Ronald W. (Trust By Trustee) and Rita A. (Trust By Trustee) Powers to Mark and Ronald Powers, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.

Ronald and Mark Powers to Andrea Welch, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.

Anthony and Mary Roma to Jonathan M. and Janice M. Reed, in Great Bend Township for $15,000.00.

Honesdale National Bank to Eric M. Cavage, in Forest City for $52,000.00.

James E. (Estate AKA) James E., Sr. (Estate) and Barbara A. Ruffin to Maryann Deakin, in Susquehanna for $9,500.00.

William W. Fiske (AKA) William W. Fisk and Evelyn H. Fisk (AKA) Evelyn H. Fiske to David Hobart, Jr., in Oakland Borough for $15,000.00.

Wendy Baker to Angela A. Orner, in Susquehanna for $79,500.00.

Melita Ella (Est AKA) Melita E. Sova to Jacob Sova, in Auburn Township for one dollar.

Jacob Sova to Jacob Sova, Sr. (Trust), in Auburn Township for one dollar.

Melita Ella (Est AKA) Melita E. Sova to Jacob Sova, in Auburn Township for one dollar.

Samuel Yankauskas to Frank and Elizabeth K. Yankauskas, in Forest City for one dollar.

Mary and Frank Gallo to Joseph Wasnowic, in Lenox Township for $90,000.00.

Marie K. Keesler to Arthur W. and Pamela R. Davis, in Forest Lake Township for $109,000.00.

Religious Science Church Of The Desert to Memorable Vacations LLC, in Herrick Township for $10.00.

Religious Science Church Of The Desert to Memorable Vacations LLC, in Herrick Township for $10.00.

O. Kenneth Schaffer to Carl A. and Carolyn R. Andreasen, in Choconut Township.

Robert A. and Roseann Fields to Scott A. and Alyssa A. Lonzinski, in Forest City for $224,900.00.

Jane D. Ellis to Joseph Michael and Kerrie Michelle Sodano, in Clifford Township for $242,500.00.

Laurence E., Barbara, Dennis M., Thomas B. and Diane Stone, Jean M. Prorock and Eric Glemser to Richard A. Stone, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.

Linda K. Vancott to William J. Vancott, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Eric D. and Tresha L. Bennett (NBM) Tresha L. Reynolds to Eric D. and Tresha L. Bennett, in Forest City for one dollar.

Randy J. and Rebecca J. Fekette to Rebecca J. Fekette, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Samuel J., Christina and Donna M. Cosmello to Mark Steinhoff, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Mark Steinhoff to Samuel J., Christina and Donna M. Cosmello, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Samuel J., Christina and Donna M. Cosmello to Mark Steinhoff, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Robert R. and Cynthia A. Jones (NBM) Cynthia A. Beebe to Terry, Jr. and Kristy Ralston, in Liberty Township for $134,000.00.

Catholic Parish of St. Joseph (By Trustee) to Michael W. Russell, in Choconut Township for $124,000.00.

Lisa J. and Kenneth H. Schmidt to Christopher and Cynthia Catalfamo, in Hop Bottom Borough for $40,000.00.

Arneta and Lewis Ferguson and Ruth F. Browne to Arneta P. and Lewis A. Ferguson and Ruth F. Browne, in Harford Township for one dollar.

Ruth F. Browne, Arneta and Lewis Ferguson to Arneta P. and Lewis A. Ferguson and Ruth F. Browne, in Harford Township for one dollar.

Christopher J. Andrews and Heather Cianflone-Andrews to Patrick and Shirley Cianflone, in Clifford Township for one dollar.


Nicole C. Norton and Andrew Winfield Lesser, both of Hallstead.

Bradley P. Fisher and Alexis R. McCann, both of Harford.

Alec W. Mazikewich and Erin G. Soden, both of Susquehanna.

Christopher R. Roberts and Beth A. Saxton, both of Windsor, NY.

Jeffrey K. Decker of Kingsley and Tonya M. Bentler of Hallstead.

Richard Vallone and Nicole Suzanne Allen, both of Hop Bottom.

Michael A. Treacy and Meredith A. Foote, both of Susquehanna.

Travis Dylan Torgersen and Beth Ann Rundle, both of Clifton, CO.

Jared C. Horn and Danica Lee Swackhamer Newman, both of Springville.

Jason Russell Carman and Keisha Marie Alden, both of Montrose.

Micah Damian Rittel of Myerstown, PA and Jami Lynn Leedom of Annville, PA.

Randy Jay Douglas and Deborah Lee Heller, both of Susquehanna.


Robert R. Linden of Montrose vs. Sharon E. Linden of Susquehanna, married 1996.

Steve L. Cady vs. Joanne L. Cady, both of Montrose, married 2004.

Tammy Lindsey Caterson vs. Donald E. Caterson, both of Montrose, married 2000.

John G. Nackley of Harvey’s Lake vs. Dena M. Nackley of Dallas, PA, married 1976.

Dana Marie Bullins of Endicott, NY vs. Charles Allen Zehel of Archbald, PA, married 2006.


The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has Bench Warrants for the following individuals as of 10:28 a.m. on October 10, 2008.

Leroy J. Adams, Michael A. Argust, Harry Ashley, David P. Atherholt, Jr, Erika L. Back, Keith B. Beach, David S. Blaisure, Jennifer N. Bonavita, Joseph Bonavita, William R. Bondarek, Daniel E. Boyer, Michael P. Bradley, Jr., Kevin P. Brink, Kenneth G. Burgess, Lynn M. Cokely, Mark T. Conklin, Todd K. Conrad, Jeffrey A. Craig, Jeremiah M. Craven, John C. Creps, Jeffrey L. Decker, Michele Devito, Paul H. Donovan, Deborah L. Drish, Thomas D. Earley, Jonathan Fathi, Kristoffer B. Fazzi, David J. Fischer, Thomas Fisher, Nesbitt W. Fitch, Jr., Joseph E. Flynn, Ryan M. Forder, Kelly Fox, Yvette Glover, Gary C. Gorton, Jr., Jonathan S. Guzy, David Haines, Jr., Suzanne R. Hansen, Keith G. Harms, Holly N. Holbrook, Timothy M. Holmes, Jeffrey J. Horrocks, Roy M. Huntley, Erik E. Krisovitch, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Howard J. Linder, George D. Lowery, John A. Manning, Patricia J. Marrero, Jason K. Marshall, Fred C. Materese, Erica Y. Mead, John Moriarty, Gary Perico, Jeffrey A. Ransom, Kim Read, Nathan Rosene, Neil D. Shaffer, Rory Sicovitch, Jeffrey C. Skinner, Amy M. Squier, Correna A. Stormes, Earl H. Thompson, Jr, Keith W. Vroman, Glynn Wildoner, III, Patrick L. Yachymiak.

Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at (570) 278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals.

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Montrose Seeking Salt Alternatives
By Melinda Darrow

This winter, drivers may find alternate substances, beet juice for instance, on the roads of Montrose. The borough has received half of the salt it ordered, and may receive more, but is somewhat pessimistic about obtaining the entire amount. Called a precious commodity, road salt is at a premium this year. A nationwide shortage is making it difficult to obtain, leading to a price which has tripled from last year. At their meeting, the Montrose council discussed the problem, agreeing to save its supply more for winter ice storms, which may leave more snow on roads than in previous years. The borough stockpile, it was planned, will be locked, and a sign posted warning that trespassers will be prosecuted. One person has already had to be kicked out of the site. It was also suggested that alternative options be investigated, with the street foreman suggesting potential use of the red vegetable's juice.

The council itself saw a few changes at this meeting The resignation of council president Joel Maxey was officially accepted, with regret. (Mr. Maxey was appointed as a liaison to the gas companies, however, so he is not leaving the borough's work entirely.) Todd Chamberlain, the prior vice president, was appointed to retain the presidential seat he temporarily took upon Mr. Maxey's absence, with Mary Anne Waddington then filling his vacated position. (She quipped that she would accept the position, but Mr. Chamberlain was not to go anywhere.)

A hearing was held on the ordinance for the New Milford Police Agreement. Formally approved, the agreement will allow Montrose police to patrol the streets of New Milford on a rotating basis.

Ilona Scroggins once again attended the meeting regarding the situation at Montrose Park. She had contacted East Hanover Township regarding park program ideas, and returned with a recommendation that the borough charge money for the program. This might help to predict numbers, and to keep numbers relatively steady. She also proposed the formation of a park watch. The idea would be to get families near the park to monitor park behavior. It would be nice, it was suggested, for community members to band together to “take back the park.” Suspicious activity could be reported to police. Council members seemed to be generally in favor of the idea, but it was stated that such an initiative has to be based on the interest of the community. It was agreed that Ilona and/or someone else would canvas the neighborhood inquiring as to interest. Interest in a park program could be polled at the same time, it was suggested.

Halloween is looming, and the council made the necessary arrangements. The Kiwanis parade was approved for the requested date of Saturday, October 25 at 2 p.m. The hours for trick-or-treating were set as 6-8 p.m. on the night of the 31st, with a 9 p.m. curfew.

Other small matters were attended to after the executive session as well. The motion was made and approved to have the property next to the current borough building surveyed. The borough purchased the land, and hopes to move its offices to that site in time. A part-time police secretary was hired; Alice Walsh is slated to work in the position for 16 hours a week.

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Gibson Barracks Report
Compiled By Melinda Darrow


It was reported that on October 5, sometime between 1 and 2 a.m., someone gained entry to an upstairs office in PJ O'hare's Restaurant/Bar in Oakland Twp.


On October 5, at around 4 p.m., John Engstrom of Montrose was driving on state highway 1021 in Oakland, Twp. when, while swerving to miss a deer, his vehicle went off the edge of the road and hit a drainage pipe.


On September 6 at 2:41 a.m., Kristina Kupscznk of Springville and Timothy Taramelli of Dimock were both traveling north on state highway 29 in Springville Twp. For unknown reasons, Kupscznk came to a sudden stop and Taramelli struck her vehicle from behind. Kupscznk fled the scene, and did not file a report at the time. Charges are pending against Kupscznk for leaving the scene of an accident. Taramelli had no insurance, and was to be charged for this.


Between the 3rd and 4th of October, Louis Butts of Hallstead had a 1994 Ford Probe parked in a driveway in Hallstead. While it was there, a Kenwood stereo and a CD case with CDs inside were removed from the vehicle. A tire was also punctured.


Between the 1st and 2nd of October, one or more unknown person(s) took a checkbook from Dawn Owens of North Jackson.


Between the 1st and 2nd of October, the Eco International building in Great Bend was burglarized. A large computer monitor, a paper shredder, and several old lap-top computers were stolen from the premises.


On September 24, Lorraine Martin reported that someone had dumped tires and various other items on property that she owns.


On September 30 one or more unknown person(s) smashed a window out of a school bus while it was in motion. The incident occurred near the Elk Lake Fire Dept. Anyone with information can please call PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.


On September 30, at around 4:30 p.m., an accident occurred on state highway 706 in Bridgewater Twp. which involved three vehicles. The incident occurred as Susan Notarianni of Scranton, Wendy Reimel of Montrose, and Doris Hirtle of New Milford were all traveling westbound on that road. Reimel and Hirtle were stopped at the time, waiting for a vehicle to turn left. Notarianni failed to notice the stopped vehicles and struck the rear of the one driven by Reimel, which was pushed in turn into the rear of the one driven by Hirtle.


On September 29, a vehicle belonging to the Dimmicks of Laceyville was keyed while parked at a construction site in Bridgewater Twp.


From September 23 through September 28, the Pennsylvania State Police engaged in “Operation Maximum Effort IV” throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Operation Maximum Effort is an enforcement blitz conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police and other law enforcement agencies with the goal of preventing crashes and the resultant injuries and loss of life, as well as promoting highway safety. An additional objective of this operation is criminal highway interdiction, designed to disrupt illicit activity and in-transit criminals who utilize the highways of Pennsylvania to facilitate illegal activity. This is the fourth time this particular type of operation was conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police. The results of the six day effort include 14 criminal arrests, 9 wanted fugitives arrested, 4 vehicles seized, 16 illegal aliens detained, 2 fictitious identifications confiscated, 1 ounce of cocaine seized, 6 ounces of heroine seized, and $163,420 in US currency seized.


On September 27, Jason Mautz of Baldwinsville was traveling south on SR 81 in New Milford Twp. Mautz lost control of his vehicle while negotiating a left curve in the roadway. The New York resident crashed into a guide rail located on the east shoulder of SR 81, after which the vehicle rolled to a stop in the grass median of that road.


On September 21 at 3:35 p.m., Deborah Norris of Susquehanna was traveling south on T850 in Harmony Twp. As Norris' vehicle was traveling down the hill, it exited the right side of the roadway and impacted with a tree, turning onto its roof. Norris was air-lifted to CMC hospital. Assistance was provided by Susquehanna Fire Police and Volunteer Fire Company.


On September 26, at approximately 2:45 p.m., Kaleb Williams of Susquehanna is accused of having fled the area after two law enforcement officers attempted to stop him on Mill Rd. in Liberty Twp. Williams was located that day on SR 848 and taken into custody on this and other warrants.


Between the 19th and 28th of September, a window was smashed in the Aldrich residence in New Milford Twp.


On September 24, at 10:10 a.m., Stephen J. Dorsey of East Greenville was the passenger in a commercial motor vehicle which was inspected at the SR 81 Welcome Center in Great Bend Twp. A records check revealed that Dorsey was wanted by Bucks County Sheriff's Department. He was arraigned at District Court 34-3-03 and incarcerated at the Susquehanna County Correctional Center.


Sometime between the 25th and 26th of September, a stop sign was removed from the intersection of Church St. and Susquehanna St. in New Milford Borough.

If you have information regarding any of these incidents, please contact the Gibson State Police at (570) 465-3154.

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FC To Implement Recycling Pickup
By Stephanie Everett

During last week’s Forest City Borough meeting, Council passed a motion to begin a curbside, yard-based pickup of recycling. Robert Trusky explained that the grant application for a larger recycling truck encourages such a pickup procedure. Preliminary pickup dates have been set for the last Thursday of October and the first Thursday of November. Trusky suggested that the borough adopt a once-monthly recycling collection thereafter. In addition, biodegradable bags for yard waste such as leaves, twigs and grass clippings will be on sale in the Borough Building.

Borough secretary Susan Coleman summarized the correspondence. Two letters were received -- one from the Lackawanna River Corridor Association and the other from the Lackawanna River Basin Sewer Authority – commending Forest City for its efforts to upgrade its sanitary and storm water collection systems. In addition, Council received a letter from the Rail-Trail Council thanking the borough for its support of the D&H Distance Run, which was held on September 7. The final letter was received from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, informing the borough that its liquid fuel allocation is estimated at $40,460.43 for 2009.

Mayor Cost requested that individuals writing to him provide their name, or at least a phone number where they may be contacted. Cost also asked Council to consider updating its ordinance book. Halloween Night in Forest City has been scheduled for October 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Cost also presented a computer printout of the proposed signs that will be placed at the borough entrances. Council decided to modify the colors.

Bernard Scalzo suggested that code inspectors provide advance notice to tenants of pending eviction due to condemnation. Although Council agreed in principle, some members stated that advance notice is not always possible if inspectors decide that immediate evacuation is necessary. Solicitor Smith added that new regulations require code inspections following each vacancy, which should help ensure the safety of an apartment.

Robert Tedesco, head of Public Works, stated that molding repair work must be done on the Borough Building. However, since the molding in question is at least 30 feet up and impractical to repair from a ladder, Council decided to hire a contractor with the proper equipment to do the job. Also concerning Public Works, Daniel Freebes will serve as a part-time, temporary hire until Robert Dolph, who was in a car accident, is cleared to return to work.

Finally, the public should note that a KBA Engineering public work session has been tentatively scheduled for October 27 at 7 p.m. in the Borough Building.

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Christmas Bureau Sign-Ups Open

The Susquehanna County Christmas Bureau is now accepting sign-ups at the Interfaith office, 17 Public Avenue, Montrose, Monday through Friday, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Applicants must provide identification and proof of income.

Interfaith is prepared to serve 600 families this year through the Christmas Bureau program, with food and gifts given by the community, the Kiwanis Club, Toys for Tots, the United Way and the Salvation Army.

For more information, call 278-1776.

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Oakland Hears Reports
By Barbara Whitehead

Carol Trevarthan addressed the Oakland Boro Council at their October 9 meeting, to report on a Susquehanna Greenway meeting she had recently attended. In conjunction with the Heritage Region and Rail–Trail, the group is interested in developing river trails and encourages municipalities’ involvement. Council agreed that this is something they are interested in, and Mrs. Trevarthan agreed to continue attending meetings and keep council up to date.

Council is still working on an ordinance regulating outdoor wood furnaces. A resident asked if they would consider adding a provision that they only be used seasonally, as warm weather use would produce smoke that could be a nuisance to neighbors. Council agreed that October through April was reasonable.

The State Street sewer line/sidewalk replacement project is underway; as of council’s last update, the materials had been ordered.

Council discussed the most cost effective remedy to deal with a retaining wall on State St. that had been knocked down by a blown fire hydrant. The homeowner’s insurance carrier has denied the damage claim, and council felt that pursuing it through the boro’s insurance could be quite costly to the boro for legal fees, etc. After discussion, it was agreed to get a price quote from a local contractor for use of a backhoe and flaggers, and to determine whether or not the site is within the scope of work of the sewer line/sidewalk replacement project.

The county Housing and Redevelopment Authority has made an offer on the lower lot next to the Oakland Heights apartments, which the boro still owns. The lot is too narrow to consider as the site of a new boro building, and it was agreed that the amount offered is more than the boro would likely get if the property were to be put out to bid. If the sale is approved, the Authority does not plan to build on the property.

Another property, next to the park, would be a more likely location for a new boro building. The owner is interested in selling, but the price could be more than what was offered for the High St. parcel. As an appraisal is necessary before any further discussion can take place, a motion carried to get the appraisal, and to authorize an offer for the property in the amount of the appraisal within certain limits.

In January, Oakland’s seat on the board of the Tri-Boro Municipal Authority will be vacant. One resident, Mike Ryder had expressed interest in the seat; a motion carried to approve.

Trick or Treat time will be on Halloween night, from 6 to 8 p.m. Council had carried a motion last year to observe Trick or Treat on Halloween every year, from then on.

A motion carried to approve renewing the boro’s membership in the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs. This organization is a valuable resource for information for its members.

The boro’s water system is checked for leaks twice yearly; a recently completed check showed no leaks in the system, and that it is in excellent condition and maintained well.

The new round of CDBG grant funding will be coming up soon; council members were asked to consider which projects the boro could apply for.

The Housing Authority has been in contact with DCNR about the grant funding that had been approved for the park improvement project, but which has not yet been received. No news was forthcoming from DCNR, but the Housing Authority will continue to pursue it in the boro’s behalf.

The parks and rec. committee will be holding a bake sale and candle sale on election day.

One of the lights on Oakland’s side of the Veterans’ Memorial Bridge was knocked down. A wide load vehicle had hit it; the trucking company has agreed to reimburse the boro for its repair.

And, another tri-boro meeting will be held with Susquehanna and Lanesboro on October 19.

The next meeting will be on Thursday, November 13, 7 p.m. in the Lanesboro Community Center.

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Great Bend Supers Hold Short Meeting
By Barbara Whitehead

The Great Bend Supervisors took care of business in short order at their October 6 meeting.

In response to a complaint about water problems from a Locust Hill Road resident, they promised to do an on-site inspection the following day to determine whether or not the problem is the township’s responsibility.

Last month’s meeting had ended with an executive session to discuss a personnel issue; a motion carried this evening to hire Curt Blewett as permanent, full-time, at a pay rate of $13.50 per hour, and $500 per month towards benefits.

The supervisors will be reviewing previously submitted applications for a part-time plow driver for the winter.

Major road work has been completed, and the crew was to start brush cutting, cleanup and preparing for winter.

One of the township’s trucks has been checked over in preparation for winter, and the other will be checked out.

Permits issued during the month included assessment and UCC permits to Matthew Tierney, Richard Secord and Cooper VanCott. A repair permit was issued to Veronica Ann Allen, and the SEO is attempting to meet with another property owner about a possible violation.

Correspondence included a list of NIMS courses offered by the Susquehanna County Emergency Management Agency; a thank you letter from Leadership 2020 for a $100 donation; notice about a benefit for the family of Mark Keklak (PennDOT) in November; notice that the county is accepting applications for 2009 CDBG entitlement funds; 2008 wage and salary survey results from PSATS; and, a notice that  BCT Federal Credit Union is offering financial services in Susquehanna County, in which township officials and employees can participate.

The proposed 2009 budget will be presented at the next meeting, with voting to take place at the December meeting.

The owner of a trailer on Orchard Road will be sent a letter warning of a violation of the township’s nuisance ordinance; no permits were applied for, and it has been just sitting at the site without being properly installed.

Due to a scheduling conflict, the December meeting will be held on Wednesday, the third.

Public comment included a question about the Bridging Communities sidewalk project; it is currently in PennDOT’s hands, awaiting final approval.

The next meeting will be on Monday, November 3, 7 p.m. in the township building.

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In last week’s issue of the County Transcript, a report on the Susquehanna Boro Council meeting mentioned that the Pennsylvania American Water Co. is planning to replace their water tower in the boro. The tower in question is the storage tower on Convent St., not the historical railroad tower in the downtown Shops Plaza.

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FSA Limits Increase

Richard Pallman, Executive Director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced that the new farm bill is helping make the goal of farming a reality by raising the loan limits to $300,000 (up from $200,000) for direct farm ownership and operating loans.

"FSA is working with farmers at the local level and has already started making loans with this higher limit," Pallman said. "FSA strives to be the lender of first opportunity and is proud to help the hard-working Americans in Pennsylvania who were struggling with the high costs of running a family farm – especially beginning and socially disadvantaged producers."

Direct loans are a resource for farmers to obtain the credit they need to build and sustain family farms and ranches. Despite continual increases in farm input costs, FSA loan limits had remained unchanged since 1984. The increased loan limits are expected to help farmers whose credit requirements could not previously be met by the FSA loan limits. In addition, some existing FSA borrowers who have already reached the previous limit of $200,000 will now be eligible to obtain additional credit from FSA.

Direct farm loans are made by FSA with government funds. FSA also services these loans and provides direct loan borrowers with supervision and business planning so they have a better chance for success. Farm ownership, operating, emergency, and youth loans are the main types of loans available under the direct program. Direct loan funds are also set aside each year for loans to socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers.

Farmers interested in applying for a direct operating or farm ownership loan should contact their local FSA office.

For more information about these and other types of loans, visit the FSA’s home page at and click on "Farm Loan Programs."

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