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The Susquehanna County Commissioners’ meeting was held on Wednesday , November 12 at the Susquehanna County Office Building. Commissioners Allen, Giangrieco, and Warren, and Chief Clerk Sylvia Beamer were present. There were approximately 20 people in attendance.
Al Aronowitz talked to the commissioners, explaining that the Susquehanna County Tourism Committee was disappointed that the commissioners have not given them the monies allocated to them, from a 3% room tax. This money comes from the taxes paid regarding room rentals. The group is to be given 30% of that 3% for promoting more business and visitors to Susquehanna County.
Aronowitz also gave numerous examples of other committees and organizations which had received funding from the county commissioners. Those included: Old Mill Village asked for $5,000 and received $4,000; New Milford Borough and Township requested $3,500 for their bi-centennial celebration and were given $2,500; Susquehanna’s Hometown Days asked for the same amount, and got $2,500; and Susquehanna’s Harvest of the Arts received $2,000 of their request of $3,000.
The Tourism Committee asked for $11,690, and only received $4,000. The monies are slated for the committee to select where it is distributed. However, with the “new” set of commissioners, the traditional way, the way other counties handle the tax monies, is no longer the way it should be. The money doesn’t come out of their pockets, it is again from the room tax. The money was to be given to the Visitors’ Board, then to the Tourism Committee, who divide the amount to other areas where tourism is handled.
“Why haven’t we been allowed to have our own monies?” he asked. He said that they have received $4,000, “but that is not enough to do any sort of advertising. We use this money to promote our local areas, businesses, and advertising to encourage people to come to Susquehanna County, thus bringing business into the county,” Aronowitz continued. “All we want to do is promote Susquehanna County.”
Aronowitz also stated that the tourism committee keeps an update of new businesses (i.e. hotels, ski resorts), promotes items of interest, have a website, place business cards at strategic places (rest stops, businesses). “There is $35,153 in the account this year, and we are not ‘allowed’ to use it. This money is ours, and the Visitors’ Bureau’s, we cannot spend it ourselves, for we have no cash or checks for the committee. We have to submit a grant asking, then the commissioners used to just sign off the amount,” Aronowitz informed the audience.
While there is a commissioner, Mary Ann Warren, assigned to attend the committee meetings, Aronowitz stated that only twice had Commissioner Warren been to their meetings. The meetings for the Tourism Committee are held on Wednesdays, every other month at The Colonial Brick Motel from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and are open to those who would like to attend.
While Commissioner Warren just brushed off the information from Aronowitz, and moved on to the next item in the agenda, the other commissioners did not respond.
In the Public Comment time, Aronowitz asked, “You did not answer my questions, so I guess you are not going to respond?” Commissioner Warren declined to respond, as did Giangrieco and Allen.
This information will not be included in the commissioners’ meeting minutes, as these three commissioners had previously shortened the meetings and ruled that Public Comment will not be included in their minutes.
Reporter’s note: According to information which was given and discussed at the 2008 annual PA State Association of Boroughs meeting, this is in violation of the Sunshine Act, sections five and six. This information was brought forth during a class presented on" Violations of the Sunshine Act."
A reprehensive from Northwest Human Services of Pennsylvania, explained the predicament with Tri-County Services’ financial difficulties. “They are now operating in the red, over $11,000. We (at Northwest) are attempting to get them through this year by taking on their clients, and it is proposed that next year Northwest will be taking over for Tri County Human Services. We hope to provide all the services, just as Tri County had been.”
Commissioners adopted two proclamations, #2008-14 proclaiming November 2008 as “Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in Susquehanna County.” Proclamation 2008-15 proclaimed November 15, 2008 as “America Recycles Day” in Susquehanna County.
The bid for dumpsters and refuse removal at the courthouse, county office building, prison and recycling center for November, 2008 through November, 2010 was awarded to Waste Management, of Eastern Pennsylvania, as they were the lowest bidders : (1) 8 yd. dumpster at the courthouse, $165.00 per month; (1) 6 yd. dumpster at the county office building, $140.00 per month: (2) 8 yd. dumpsters at the recycling center, $330.00 per month; (1) 8 yd. dumpster at the county prison, $165 per month; and, additional pickups, $45.00, any size.
A contract was signed with NEP Cellcorp, Inc. for a one-year period for 29 cell phones, 7,500 peak minutes, $522.00 monthly access fee and $29.00 E911 fee. The phones are being used by the Probation Department, Emergency Management Services, and Sheriff’s Department. The contract is dated November 12, 2008 through November 12, 2009.
Commissioners signed the Emergency Generator Set Planned Maintenance Agreement with Penn Power Systems for the term January 1l, 2009 through December 31, 2009, in the amount of $1,625 for inspection and preventative maintenance on generators in the jailhouse, courthouse, fairgrounds, lower office building, Pig Pen Alley, Friendsville tower, and emergency repair service at rates between $89.00 per hour and $249.00 per hour, depending on day and time of occurrence.
The commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding between the Susquehanna County Cooperative Extension Association and Susquehanna County Services for Children and Youth, which allows SCCEA to invoice SCSCY up to $10,000 for program delivery expenses to support a family and consumer sciences extension educator based in Susquehanna County from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009, with the county portion not exceeding $2,00.00. Approved as well was an understanding for operating expenses for same, with the commissioners’ portion of this expense not to exceed $2,000.00.
The commissioners also agreed to purchase a license of the Interventions Needs and Competency Assessment from Assessment Tools LLC, Clarks Summit, PA, for the Juvenile Probation Department, consisting of one database and from one to 10 client computers, also includes initial installation assistance and software configuration, annual maintenance to provide software updates from November 1, 2008 through December 31, 2009 and one day of on-site training for up to 10 employees for $3,00.00.
An agreement with Bio-Haz Solutions, Inc. Lehighton, PA to remove infectious , chemotherapeutic and pathological waste from the county prison was approve. The compliance fee will be $30.00 per year, container removal up to 45 pounds will be $34.00 per container, and over 45 pounds will be rated at one dollar per pound over 45 pounds.
Scott Aylesworth, Nicholson, was appointed to the open, full-time, non-union position of Operations/Training Officer in the EMA Department with a minimum of 40 hours per week, a six-month probation period and benefits as per the County Policy, effective November 17, 2008 per recommendation of Charlene Moser, EMA Coordinator.
James Brewer was hired to the open, full-time, union position of Assistant Processing Manager in the Recycling Center, at range 8, $8.67 per hour, 40 hours a week, six-month probation and benefits as per the Residual Bargaining Unit Contract, effective November 13, 2008.
The commissioners exonerated any and all rollback taxes that were imposed on the Right of Way as described in deed Book 518, page 359 on condition that a deed for said Right of Way to the nationally recognized Rails to Trails organization (a 501C non profit ) is recorded within five business days from this day. Real estate taxes shall continue to be assessed on the underlying real estate, as is required by law where any other Right of Way crosses a parcel of real estate.
Beth VanWinkle was honored with a five-year service recognition for her faithful service and dedication to Susquehanna County.
The commissioners’ meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, 9 a.m. sharp in the County Office Building.
The Montrose School Board had a run-in with the tango at the November 10 meeting, held in the newly renovated Community Learning Center. Students from the Spanish-four class attended the meeting, in order to demonstrate skills learned under the tutelage of recent artist in residence, Mr. Vince Brust. For a few minutes, the high school library was transformed into a ballroom and the students, dressed for the occasion, performed. Spanish instructor Kathy Goerlitz discussed her initial reticence over the amount of time the program took from her classroom. Mr. Brust, however, encouraged her to incorporate the dancing with the curriculum, and the experience became a study in culture. Divided into groups, students researched different dances. They discussed the definition of culture, and made posters regarding their dance and its cultural attachments. These were presented in class. In addition to this, those who learned dances were able to demonstrate their skill for other students and staff. Mr. Brust complimented the dancing ability of the students, stating that some danced with the precision one might see on television. In fact, he said he might try to arrange for some to dance on a ballroom dancing program with which he is connected. All who spoke were positive about the experience. Mr. Brust felt the largest benefit of the dance lessons to be their potential for imbuing students with the desire to learn Spanish. Those involved in the board presentation went through the standard certificate and handshake ritual.
In other news, the MASD gas lease process may be put on hold, according to a report given by one of the board members. He explained that after the lease was put together, it had been sent to several companies. An appointment had been made with one of them, Sierra, to discuss things further, but the company had not made it to the appointment, which had yet to be rescheduled. He stated that some companies, with the current economical situation, had been pulling back regarding gas leases, and proposed that this might be the situation with Sierra. Regardless, he emphasized, the board's primary concern is the safety of the students and staff. If the district missed the boat, it missed the boat, he said, but safety comes first.
The government has put Montrose Junior/Senior High School in School Improvement Two, and Dr. Golden explained what is being done to rectify this situation. The difficulty, Mr. Ognosky explained, lies in the law treating each subgroup (defined as at least 40 students of a particular kind in a school) as a separate school, which must meet the same standards as the rest of their grade. This includes the subgroups of IEP students and Economically Disadvantaged students. Eighteen students from the IEP subgroup who could benefit from intensive intervention were identified, those closest to making adequate yearly progress (AYP). The goal is to move 10% or more of the students to a higher score level, which would, though the school might still be in improvement, allow it to be qualified as “progressing forward.” This percentage improvement could mean that the secondary school could pass by a confidence interval (although AYP may still not have been met, enough improvement was evidenced to demonstrate progress). The Getting Results plan, which the district was required to submit, includes the use of Study Island and the Cars and Stars program, the implementation of Saxon Math, and progress monitoring. Although those 18 students are receiving focused attention, it was said, the rest of the school is not being ignored. Study Island and Saxon Math can also be used preventively and regular students, it was said, are not being ignored. Mrs. Staats explained her feeling that IEP students also need to be left in the classroom. When they are taken out for special lessons, they may miss key curriculum material in the regular classroom. They are still, however, expected to know this material on the PSSAs. Students are allowed any accommodation while testing written into their IEPs, but the reading test cannot be read to them.
Each principal also presented a PSSA report. At Choconut Valley, the economically disadvantaged subgroup made AYP by a confidence interval. While the school does not yet have an IEP subgroup, it is only two students away from doing so.
At Lathrop Street, the IEP subgroup fell short of meeting AYP in reading in grade 5, and math in grades 3 and 5. The school passed in safe harbor status in reading because scores improved by 10% since last year. The economically disadvantaged subgroup passed by confidence intervals in math and reading. The school plans on kicking off a Response to Intervention program next year, and is working closely with staff to monitor data and assist students.
In his report, Mr. Tallarico reiterated what Dr. Golden had previously said. The secondary school has decided to focus on Math. It is reinstating the practice of holding a math workshop before the tests, and has reworked the school schedule to include a three-class math track, which has the specific purpose of readying students for the tests. He pointed out that poor PSSA performance does not mean low functioning in students, alluding to students who do really well on the SATs and in class but struggle with the PSSAs.
Mr. Owens also did a presentation at the work session, regarding the Software Interoperability Framework system (SIF), which he would like to purchase and incorporate in the system. The SIF, which is backed by the PDE, allow the school's various software applications to share data simply and securely. The system would utilize a spoke and wheel system, where a main server would speak with SIF agents, which then would communicate between the applications. It would, he said, benefit the district not only by making disparate applications interface, but also by making information more secure and up to the minute.
Harford Township Supervisor Terry VanGorden announced at the Supervisors' meeting on November 11 that a disaster emergency was declared on October 28. That was the day that the lights went out over a wide area, and stayed out for more than 30 hours.
Supervisor and township Secretary Sue Furney said she called several places in the township to notify residents that the fire hall would be open as a shelter, a "warming center," for anyone needing assistance. She said that she and other township employees traveled the township, trying to tell as many people as possible. The rural nature of Harford township, however, made it impossible to get to everyone.
The discussion that followed made clear that what would constitute a "shelter" would depend on the nature of the emergency. In some situations the Mountain View school might be the appropriate place, as was the case during the flood of June, 2006 when people in Kingsley were evacuated.
That flood tore out a bridge over Butler Creek on Pennay Hill Road, which is only now being replaced. The cost of the repairs, over $400,000, will be reimbursed by federal and state emergency management authorities, but only if the work is completed by December 31 of this year. According to Mr. VanGorden, the contractor has completed preparations for installing the new span, which is being fabricated elsewhere. It now appears that the bridge section will not be delivered before the first week in December. "Time is running out," said Mr. VanGorden. And his colleague, Supervisor Garry Foltz worried that the township would be stuck with the cost if the bridge isn't finished in time. He asked Ms. Furney to contact the appropriate agencies to explain the situation and ask for another extension.
The Supervisors also passed a resolution implementing a "Local Flood Mitigation Strategy." This was part of the county-wide planning developed following the 2006 flood that hopes to clarify what projects need to be defined to help avoid such problems in the future.
Mr. Foltz is working on a new "traffic regulation ordinance" for the township that has three goals. It would give the Supervisors the right to close a road for fires and emergencies, as well as for necessary repairs – as long as citizens are not kept from getting to their residences. It would also give the Supervisors power to establish a speed limit of 25 miles per hour on township streets in Harford and Kingsley villages (Market and School Streets in Harford, Tannery and Mill Streets in Kingsley). And the new ordinance would prohibit "heavy truck" traffic on those township streets in those villages; it would not inhibit truck traffic to businesses. Mr. Foltz said he would soon forward the proposed measure to the township's solicitor for comment.
The first test of his earlier ordinance, regulating the permitting and construction of driveways, came last month and the Supervisors sent the application back for further details. According to Mr. VanGorden, the property owner was very cooperative in providing the requested information, and the Supervisors accepted the application, noting, however, that the driveway must be installed within a year, and that a use permit would not be issued until the work is complete and the Supervisors or the Roadmaster have inspected it.
With the budget under development, Mr. Foltz noted that the fire company has requested an increase in the fire tax (to 1 mill, up from 0.75 mills), and said that under new legislation, fire companies must submit a full accounting of their finances to the taxpayers. Mr. VanGorden, who is also a member of the fire company, said that the complete annual audit of the fire company's receipts and expenditures is always available to the township.
Mr. Foltz also noted that the new "open records" law requires each municipality to appoint an "open records officer." He suggested that the officer be one of the Supervisors.
He also recommended that the township get its hand in for some of the $400 million in the state bond issue passed by voters in the last election. The money is designated to support water and sewer facilities.
Toward the end of the evening, the Supervisors launched into more discussion of the budget for 2009. They refused to make working papers available to the public, so it was difficult for observers to follow the deliberations. Nevertheless, it appears that the budget will be very tight next year, expecting declining revenues from almost all sources, in part due to the distressed national economy.
Harford's budget is divided three ways. One part covers the sewer system, which is actually a separate authority that happens to be administered by the same Supervisors. Another part, called the "state" budget, covers road maintenance and is funded primarily by state "liquid fuel" subsidies. According to Ms. Furney, the state has said that the subsidy would be some $5,100 less than last year, down about 4%.
The third part of the budget is the township's own, funded largely by local real estate and earned income taxes. Mr. Foltz said that he expected revenues from all sources to be lower next year. The Supervisors did not discuss township-budget expenses in detail, presumably leaving that for the next meeting.
However, Mr. Foltz is concerned about the cost of compliance with new regulations for road signs that will go into effect in three years. Ms. Furney said that the township maintains about 56 roads, each of which would have a sign at either end, plus additional signs at intersections. It was agreed that the cost to purchase signs, with posts and other hardware, would come to about $100 each. At least some of the cost should be applied to the state part of the budget. Nevertheless, finding the money over the next three years will be difficult.
The 2009 budget is expected to be formally proposed at the next meeting, on November 25, with final passage 20 days later, on December 23. The Supervisors meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the township office.
Fun Fact: Mr. Foltz handed out a chart showing miles of unpaved and gravel roads in each county in Pennsylvania. Susquehanna County, which has 1,117 miles of dirt roads, is second only to neighboring Bradford County. Mr. Foltz reckoned that Harford Township, with about 61 miles, accounts for about 5% of Susquehanna County's unpaved roads.
TRIANGLE UPDATE: The Harford Historical Society Board of Directors has decided to appeal Judge Kameen's verdict of October 27 reverting control of the memorial park triangle in Harford village to Bronson Pinchot. The saga continues.
Margie Pinch to James M. Foulds, III, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
Thomas F., Marie and Brian McCabe to Brian and Therese McCabe, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Pennsylvania Commonwealth of Penna. Game Commission to AT&T Corp., in New Milford Township for $10.00.
Cletus R. Beam to AT&T Corp, in Lathrop and Lenox Townships for $10.00.
AFJ LLC to Free VI LLC, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Washington Mutual Bank to P. Scott, Deborah and Kayla (By POA) Baldwin, in Great Bend Township for $69,105.00.
Samuel J. and Donna M. Cosmello to Clifford Grosvenor, in New Milford Township for $175,000.00.
Frank A. Cerynik to AT&T Corp., in Brooklyn Township for $10.00.
Gary A. and Mary Linda Slick to AT&T Corp., in Lenox and Lathrop Townships for $10.00.
Walter H. Magruder, Jr. to AT&T Corp., in Lenox Township for $10.00.
Dorothy L. Shaw (Estate) to Chester L. Grover (Living Trust), in New Milford Township for $100.00.
Sommerville Land Development, Inc., New Milford Sand and Gravel, Inc. and Chester F. Grover (Living Trust) to Reading Materials, Inc., in New Milford Township for $150,000.00.
Sommerville Land Development, Inc., New Milford Sand and Gravel, Inc. and Chester Grover (Living Trust) to Reading Materials, Inc., in New Milford Township for $1,000.00.
Cynthia and Philip D., Jr. Allen to Reading Materials, Inc., in New Milford Township for $84,000.00.
Kirk Matoushek to Alexander Curtis, in Thompson Borough for $78,000.00.
Daniel and Heather J. Castigione to Daniel and Heather J. Castigione, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Water F. (Estate) and Mary Lou Gola and Thomas W. and Barbara J. Hoerst to Thomas W. and Barbara J. Hoerst, in Great Bend Township for $25,000.00.
Edward C. and Cheryl A. Arnold to Barry Berkowitz and Montrose Hillbillies, II, in Jessup Township for $500,000.00.
Collen B. (AKA) Colleen B. and Anthony Devincentis to Elaine M. Andusko, in Great Bend Township for $24,000.00.
Frank Valentine to Exco-North Coast Energy, Inc., in Lenox Township for $50,000.00.
Richard S. and Nancy E. Hunt to Richard S. Hunt, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
Ruth Murphy (Estate), Louise Baker and Nancy Espe to Mary and David Seithenbach, William, John and Robert Murphy, Joanne and James Arey, Nancy and Wallis Espe and Marillee Ensign, in Little Meadows Borough for one dollar.
K. Allen and Barbara J. Roszel to Keith (AKA) Donald K. and Diana Birchard, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Florence Schwartzbeck (NKA) Florence Brand to Florence Brand, in Hallstead Borough for $10.00.
John, Charles, Joseph, Thomas and Priscinda Gaughan to Thomas Gaughan, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.
James M. Coppola (AKA) James M. Cappola to John and Lori Coppola, in Ararat Township for one dollar.
Nicholas, Jr. and Mary Ann Sabuacak to Richard E. and Donna L. Carpennetti, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.
Joseph S., Jr. and Lynne C. Manzek to Fiondi, Inc., in Rush Township for one dollar.
Lauren J. English vs. Thomas P. English, both of Brackney, married 2001.
James Bolding vs. Kimberly Ann Bolding, both of New Milford, married 1992.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has Bench Warrants for the following individuals as of 9:58 a.m. on November 14, 2008.
Harry Ashley, David P. Atherholt, Jr., Erika L. Back, Neeko Beahan, David S. Blaisure, Jennifer N. Bonavita, Joseph Bonavita, Michael P. Bradley, Jr., Kevin P. Brink, Kenneth G. Burgess, Lynn M. Cokely, Mark T. Conklin, Jeffrey A. Craig, Jeremiah M. Craven, Jeffrey L. Decker, 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, David Haines, Jr., Suzanne R. Hansen, Keith G. Harms, Gregory R. Henry, Ann Hightower, Holly N. Holbrook, Timothy M. Holmes, Lyle J. Hugaboom, Roy M. Huntley, April Kravchenko, Erik E. Krisovitch, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Howard J. Linder, George D. Lowery, John A. Manning, Patricia J. Marrero, Fred C. Materese, Erica Y. Mead, Richard A. Murphy III, Todd M. O'Hara, Ivy U. Oropallo, Amberly D. Payne, Gary Perico, Warren N. Peterson, Jonathan R. Powers, Jeffrey A. Ransom, Kim Read, Jesse R. Rhinebeck, Jr, Nathan Rosene, Neil D. Shaffer, David J. Shiner, Rory Sicovitch, Frank J. Siglin, Sr, Jeffrey C. Skinner, Duane Spencer, Amy M. Squier, Correna A. Stormes, Earl H. Thompson, Jr., Shannon L. VanVleck, Anthony M. Vaow, Keith W. Vroman, Robert C. Walter, II, Joseph Watkins, Glynn Wildoner, III, Patrick L. Yachymiak, Edward K. Zajaczkowski, Karl D. Zantowsky.
Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals.
911 addressing was a hot issue, though an old issue, at Clifford Township’s November 11 meeting. John Regan, chairman, stated that addressing is “on hold” until all Clifford Township residents receive a Clifford Township address. The supervisors explained that in order for the township to receive earned income tax money from a resident, that resident must have a Clifford Township address. “We’re not backing up one inch,” Regan stated, “We want what’s ours.”
Concerning doors installed at the township building, secretary Renee Reynolds stated, “Nothing will be paid until we’re satisfied with the doors.” Dennis Knowlton called the installation an example of “shoddy work,” and pointed out that Mesko Glass has not returned to fix the problem.
The Cub Scouts are hosting a food drive for needy families; a collection bin is located in the township building.
A Christmas tree lighting will occur on Friday, December 5 on Main Street, Clifford. Santa Claus will make a visit, and children will receive prizes and gifts.
Following a request that the Clifford Fire House serve as an emergency shelter, a generator will be installed there. Purchased with grant money, the generator came at no cost to the fire company.
Applications are available for the 2009 farmland preservation program.
The Susquehanna Country Agricultural Land Preservation Board was established by the county commissioners in 1989, to help preserve farmland in Susquehanna County by administering a program to purchase agricultural conservation easements from landowners in the county. Local funding comes from an annual allocation by the commissioners. These county funds are then matched by the state program.
Agricultural Conservation Easement is defined as: A legal agreement the property owner makes that restricts the land to agricultural production in perpetuity while retaining private ownership. As the private ownership changes, the restrictions remain with the land.
To date, 25 farms containing 5,493 acres have been preserved in Susquehanna County. The county program is part of the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Program. Pennsylvania’s program is first in the nation in number of acres preserved, and is continuing to preserve farmland at a faster rate than any other state. 3,661 farms, consisting of 403,411 acres, have been preserved in Pennsylvania.
To be eligible, farms must be located in an Agricultural Security Area (ASA); be at least 50 contiguous acres; 50% of soils must be class IV or better; the land use must be 50% harvested cropland, pasture or grazing land, and the land must be part of a normal farming operation generating farm income.
The application period for the Susquehanna County program starts November 15, 2008 and ends January 15, 2009. Each application is ranked against all other eligible applicants. A farm’s rank is based on the quality of the soils, stewardship of the land, and the likelihood of the conversion of the farm to non-agricultural uses.
For an application and/or more information, contact Marlene Bailey at the USDA-NRCS office in Montrose at 278-1011, extension 101.
At the November 13 Oakland Boro Council meeting, Codes Enforcement Officer Shane Lewis gave a rundown of the month’s violations cases, and reported that the Oakland/Lanesboro Codes Support Committee had held their first meeting and were in the process of compiling lists of resources that correspond with the most common types of violations. More meetings will be scheduled, as there is a lot of material to cover, and council will be kept apprised of their progress.
The meeting adjourned to a brief executive session, after which a motion carried to designate the Department of Labor and Industry as the boro’s inspector for commercial and handicapped accessible buildings as of April, at which time Mr. Lewis will no longer be able to conduct the inspections (he had been “grandfathered” in as an inspector under the UCC until that time).
More fine-tuning has been done on the proposed ordinance to regulate outdoor wood furnaces. As the UCC already covers mechanical, plumbing and electrical requirements, the new ordinance will focus on what may be burned in the furnaces, and the chimney height/placement. Mr. Lewis stressed that permits are required for the furnaces, which includes a pre-site inspection.
Bradley Weaver addressed council about his Eagle Scout project, to clean up and repair the tennis court area of the park. He has volunteers lined up, as well as donations and is ready to begin; a day will be scheduled as soon as the weather allows.
River Bounty is currently in discussion with interested parties to see if it is feasible to rehabilitate the dam on the Susquehanna River and get the hydro-electric plant back up and running.
Drainage work on High Street has been finished, paving was to begin the following day (Friday), weather permitting. Work on State St. was set to begin shortly. A grant application has been submitted for work on Westfall. And, Walnut Street will be closed for the winter.
The Housing and Redevelopment Authority is still working on getting the DCNR grant funding released to the boro. The funds had been awarded for park improvement, but have not yet been received. There was no word yet on when the funds will be forthcoming. There is concern, as the grant has a time constraint during which the work must be completed.
Council has been trying to obtain a .14 acre lot situated next to the park, but there have been some complications. Discussion included a plan of action, and a motion carried that included a plan the next steps to take.
A motion carried to accept the Housing and Redevelopment Authority’s offer for the lower lot next to the Oakland Heights apartments (the site where the old boro building used to be). Since the authority is a government entity, it is not necessary to put it out to bid, the offer can be accepted or rejected without the bidding process.
A motion carried to adopt the driveway ordinance, which has been approved by the solicitor and duly advertised.
Oakland’s fire protection for 2009 will be $7,240, up just slightly from this year.
There was some discussion about a situation where a resident wanted to host a fundraising band concert in the park, on very short notice. It was agreed that events such as this require at least 30 days’ notice, and any requests should go through the Parks & Rec. committee.
The annual Christmas decorating contest will be held again this year. Any residence whose owners are not members of council are eligible to win.
The meeting adjourned to another executive session; no action was taken afterwards.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, December 11, 7 p.m. in the Lanesboro Community Center.
The Starrucca Borough Council met for their regular monthly meeting on October 1 at the Community Hall in Starrucca. President (Kirk) Rhone, Mr. Arthur Kopp, Mr. Donald Haynes, Mr. Fred Rhone, Mr. Anthony Palonis, Mrs. Barbara Glover, Mr. Robert Buck and Mayor (MaryAnn) DeBalko were present.
President Rhone opened the meeting and the minutes from the previous meeting were read. Mrs. Glover asked the previous minutes be corrected as she found out a C.P.A. (certified public accountant) could be very expensive and asked that her vote to hire a C.P.A. be rescinded. Motion carried to approve the minutes as read.
The Treasurer’s report was given, motion to approve carried.
The bills were presented for payment (with the addition of Dennis Whitmore’s last installment for lawn care as per contract). Motion to approve payment of the bills carried. Mrs. Glover was opposed to the payment to Ronald Bugaj, Borough Solicitor.
The following Correspondence was received:
A request to use the building for the upcoming election was received from the Wayne County Election Bureau. Motion carried to grant the use of the building.
A notice of second Storm Water Management meeting to be held October 27 was received from Wayne County Department of Planning.
An invitation and a cancellation of a Municipal Leaders dance from PPL were read.
An invitation to a Live to Love dinner dance from the Honesdale EMS was read.
A notice of the estimated 2009 Liquid Fuels Allocation ($19,565.00) and an explanation of the reduced amount were received from PennDOT.
Three notices from the Wayne County Assessment Office: the first, an appeal hearing in the name of DeBalko. The second, results of a recent hearing in the name of Slocum, and the third, the results of the DeBalko hearing.
A packet containing the CDBG grants for the 2009 year was received from the Wayne County Redevelopment Authority.
In Borough Reports:
President Rhone presented phone quotes for the winter maintenance of the following roads: Penn Hill, Stephano, Buck, Jacobs Ladder and Coxton Lake.
1. Como Construction quoted $55.00 per hour plowing and/or cindering and $20.00 @ ton for the cinders.
2. Bill Pykus Excavating – did not return the call.
3. Harmony Township – was not interested.
4. Chris Miller – was not interested.
Motion to hire Como Construction at the prices quoted for the winter maintenance carried.
Mrs. Glover reported the Wind Mill Committee continues its work on the ordinance.
Building permits issued last month:
1. Robert Martin
Motion carried to accept the Depositions Committee’s preliminary and final findings of the depositions of: Jack Downton, Bridgette D’Agati, Paul Everett, Louis Gurske, Robert Weldy, Patricia Schneyer and Laura Travis, and to further forward the findings to the appropriate authorities as designated by the committee for action to be taken. Mrs. Glover was opposed.
In Unfinished Business:
Mayor DeBalko gave a report of the “Gas Company” meeting she recently attended, and turned information over to the secretary.
Motion carried on behalf of a request from Jennifer Bennett and Karen Cook to allow the use of the building for a Halloween party set for October 25.
In New Business:
An ordinance to hire a Certified Public Accountant to perform the borough’s audits, after being duly advertised, was read. Motion to adopt the ordinance as read, carried, Mrs. Glover was opposed. The ordinance was presented to the mayor and signed. Motion to obtain phone quotes for presentation at the November meeting carried. Mrs. Glover was opposed.
Mrs. Glover opened an envelope and read her own resignation letter. Motion to accept the resignation carried.
President Rhone asked those present if anyone was interested in filling the vacancy.
In Public Participation:
Mr. Robert Martin asked if the hall’s bathrooms are functional for the party and also elections.
He asked how many building permits have been issued this year. The secretary answered three permits have been issued. Mr. Martin questioned why his permit was numbered 4 (four), if only three have been issued. The secretary explained that all permit applications are numbered, and one is currently pending. Mr. Martin then asked specifically if Mr. Ali Demir (next to the Downton farm) has a permit and the secretary answered yes, he does.
Mrs. Dee (Deloris) Martin stood up, obviously upset about her own permit and told of several people in town, building without permits. She asked the council “why Laura (Travis- secty) sends out a letter and a permit application, without calling the people to ask what they are doing.” She stated that before her work began, she checked and a permit wasn’t required, until her work progressed into construction requiring a permit. Mr. Palonis tried to explain that the council’s procedure is that everyone goes through the secretary, and the secretary works with B.I.U. (Building Inspection Underwriters). She went on to tell of a neighbor who had put a roof on his house, but was unclear of the change that had been made. She also reported a deck but was unsure of the height. Mr. Palonis again suggested that she report the name/s to the secretary and she refused, stating she would contact B.I.U. herself as she “didn’t trust council.”
Mr. (Erban) Travis, a supervisor from a neighboring township (Scott) suggested to council to double the permit fees for those caught building without, as it encourages people to get the permits first.
No further business to come before the board, motion carried to adjourn, meeting adjourned.
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