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The Great Bend Borough Council took barely half an hour to dispose of an unusually sparse agenda at their January meeting on the 8th. Council has been pursuing a couple of options for bringing police coverage to the borough for nearly a year, and now Council president Rick Franks declares the subject in "limbo" for the time being.
Great Bend Borough very nearly had an agreement wrapped up last summer to rent some time from the Lanesboro police department. When fuel prices began to rise sharply, the Lanesboro council backed out. Overtures have been made to the Montrose police department, which has been supplying police coverage to New Milford Borough, so far with no real response.
Now the Great Bend Borough Council is having second thoughts, hearing complaints from neighbors about the way the police are operating in New Milford. There are stories about police camping outside local bars and restaurants, and "harassing" patrons. They don't want to see that kind of policing in Great Bend.
Code enforcement in the borough is taking a hiatus, as pretty white snow is covering up some accumulations of trash on some properties in question. Council is concerned about parking at the new Parts Plus store on Main Street and will try to find an amicable solution. They don't want the business to leave town, but they fear a dangerous situation at the south end of town.
The borough will be working to try to get some grant money for the parks. With the addition of an abandoned property as a result of the 2006 flooding, Greenwood Park could be expanded. Councilman Bret Jennings asked about a listing he found on the web site of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission showing a boat launch in the borough. Others recalled that a boat launch was proposed for Greenwood Park some years ago, but when the launch was put in upstream from the river bridge in Hallstead, that project was cancelled. The listing showing boat launch area 799 at the east end of Spring Street in the borough probably should be removed from the web site.
Councilman Jerry MacConnell has been plumping for a "mobile home ordinance" of some kind, but was not able to get with borough solicitor Frank O'Connor yet to discuss details. However, he said he will get a copy of a similar ordinance from the Lanesboro council for review.
Councilman Mike Wasko asked borough secretary Sheila Guinan to draft a letter to Barnes-Kasson Hospital thanking them for services to the community by operating the Blue Ridge Senior Center in the borough building, and notifying them that the rent would not be increased this year.
Mr. MacConnell closed the meeting asking that a plaque of some sort be presented to the Hallstead-Great Bend Ambulance Service for their "dedication to the community." He said he had recently had occasion to drive an ambulance on a call and noted the outstanding service these volunteers provide. The service is currently raising funds to help purchase a badly needed new ambulance.
The Great Bend Borough Council meets in public session on the first Thursday of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the borough building on Elizabeth Street.
Clifford Township supervisors met Monday, January 5 for a reorganization meeting, followed by a regular business meeting. During the reorganization session, most township officials retained their positions, and Joseph G. McGraw was hired to replace the late Paul Peterson as township solicitor.
Beginning in February, regular business meetings will remain scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month.
As part of the Sewage Management Plan, letters will be mailed to Clifford Township lake property owners concerning mandatory sewage pumping.
Next, Chairman John Regan stated that the supervisors decided, after reviewing previous meeting minutes, to pave Eleanore Kinney’s road. Regan added that it “needs to be taken care of for that lady’s sake.”
Another ongoing matter within the township concerns 911 addressing. Regan explained that Browndale, Forest City, Richmondale and Vandling utilize the same zip code, and that occupational tax money from Clifford Township residents is sometimes lost to neighboring municipalities. According to Regan, “It’s silliness that the Postal Service will pay a million dollars for an ad at the Superbowl, and they can’t give us our own zip code.” He plans to contact Chris Carney and Sandra Major.
A township resident asked if the supervisors had named a “go-to” person in compliance with Pennsylvania’s “Right to Know” Law. Regan responded that the board has yet to research the matter and decide how to handle it.
The police department has received a 100% grant for a new police car. A dashboard camera may be purchased with proceeds from the sale of the old car.
As required, the Harford Township Supervisors gathered on the first Monday of January to formally organize themselves for the coming year. The meeting on the 5th followed a strict agenda, and resulted in no changes whatsoever. The only curiosity was hearing Terry VanGorden, just re-elected to the chair of the board of supervisors, make a motion to re-appoint himself as township roadmaster.
In case you don't remember the lineup from last year:
* Terry VanGorden chairs the board of supervisors.
* Garry Foltz resumes his role as vice-chair.
* Sue Furney retains her position as secretary/treasurer, bonded at $900,000.
* Wayne Frederici and Hollis Adams continue as township employees.
* Terry VanGorden continues as roadmaster.
* Dorothy Hagenbuch will continue as chair of the vacancy board.
* Solicitor is Andrew Hailstone of the Scranton firm of Kreder Brooks Hailstone, at $225 per hour.
* Peoples National Bank continues as the sole depository.
* Meetings will continue to be held at the township office on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
* Garry Foltz accepted the role of voting delegate to the convention of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS).
* Employee holidays will be: Memorial Day, May 25, 2009; Independence Day, July 4, 2009 (observed Friday, July 3); Labor Day, September 7, 2009; Thanksgiving and the day following (November 26 & 27, 2009); Christmas day, December 25, 2009 and half-day December 24; New Year's Day, 2010 and half-day December 31, 2009.
* Sue Furney also continues as "Open Records Officer."
Wages for all employees, including roadmaster and secretary, were to be determined by the township's auditors at a meeting scheduled for the following day, January 6.
The Supervisors will continue with a regular business meeting on Tuesday, January 13, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Compiled By Lauren P. Ficarro
Calvin and Joyce Smales to Lisa S. and William D. Reidsema, in Bridgewater Township for $52,500.00.
Elsie Robles to Christopher S. Grzankowski, in Oakland Township for $80,000.00.
Christopher and Jodi A. Conrad (NBM) Jodi A. Wadge to Kevin J. Price, in Uniondale Borough for $87,600.00.
Joan K. Posly to Joan K. and Louis M. Posly, in Gibson Township for one dollar.
Joseph M. Delduca (Trust By Tr) to Joseph M Delduca, Jr., Donna Fargione and Diane Gonnella, in Oakland Township for one dollar.
Keith A. and Regina C. Harris to Deborah K. Wozniak, in Choconut Township for $550,000.00.
Naomi Root, John J. and Kimberly Gazzillo to John J. and Kimberly Gazzillo, in Springville Township for $2,310.00.
Francisco J. and Diane Martinez to Francisco J. and Diane Martinez, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
Warren S. and Nancy T. DeWitt to DeWitt Family Limited Partnership, in Oakland Township for one dollar.
Pennsylvania Commonwealth, Dept. Of Transportation to Montrose Area School District, in Choconut Township for one dollar.
Michael B. Kearney of Scranton vs. Lisa Ann Kearney of Factoryville, married 1989.
Cory L. Hood of Hallstead vs. Francis M. Hood of Montrose, married 2004.
Scott A. Lonzinski vs. Alyssa N. Lonzinski, both of Great Bend, married 2001.
Karen M. Truax of Susquehanna vs. Christopher Truax of Tunkhannock, married 2008.
The Great Bend Township Supervisors began their January 5 meeting with reorganization and the following items were approved.
- Chairman of the board, Joe Gaughan and vice chairman, Walt Galloway.
- Reappointment of secretary/treasurer Sheila Guinan.
- Roadmaster Joe Gaughan.
- Pay scale for supervisors employed for road work, $10.00/hour.
- Mileage reimbursement .550/mile, the current IRS rate.
- The treasurer’s bond in the amount of $400,000.
- Legal counsel, Mike Giangrieco
- Engineer, Hawk Engineering.
- Sewage Enforcement Officer, COG.
- Auditing firm, Joseph Collura, CPA, at a rate of $875.
- Depositories for township funds: Peoples National Bank - dirt and gravel, state fund, general fund checking, line of credit, Bridging Communities, general fund money market; Pennstar - general machinery, building fund; PLGIT - emergency capital; M&T Bank - money market.
- Signature card requirements, two.
- Regular meeting date and time, first Monday of each month, 7 p.m. at the township building.
- Representative to the Susquehanna County Council of Governments (COG) Walt Galloway, alternate, Joe Gaughan.
- Chairman of the Vacancy Board, Ed Eckenrod, Jr.
With the regular meeting following immediately afterward, the roadmaster’s report included the usual winter activities, plowing, and keeping the equipment clean and maintained. The road crew would be asked to check on a couple of spots where icing has been a problem.
Permits issued included an assessment permit to Richard Secord.
COG sent information on a floodplain ordinance to the township’s solicitor.
Jason Auckland is appealing the need to install a sprinkler system in the sleeping quarters/bunk houses (a UCC requirement) on his property. An appeal hearing will be held on January 28, 3:00 p.m. at the COG offices in New Milford.
Subdivision for the Sienko property was approved, pending sewage approval.
There will be a tax certification course offered in Montrose in May, cost $195; all tax collectors are strongly urged to attend. The board approved paying for the township’s tax collector to attend.
Correspondence included an inquiry about the Locust Hill Cemetery. Alan Fox is asking for information about its ownership. He’d like to “adopt” the cemetery and clean it and restore it. It is apparently abandoned.
The supervisors received an invitation to the sixth annual PA Farm Show public officials’ day luncheon on January 15.
The township received a Notice of Intent for Approval by Rule Applications for gas drilling in Liberty and Middletown Townships.
Hans Moelder was appointed as the township’s representative to the sewer authority.
In compliance with a state mandate, all municipalities must appoint an Open Records Officer; it was agreed that Mrs. Guinan would be the best choice. The township will also need to work up a Right-to-Know policy and determine a reasonable fee for copies when they are requested.
The next meeting will be on Monday, February 2, 7:00 p.m. in the township building.
The Starrucca Borough Council met for their regular monthly meeting on December 3 at the Community Hall in Starrucca. President (Kirk) Rhone, Mr. Arthur Kopp, Mr. Donald Haynes, Mr. Fred Rhone, Mr. Anthony Palonis, Mr. Peter Frank, Mr. Robert Buck and Mayor (MaryAnn) DeBalko were present.
President Rhone opened the meeting and announced an Executive Session with the Depositions Committee to discuss legal matters.
The meeting was re-opened and the minutes from the previous meeting were read. Motion carried to approve the minutes as read.
The minutes from the November 24 special meeting were read, and motion to approve carried.
The Treasurer’s report was given, motion to approve carried.
The bills were presented with the addition of Solicitor Bugaj ($758.50), motion to approve payment carried.
Motion carried to close the FEMA account and transfer the money to the General Fund.
The following correspondence was received:
A letter of request, from Mr. Douglas Brigandi, for an AE Zone Elevation certificate for his property in the borough was read. After some discussion, motion carried to advise Mr. Brigandi to contact Mr. Ed Coar of the Wayne County Department of Planning for assistance and to further request a copy of the original request from his lender for the borough files.
The secretary read a letter submitted by Darl Haynes, which stated in part, “The following are my beliefs and opinions:
“The controversy in Starrucca Borough has existed since 2004. That Paul Everett was a former council member and FEMA agent for the borough and at that time met with representatives from the NRCS to obtain available funding for the repair of the Shadigee Creek wall for the protection of the deeded homeowner at the time, Ms. Renee Warden. At the same time he (Everett) signed an agreement with FEMA to fund the wall project, knowing that the FEMA funding was not eligible for private property.”
He also points out Lou Gurske’s actions and possible role in the disappearance of a check meant to transfer $5,000.00 from one account to the other, stating that as a councilman, Gurske never informed the rest of council that he had knowledge of the disappearance or the actions he was taking with the bank, concerning the same.
Haynes speaks of his own appreciation of the land he owns and his hard work to maintain it and he asks of the crime committed by a borough maintaining and upgrading their roads and bridges.
He further tells of Laura Travis and her family as well as the families of Kirk and Alice Rhone and Robert and Lillian Buck. Their decades of sacrifice and countless hours of community service for today and future generations to come. He states that the undermining actions taken here will never take away the respect, credibility, and integrity of these people. But he does feel, however that these actions were ethically, legally and morally wrong, not only to these individuals but to all the taxpayers of Starrucca Borough.
In Borough Reports:
Mr. Rhone stated the Community Hall has been “shut down” for the winter.
Building permits issued last month: 0
In Unfinished Business: there was none.
In New Business: The 2009 proposed budget was reviewed. Mr. Frank pointed out the difference attributed to the audit as a C.P.A. has been hired. The secretary showed where there was additional money under the heading “Judgments and Losses.” Mr. Palonis pointed out the amount anticipated for the lawyer fees for 2009 and stated he hopes this “garbage” can come to an end and the borough can re-coup its losses. He further stated that it is a shame for the taxpayers to bear such a cost for what he feels is “unnecessary” protection.
In Public Participation:
Mr. Darl Haynes asked if the people in the community felt the wall issue was so important, then why didn’t they use the NRCS funding that was available at the time. He further asked what projects have not been addressed by the borough, as it seems to be an issue in the community.
Mr. Robert Martin questioned the council about the lawyer’s fees in the budget and asked, “What do you have to defend the borough about?” President Rhone stated under the solicitor’s advice the only answer he can give is “pending litigation.”
Mr. Martin then stated that “There was a wind mill committee set up and I haven’t heard anything.” Mayor DeBalko stated a meeting of the committee is set for December 17 and that work is still ongoing.
No further business to come before the board, motion carried to adjourn.
Several members of the Progressive Agriculture Organization (Pro Ag) met with aides of Senator Arlen Specter, Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., Congressman Chris Carney, and Congressman Paul Kanjorski.
The Pro Ag members alerted the officials about the possible serious decline in dairy farmers’ milk prices.
Arden Tewksbury, Manager of Pro Ag, told the group that the butter and cheeses prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) fell to $1.13 per pound (lb). He further stated that if these manufactured dairy product prices do not rebound, then dairy farmers’ pay prices could go down to the $12.00 per hundredweight (cwt) range.
In June, 2003, the cheese price averaged $1.15 per lb. This resulted in the following Class prices: Class I – $12.99; Class II – $10.46; Class III – $9.75; Class IV – $9.76.
Dairy farmers’ actual pay price was $11.66 per cwt.
Everyone agreed that these pay prices to dairy farmers are completely unacceptable.
The milk price to dairy farmers in August, 2007 was $23.14 per cwt (this was when things finally started to look up for dairy farmers).
The dairy farmers presented suggestions that they want the elected officials to include in the upcoming economic stimulus package.
Dennis Boyanowski said, “The beauty of the pricing formula recommended by Pro Ag and National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) is that it would not cost the government any money.”
Tewksbury said, “We pulled out the pricing mechanism and the supply management program from S-1722 (The Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act of 2007). The pricing mechanism would return a price to dairy farmers of at least $20.00 per cwt, and the milk supply management program would curtail over-production of milk (if it exists).”
Pro Ag delivered nearly 30 letters to the staff of Senator Specter, Senator Casey, Congressman Carney, and Congressman Kanjorski. These letters came from dairy farmers, agribusiness people, and banks. All of the letters related the serious decay being experienced on the dairy farms across rural America.
The letter writers also warned the elected officials that something must be done and done in a hurry to prevent this upcoming potential crisis.
Tewksbury said, “Some people say the government should not intervene. Please let me say that since 1981, the government has intervened. They reduced the support price on manufactured dairy products several times. They placed assessments on dairy farmers three times, which caused havoc with our dairy farmers’ milk prices, and the government imposed the current milk pricing formula, which is causing this financial chaos on our dairy farms now.”
The farmers agreed that immediate action by Congress is essential.
The National Family Farm Coalition has already delivered their proposal and Pro Ag’s proposal to the stimulus package.
Pro Ag’s motto is: If you want to restore rural America, then agriculture must receive a fair price.
PRO AG can be reached at (570) 833-5776 and by e-mail at email@example.com.
Following is the list of names drawn to serve as Petit and Traverse jurors, to appear in the Court of Common Pleas, Susquehanna County Courthouse on the second day of February at 9:00 a.m.
Apolacon Twp.: Mary Sivers.
Auburn Twp.: Patty Adams, Barbara Place, Memory Skinner, Eugene Trowbridge.
Bridgewater Twp.: Carol Crossen, Millicent Hollister, Avis Morgan, Janet Sterling.
Brooklyn Twp.: Mark Gregory, Patrick Mason, Buddy VanLuvanee.
Choconut Twp.: William Churco.
Clifford Twp.: Mary Burns, Carrie Galambos, Brenda Mennig, Walter Mihalisin, Mark Opeil, John Peterka, Martin Semken, Sr., Ellen Williams.
Dimock Twp.: Michael Ely, Patrick Martin.
Forest City 1W: Irene Huncharek.
Forest Lake Twp.: Mark King.
Franklin Twp.: Gregg Harwood.
Great Bend Boro: Tabetha Corley, Dawn Franks.
Great Bend Twp.: Patricia Lobdell, Thomas Roe.
Hallstead Boro: Robert Kaub, Marion Slater.
Harford Twp.: Dale Grant, Deborah Schultz.
Harmony Twp.: Geoffrey Ross, Marilyn Williams.
Herrick Twp.: Maureen Kupiec, Nancy Wink.
Jackson Twp.: Joan Benson, Dwayne Conklin, Michelle Laubach.
Jessup Twp.: Henry Kinsey.
Lanesboro Boro: Elaine Hanrahan.
Lathrop Twp.: Lisa Hancock, Gerald Daniel Harvey.
Lenox Twp.: April Ball, Mark Clark, Kathryn Decker.
Liberty Twp.: Albert Heisler, John Lawson, Shawn Wilber.
Little Meadows Boro: Jim Russell, Mary Shaughnessy.
Middletown Twp.: Darlene Kingdon.
Montrose Boro 1W: Diane Gregory.
New Milford Boro: Doris Robinson.
New Milford Twp.: Cassandra Biesecker, Linda Keck, Darlene Slocum.
Oakland Boro: Jason Dubanowitz, Ronald Hall, Robert Marvin.
Rush Twp.: Randy Jenner, Randy Powers.
Silver Lake Twp.: Diana S. Bean, Beth Davis, James Eldred, Deborah Grigalunas, Michael Hester, Earl Lesch.
Springville Twp.: Jonathan Jones, Kevin Pascoe, Bonnie Smith, Gary Wallace.
Susquehanna Boro 2W: David Hankey, Vivian Westbrook.
Thompson Twp.: Rita Leet, Nancy Pease.
Union Dale Boro: Betty Gorton.
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