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Oakland Boro has finally received the first installment of DCNR grant funding for the park, it was reported at the May 14 council meeting. The estimated cost of the park improvements is $44,000, with $32,000 in grant funding and a $12,000 match by the boro. The boro’s match could be in the form of cash or services donated by residents; pledges were solicited when the application was made.
Chad Crawford addressed council on behalf of the Parks & Rec. committee to update them on the project plans. The playground equipment has been ordered; there was some discussion about whether it should be placed at the original playground site, or further up the hill on the site of the trailer property that the boro is attempting to buy. However, the grant application was to place the equipment at the present playground site; any changes would have to be submitted to DCNR for approval. As the boro has no guarantee that they will be able to acquire the trailer property, or a timeline of when it might happen, it was agreed that it would be best to proceed with the original plan, as the project must be completed by December 31. Applying for a modification of the project could severely delay the project. When and if the boro does acquire the trailer property, council is considering the site for a new boro building and the parks committee feels that it would also be an ideal site for a pavilion, which may be added if there is no shortfall of the donation pledges.
A motion carried to proceed with purchase of the playground equipment, which will be paid by the boro and reimbursed when the additional grant funding is received. The way the grant works, the initial installment must be spent and documentation submitted before the second installment will be released. The project plans also call for lighting and fencing of the playground perimeter.
Council also discussed keeping the park mowed during the summer months; council member Gary Boughton volunteered to see to it when it can’t be added to the streets department schedule.
Boy Scout Brad Weaver was present to update council on his work project to clean up and work on the basketball court at the park, which has been completed despite a setback caused by vandalism. Council commended him for an outstanding job, which Mr. Weaver said had been possible through the work of volunteers and donations. The fence has been repaired, lines painted on the court, and garbage has been cleaned up.
The boro’s new website is up and running, and Mr. Weaver was asked to send photos of the project so that they could be posted on the site. The address is www.oaklandboro.com.
Council was asked if it would be possible to change the street leading to the park to a one-way, as there have been traffic problems. Although several present said that the street had been one-way at one time, no one was certain of just how it had become two-way. However, since it is presently a two-way street, changing it would require a traffic study, the cost of which could be prohibitive, and an ordinance. One suggestion to remedy the situation was to place “enter” and “exit” signs at the park itself.
In other business, an update was given on the usual list of codes violations, with most said to be in progress. One consistent complaint has been about trash and an apparently unlicensed business on one particular property; council pointed out that, as the boro does not have zoning, its only recourse is through the codes system. At last month’s meeting, council had approved pursuing legal action against the owner of this particular property.
Mayor Dudley gave a report of the previous month’s police activity, which included an incident of vandalism at the park, which the department was in the process of investigating. The mayor asked council to consider updating the boro’s disorderly conduct ordinance so that incidents of this type and others, such as loitering, would be easier to uphold when they are taken to court. Council agreed to accept the proposed update subject to the solicitor’s approval. Enactment of the update will be completed as quickly as the process allows, so that the ordinance will be in place when summer begins.
The mayor also reported that there had been an incident at the park with minors causing a disturbance; the State Police had responded and the youths involved were given community service at the park.
The boro’s police department had received a DCED grant for new equipment; its purchase price had been lower than anticipated on the grant application, with approximately $983 left over. The department submitted a request for a modification to the grant application, to add painting and body repairs for the police car. If it is accepted, a nominal amount not covered by the grant would be covered by the repair allocation in the budget. If the modification is not approved, the leftover funding will have to be returned to DCED.
Cynthia Beavan reported that River Bounty was to have met with the individuals interested in restoring the Susquehanna River dam and hydro electric plant, but they had not attended River Bounty’s last meeting. The parties had submitted a plan to the Army Corps of Engineers for the restoration, but if ACE does not approve the plan, the project will not proceed.
Several complaints from residents were discussed, a dumpster on High Street that is blocking sight distance and parking congestion on lower Prospect Street. The contractor will be asked to move the dumpster if possible. The parking problems were said to be caused by drivers not obeying state laws as far as parking too close to intersections and driveways.
Council will vote on the proposed outdoor furnace ordinance at next month’s meeting, which has been changed to June 18 due to a scheduling conflict. Meetings are held at 7:00 p.m. at the Lanesboro Community Center.
Less than a week after its Finance Committee struggled with administrators to stretch the dollars as far as they would go, the Blue Ridge School Board offers the public a budget for the fiscal year that will begin in July. At a business meeting on May 11, the Board accepted a preliminary budget that also asks taxpayers to shoulder a rate increase of 1 mill to pay for it.
The budget was actually the last item on an agenda that covered a record 33 items. When Business Manager Loren Small accepted reappointment as the Board’s Secretary, one member conditioned his vote on a promise not to let meeting agendas exceed 50 items, to which Mr. Small readily agreed.
It was also an evening that recognized the contribution of senior Nick Smith, who has regularly attended these sometimes tedious meetings as a non-voting student representative, and whose frequent well-considered comments have been highly valued. The Board presented him with a certificate of thanks and a cake – which he shared with the people awaiting the conclusion of a long executive session.
High School Principal Scott Jeffery opened the meeting, as he usually does, by recognizing two of his other outstanding seniors, this time Christina Brush and Chris Storr. Each listed activities in their high school careers and some of their accomplishments. Ms. Brush will attend Marywood next Fall to study elementary special education. Mr. Storr expects to attend Broome Community College to study computer science.
Tom Chamberlain and Alan Wilmarth attended to present some mementoes of the recent 6th grade trip to Washington, DC and to ask approval for the trip next year, scheduled for April 21-24, 2010. Preparations for next year were to begin only 3 days hence, at a meeting for 5th grade parents scheduled for Thursday, May 14. The trip is organized by a local group known as Creative Adventures For Education (C.A.F.E.) that helps to ensure that all members of the 6th grade class can participate regardless of financial need or circumstance.
Mr. Chamberlain said that planning for the annual trip focuses around a scheduled appointment to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. One student is chosen for the honor from those who participate in an essay contest sponsored by the ladies’ auxiliary of the American Legion, in Hallstead.
This year the students placed another wreath at the World War II memorial to honor the later Walter Woolbaugh, who took part in 5 campaigns during that conflict. That ceremony was also attended by members of the Woolbaugh family.
As usual, C.A.F.E. was able to report that the students received many compliments on their behavior, and their respect for the sites they visited and the experiences they enjoyed on the excursion.
One more student will get a special trip to Washington, courtesy of Claverack Electric Cooperative. Mr. Jeffery announced that Claverack will send 8 students on the trip in June, including Alex Burkett from Blue Ridge.
Before Board members could dig into their agenda, they heard yet another briefing, this time a presentation by Trish Gilboy and Ashley Goff outlining the work of the professional staff development team. Professional development for the faculty is a special focus of the new Superintendent, Chris Dyer, under new mandates by the state. The team includes community members, administrators and board members, along teachers themselves.
During the next school year, beginning in August, the faculty will have 5 “in-service” days to help find ways to improve their skills. In addition, Ms. Gilboy and Ms. Goff said that extra time is made available on Fridays for teachers to meet “collaboratively” to trade information and assistance. They said that the team would be trying to make staff development an “on-going” process, rather than simply a series of training days scattered over the year.
Most of the meeting’s formal agenda consisted of routine matters, some of which included:
Approving an agreement with Pennsylvania Treatment and Healing (PATH, previously known as Bethesda Day Treatment) to provide “alternative” education services “for disruptive youth.” The district is required to provide instruction to all pupils, sometimes regardless of their conduct. The alternative education program makes instruction available off-campus to students whose behavior at school is considered disruptive.
Scheduling summer school, which will run from June 22 through July 20 this year; district residents will pay $75 tuition; non-resident tuition will be $125. The elementary school summer program will run from June 15 through August 7 and be taught by Magaret Glezen, Dominica Skal, Jamie Swartwood, Brandy Pitcher, Sarah Templeton, Lynette Daniels, and Krista Bowman. Asked if Blue Ridge could adopt a cheaper summer school alternative using the on-line V-LINC system as Mountain View is doing this year, Mr. Dyer said that he had looked at the possibility, but preferred face-to-face instruction, at least for this summer. He said that V-LINC could have some “partial application for some of our students.” Mr. Jeffery said that the district’s cost for summer school this year would total about $8,500.
Accepting a quote from Premier Agendas for student planners for a total of about $8,000 for the three schools.
Reappointing Joel Whitehead as Board Treasurer for next year, at a salary of $1,500. He will be bonded for $15,000, which Mr. Small said would be “more than enough.”
Designating Peoples National Bank, PennStar, Salomon Smith, Barney, PA Invest, PLGIT (Pennsylvania’s Local Government Investment Trust) and Community Bank & Trust as depositories for the coming year. Mr. Small said that funds are distributed among the banks as rates change.
Approving continuation of the summer food service program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This program provides free lunches to just about anyone participating in activities on the campus during the summer, is very popular, and has been very successful during the several years it has operated.
Approving additional compensation for Margaret Glezen in her capacity as Title I Coordinator. As a rural school with a high proportion of economically disadvantaged students, the administration believes that the many Title I activities at Blue Ridge deserve the attention of a paid coordinator.
Approving the appointment of John Ciotoli as head wrestling coach for post-season competition.
Approving the 2009 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS), a “scientifically validated tool designed to capture information on violence, weapons usage … delinquent behavior and substance abuse.” It will be conducted by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency during the Fall term.
Formally adopting a long list of detailed amendments to the Board’s policy manual. Among others, the policies cover Board procedure; non-discrimination in hiring, classroom practice and contracting; enrollment and administrative regulation; and transportation.
Approving the annual request by Blue Ridge Recreation for support of the Summer Adventures program at the campus this summer.
Re-appointing Mark Fallon as Special Education Director for the next school year at a salary of $77,000. The vote was unanimous on this item, probably the result of the earlier executive session.
The Board also agreed to advertise to find suitable candidates for a special education teacher and aide for the emotional support program that the administration would like to bring in-house next year. Because of the cost and its potential impact on the budget, the Board emphasized that this measure allows for the advertising only, and does not imply that the positions would actually be filled.
The Board agreed, with some dissension, to approve the Jamie Torrance and Lynn Parker (Dean of Students, the high school’s primary disciplinarian) as volunteer co-advisors to the new “Diversity Club” for the remainder of the current school year. A couple of Board members were reluctant to support the club officially (the students may form whatever clubs they want) because it seemed to have “no clear objective.” Laurie Brown-Bonner reminded her colleagues that the issue had been debated at length. But, as student representative Nick Smith said, this measure would simply give the club an opportunity to develop a direction in preparation for next year.
Finally, item 33 on the agenda: the budget. Business Manager Mr. Small offered two variations.
Barely a week before, a consensus of the Finance Committee decided on a 1 mill increase in the property tax rate to partially cover ballooning billings for “cyber-charter” students, up over 700% in one year. Then came news that the state Senate had passed a bill that upended Governor Rendell’s proposal to use federal stimulus funds to augment state education subsidies. According to the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA), the bill cuts some $728 million from state public education funding, replacing it with the stimulus money level with current funding. So, instead of the modest increase originally expected in the Blue Ridge budget (which does not include any stimulus funds), “flat-funding” would cut another $250,000 or so. It was noted that Senators Baker and Yaw both voted for the bill.
Under the assumption that the full legislature may or may not accept the Senate bill, Mr. Small offered one package with the full cuts, and another without. The only real difference would be in the size of the “fund balance” that would remain at the end of the next fiscal year.
The Board decided on a conservative approach, to assume that the budget would have to absorb the full Senate cuts, hoping all the while that a compromise in Harrisburg would improve the picture somehow. Before Senate Bill 850, the Blue Ridge budget would have provided a slim margin of just under $1 million by the end of the 2009-2010 year. The final proposed budget will leave a fund balance of only about $700,000.
Board members agreed with Mr. Small that the cushion is perilously thin. “This is a hard way to start the first year [of an economic decline],” said Board member Priscinda Gaughan, noting that the fund balance could be cut by as much as half a million dollars in a single year. The drain caused by the cyber-charter movement led to the initial shortfall. “This charter school has a lot of legs to it,” said she.
Mr. Dyer reminded the Board that the cyber charter movement is “here to stay.” He has reached out to the parents of cyber-charter students to help them to better understand what Blue Ridge has to offer.
Mr. Small said that he couldn’t “recall ever going back to level funding,” with no increase from the state at all. It will be like increasing taxes only to go back to “yesteryear.” Ms. Gaughan lamented that “We don’t want to step backward. It costs money to move forward.”
Budget or no budget, the school year marches toward a conclusion with some notable successes and a long list of year-end activities reported by administrators. Matthew Button, Principal in the Elementary School, projected 72 enrollments for kindergarten and pre-K next year; there are currently 59 enrolled. He listed the many contributions of the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) and offered its members generous thanks. Mr. Jeffery thanked New Milford Hardware, Peoples National Bank, the Susquehanna County Library, Northeast Exposure and Barnes-Kasson Hospital for supporting the mock interviews offered to high school students, and reported that both the boys varsity baseball and the girls varsity softball finished number 1 in their divisions and will be going to the district championships.
Mr. Empett reported on his travels with the archery team to Kentucky to attend a national competition, and described the experience of the youngsters as they competed head-to-head with the best 5,000 archers in the country.
Mr. Empett also thanked everyone for the hard work during the difficult budget process this year. He cautioned everyone to remember to look down the road a few years to ensure that Blue Ridge remains healthy and stable for the students into the future.
The next public meeting of the Blue Ridge School Board will be held on Monday, June 15, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria in the Elementary School. There will be committee meetings beginning at 7:00 p.m. on the same evening. The budget isn’t final until a formal vote in June. Cake is not guaranteed.
At a school board meeting Monday, May 11, a group of Forest City Regional FBLA members thanked board members for supporting the club. Supervisor Linda Mendelsohn stated that participating in FBLA builds students’ leadership and self-esteem skills. She also highlighted program projects, such as the school’s Dress for Success closet and the school store, which raised about $2,000 last year.
Next, elementary students Scott Giles, Caelin Logar, Alex Lucchesi and Nick Rutledge were congratulated for winning third place in the eCybermission Competition. Three of the students presented a summary of their project to the board. The contest, which was sponsored by the US Army, required students to identify and solve a problem within the community. Together with teacher Cathi Fedak and various faculty members, the boys evaluated electricity used by school computers, studying how much money and energy could be saved per year if all school computers were turned off when school is not in session. They found that each year, the school could save about $7,800 and prevent about 898 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.
In a similar vein, Holly Demianovich was recognized for winning a gold medal in the Career Technology Center Skills USA State Competition. In June, Demianovich will participate in the National Competition in Kansas City.
A group of parents expressed their displeasure with the quality of coaching at Forest City Regional, stating that players are not being taught enough about self-respect, self-confidence and self-discipline and are falling short on teamwork. James Griffin stated, “This is not about wins or losses... this is about the impact on our children.” Nevertheless, all of the parents agreed that the coaches need to know the game, so that, as Barb Griffin stated, they can “take our children to another level.” However, Robert Townsend cautioned that this is “not pro-ball,” adding that “everybody should be playing every game.”
A board member pointed out that sometimes, coaching positions are difficult to fill due to lack of applicants. Superintendent Vadella pointed out that “all coaching positions have been declared open [for the 2009-2010 year],” adding that May 21 is the cut-off date for applications or resumes. Vadella promised that opening the positions will give the board a chance to “review and reflect.” Beginning next season, coaches will be required to know CPR and first-aid.
Following a verbal and physical altercation in the school library, two students were dismissed recently from the National Honor Society. One of the girls, along with her mother, petitioned the board to reinstate her, saying, “[The fact that] ninety seconds of bad character could erase eighteen years of good character astounds me.” Although the mother stated that the girls should not have fought, she asserted, “Kids make mistakes...I’d like to see [my daughter] have her recognition on her graduation day.” The mother also claimed that in the past, Forest City Regional students have been permitted to remain in the Honor Society, even after having been suspended from school for fighting. The board agreed to discuss the matter following the regular meeting.
Highlights from the agenda included the appointment of Rita Lowry to serve as Board Treasurer and the appointment of Marianne Lewandowski to serve as Board Secretary.
At the May 11 Montrose school board meeting the district approved the oil and gas lease submitted by Alta resources L.L.C. for the 90 acre Choconut Valley Elementary School parcel. The lease, prepared the previous week at the building and grounds meeting, had been submitted to both attorneys working with the district on the matter. The attorneys recommended addendums: a no storage clause, clarification of the no surface operations to specify no wells and no pipelines, no access to roads without prior approval, and water testing. One board member sought clarification on the matter of water testing. Under the lease, if any areas are within 1000 feet of the water supply, the company would be responsible for testing the quality and quantity of the water. If the water tested bad, they would supply water and be responsible for returning it to its prior state. The lease provides the district with $2,400 per acre with 17% royalty for 7 years. It was asked if the district would be able to leave the contract if, for instance, problems with the water arose after the first year. This would not be possible, it was replied, although work would cease until the matter was resolved.
The meeting was held slightly differently than normal, with no work session being held. Instead, what would have been discussed at the work session normally was included within the regular public meeting.
The board and administration received a special thank you letter from the life skills class, via Mr. Addams. The letter was written to express their appreciation for the ability to participate in the special Olympics in Tunkhannock. The note also expressed their desire to do so again next year.
Dr. Golden reported on the district's recent cyclical monitoring experience. He said that the schools did pretty well on the evaluation, though the representative would be back in June to go over her formal presentation. Dr. Golden also outlined a piloted pssa modification. There have been questions regarding the PSSAs and students with ieps in place. To address this problem, the pssa modified has been piloted (the pssam). He said that if things go well, the state looks to do baseline testing next April so that students with ieps would be eligible to take the new test.
Miss Molly Host received a special award at the meeting. She was one of several students scheduled to be acknowledged at the meeting, though most of the others were on a field trip. Miss Host, however, was able to attend, and was presented with the Ray Kroc Award, given each year in memory of that man, the developer of McDonald's. Doug Lattner, owner of the local McDonald's franchise, presented the award. He stated that it was given to a special kind of student, one who was honest, friendly, self-motivated, and a help to his or her school and community. The award came with a certificate, a handsome medallion, her name on a school plaque, and one share of McDonald's common stock. After receipt of the award she performed the standard board handshake ritual, and was congratulated by the board members and administration.
Although few were there to hear it, FBLA students, and those who recently attended a Pennsylvania Computer Fair, were also recognized that evening. Educator Michael Clifford took Phillip Thomas, Ian King, Christopher Ralston, David Koloski, Meghan Butler, Bryce Carlton, and Samantha Bennici to the computer fair; Ralston, Thomas, and Koloski placed at the regional competition and qualified for state competition in Carlisle. Mr. Duane Benedict presented on the FBLA's success, thanking the board and administration for their assistance and support. He stated that the group had grown in size from about twelve members to thirty; eight of whom went to states. Christopher Jordan was qualified to go on to Nationals.
Another report given was that by Mr. Chris Tripp, the district's energy educator. With the assistance of powerpoint, Mr. Tripp provided to those present, the district's six months since embarking on the agreement with Energy Education. The purpose of the partnership had been to reduce electrical usage, and subsequently to decrease the burden and cot of that usage, while maintaining the comfort and safety of persons in occupied areas. When students were not in the building, he stated, all bets were off. By performing audits at a variety of different times, the district was able to discover that its heating system was not functioning properly, and was able to fix it. The district also worked to shut off lights, pull down shades, and shut the doors to isolate room temperatures, including those in the hallway, the gym, and the cafeteria. Through these actions the district saved, between October and March, $109,366 dollars, a 24.2% reduction despite an increase in both electric and heating oil costs. Around $388,235 work of kilowatt hours were avoided, four hundred homes worth of electricity. The largest savings came from the heating. Environmentally, he continued, the district benefited nature by preventing 474 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of removing 85 automobiles from the highway or planting 12,136 seedlings and growing them for ten years. The district's reductions, an energy education representative stated, is above the average. Mr. Tripp gave much of the credit for the success that has been seen thus far to the district's staff, administration, and faculty.
John J., Jr. and Mary M. Mooney and Kathleen and Kenneth R. Stout to John J., Jr. and Mary M. Mooney and Kathleen and Kenneth R. Stout, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Nicholas Zichichi and Lewallace Howard to Nicholas and Vincenza Zichichi, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Harry D. Gretzinger (By Tax Claim Bureau) and Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau to Justin Burgess, in Susquehanna for $37.50.
William V. Weeks (By Tax Claim Bureau) and Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau to Justin Burgess, in Silver Lake Township for $108.00.
Joseph T. and Rita A. Dropp to Joseph T. Dropp, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
Eddie J. Gorel to Tiffanie M. Grover and Sean Driscole, in Forest City for $115,000.00.
Stephen M., Jr. and Louise Bauer to Seadrift Vista View LTD, in Franklin Township for $35,210.00.
Doris M. Bullock and Debrah L. Bullock Maliwacki to Callahan & Zalinsky Associates LLC, in Herrick Township for $100.00.
Barbara Jespersen and James T. Holcombe to Holcombe Family Trust, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
George G., Jr. and Kathleen W. Jespersen to George G., Jr. and Kathleen W. Jespersen, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
John M. and M. Brenda Bruno to James E. and Anne Marie K. McCrone, in Lenox Township for $136,000.00.
Mark Joseph Stella (Estate) to Richard Morrison, Sr., in Susquehanna for $46,000.00.
Lura (Estate) and Thomas J. Robinson to Gary P. and Jill Morrison, in Bridgewater Township for $34,000.00.
Robert M. Dragon (Estate By POA) to Arthur G. and Kathleen T. Barnes, in Clifford Township for $115,000.00.
Eric Wiechert to Bremer Hof Owners, Inc., in Herrick Township for $100.00.
Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Michael A. Welch and Theresa Reeping-Hill, in Herrick Township for $100.00.
Darrell and Caroline Stone to Wayne Anthony Bush and Mary Jane Stone-Bush, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Richard A. Miller to Daniel Barney, in Clifford Township for $70,000.00.
Carol Ellis to Donald L. Ellis, in Rush Township for one dollar.
Kathleen Walter to Larry J. and Ruthann Bender, in Gibson Township for $85,000.00.
Timothy M. and Connie M. Burgh to Connie M. Burgh, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Anthony J. and Elizabeth M. Riscavage to Elizabeth M. Riscavage, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Anne Marie Konopatski (Estate) to Thomas Konopatski, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Anthony W. Dauito to Rochelle Chester-Carlino, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Emma J. (Estate) and Emma Jane Bunnell to Glenn and Phyllis Gregory, in Dimock Township for $1,800.00.
Emmett (By POA) and Margaret Hoover to Skip Michael Tracy, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Elk Manor Estates LLC to Douglas G. Kilmer, in Clifford Township for $50,000.00.
Douglas G. Kilmer to Elk Manor Estates Homeowners Association LLC, in Clifford Township for $200.00.
Mary Ellen Beavan (Est) to Peoples National Bank, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Lloyd Robinson to Mary Jeanette Carrier, in Dimock and Springville Townships for one dollar.
Connie M. Burgh vs. Timothy M. Burgh, both of Montrose, married 1986.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 10:00 a.m. on May 15, 2009.
David P. Atherholt, Jr., Erika L. Back, David S. Blaisure, Joseph Bonavita, Michael P. Bradley, Jr., David M. Brant, Jason J. Carroll, Tony R. Clark, Mark T. Conklin, James J. Corridoni, Jeffrey A. Craig, Mary Dallasta, Edward .J Dickson, Jr., Paul H. Donovan, Deborah L. Drish, Jonathan Fathi, Kristoffer B. Fazzi, David J. Fischer, Thomas Fisher, Nesbitt W. Fitch, Jr., Ryan M. Forder, Kelly Fox, Dominick M. Franklin, Yvette Glover, Tiffany M. Groover, David Haines, Jr., Suzanne R. Hansen, William N. Hendrickson, Ann Hightower, Timothy M. Holmes, Kevin D. Klein, Erik E. Krisovitch, James R. Lee, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Christopher Locke, Joseph Malloy, Jr., Tanika Marazzani, Patricia J. Marrero, Jason Marshall, Zada A. McDonald, Joseph C. Moore, Anthony Neri, Benjamin Newell, Tanya M. Novak, Todd M. O'Hara, Donald Palmer, Gary Perico, Amy S. Pompey, James E. Purse, Jeffrey A. Ransom, Troy Rohmann, Duane Spencer, Earl H. Thompson, Jr., Christopher Trayes, Anthony M. Vaow, Keith W. Vroman, Steven G. Warner, Joseph Watkins, Glynn Wildoner, III, Jamie L. Williams, Roderic R. Williams, Louis Yachymiak, Karl D. Zantowsky.
Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals.
The Susquehanna County Commissioners and Salary Board meet on Wednesday, May 13 at precisely 9 a.m. in the Emergency Management Agency Conference Room.
Becky Taylor, Montrose, was recognized for her 10 years of service and commitment to Susquehanna County through her employment in the Clerk of Courts Office.
Numerous seminar requests were approved and paid for including employees from Probation to 911, Emergency Management Agency, Assessment Office, Children and Youth and Prothonotary-Clerk of Courts Office employees.
Resolution number 2009-21 was passed approving the 9-1-1 Plan for the years 2009 through 2011 and the continuation of the Public Safety Telephone Act (9-1-1) fee for the residents of Susquehanna County.
Briefly, a county-wide Enhanced 9-1-1 system providing 911 call taking and dispatching, has been implemented to provide 911 call taking and dispatching serving the residents of Susquehanna County and development of a three year plan for the same, located at 31 Public avenue Montrose, whereas said plan conforms to respective requirements and the continuation of Public Safety Telephone Act (9-1-1) access a monthly fee of $1.50 per line per subscriber is in place.
911 Coordinator Art Donato explained that now the aspect of using cell phones (Phase II) can “most of the time” be pretty good. Whereas previously it was difficult, if not impossible, to trace where a cell phone call was originating due to the base location of the subscriber, and that the phone could be “anywhere.”
Custodial Supplies bids for 2009 were awarded and are available for inspection at the Chief Clerks office.
Commissioners signed the Homeless Assistance Program Assurance of Compliance and The Homeless Assistance Program 2009-2010 Provide Contract designating Tre-Hab as the County’s Service Provider for all purposes related to the Homeless Assistance Program. Please note that this is in regard to flooded or burned out homes.
Minutes from the 2007-2008 Lackawanna-Susquehanna Counties Mental Health/Mental Retardation Program were ratified.
A number of agreements for purchases by Children and Youth for centers which aided in duties of said offices, were approved.
Several delinquent taxes were exonerated from collection.
The Memorandum of Understanding SWAN (Statewide Adoption Network) Legal Service Initiative which outlines the relationship and responsibilities of The Susquehanna County Children and Youth Services and Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries through its subcontractor, Family Design Resources, Inc., in relation to the SWAN Legal Services Initiative (LSI), agreement will be in effect from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.
Public Defender Linda LaBarbara’s salary was increased from $47,613.19 to $55,000., due to increased duties assigned by President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans. This is a minimum 40 hour per week position with benefits per the County Personnel Manual.
The reason for the increase was stated as representation provided for children in Domestic Relations.
The Susquehanna County Rail Authority met on Friday, May 7 in the County Planning Office with members: Acting Chairman, Ken Bondurant, Joe White, Robert McNamara, and Dave Darrow. Also attending was Planning Commission’s Robert Templeton, Rowland Sharp, Staci Wilson and Carole Canfield.
The first order of business was to establish an official reorganization of office holders, due to the fact that a quorum had not been met previously in order to do so. Note: The Rail Authority had changed from a monthly meeting time to a bi-monthly time.
Robert McNamara was asked to be the acting chair while nominations were offered.
Ken Bondurant was nominated for the chairman position, as he has held the position. Bondurant accepted.
Joe White was nominated for the vice chairman position and also accepted.
Robert McNamara was nominated for Secretary/Treasurer and accepted as well.
The treasurer report remains constant at $10 in one account and $48 and change in the other.
Discussion was held regarding the audit for the state resulting that with no expenditures, the state audit will be discussed with the state, as the numbers were crushed as required with the state requesting more information. Again with no expenditures, there is no more information.
Another topic of business included payment for Attorney Patrick Lavelle. The SCRA had, in November, scribed a letter to The Susquehanna County Commissioners asking them for aid in this manner and were turned down approximately a month later.
The bulk of the meeting discussed the future impact railways could and soon will have on the United States and in particular New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, and subsequent Ally Susquehanna County.
Apparently Amtrak has proposed a study that will look at passenger rail support. This proposal could be a part of the alleged link between Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.
Bondurant suggested that although at this point in time the Authority could not take any action “per say,” he felt they should keep abreast of the railroad line progress or lack of and “keep on top” of any issues as this could at some point easily pertain to Susquehanna County. Joe white voiced some concern about the large number of passengers it would take to make such a run feasible.
The gas explosion throughout the county was discussed and it was mentioned that the railroad would be a much better form of transportation for this rather than all the “digging up and ruining of the back roads and main roads throughout Susquehanna County.”
It was also discussed that a railway “will” be coming by and will pass Susquehanna County, leaving a lack of commerce travel and economic aid in its wake.
The Susquehanna County Rail Authority meets at 10:00 a.m. in the County Office Building every other month on Friday. The next meeting is slated for July 10.
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