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It took two hours of the normal chaos of a Great Bend Borough Council meeting to get there, but when the issue of a substantial increase in sewer fees came up at the tail end of the agenda, a lot of anger and hostility was vented about the operation of the sewer system. Maybe they were just tired.
As usual, it was sometimes difficult to follow the debate among the 3 or 4 separate conversations taking place at the same time at the meeting on June 4. And, despite Council President Rick Franks’ effort to nail down an agenda at the start of each meeting, it tends to expand as the evening wears on.
This one started with comments from a resident who first asked what it would take to bring “Great Bend Days” back. The event sponsored by the local Fire Company, featuring a parade and fireworks on the 3rd Saturday of July, is in jeopardy because the fire company’s revenue is down dramatically. There doesn’t seem to be enough time to resurrect it for this year, but residents will be canvassed for support and assistance to do it next year.
The same resident complained about the “mess” left behind by the street sweeping done last month. Council agreed that the $800 job was poorly done and elicited a lot of complaints, so they voted not to hire the same outfit again.
And the resident complained of a plugged grate – and the big hole that has opened up beside it – on Randolph Road. PennDOT hasn’t been too cooperative about fixing the problem on the state road, so Council will try to have the PennDOT community representative visit to investigate.
PennDOT is also in the sights of Council member Jerry MacConnell about water on Washington Street that appears to come from a drainage problem under the Interstate. Mr. MacConnell has kept the issue on the agenda for many months, and plans to keep it there until the problem is resolved. Council will draft a letter to PennDOT with copies to state legislator Sandra Major requesting a resolution.
The Borough’s maintenance employee, Dick Button, attended the meeting to discuss how the new welcome signs should be installed. He had purchased some white PVC pipe to cover the poles holding up the old signs. He seemed to think the old poles were adequate, but that the covering would make them look better, at a cost of some $350. He was instructed to return the pipe and investigate other options.
Mr. Button also warned Council that the John Deere riding lawn mower “ain’t what she used to be.” Council wasn’t eager to purchase a new one right away, even though they acknowledged that the 5 years of heavy use this one has had is probably all that could be expected of it. Mr. Button remarked that he had run it for 9 full hours just that day.
Among other responsibilities, Mr. Button has 3 parks to take care of with that mower. He reported to Council that people have been doing “wheelies” with automobiles in Greenwood Park recently. The state police were notified, but the culprits have not been caught.
Another problem with water on the town’s streets, this one at the junction of Mountain Vista Lane with Main Street, a.k.a., U.S. Route 11, was expected to cost a lot of money to fix from a vote last month. This time, Council member Mike Wasko, who lives in that area, asked that last month’s decision be rescinded. Mr. Button will be asked to keep filling the potholes there, as there doesn’t seem to be another good option.
The money that would have been spent at Mountain Vista Lane will be applied elsewhere in the Borough. Council voted to request bids for filling cracks in 5 borough streets this summer.
Work is progressing on locating historical paperwork regarding the ownership and responsibility for the bridge over the railroad tracks on… Bridge Street. The bridge is deteriorating and the Borough can’t afford to take responsibility for the entire structure. Discussions with the railroad company and PennDOT are ongoing.
Mr. Franks brought to Council’s attention a festering situation on Franklin Street, where some residents appear to be using the street as a parking lot, blocking traffic. Council will send a letter asking that the thoroughfare be kept open.
Some of these issues might be dealt with by a local police department. Unfortunately, Great Bend Borough hasn’t had one for some years, and it doesn’t look like there’s one in the future either. Discussions with the mayor and council at Lanesboro for leasing some police patrols from that borough’s department have been in progress for more than a year, so far with no result. Several Council members were expected to attend the borough council meeting in Lanesboro on July 7.
The Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau asked for a donation equivalent to 10 cents per resident, to support the promotion of tourism. Council hasn’t been impressed with the Bureau’s work on behalf of little towns like Great Bend, so they declined to contribute the $89.
On the other hand, they will contribute $250 to the Family Readiness Group of the local National Guard outfit for the creation of a memorial at the armory outside of New Milford dedicated to members who have lost their lives in the Middle East conflicts.
In remembrance of those and many other veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Great Bend hosts the annual Memorial Day ceremonies in town. Borough Mayor Jim Riecke commended the VFW once again, not only for the splendid program on Memorial Day, but for all of the organization’s contributions to the Borough.
Council then appointed Mayor Riecke, by acclamation, to be its representative at the County Tax Collection Agency. The Commonwealth is encouraging more and more consolidation among municipalities as a way to more efficiently allocate resources for the various governmental functions. The system of local tax collectors in Pennsylvania has long been a target of state legislators, who are looking toward county-level collection, at the moment particularly for “earned income taxes” (EIT). Few municipalities in Susquehanna County now impose an income-based tax, but the movement is growing. The County Commissioners have formed the tax collection office to develop the idea, and they say that municipalities that aren’t represented won’t have a say in county-wide tax collection decisions.
But direct taxes aren’t the only payments residents make for infrastructure services, which include water and electricity. In Great Bend, Hallstead and now New Milford, another big one is the fee paid to the Hallstead-Great Bend Joint Sewer Authority, which operates a treatment plant in Great Bend Borough. The sewer authority has issued a letter to participating municipalities announcing plans to upgrade and expand the plant, and the higher fees they will impose to make that happen.
As an independent “authority,” the sewer operation operates under state law much like a separate municipality. As such, it is not required to consider the opinions of its constituent municipalities, except insofar as each sends a representative to its board of directors. Since it also operates under the burden of state and federal regulation of waste water, it must comply with what can be very expensive demands by environmental regulators.
Great Bend Borough’s representative on the sewer authority, Council member Bret Jennings, told his colleagues that the authority is nearly broke waiting for the next quarterly infusion of subscribers’ fees. The authority expects to borrow substantial funds to pay for the upgrades, and needs the backing of its constituent municipalities to get the lowest rate possible.
Even though the authority passes along monthly financial statements, Great Bend council members decided they wanted more detailed information about the loan – how much, what rates, etc. – before they would sign up its taxpayers for such an obligation. They fear that the rate increases would have a severe impact on the high proportion of elderly in the Borough. The sewer authority is planning to increase fees from $111 per quarter ($37 per month) now, to $154 per quarter ($51.33 per month) in two stages. For 2009 the fee would rise to only $126 per quarter ($42 per month).
Council members Mike Wasko and Patricia Thatcher, and Borough attorney Frank O’Connor all attended a meeting of the sewer authority at which the rate increase was discussed. They all expressed some anger at the attitude of some of the sewer authority officials. Mr. Wasko said the attitude they heard was something like, “We’re gonna do what we’re gonna do, and you have no say.”
No one is arguing that the sewer plant probably needs some serious upgrades. After all, in Great Bend Borough they can smell it all summer long. But there is concern about the management of the operation and would like more transparency before co-signing a big loan to fix the system.
Stay tuned. The Great Bend Borough Council meets on the first Thursday of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the Borough Building (the Blue Ridge Senior Center) at Elizabeth and Franklin Streets.
Architect John Puzo of Earth Farm Studios attended the June 1 Montrose Borough Council meeting, which was beneficial as council members desired to ask him questions regarding the proposed bid plans for their new building. It was asked if a meeting might be arranged with Mr. Puzo and potential builders prior to the plans being finalized. It was also asked if Mr. Puzo was willing to alter the plans. Mr. Reimel provided his opinion that the proposed plans were great drawings, but that they might be a bit too grand for the borough's current needs. Two different builders, he stated, had given their opinion that the plans were viable, but as designed they would be quite expensive. Mr. Puzo addressed the questions which council members had that evening, and readily agreed to attend a builders' meeting. The preliminary drawings aimed high, he said, aiming for the future, but could be altered. Some discussion was held regarding the advice council had received regarding 50 year shingles. Mr. Puzo stated that some in the field felt 30 year to be more reasonable; Mr. Yeager agreed wondering if anyone had been around long enough yet to test 50 year shingles. Mr. Reimel acknowledged Mr. Yeager for his work in keeping this entire process moving along. A meeting date and time were established.
Also discussed at the May meeting was a new traffic system, which Penndot planned to put in place and desired the borough to maintain. The borough said, at the time, that the project was not within its borders. In the intervening month Penndot changed the plan, removing one site. The project is now within the prevue of the borough. The new system will be erected at the site of the current traffic light near Lee's, and is slated to include more lights and a walk and don't walk signal. While the actual installation is the job of the state organization, Montrose will be responsible not only for maintenance but for the employment of an engineer.
Mr. DiPhillips, Street Supervisor, reported on the progress toward erecting a filling station for Cabot. The process, he stated, would cost about $3500 in materials. This was to lay only one line, but the council decided to lay two while the hole was open, just in case.
Progress was made on park matters as well. Mr. DiPhillips spoke briefly with Mr. Reimel regarding the walking track. He stated that preparing the streets for repaving had to come first, but then his department would work on the track, hopefully to have completed this summer. The volleyball courts should also be completed in the near future, it was said. One of the reporters queried as to the crime rate in the park; it was responded that it has declined.
The bathroom situation at the park was once again addressed. Mr. Darrow had looked into renting port-a-johns for the park, as the current bathroom is always locked. It was suggested that it be unlocked from 9 to 3 every day; this was then extended to 9 to 6 in the evening. The plan was approved, although a sign is to be posted stating that if vandalized, the bathrooms will be once again closed. Community members are asked to please report any wrongful activity observed; reports will be kept anonymous.
By the end of the evening, the meter issue reared its head again. The resurrection came in the form of a letter from the Montrose Area Chamber of Commerce, requesting that the council consider not replacing parking meters after the Montrose Restoration Committee's sidewalk project. The chamber recommended, instead, that the borough chalk tires and raise the fine amount for repeat offenders. It was stated at the meeting that this idea had been discussed before. The general consensus of business owners at the time had been to leave the meters in. Currently, it was added, the borough chalks as well as tickets.
In other parking news the council accepted with regret the resignation of John Wilson as the parking enforcement officer. He was thanked for a job well done. Mayor Wilson agreed to remain in the position, however, until his replacement was found.
Items covered by the Great Bend Township Supervisors at their June 1 meeting included a presentation on the township’s insurance policy renewal by Jeff Kyle of DGK Insurance.
The roadmaster’s report included a rundown of work completed on Airport and Highlands Roads. The road crew has been continuing with grading and filling potholes, despite the recent wet weather.
A motion carried to approve purchase of a front-end loader, which will allow some road work to be done more efficiently than the present equipment allows. It will be purchased through the state Co-Stars program, which eliminates the need for bidding out. The township should have the new machine in about ten weeks, but have been given use of a “loaner” until it arrives.
Last month’s meeting ended with an executive session to discuss a personnel issue. This evening, a motion carried to increase Curt Blewett’s pay to $15/hour. Mr. Blewett was said to be hardworking and an asset to the township.
Permits approved included UCC permits to Raymond Cicon and Timothy and Michele Suchnick. A subdivision was approved for Rick Rickard, pending approval of a sewage plan for part of the property where there is a commercial building, if it is needed.
The supervisors approved a $100 donation to the Family Readiness Group, PA Army National Guard for a memorial in memory of six local soldiers who died in Iraq.
The supervisors also approved a donation of $189 to the Endless Mountains Visitors’ Bureau.
Under unfinished business, two properties will be removed from future agendas, as they have been cleaned up. The owner of another was said to be in the process of getting permits to install a trailer, and the owner of a fourth said that she is considering options for putting in sewage so that more trailers could be installed.
The township is still in need of a representative to the sewer authority; interested candidates can contact the township office for information.
The supervisors approved leasing a property on Route 11 that the township had acquired through the buyout program after the flood of 2006. A contract will be drawn up and submitted to the township’s solicitor for review.
A resident had inquired about the legality of having a deceased family member buried on the family’s property. Supervisor/secretary Sheila Guinan researched, and reported that it is legal to do so, but there are legal requirements about the depth, placement, etc., and that a funeral director must be involved. But, if the property were to be sold after the burial, the body would have to be removed.
The next supervisors’ meeting will be on Monday, July 6, 7 p.m. at the township building.
The May 4 New Milford Borough Council Meeting got right off to start with the opening of bids for the work needed to be done on the park. A motion was made to accept the nine bids received, they were turned over to their engineer, Chris Mabe, then it was agreed to recess the meeting until June 18, at which time Mabe will have reviewed and given his expert advice to the council as to which bid would be the best suited for the boroughs’ needs. The bids ranged from $121,993.15 to $214,472.00. “The bids will be awarded at that June 18, 2009 meeting,” Mabe stated.
In other business, Councilwoman Barb James reported that she and her husband were sitting in the park and that several juveniles were behind them lighting a tee shirt and flinging it around in the area of the tennis courts behind them. She added that these youths were very brazen, and knew that the adults were there and they had an “I don’t care” attitude.”
Council responded that one of the youths had been identified and it was known that his parents frequented the bar leaving the teen to go and do as he pleased.
“What do the bar tenders think of this vandalism now?” Council President Jim Carr asked. “And it is only going to get worse as summer progresses,“ Teri Gulick added. “The bartenders think the police are targeting the bars, they are actually watching these kids and preventing more vandalism from occurring in most of the incidences.” She also mentioned that this incident and the teen involved will be passed onto the police. They are “watching a certain group of teens and know what is going on.”
Council approved the work the police have been doing and said they were glad they are working throughout New Milford Borough.
Cosmello’s Junkyard is now in compliance. Mike inspected it and recommended that Council give Costello the permit, council agreed.
Mr. Thomas Quigg, of Pump ‘N Pantry was on hand to discuss the use of the property behind his place of business as a drop off/pick up area, working with the gas lines that will be going through. He emphasized that currently only one or two vehicles go in and out, “as, you know, we have to keep our vehicles moving to make business run smoothly, so they don’t sit there for long.” He added that there would be no long term sitting. He also added that while he is uncertain whether or not this will happen he is just giving the borough a “heads up” ahead of time and will get back to the borough should this arise. He also added that Montrose Street would probably be the avenue of entry for the trucks rather than coming down the long hill during the winter.
Council unanimously agreed to donate $500 to the monument for the six area soldiers who lost their lives serving their country. The National Guard in New Milford is planning the ceremony in the near future.
There was again a lot of discussion concerning burning. Council’s Teri Gulick stated that as of the previous night’s meeting, it was decided that a letter would be sent to the offending parties who burn where and when they are not supposed to in hope that it would quell the smoke and smells which offend their neighbors. If that does not fix the problem, other measures will be investigated, including contacting DEP. There have been numerous offenses throughout the borough.
The property where Southern Tier Plastics was, was discussed concerning the possible building of an elderly home site on the location which would result in a change of zoning. That will be discussed should the need arise. It allegedly appears to not present a problem with council.
The two lifeguards Nate Pease and Freddy Wages were granted a rate increase from $7.15 per hour to $8.00 per hour. Both young men were complimented by council and several members of the audience for not only their life guarding skills, but for the time and effort they take in working individually with each child and making their time at the pool safe as well as fun.
There is an ordinance from another municipality regarding noise nuisances (i.e.) dog barking, which will be sent to the Council’s solicitor Attorney Jodi Cordner.
Council’s Jane Zick reported that COG is still unsure if they will be moving from the building and they still are asking for repairs on the existing office. She added that they are still looking into police information but nothing else has been reported.
Council also expressed thanks for the great job and beautiful work volunteers had done for Memorial Day in the park. Everyone pulled together and did such a beautiful job, Council President Jim Carr emphasized. Eleanor Lempkhe was thanked for the beautiful flower arrangements she had done for the event and the park.
Fine money for the month of March was received in the amount of $126.59.
Teri Gulick said, “I talk to the police all the time and they are out there working diligently and are onto some of these kids who are constantly causing trouble.”
It was reported that the Bicentennial is coming along well and their meetings are more frequent as time approaches.
Handicapped access parking spaces were discussed, and it was agreed that several would be put in along the side near the park to better accommodate those needing such access. The parking spaces will be mapped out before work begins.
Jim Carr stated that the pool looks great and should be ready within a week or so.
The council is looking for Alternates for Zoning Hearing Board.
The New Milford Borough Council meets the first Thursday of the Month at 7 p.m. at the New Milford Borough Office Building.
Ellen Marie Hibbard to Arvin F., Milan J. and Sandra E. Hibbard, Catherine A. Glisinski, Sharon M. Frei and Yvonne R. Darragh, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Charles Edward (AKA) Charles E. and Sharon L. Kinsley to Brian Senior, in Great Bend Township for $90,000.00.
Joseph L. and Paula M. Viccica to Edwin and Shirley A. Nelson, in Jackson Township for $167,500.00.
Arthur and Tyra Lynn Ceccato to William Keech and Sheila Murphy Roberts, in Ararat Township for $195,000.00.
Robert K. and Carol L. McCarthy to Frank and Heike L. Proske, in Auburn Township for $65,000.00.
Francis D. and Alma Gailer to Shane Kelley, in Auburn Township for $160,000.00.
Christopher R. and Eileen Foster to Christopher R. Foster, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.
Steven C. and Donna J. Jablonowski to Steven C. and Donna J. Jablonowski, in Jessup Township for one dollar.
Edward J. Warner, Sr. (Estate) to Jared C. Horn and Danica L. Swackhammer Newman, in Bridgewater Township for $65,000.00.
David W. and Amy D. Steinberg to David Brush, in New Milford Township for $84,000.00.
Susquehanna County Tax Claim Bureau, Dean and Jennifer Kelley (By Tax Claim Bureau) to Susquehanna Borough, in Susquehanna for $6,800.00.
Beverly and George Welch to Beverly Welch, in Montrose for one dollar.
Donald Mark (AKA) Donald M. Jayne to Donald Mark (AKA) Donald M. Jayne, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Mark R. Chapman, Sr. to Wayne S. Nevins, in Bridgewater Township for $112,000.00.
Joseph S., Jr. and Lynne C. Manzek to Joseph S., Jr. and Lynne C. Manzek, in Rush Township for one dollar.
Leonard Przybyszewski to Emil J., Jr. and Radelle Wirth, in Auburn Township for $75,000.00.
William M. and Becky Arnold to William M. and Becky Arnold, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
George Everett to Warren Montagna, Jr., in Silver Lake Township for $30,000.00.
Michael Andzulis and Maura Jordan to Jeffrey and Joan Mikloiche, in Clifford Township for $75,000.00.
Linda C. Welzenbach (AKA) Linda C. Kennedy, Dana J. Lang and Christi A. Henz (NKA) Christi A. Welzenbach to Joan L. Welzenbach, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Bernice Hill Price (AKA) Bernice S. Price, Wayne C., Phyllis M., Lloyd A. (Estate), Mark F., Craig L. and Jennifer M. Stevens, Eloise D. and Nis Krogh, Diane Farris and Laurie and Lee Strawn to Mark F. and Craig L. Stevens, Diane Farris and Laurie A. Strawn, in Silver Lake Township for $73,000.00.
Richard Charles and Cindy H. Thompson to Joseph and Lori Hunt, in Bridgewater and Franklin Townships for $185,000.00.
Michael R. Cutri to EGK LLC, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Joseph (Estate) and Julia (Estate) Nowacky to Victor Nowacky, in Brooklyn and Harford Townships for one dollar.
Joyce M. and Maurice D. (By POA) Bailey to Ralph Puzio, in Harmony Township for $92,000.00.
Frank R. Bova (By Atty) to Robert Bova and Steven Krayter, in Lathrop Township for $35,000.00.
Sharon Digennaro to Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., in Thompson Borough for $10.00.
Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. (Trustee By POA) to Joseph and Harriet Guzek, in Forest Lake Township for $169,900.00.
Marie B. Young to Chad Bennett, in New Milford Borough for $110,000.00.
Stephen Kamisky to Moses Weksler, in Jackson Township for $325,000.00.
Joseph G. Lopatofsky to Exco North Coast Energy, Inc., in Clifford Township for $100,000.00.
William John Pierce and Lisa Marie Opolsky, both of Susquehanna.
Jason Robert Eromenok and Kristen Leah Briggs, both of Susquehanna.
Daniel David Williams and Roxann M. Williams, both of Friendsville.
Jeffery Gilbert Hazen of Forest City and Angel Lee Connelly of Thompson.
Joseph David Tinklepaugh, III and Christin Marie Wetzel, both of Binghamton, NY.
Larry L. Green and Debra A. Davis, both of Springville.
Tyler D. Emmerich of Springville and Joanna Marie Kelley of Dallas, PA.
Christopher Canfield of Lawton vs. Melissa Canfield of Scranton, married 2002.
Suzanne M. Morelli vs. Paul M. Kaehler, both of Hallstead, married 2001.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 10:51 a.m. as of June 5, 2009.
Duane M. Aldrich, David P. Atherholt, Jr., Erika L. Back, Keith B. Beach, Donna Bednarczyk, David S. Blaisure, Joseph Bonavita, Michael P. Bradley, Jr., David M. Brant, Howard Burns, Tony R. Clark, Mark T. Conklin, Mary Dallasta, Edward J. Dickson, Jr., Paul H. Donovan, Deborah L. Drish, Christina Elmy, Jonathan Fathi, Kristoffer B. Fazzi, David J. Fischer, Thomas Fisher, Nesbitt W. Fitch, Jr., Ryan M. Forder, Kelly Fox, Dominick M. Franklin, Tiffany M. Groover, David Haines, Jr., Suzanne R. Hansen, Ann Hightower, Kevin D. Klein, Eric C. Kohlhepp, 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, Shane Nelson, Anthony Neri, Benjamin Newell, Tanya M. Novak, Todd M. O'Hara, Donald Palmer, Gary Perico, Amy S. Pompey, James E. Purse, Jeffrey A. Ransom, Timothy W. Rogers, Troy Rohmann, Duane Spencer, Earl H. Thompson, Jr., Christopher Trayes, Brian Visakay, Keith W. Vroman, Steven G. Warner, Joseph Watkins, Glynn Wildoner, III, Jamie L. Williams, Kenneth L. Wilmot, William VanCott.
Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals.
At the special meeting of the Elk Lake and SCCTC school board, held on June 2, the largest item of discussion was the acceptance of the new professional staff contract. It was a very good negotiation process, Dr. Bush said, with both sides being amicable and reaping benefits. He thanked both for their work.
Under the five year contract a few things have been changed. The salary was increased an average of 4.5% over the five years. All staff will be on a PPO plan for health insurance; hitherto they had a choice. Retiree medical coverage will cover the person only, not his or her spouse or family. Vision and dental coverages have been upgraded. Employees will now be able to use pretax dollars to offset medical costs. The retirement program was set at 50% of a person's final salary. The credit reimbursement program was reduced to 6 years for all employees, except those whose certification program required 9 credits per year. Finally, one day was added to the school year, at 7.5 hours, equal time per month.
In other news the girl's softball team was recognized. Mr. Tewkesbury stated that he was very proud of them, and offered his congratulations on behalf of the board. Mr. Mallery agreed that the coach should be thanked and the girls commended, and pointed out that although they had lost the previous night's game by a small margin, they were still district champions. The plan was for the girls to be honored at a luncheon the following Thursday. He felt that overall it had been an outstanding year for all the school's athletes.
Three graduations were scheduled before the regular meeting, all within the week after this meeting was held. The first sixth grade graduation in years was to be held, with the SCCTC graduation on Thursday and the Elk Lake one on Saturday.
Kirsten Hollister brought to the meeting a book she wanted to donate to the Elementary library. She received first place in her grade in the Susquehanna County Library Association's contest with the book, Pinky the Puppy.
Each board member had in front of them at the meeting name plaques made by the vo-tech students to show their appreciation to the board and administration. It was reported that the second house project open house had gone well, with about eighty people in attendance.
Forest City Borough Secretary Susan Coleman announced at a June 1 Council meeting that municipal officials statewide are to receive instruction in the New Earned Income Tax Collection System. Workshops will be hosted at various locations by representatives from the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services.
Borough Solicitor Paul E. Smith announced that following minor wording changes to Ordinance 479, amendments to the original document must be advertised.
Problems with overpopulations of Canada geese in Kennedy Park and Lake Erie persist, despite the efforts of the Game Commission. Kelley Twilley reported that the Commission has treated eggs to prevent hatching and has scared the geese out of both locations. According to the Game Commission, new flocks are settling in, and firing a starter gun will be attempted. Trapping and removal, more expensive, will be a later option. Twilley added that Forest City Regional School District wishes to train the maintenance staff to fire blanks. Borough Council discussed a suggestion that the Borough enlist the police to fire blanks in Kennedy Park. Robert Trusky asserted, “The Game Commission’s got to do the job,” pointing out that the Commission has been contracted to solve the problem, not police officers and maintenance staff. Trusky also called distinguishing between “old geese” and “new geese” “totally ludicrous.” Other Council members shared similar responses.
Mary Twilley announced that she has heard complaints about kids going in and out of an empty trailer on North Street. Solicitor Smith stated that a visit from Code Enforcement will determine if the trailer needs to be secured.
Concerning a request for a handicapped sign at the 700 block of Delaware Street, Council deemed a sign unnecessary.
Robert Tedesco of Public Works stated that the front windows on the senior center need painting. Council also cleared him to paint the emergency stairs in back of the Borough Building and passed a motion to purchase a new weed eater.
Expressing frustration that repairs on Delaware Street have not yet begun, Robert Trusky stated that PennDOT in Harrisburg must be called concerning a start date. He added that he may contact Senator Baker’s office to request an alternate contractor.
A lengthy discussion concerned thefts and improper usage of garbage stickers. Barbara Mihelc cautioned people to place stickers on garbage bags in the morning or directly before bed. Stamped bags were vetoed because they are expensive and inconvenient to sell. Placing stickers on cans was pronounced unacceptable, as is using only half a sticker. Garbage stickers must be placed at the top of the bag, where they can clearly be seen when the trash collector removes the can lid. A Council member suggested that the waste company provide a weekly list of offenders.
Finally, the public should note that a neighborhood watch meeting is scheduled for June 11 at 7 p.m.
On June 3, at approximately 11:00 p.m., an unknown driver was traveling south on SR 267 in Auburn Twp. when his vehicle exited the roadway and struck a telephone pole. At this point the driver abandoned the black 1993 Honda Civic and fled the scene prior to police response. The vehicle was registered to Ricardo Barranco of Scranton.
Between May 22 and June 3 a burglary occurred at the property of John Ernst in Gibson Twp. Nothing was removed from the home, but property was damaged.
PSP Gibson is investigating the theft of an axe and 1/2 cord of wood from the property of Arneta Ferguson of Harford.
On May 24, at approximately 11:25 p.m., five teenage boys were traveling south on Sr 3029 in Jessup Twp, approaching segment marker 160/170. At this time the driver of the vehicle swerved southwest across the dividing yellow line and then attempted to go back into the southbound lane. The vehicle began a clockwise rotation and crossed the northbound lane and east berm before continuing across the berm, striking a telephone pole with its left front fender and rotating clockwise, striking a structure. It came to a final rest against the pole and the structure. The 16 year old driver was charged with a primary violation of Driving Vehicle at Safe Speed.
On May 16, at 3:30 a.m., Vincent Napolitano of Susquehanna was traveling south on North Main Street in Lanesboro when, approaching a left hand curve in the roadway, he exited to the right side of the road, traveled across the lanes of travel, and struck the guide rail end on the left side. The vehicle then proceeded off the left side of the roadway and struck a traffic sign and a concrete culvert rolling over to come to rest on its roof. Napolitano was partially ejected through the open driver's side door. He was freed by non-mechanical means by the Susquehanna Volunteer Fire Company members, and transported to Wilson Memorial in Johnson City, NY. Alcohol and speed appeared to be factors in this crash. Charges were pending blood results at time of report.
Between the 30th and 31st of May the windshield of a 2006 Dodge Dakota belonging to William Hunter of Brooklyn was smashed, apparently with a blunt object. The damage approximated $350.
Between the 30th and 31st of May, a single pane window was smashed out of the barn belonging to Patrick O'Brien of Brooklyn.
Between the 30th and 31st of May a storm window was smashed out of the residence of Teresa Bierly in Brooklyn.
Between the 30th and 31st of May the residence of Rose Dubrachek was entered by unlawful means. Nothing was reported missing or stolen but a single pane storm window was smashed.
On May 29, at approximately 4:30 a.m., the side window of a vehicle belonging to Lorena Perry of Uniondale was smashed.
Between the 2nd and 31st of May, a door screen was torn on the residence of Matthew Gesford of Montrose.
On May 31, at approximately 2:50 a.m., Jamee Donahue of Vestal was traveling southbound on SR 267 in Middletown Twp. when her vehicle exited the roadway and impacted a series of trees in front of the James Conboy residence. No injuries were reported during the collision. Violations of the PAVC were pending at time of report.
POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
On May 29, at approximately 3 p.m., Alfred Hoffman, Jr. of Syracuse, NY was stopped for exceeding the posted speed limit. Indicators were present at that time of illegal activity, and Hoffman was found to be in possession of Heroin and Cocaine. At the time of report he was to be charged with violations of Title 35.
On May 27, at 10:52 p.m., Charles Suchocki, Jr. of Montrose was traveling North on T798 in Liberty Twp. at a high rate of speed when he passed a state police car with its lights on. Suchocki sped by, attempting to flee the area. He lost control of the vehicle, whereat it exited the roadway, struck an embankment, and rolled onto its roof. Suchocki was arrested for DUI and fleeing and eluding a police officer, but was not injured. One of his two passengers, however, was. No EMS or fire responded.
On May 25 at 8:40 p.m., Danica Otasevic of Hallstead was traveling on Water Street in Great Bend Borough when her vehicle exited the travel lane and impacted with a hedge and a stone wall before continuing into a fence. Otasavic then fled the scene.
On May 23 between 6:30 and 11:00 at night one or more unknown person(s) entered the residence of Kelly Taylor in Bridgewater, via an exterior door. Once inside the perpetrator(s) removed a Wii video game system and a Playstation II from the living room area on the first floor before continuing upstairs, stealing $100 in rolled quarters from the master bedroom and removing approximately $15 from a boy's piggy bank inside another bedroom.
On May 22, at approximately 11:35 p.m., an unnamed driver was traveling north on interstate 81 in New Milford Twp. when, due to apparent braking problems, he or she exited the interstate at mp 223. The vehicle was stopped along the exit ramp and all passengers disembarked. At this time the driver attempted to pull the vehicle farther to the right, when the braking system completely failed. The driver also exited the vehicle and allowed it to roll down a dirt embankment, striking a chain link fence. The 1997 Ford Aspire was pulled to the roadway by a towing service. The braking system functioned properly when tested at the scene.
On May 17, at approximately 6:30 p.m., Scott McLaine of Uniondale was traveling on T387 in Clifford Twp. when he lost control of his vehicle and struck a utility pole. He was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured. His passenger, Luke Morales of Lenoxville, suffered a moderate head injury and wasn't belted. McLaine was cited for causing the crash.
On May 24, at approximately 6:40 a.m., Michael Clarke of Johnson City was traveling on Route 81 in Great Bend Twp. with passenger Carla Riek, also of Johnson City, and a minor in a child safety seat. Clarke was traveling at a high rate of speed and lost control of the vehicle, striking an embankment and rolling over. Both Clarke and Rieke were not wearing seatbelts and sustained major injuries. The child was not injured.
On May 23, at approximately 3:05 a.m., Bryant Engle of Towanda was traveling northbound on SR 29 in Springville when he lost control of his vehicle and spun approximately 90 degrees in a counterclockwise direction. The vehicle proceeded to exit off of the left berm and strike a utility pole, sheering it off. It then spun several times before continuing off the roadway and coming to rest in a field.
THEFT BY UNLAWFUL TAKING
Sometime between the 20th of September and the 23rd of May one or more perpetrator(s) entered the Then residence, stole an orange STIHL chainsaw, a black Craftsman tool box, two 20 gallon propane tanks, and one 30 gallon propane tank from a wooden shed.
THEFT BY UNLAWFUL TAKING
Between the 5th and 20th of May, at approximately 10:30 p.m., the 2000 GMC pickup truck of Joseph Colletti from Kingsley was entered while parked in his driveway, and a silver Motorola cell phone was removed from within.
On May 22 at 9:00 a.m., three juvenile females had in their possession on the property of Montrose High School in Bridgewater Twp. Xanax and Soma pills. Juvenile petitions were filed against the girls.
If you have information regarding any of these incidents please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
The Starrucca Borough Council met for their regular monthly meeting on May 6, at 7:00 p.m., at the Community Hall in Starrucca. President (Kirk) Rhone, Mr. Anthony Palonis, Mr. Donald Haynes, Mr. Peter Frank, Mr. Robert Buck and Mayor (MaryAnn) DeBalko were present. Mr. Arthur Kopp, and Mr. Fred Rhone, were absent.
President Rhone called the meeting to order, and the pledge was given.
The minutes from the previous meeting were read and the motion to approve carried.
The minutes from the April 14 special meeting were read and the motion to approve carried.
The Treasurer’s report was given and the motion to approve carried.
The bills were presented and Mr. Palonis stated that mileage, as per the bill turned in by Mayor DeBalko for attending an Oil and Gas workshop, was not included in the original motion to pay the registration fee for the class. The motion to approve payment of the bills and include the mileage bill carried.
The following Correspondence was received:
A notice from NEPA stating that their computer funding for this year has been exhausted.
A notice of “Electronics” collection was received from the Wayne County Solid Waste Department.
A notice from the Commonwealth of PA that the “grand fathering” period has expired for R17 inspectors.
A request for an official to be part of a committee to aid the county in their effort to update their Solid Waste Management Plan was read and Mr. Frank expressed interest. The secretary will contact Mr. (Randy) Heller and send the paperwork to Mr. Frank.
A follow up letter concerning the DCED’s acceptance of the audit was received from the William Owens and Company.
A request to use the building for the upcoming election was received from the Wayne County Election Bureau and the motion to grant permission carried.
There was a discussion of the new requirement that contractors be registered with the Attorney General’s Office and further they will be required to use the assigned number in their advertisements, contracts, bids etc. The secretary will provide President Rhone with pamphlets to place in the post office.
In Borough Reports:
Mayor DeBalko reported on the three and a half hour simulcast she attended concerning the Oil and Gas impacts on Pennsylvania communities. She explained there were two attorneys present to explain the Oil and Gas Act. The focus was on two recent Supreme Court decisions against two municipalities: Oakmont Borough (having very strict zoning regulations) and Salem Township. Both municipalities attempted to adopt regulations that controlled the operations of Natural Gas removal. The Courts found in the favor of the Gas drilling companies. The D.E.P. (Department of Environmental Protection) has the sole control and enforcement of the Act and no attempt shall be made to supercede the Act. There is no zoning in Starrucca Borough, but noise levels (pump stations) and lighting can be controlled, she said. There was a suggestion to number the sights for emergency purposes. She stated that the companies are only required to give the Borough a twenty-four hour notice, before drilling commences. Mr. (Erban) Travis told the Board that the Borough’s driveway permit requirement will give an advanced notice of where the wells will be going. It was agreed to assign numbers to the locations and notify the Fire companies of the same. Mayor DeBalko turned over paperwork, (including a website address) to place in the Borough’s records.
Building permits issued last month: One permit was issued in the name of Jennie Fentos (home).
In Unfinished Business:
President Rhone announced that he and Mr. Buck, with the aid of Mr. Kopp will be caring for the lawns and Ball field this year. He welcomed any volunteers willing to help.
In New Business:
It has been determined the Community Hall propane tank is empty and after much discussion and speculation, the motion to acquire no more than 500 gallons, and have the secretary supply President Rhone with payment for Smoky Heller carried.
A resignation to the Road Committee and the Recreation Committee was submitted for Council member Fred Rhone, whose wife is ill. The motion to accept the resignation carried. Mr. Frank agreed to serve on the Road Committee and Mr. Palonis will serve on the Recreation Committee.
The following price quotes (per hour) were submitted for the 2009 Capital Improvements:
Miller Bros.: dump $60.00, back hoe $75.00, excavator $100.00, dozer $60.00, roller $60.00; Schaefer Ent.: dump $95.00, back hoe $85.00, excavator $150.00, dozer $90.00, roller (rental); W. Stone Excv.: dump $90.00, back hoe $85.00, excavator $100.00, dozer $150.00, roller $100.00.
After review the motion to award the Capital Improvement work to Miller Bros. Earth Movers carried.
In Public Participation:
Mr. Robert Martin asked for the address of the Fentos building permit announced earlier. The secretary stated the address used was for the rental property, but the home is the new modular located on Shadigee Creek road, replacing a house that burned. When secretary Travis offered to get the exact address to him, Martin responded, “that’s all I needed to know.”
No further business to come before the Board, the motion to adjourn carried.
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