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A light agenda drew an unexpected crowd to the Harford Township Supervisors’ meeting on June 9. (A “crowd” in Harford is 7 people.) The Supervisors gave the floor to David Klepadlo at the outset, so he could get home to Clarks Summit.
David Klepadlo and Associates designed the Harford Township sewer system and are the engineers of record. Mr. Klepadlo had been asked to draw up a list of important repairs needed at the sewer plant. He presented the list at the meeting.
The biggest item on the list was about $2,000 for a new blower. There were also recommendations for a chain link exit gate at the rear of the plant; replacement of a PVC pipe that carries chlorine solution to the plant from holding tanks; and a water valve at the rear of the building at the plant.
One of the plant’s 3 large blowers is broken. The plant needs at least two to remain in compliance with regulations. The plant maintenance worker has been using chlorine tablets in the processing since the chlorine pipe broke. The others are convenience items.
The Supervisors, who also function as the Harford Township Sewer Authority, voted to go ahead with all of the items. Township workers will use township equipment to do the excavation for the chlorine pipe in order to save money. The sewer account will be charged a suitable amount for the use of township resources in the project.
Supervisor Garry Foltz then repeated his request to Mr. Klepadlo for some estimates of the cost of a total sewer system renovation, particularly at the plant. Mr. Klepadlo has offered to do a study for about $3,000, a cost Mr. Foltz is reluctant to pay. It was agreed that the township will make available the list of cost categories requested in an application for grant funds, and Mr. Klepadlo will pencil in some estimates. Mr. Foltz hopes to get some grants to help with projects like this. The earliest he can expect to receive word on a grant is sometime in August.
The project to replace the bridge over Butler Creek on Pennay Hill Road is coming to a conclusion. All that seems to remain is preparation of final paperwork for the state and federal emergency management agencies, who will inspect the new bridge at the end of the month, and who are expected to fully reimburse the cost of the project, nearly $400,000 altogether.
The Supervisors were also required to pass a resolution and sign an agreement with PennDOT that will allow the township to file PennDOT reports on-line, particularly with respect to the liquid fuel subsidy that constitutes a major part of the township’s road maintenance funding.
Supervisor and Roadmaster Terry VanGorden reported that so far at least one of the new road signs that were installed recently in the township has been stolen. A stop sign was also stolen. Both including the posts. Mr. Foltz suggested marking them in some way as the property of Harford Township. These signs represent a significant taxpayer expense, and Mr. VanGorden is very perturbed.
If you come across one of these signs (the road sign is for Payne Road), bring it to the next meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, June 23, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
At a business meeting June 8, Forest City Regional board members praised students for their performance on graduation projects. In all, over $12,000 was raised for charitable organizations. Thank-yous were extended to Forest City merchants and the downtown community, who assisted students.
The school board discussed the district’s low math standardized test scores. Superintendent Dr. Robert Vadella explained that the school is waging a “many-pronged attack,” consisting of tutoring, curriculum revising and a new math series. “We’ll do whatever it takes,” added Joseph Castrogiovanni, acting high school principal.
One parent in attendance stated that she has been requesting AP and honors courses at Forest City for the past ten years. Vadella assured her that steps are being taken to accommodate academically outstanding students. For example, he said that this year, faculty will “sort out higher achievers throughout the high school” for a Pathways program. The school also runs Project Lead the Way, and forty-six students expressed interest in a new Introduction to Engineering program. Although Vadella stated that he has seen problems with AP courses in the past, such as students not wishing to complete the heavy coursework, he promised that the board is considering AP and honors courses. Another option is the International Baccalaureate Program, which some school districts favor.
Donna Potis, supervisor of special education, added that Forest City Regional has made “significant advances with its gifted program. …We have one of the best gifted programs in the area.”
The parent persisted, “Certain colleges are looking for honors programs, AP courses.” She admitted that some of her children have found themselves academically behind in college. “You have to stretch yourself to find things that are better,” she asserted.
The Class of 2008 donated a computer screen to the school for the displaying of daily announcements.
More concerns from parents ensued. “I ask you to keep an open mind” in choosing coaches and assistant coaches, one woman stated; “Maybe it’s time for change.”
Following an appeal she made last month to keep her daughter in the National Honor Society, one woman said, “I don’t see where [my daughter] was considered. The appeal was for the character of the child.” Mary Emmett responded, “Each school has their own by-laws. That’s what our decision was based on.”
On May 3, 2009, five year-old Emilee Smith participated in a cheerleading competition for children with disabilities, held in Atlantic City. Smith’s team, the Keystone Extreme Allstars FIRE Team, was named the international champion.
The current proposed budget for the 2009-2010 school year is set at $12,348,301.
Vadella stated that the board has begun recruiting for the high school principal position, in the event that it must hire a different person. With his contract nearly expired, Castrogiovanni stated, “I enjoyed Forest City and learned a lot here, as well.”
The Susquehanna County Salary Board, minus Treasurer Cathy Benedict, extended the temporary part-time clerk positions in 911 for mapping and re-addressing from December 3, 2008 to December 2009, per the recommendation of Art Donato, 911 Coordinator. “The re-addressing and mapping system is being held up due to the Harrisburg Post Office’s hold up of releasing a numerous allotment of addresses,” stated Commissioner Mary Ann Warren.
The Salary Board meeting followed the regularly scheduled Susquehanna County Commissioners on Wednesday June 10, at the EMA Conference Room at 9 a.m. sharp, with Commissioners Mary Ann Warren, Leon Allen and Michael Giangrieco, and Chief Clerk, Sylvia Beamer present.
Cheryl Wellman, 911 Dispatcher, was recognized for over 20 years of service to Susquehanna County as a dispatcher, dating back to the “good ole’ days” when 911 services were conducted in the Court House basement in a little corner room filled with several radios, phones and all calls handled by radio, logged by hand and several alarms were also met by hand. Technology has provided not only faster, more accurate service to emergencies but saved a number of lives. However, back in the day, the dispatchers and emergency services should be commended for the jobs and lives and properties they saved with just the maps and radios guided by dispatchers and their own knowledge.
Also recognized for Employee recognition was Jennifer Morelli for five years in recycling, Sylvia Beamer, five years in the commissioner’s office and Bina Patrick serving 15 years in the sheriff’s office.
Commissioners were authorized to sign a Professional Service Term Contract between Susquehanna County and Delta Engineers, Binghamton, for engineering services and land surveying services following a natural disaster for the period June 1, 2009, through December 31, 2012. It was explained that these services were contracted ahead of time to “be prepared in case of a disaster, due to the fact that if a disaster happens, we will be prepared,” according to Commissioners Giangrieco and Warren.
Although the appointment/reappointment of the following committee members had been tabled last meeting, Commissioners appointed the following to the Tourism Committee effective May 8, 2009 through May 7, 2010, per the recommendation of the Tourism Committee: Michele Suchnick of Colonial Brick Inn & Suites; Kim Ross of Stonebridge Inn and Restaurant; Sandy Conklin of Conklin Unique County Shop and Barn Wood; Greg Confer of Elk Mountain Ski Resort; Andy Aulakh of Holiday Inn Express and Tom Follert of Sweet Spot.
Apparently there were questions, last meeting on the recommendations due to attending meetings, but the commissioners remained firm on their choices.
* This reporter accidentally reported the commissioners accepted the above at the previous meeting, it was actually accepted at this June 10 meeting. I apologize for any inconvenience.
Commissioners authorized a lease between Susquehanna County Services for Children and Youth and The Shops Plaza, for space at 230 Erie Boulevard, Susquehanna, for a period of one year beginning June 1, 2009 for $600.00 per month. The space is used for family classes and other family services.
Commissioners signed Agreement Number 69-2D37-05-118 between the Susquehanna County Commissioners, the Susquehanna County Conservation District and Natural Resources Conservation Service United States Department of Agriculture, in which NRCS will pay 50% of the Office Coordinator’s salary and benefits and will pay travel and training costs that are completed for NRCS for a period of one year from the date it is signed by the State Conservationist, Marilyn Bailey.
The meeting recessed for the salary board then reconvened to close the Commissioners’ Meeting.
Bows and arrows can be dangerous in the hands of a child, or they can be advantageous. The success of the Choconut Valley Elementary School's archery team was the first major item of discussion at the June 8 Montrose School Board meeting. In April, 25 of these students attended the National Archery in the School Program's Pennsylvania State Tournament. Several students received individual medals, and the team placed first in the elementary fourth through sixth grade division. This success has garnered significant attention, including recognition by community members, including various legislative note-worthies. Some in attendance at the meeting spoke very highly of the program as well. Mr. McComb pointed out that the school has now won two state championships in a row. Throughout the whole state, he effuse, Choconut is tops. Mr. McComb and the others who worked to bring the team to success, including the parents and coaches, were also acknowledged. One student, Paige Yoemans, even attended nationals in Kentucky; several were eligible. The students, those present, shook hands and received certificates. Those involved included: John Giangrieco, Paige Yoemans, Jacob Hayes, Katie Warner, Josh Giles, McCade Callaway, Travis Carter, Alexy Callaway, Devin Frey, Spencer Quinn, Chapin Birchard, Nocole Kimmell, Thomas Williams, Joey Munda, Michaela Pike, Brandon Weaver, and Rebecca Pike.
Ms. Kathleen Swaha, educator, and Ms. Diane Truman, support staff, were presented Lauretta Woodson Awards by representatives of the Susquehanna County Pennsylvania Association of Retirees (PSAR). This organization is open to all retired school employees. This award is given to school staff demonstrating creativity, initiative, and an effort to contribute to student growth. Ms. Swaha was nominated for the award by Mr. Tallarico, with her work with students on Sr. project papers being highlighted. Ms. Truman was nominated by Mr. Ognosky, and has served as the secretary to the superintendent for years. Both women received a plaque, a pin, and a medal. Ms. Swaha was also extended the standard complimentary one year free membership to PSARS which all first year retirees may obtain. It was mentioned that these women were thought to be fitting recipients for the award by those in the MASD community, and that their work contradicts the idea often portrayed in the news media that nothing is right in public education.
The district approved its final budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year in the amount of $25,200,000. There is to be no increase in real estate millage in the coming year. It was mentioned that the Homestead Farmstead inclusion will be $361.52, a slight decrease from the previous year. This is due to more taxpayers applying for the exclusion while the money allotted to the district remained the same.
The concession stand project was put on hold temporarily. All bids came in, it was reported, appreciably higher than expected. It was decided that the matter would be discussed at an upcoming Building and Grounds meeting, and a more cost effective and efficient version rebid.
Changes in support staff proved to be one of the largest items of discussion throughout the two meetings. The motions under discussion included an increase in the number of work days for the Special Education secretary, the Assistant Principal's secretary, and the Attendance clerk (from 210 to 260), and an increase of the Cafeteria/Clerical Aide working hours at Choconut Valley Elementary School. A visitor asked why the latter move was being suggested, it was responded that a desire existed to have the office covered from 7 to 4, and that with Dibbles recording and the upcoming RTI initiative the number of reports needing to be filed has increased dramatically. This decision was tabled until a future meetings as was a motion to advertise internally for a Technology Coach to become a full-time contracted professional position supported through the local budget. Both these items, it was said, had to do with curriculum and would be discussed at a future curriculum meeting. The motion to increase the number of days the three secretaries worked was a more complex matter.
Mr. Owens explained the reasoning behind this move. The current attendance clerk, he stated, has traditionally assumed much of the data management in the district. While the district shifted away from maybe 70 different reports from disparate groups to four data sets compiled by one person, under the PIMS initiative. Each of these data sets has to be reported on accurately, incorrect submissions might affect subsidy, highly qualified status, and whether or not the district meets AYP. It was Mr. Owens opinion that a full-time data management secretary was needed to make certain this was done, and his recommendation was that the attendance secretary fill this position, as well as take on certain secretarial responsibilities within his office which he currently fulfills. The assistant principal's secretary, then, would take on the daily attendance work, though the child count would be the job of the current attendance secretary. The vote on this movement was close enough that a roll call vote was necessitated. Four board members voted negatively, and five positively. It was necessary for Mr. Plauny to do further research to ascertain whether or not this kind of matter could be decided by such a close margin. One visitor present argued that perhaps an additional full-time specialized secretary to input data for the technology department might make more sense than shifting the current secretaries responsibilities, but it was responded that the board was struggling already with simply extending the days of two staff; leaving things as is and hiring someone new hadn't even been discussed.
It was decided that a Language Arts coach would be advertised to assist with grades k-2. This position is to be funded out of Title 1 economic stimulus money, and is thus only for a two year period.
Bus route alterations were discussed during the work session. It was stated that there would not be significant effect on bus time for kids. The change is k-12, due to a decline in student population. It was mentioned that up to this point, although education positions had been cut, the bus fleet had remained the same, with additional routes even being added. It did not appear as if definite decisions had been yet made, the situation was simply being reexamined.
Both elementary principals discussed sixth grade graduation, dances, and school trips. The board was thanked for its support, and it was discussed how students at both schools raved about the field trips they were allowed to go on.
Mr. Owens spoke about the internet down time which the district had been experiencing. It was not the school's fault, he said, the problem stemmed from Verizon, a part being bad in a building in Philadelphia. Montrose was not the only district down.
Finally discussion was held regarding three acres which the district gifted to the Susquehanna County Free Library for the erection of their new building. The library is looking to enter into a non-surface gas lease on the land, and notified the district, to which the land would revert were nothing done on it within five years. It was unknown whether the district had to give its blessing for the deal to go through, or it was simply notification.
Edward J., III and Mary Louise Herrmann (NBM) Mary Louise Saurman to John H. and Jennifer C. McFadden, in Harford Township for $25,000.00.
Diane J. Wilcox to James H. and Pamela A. Deacon, in Lanesboro Borough for $157.000.00.
Valerie Kuhar (By Sheriff) to Stanley Gurecki, in Harford Township for $52,000.00.
Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (FKA) Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP to Leonard J. and Virginia Laky, in Bridgewater Township for $57,500.00.
Janet Rosenkrans to Christopher L. and Amy N. Gulick, in Hallstead Borough for one dollar.
June M. McHugh to Traci L. Decker, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
William C. (AKA) William and Mary Ann W. (AKA) Mary Ann Robinson to W. David Robinson, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
William C. (AKA) William and Mary Ann W. (AKA) Mary Ann Robinson to W. David Robinson, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Fannie Mae (AKA) Federal National Mortgage Association (By POA) to Frederick W. and Dorothy Thomas, in Montrose for $50,000.00.
James C. and Karen L. Malkemes to Amber Page, in Jackson Township for $80,000.00.
James and Corey Frankowski to Kevin M. Clum, in Clifford Township for $140,000.00.
Lloyd Robinson to A. J. Kelly, in Dimock and Springville Townships.
Gerald J. and Beverly J. Quick to David T. Baker, Jr., in Bridgewater Township for $15,000.00.
Shirley A. Derrick to Bogumila K. Manzione, in Great Bend Township for $95,000.00.
David S. Grier to Stanley E. and Beverly Y. Grier, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
William L. and Deborah L. Stark to Edith M. and William L. Stark, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Richard and Marie L. Peterka (NBM) Marie L. Swierczek to Richard and Marie L. Peterka, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Henry, Arthur and Mary Danelli to Arthur Danelli, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Rose Marie Smith (Estate FKA) Rose Marie Barnes (Estate) to Christopher L. and Kristen M. Longacre, in Liberty Township for $7,500.00.
Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Mary Lu Shaffer, in Herrick Township for $2,495.00.
Douglas G. Kilmer to John H. and Lola Zimmerman, in Clifford Township for $20,000.00.
Vivian C. Westbrook to Jeffrey K. Westbrook, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Thomas L. and Sherry L. Weller to W. David Robinson, in Bridgewater Township for $5,000.00.
Helen B. McKinney of Susquehanna vs. Harold W. McKinney, Jr. of Hallstead, married 1982.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 10:04 a.m. on June 12, 2009.
Duane M. Aldrich, David P. Atherholt, Jr., Erika L. Back, 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, 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, Timothy W. Rogers, Troy Rohmann, Earl H. Thompson, Jr., William VanCott, Brian Visakay, Keith W. Vroman, Steven G. Warner, Joseph Watkins, Glynn Wildoner, III, Jamie L. Williams, Kenneth L. Wilmot, Roy J. Yanvary.
Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals.
At a short business meeting June 9, Clifford Supervisor Dennis Knowlton provided a summary of the township clean-up. “We’re ahead on that,” stated Knowlton, explaining that at the end of the project, the township had approximately $91. Knowlton thanked individuals who assisted in the clean-up.
Following was an update on the Mud Road bridge project. René Reynolds, Township Secretary, announced that a culvert bridge system has been approved and a hydraulic study completed. The project will be bid out in July.
The township will advertise to purchase black cinders for winter road treatment; bids are to be opened at the next township meeting.
In a related matter, a resident of Elk View Drive thanked the township for sweeping cinders off of that road. Township Chairman John Regan announced that he is still awaiting word from Penn-DOT regarding tarring and chipping on Elk View Drive.
Following an assessment of Clifford roads, the township will apply for a Dirt and Gravel Road Program grant to make repairs on Osweld-Johnson Road. The township will also seek funds to repair a bridge at the bottom of Swetter’s Road.
The police department requested that ATV users “be careful and courteous” in order to prevent accidents.
Township supervisors again requested volunteers to monitor the recycling program. “Recycling has come a long way, and it’s going to go further,” commented Regan.
A township resident asked about progress with the 911 addressing. She stated that ground delivery has “extreme difficulty… finding us.” “I think the county has put us on hold,” Regan responded. Although a few individuals in attendance agreed that a Clifford Township address with a Clifford Township zip code “is not gonna happen,” township supervisors remained firm. “We’re gonna ask for everything,” Regan stated.
The Susquehanna County PSPCA is working hard to show the entire Susquehanna area that the new police at the Montrose located area welcomes all of the county as well as Wyoming County to come and check out the friendly staff and the new services offered at the shelters. They will be hosting a June 20 open house at the Route 706 location.
Recently a meeting was held with over 24 interested board members and volunteers to brainstorm and get the word out that community support is needed, as well as a boost in adoptions and an increase in donations and to show the community that not only do they now have friendly faces here, they have community services and pet friendly education as well.
PSPCA in Philadelphia is extending the time they are helping the Susquehanna Branch to July 31, 2009 to see if the organization can “stay afloat on its own.” “They don’t want to see us fail,” Corey Cohen stated. “They do want to see us succeed and we need to show them that we can do just that, but it isn’t going to be easy. We need the commitment of each person in this room and more.
We need to create a new image for the community, treat them with respect, let them know that our policies have changed and let them also know that I can/will help them with their pet behavioral issues if they have questions.”
Cohen will soon be meeting with Philadelphia’s new CEO, Sue Cosby, and will have more information on expectations to clarify what goals the PSPCA in Philadelphia office is requiring of Susquehanna County to prove itself.
One of the main objectives of the new board at the shelter is to not only show that “we are a county-wide organization, but that we have something to offer back to the community,” said Cohen, who serves as the behaviorist and management consultant.
“We would like people to come to our June 20 open house and see just some of the options now available to them. We will have refreshments, staff and volunteers here to discuss the animals up for adoption, an animal behavior list on hand for problems with their own pets, and they need not have gotten the pet here.”
Down the road there are plans for “A Day with Corey” which will give each municipality time to bring their pet to a specified location within their area boundaries to discuss their pet problems or work on something first hand. Cohen and a volunteer will be on site in that municipality. “We want to project that we at the shelter, even though our location is at Montrose, the work we do is for the entire Susquehanna county area and sometimes Wyoming county as well.”
Please come to the Open House on June 20 from 10-4, enjoy the refreshments, pets, new and positive friendly people, behavioral class demonstrations, pamphlets and the education about the new Susquehanna County PSPCA based in Montrose and learn about the services now available to you. It will be worth the trip.
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