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The July 21 Council of Governments meeting began with routine business, but adjourned to a lengthy executive session with all voting delegates, after which members reluctantly took action on some cost-cutting measures due to the present economic conditions. Because of a shortfall of revenue, a result of the economic downturn, COG's expenses have surpassed current revenues and cuts are needed. The decision was made based on COG's average monthly income over the last quarter, with the expectation that revenue will probably continue to decline over the next several months. Additional measures will be considered in the future if necessary. Motions carried to lay off Sewage Enforcement Officer Duane Wood, and to lay off Office Manager Karen Trynoski for two days per week, both actions effective as of August 8.
In other business, correspondence reviewed included:
- A notice from PACOG; they are presently seeking a candidate for third vice president.
- Information on a variety of Growing Greener grant applications presently available, including funding for solar energy projects, renewable energy projects, state revolving loans, and more.
- An invitation to the Peoples National Bank golf tournament on August 4.
- Information from NTRPDC regarding a community assessment they have obtained grant funding for, and an invitation for communities to participate in upcoming meetings.
- NTRPDC's annual financial report.
- Information about the PACOG annual convention in September.
- The monthly PACOG newsletter, which highlights Bradford County.
- Notice from DGK that there is a possible increase in COG's insurance premium.
The executive committee had nothing to report, other than “the work just isn't out there.” SEO Duane Wood was commended for being a “team player,” and the hope was expressed that he could return to his position in the near future if things pick up.
The codes committee was addressed by an audience member who expressed dissatisfaction with the work of the Building Inspection Underwriter's commercial building inspector who works with COG. The gentleman said that he felt the inspector that a friend had to deal with was “abusive,” in that he had been unclear about UCC specifications before work was done, and had required that some work be torn out and redone. Some of the required changes were said to be minor, such as moving a sink one-eighth of an inch and moving a toilet two inches. Another member of the audience corroborated the incidents, and added that the inspector had not been forthcoming with what was expected before the work had been done. The committee agreed that good communication is something that COG strives for, and that they would immediately look into the situation.
And, the committee noted that the COG Codes committee has been in existence for 14 years, and that the UCC has been in effect for five years.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, August 18, 7 p.m. at the COG offices in the New Milford Boro building.
At the July 21 meeting of the Elk Lake and SCCTC school boards, the district's energy education specialist, Kim Guiton, presented a report on the program's success. Beginning in November of the previous year, the program's primary goals were to maintain both comfort and safety. This meant, she said, that while the district was trying to save energy, the administration did not want to do so by making rooms too hot, too cold, or too dark. These goals were pursued in a variety of ways. Ms. Guiton would walk around the school at night, identifying rooms which were heated when they shouldn't be, or equipment running when it wasn't needed. Usage was examined during occupied times, for consolidation purposes, diagnostic loggers reported current temperature, relative humidity, and lighting levels, and an energy policy and guidelines were created and maintained. The overall plan was to reduce dollars by reducing consumption.
According to Ms. Guiton's report the work was successful. The district saved $137,356 since the inception of the program, representing almost 26.8% cost avoidance. The measurements used to ascertain this were based on consumption comparisons between the base period and the current billing cycle, and took into account load changes (weather, etc.). Utilizing this software it was determined that the district used 131,760 fewer killawatt hours than was expected, a decrease of 11.6% and a savings of $14,949. This is the average equivalent of the electricity used by 12 houses in a year. Similarly, it was estimated that the schools avoided using 26,324 gallons of heating oil, a reduction in use of 23.2% and a savings of $122,407. Environmentally, the district avoided producing 462 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equal to the impact of removing 83 automobiles from the highways annually, or planting 11,828 tree seedlings and growing them for ten years. The board and administration acknowledged Ms. Guiton for her efforts, and she in turn termed it a team effort.
The Elk Lake music department is undergoing changes. A letter of resignation was read from the elementary instructor, Ms. Jennifer Geary. Kathleen McDonald and Giselle Pedrazza were hired, in turn, to replace that position and one in the secondary school.
Windmills were briefly discussed, when a visitor inquired as to whether or not the district had ever thought about investigating their use at the school. It was answered that it had never been looked at seriously, but suggested that it might be looked into. Mr. Emmerich suggested that area school boards might sit together and meet on such matters, to avoid reinventing the wheel. There is at least one other district in the area which already researched the use of wind energy.
Craig's Photique was awarded the district's student photography bids. They were recommended on the basis of being local, and having low cost packages, to assist parents in difficult economic times. The Photique has handled the district's graduation pictures for a few years, but had not been doing student photos.
Significant discussion was held regarding the looming retirement crisis, which had already been discussed numerous times. In the year 2013, retirement is expected to increase from the current 4.75 to 20.16; the district is attempting to prepare for this increase now so as not to overburden taxpayers then. A plan was proposed by Dr. Bush, after discussing with the district's auditors language for a motion addressing the problem. The district always keeps 8% of any financial excess in the general fund account, beyond which money is put into capital reserves. Under the proposal, after that 8% was taken out the next 2% would be pledged towards retirement, and any excess above that would go into capital reserves.
There was concern, however, regarding this option. It was suggested that all excess be put towards the retirement fund, as there was already a healthy amount in the general fund. One board member likened not doing so to putting a hundred dollars in your savings account while the bank is hauling away your car. Others felt, however, that the district had obtained this cushion through responsible money management, and that it would be prudent to continue doing so. There was also fear that the district might end up punishing itself if it created a retirement account. If other districts did not do so, it was postulated, they might be forgiven the money when the time came, but if Elk Lake had an account it would be forced to utilize it. It was proposed that extra money simply be put in the general fund, but there are repercussions to having too much money in this account as well. In the end it was decided that the district would follow the proposal, but would write into it that the situation could be reassessed each year.
A gas drilling update was given. Currently a vertical well was being dug, it was said, with an expected fourteen days completion time. At this time a horizontal well would be begun, for a pipeline. Concerns over water were broached, with an anecdote being given of someone who had lost water when the drilling hit the aquifer.
Compiled By Lauren P. Ficarro
Maria Powers to David E. and Lois C. Shaffer, in Choconut Township for $245,000.00.
Alex T. and Karen L. Frantz to Frantz Family Trust, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Frances, Diane and Thomas Baileys, Barbara Sheptak and Marie Kameen to Robert E. and Dawn M. W. Holland, in Forest City for $97,500.00.
Janis E. Captain to Charles and Nancy L. Kritch, in Lenox Township for $40,000.00.
Daniel and Teri Green (NBM) Teri Shager to Daniel and Teri Green, in Uniondale Borough for one dollar.
Naomi J. Jayne to Ronald and Gary Jayne, Phillis Notley and Brenda Cimakaski, in Auburn Township for one dollar.
David R. and Janice B. Carpenter to Carpenter Irrevocable Grantor Trust (By Trustee), in Oakland Township for one dollar.
Robert W. and Alice L. Row to Robert W. and Alice L. Roe, in Forest Lake Township.
Marketing Department, Inc. to Lee Knapp, in Montrose for $77,000.00.
Wyoming Annual Conference of United Methodist Church (By Trustee) to Kevin A. and Irene R. Roe, in Harmony Township for $3,000.00.
Colin B. and Dianne C. Connolly to Jennings B. (Trust) and Betty M. (Trust) Birtch, in Franklin Township for $145,000.00.
William E. and Billie M. Beadle to Jonathan F. and Mara A. Ketchum, in Oakland Township for $50,000.00.
Raymond P. and Judy L. Vibbard to Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, in Springville Township.
Don M. and Nancy J. Burdick to Charles T. Slody, in Forest City for $59,000.00.
Crystal Lake Estates LLC to Douglas S. and Pamela P. Callantine, in Clifford Township for $380,000.00.
Mary Jo Whiting (By Sheriff) to Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, in New Milford Township for $1,358.51.
Irene E. Crayton (Estate) to Edward M. and Donna Kogut, in Bridgewater Township for $34,500.00.
Deron L. and Marci M. Vandeventer to Marci M. Vandeventer, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Warren Montagna, Jr. to Warren Montagna, Jr., in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Robert E., Jr. and Beverly B. Lee to Dawn Mervine, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Donna Gleason to Donna Gleason, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Brian P. and Patricia L. (AKA) Patricia Laraine Gesford to Matthew D. and Tiffany M. Neenan, in Dimock Township for $222,000.00.
Matthew D. and Tiffany Neenan to Brian P. and Patricia L. (AKA) Patricia Laraine Gesford, in Dimock Township.
Brian P. and Patricia L. (AKA) Patricia Laraine Gesford to Matthew D. and Tiffany M. Neenan, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Irene Y. O’Malley to Michael and Tina O’Malley, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Irene Y. O’Malley to Michael and Tina O’Malley, in Montrose for one dollar.
James S., Jr. and Marian Williams to Jason B. and Elizabeth Williams, in Auburn Township for $45,000.00.
Scott Terry Vangorden and Mindy J. Aldrich, both of Susquehanna.
Eric Samuel Branton of Denver, CO and Emily B. Hollister of College Station, TX.
David Matthew Smolnik and Alexandra Elizabeth Wengert, both of Binghamton.
Kenneth R. Blystone, Jr. of Newton Falls, OH and Janice F. Shaffer of Friendsville.
Paul A. Benarick and Cynthia Jean Thomas, both of Forest City.
Thomas H. Rought of Clarks Summit and Patricia E. Hartshaw of Clearwater, SC.
Richard Levens of New Milford vs. Nancy Eileen Levens of Hawley, married 1981.
Edward Wademan of Nicholson vs. Karen Wademan of Redwood City, CA, married 2006.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 10:30 a.m. on July 24, 2009.
Michael A. Argust, David P. Atherholt, Jr., Erika L. Back, John W. Barber, Sr., David Shawn Blaisure, Joseph Bonavita, Michael P. Bradley, Jr., Devin S. Brewer, Howard Burns, Robert B. Carrier, Beverly A. Carvin,, Tony R. Clark, Mark T. Conklin, Mary Dallasta, Edward J. Dickson, Jr., Jeremy M. Dixon, James W. Donahue III, Deborah L. Drish, David J. Fischer, Ryan M. Forder, Kelly Fox, Dominick M. Franklin, Deborah E. Gould, Tiffany M. Groover, David Haines, Jr., Suzanne R. Hansen, William N. Hendrickson, Ann Hightower, Steven L. Jones, Kenneth M. Kintner, Kevin D. Klein, Eric C. Kohlhepp, Erik E. Krisovitch, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Christopher Locke, Joseph Malloy, Jr., Patricia J. Marrero, Jason Marshall, Zada A. McDonald, Nancy McGillis, Rollin E. Miller, Jr., Joseph C. Moore, Anthony Neri, Benjamin Newell, Tanya M. Novak, Todd M. O'Hara, Donald Palmer, Gary Perico, James E. Purse, Timothy W. Rogers, Troy Rohmann, David J. Shiner, Garrett M. Thomas, Keith W. Vroman, Steven G. Warner, Joseph Watkins, Jamie L. Williams, Kenneth L. Wilmot, Jr.
Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals
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