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The September 3 meeting of the New Milford Borough Council was held despite the lack of a quorum, although no official action could be taken.
According to Council President James Carr, “We can discuss things, and wait until next meeting until action can be taken.”
The decision to recess until the September 17 work session was made at the end of the “unofficial meeting.”
Children were present to present the Council with a check for $803.75 they made during the Bi-Centennial Weekend from their own lemonade stand. Emalee Carr, Carley Gudykunst, Tommy Gudykunst, Aleks Carr and Ben Carr presented the check proudly to the Council amid clapping and thank you’s from the Council, as well as the audience. The children wish the monies would be able to be put toward a basketball hoop for Midtown Park.
Carr suggested that Council look into matching the funds for such a hoop. He explained that the same offer had previously been made to youth who wanted to have a skateboarding area.
In other business, it was reported that the Borough was being sued due to concerns regarding stop signs placed on Susquehanna and Church Streets. In that, the matter will be turned over to Solicitor Jodi Cordner, who will then send correspondence to the complainants attorney.
Fourteen Park Place has been worked on and is coming along.
There was a complaint made about the smell of pigs and chickens on Montrose Street within New Milford Borough. The complaint was referred to the Borough via one of the New Milford Township Supervisors, who originally received the odorous information. The matter will be investigated when action can be directly taken.
Correspondence was received from Goldie Small, thanking the Council for allowing her to lead the festivities in the Bi-Centennial parade. She also informed Council that her roses were saving well.
FEMA reported that they were again processing flood map up dates, Council President Carr reported that the Borough had already let FEMA know about some streets which had previously been missing from earlier maps.
The Trash Burning Ordinance was advertised and will be acted upon at the next meeting (work session).
Police will be informed that there is a towing service in New Milford Borough, as previously they had been told there were no services in the borough regarding a recent incident in which a vehicle required towing. Secretary Amy Hine will be sure to give Al Vogel’s phone numbers to the police to prevent the problem from happening again.
Johnson Street’s Railroad work is done, the borough’s work is done and PennDot has been notified.
The Bridges are done and open and Council’s Scott Smith, Amy Hine, and Jim Carr discussed that previously, Chris Allen had suggested video taping the area in order to avoid some of the problems after the flood which occurred in trying to get actual proof of what the areas were actually like pre-flood. This action will be discussed and carried through after being voted upon.
Discussion ensued about the purchase of a trac phone for a borough employee, but it was suggested that walkie-talkies would make a much better purchase and save money. Secretary Amy Hine will research this matter and report findings at the next meeting.
The decision was made to recess the unofficial meeting until the September 17, 7 p.m. work session, which will allow action to be taken.
The Starrucca Borough Council met for their regular monthly meeting on August 4 at 7:00 p.m., at the Community Hall in Starrucca. President (Kirk) Rhone, Mr. Arthur Kopp, Mr. Donald Haynes, Mr. Peter Frank (had to leave early), Mr. Fred Rhone, Mr. Robert Buck, Mr. Anthony Palonis and Mayor (MaryAnn) DeBalko were present.
President Rhone called the meeting to order and called for an Executive Session to discuss both legal and personnel matters.
The meeting was reopened at 7:26 and the minutes from the previous meeting were read. The motion to approve carried.
The minutes from the special meeting held on July 21 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 the motion to approve payment carried.
In Borough Reports:
Sewage Enforcement Officer Russell Warner’s bill for April through June ($200.90) was presented and the motion to approve carried.
It was reported that Mr. Robert Lunt alerted to a large hole near a sluice pipe on the Penn Hill road and Mr. Ozzie Miller was contacted and it has been repaired.
In New Business:
Mayor DeBalko presented a copy of a report from the Auditor General’s office and read out loud the cover letter attached. She told the Board that agent Jerry Moran came to her house and presented to her what he referred to as the “final report.”
She stated that she immediately contacted the Borough’s solicitor and took the report to his office and met with him. His advice, through her, no questions will be answered until all the Council members have been able to see the report and review the same with the solicitor.
She announced that the report was available to look at during the meeting if anyone wished to look at it.
In Public Participation:
Mr. Jack Downton spoke of washouts at the end of sluice pipes on the Fairmount road. Mr. Rhone asked him (Jack Downton) for permission to access his land for the needed repair. Mr. Downton refused, stating “you are gonna have more trouble from the D.E.P. (Department of Environmental Protection) than from me.” Mr. Rhone again asked for his permission to go on his land, and Mr. Buck tried to explain that the repair needed to go beyond the right-of -way. Mr. Downton again refused to grant permission. He (Jack Downton) then asked why the Buck’s road entrance was paved. The paving was a requirement of the Highway Occupancy Permit issued by Penn Dot.
Mr.(Jack)Downton then wanted a price on the Stephano bridge project. The Board did not want to jeopardize a project that has not yet been bid, so Mayor DeBalko suggested Mr.(Jack) Downton contact Engineer Stephen Knash.
No further business to come before the Board, the motion to adjourn carried.
Last month, a couple of police officers from Susquehanna attended a meeting of the Great Bend Borough Council to pitch an offer to provide police coverage as part of a “regional” arrangement with Hallstead Borough and Great Bend Township. Council members heard Assistant Chief Lance Penzone with enthusiasm, considering the difficulties they have had trying to arrange police support in the past from Lanesboro, Montrose, and even Susquehanna.
This time, at their meeting on September 3, Officer Penzone, accompanied by Chief Bob Sweet, provided more details. Contingent upon the participation of the other neighboring municipalities, the Susquehanna Borough police department could have an officer on duty in the in the Great Bend-Hallstead area nearly full time at a cost of $1,612 per month. Officer Penzone said that an officer would be assigned to the area from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; Friday through Sunday there would be 24-hour coverage by at least one officer, and during shift overlaps, as many as 3 at a time. The proposal was for a one-year contract. Mr. Penzone said that the car alone would account for about $600 of the monthly cost. He hoped that the 3 communities would each supply an official for a coordinating committee, and that an office and “a place to put the car” would be made available.
Council is eager to sign up, and hoped the officers would get the process under way soon. Councilman Mike Wasko asked them to quote a price for covering Great Bend Borough alone, in case the other communities back off. Officer Penzone didn’t think that likely. “They want it, too” he said, noting that he had heard positive feedback already. The new service, which would cost the Borough almost $20,000 the first year, would almost certainly require a tax increase for Borough property owners. Mayor James Riecke remarked that sometimes when people clamor for more services, they are equally unwilling to pay for them through increased taxes.
Mike Crook brought his concerns about drug dealing and other criminal activity in the borough to the meeting for a second month, and said he would continue “to keep complaining about this.” “We need to get our parks back,” he said, referring to shady activity noted in the borough’s parks after the official closing hour of 8:00 p.m. A local police presence would certainly help.
One impetus for the Susquehanna proposal is found in House Bill 1500, awaiting action in the state legislature. If it becomes law, the bill would assess a fee of $52 per person in communities like Great Bend that do not have their own police services to support the budget of the State Police. The tab would rise to $104 during in the second year, and to $156 per person in the third year. The Susquehanna offer would cover the requirements of the bill, and could possibly be paid for, at least in part, from grant money. According to Officer Penzone, any fines or other proceeds of enforcement would also return to the borough, and could be “substantial,” he said. Grant funding of this kind is most readily available to multi-municipality cooperative arrangements.
The officers promised to return next month with more information. In the meantime, Council is still dealing with remnants of the police force it disbanded some 10 years ago. Ilene Miller and Dennis Martell, children of former police Chief Charles Martell, attended the meeting to petition for the resumption of Chief Martell’s pension checks, which they said he has not received for 2 months.
The pension plan of the long-defunct police department has been a difficult issue for the borough ever since the last 2 municipalities pulled out of the cooperative arrangement. The plan is administered by one David Ayers, representing Morgan Stanley, the company that manages the plan. The borough and its solicitor, Frank O’Conner, decline any involvement in the plan. In fact, Mr. O’Connor advised the borough’s mayor a couple of years ago not to handle any paperwork concerning Mr. Martell’s pension plan. He said that he didn’t want the borough’s taxpayers to find themselves in the middle of a dispute over which the borough has no control.
Chief Martell’s children are concerned that he isn’t able to pay for the medical care that he needs without the pension checks, and that the community he served for so long as police chief, volunteer ambulance driver, and scout leader, should have compassion enough to help out. They said his checks were cut off without notice of any kind.
No one at the meeting was certain why the payments had been discontinued, but speculated that there may have been overpayments in the past. In the end, the Martells were advised to contact the plan administrator - in writing - for help in resolving the matter. Council said it would provide a “courtesy” letter in conjunction with a letter from Chief Martell to the pension managers requesting information.
In other matters, borough supervisor and Council member Joe Collins said that the riding mower should make it through the rest of the season. The borough will be looking for a new one, and Mr. Wasko suggested contacting the local John Deere dealer to see if recent trade-ins might suit as near-new equipment.
A proposal to acquire new playground equipment is stalled for lack of funding, due to the budget stalemate in Harrisburg.
PennDOT was asked to replace two broken drain grates on Main Street (U.S. Route 11) and Randolph Road. PennDot said that they would provide the grates, but that installing them would be the borough’s responsibility. Both streets are supposedly the maintenance responsibility of the state.
PennDOT hasn’t been helpful in finding a way to handle excess water coming off the Interstate. Last month the item was removed from the agenda following receipt of a letter that claimed the water that flooded Washington Street in June 2006 was part of a “cold-water fishery” stream and thus could not be touched. Council member Jerry MacConnell, who has championed the issue for several years, was absent last month. But this month he insisted that it resume its place on the agenda until the state does something about it. “I’m not giving up on this,” said he. “I’m not done with Washington Street water.”
During the same flood in the summer of 2006, a temporary ramp was created over the curbing at the Welcome Center just north of the borough to allow vehicles access to the otherwise isolated town. Wasko has asked PennDOT to install an entrance with a locked gate that could become available in a similar situation in the future. PennDOT has refused, claiming that, since the Interstate is a federal highway, they could not provide local access. Mr. Now he is renewing his campaign for local access, having located just such a one near Shippensburg. If they can do it there, they can do it here, he said.
“Take ‘em to Peter!” cried Mike Wasko, exasperated over the failure of some owners to clean up their properties. Code Enforcement Officer, Council member Bret Jennings vowed to do just that, referring some of the more notorious cases to District Justice Peter Janicelli.
On the other side of the ledger, Council received a request from the Boy Scouts for a “citation” recognizing the contributions of Rob Robinson, owner of Rob’s Market, to the local communities. The borough will develop a proclamation and resolution thanking Mr. Robinson for his extraordinary generosity and outstanding service.
The Great Bend Borough Council will meet next in public session on Thursday, October 1, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Borough Building.
Janina Kettling to John Kettling and Kristina Z. Berquist, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Walter H. and Theresa D. Wartman to Steven A. and Sandra Wahlers, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Gerald E. and Marilyn J. Chandler to Brain E. and Mina M. Chandler, in Oakland Township for $1,000.00.
Patsy R. (AKA) Patsy and Eleanore M. (AKA) Eleanor Bennett to Joseph and Susan B. Pipitone, in Forest Lake Township for $100,000.00.
Margaret M. Broad to Robert and Karen Broad, in Oakland Township for one dollar.
John L. (By Atty) and Lois B. (By Atty) Koons to John L. Koons, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Pauline and Donald Williams to P. Earnshaw, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Patrick Schmuechker (By Sheriff), Elizabeth J. (By Sheriff) and Thomas J. (By Sheriff) Hinz to Peoples National Bank, in Montrose for $8,307.29.
George S. and Lita Milochik to Lita Milochik (Revocable Trust), in Auburn Township for one dollar.
Richard Hugh (AKA) Richard Fraser (Estate) to Stephen Hugh, Elizabeth and John Fraser, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Aspiring LLC to Stephen G. and Karen E. Karmazsin, in Choconut Township for one dollar.
Marilyn Smith to Donald H. Smith, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Leanne J. (By POA) and Michael A. (By POA) Maglioli to Brain Elliott Hogue, in Herrick Township for $200.00.
Household Finance Consumer Discount Co. to Christopher Tracy, in Springville Township for $92,500.00.
Kimberly Caffrey (By POA) to Joseph Allan and Vanessa D. Davis, in Herrick Township for $200.00.
Barbara J. Mulford and Joseph M. Dera to Barbara J. Mulford Dera, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Robert M. Dragon (Est By POA) to Jonathan Davis and Jill Rathbun, in Herrick Township ford $42,500.00.
Holly Belveg and Marie (Est AKA) Marie T. MacBlane to Robert E. Gusciora and Cheryl A. Johnson, in Ararat Township for $200,000.00.
Michal (AKA) Michael and Alicja Maziarz to Martha Taylor-Young, in Susquehanna for $100,000.00.
John J. and Rose I. English to Rose I. (Trust) and John H. (Trust) English, in Liberty Township for $10.00.
Lester C. and Emma J. Hall to Lester C., Jr. and Michael J. Hall, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Lester C. and Emma J. Hall to Lally Snell, Nancy Rood and Penny Kleiner, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Leroy and Judy Spadine to Jeffrey R. and Brenda L. Spadine, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Robert and Kathryn Nelson to Warren and Rose Marie Obrien, in Herrick Township for $78,000.00.
Kathleen Ashby to Robert C. Robinson, in Jackson and New Milford Townships for $20,000.00.
Stephen Kaminsky to Robert C. Robinson, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
H. G., Jr. and Norma L. Beam to Michael R. and Cecelia H. Meagher, in Forest Lake Township for $115,000.00.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of September 4, 2009 at 10:45 a.m.
Duane Aldrich, Michael A. Argust, David P. Atherholt, Jr., Erika L. Back, John W. Barber, Sr., Stephen L. Barker, Keith B. Beach, David Shawn Blaisure, Joseph Bonavita, Michael P. Bradley, Jr., Devin S. Brewer, Howard A. Burns, III, Robert B. Carrier, Jason James Carroll, Beverly A. Carvin, Tony R. Clark, Mark T. Conklin, Edward J. Dickson, Jr., James W. Donahue, III, Deborah L. Drish, Shawn P. Fiorentino, David J. Fischer, Ryan M. Forder, Kelly Fox, Dominick M. Franklin, Jamie Gerhard, Tiffany M. Groover, Jonathan S. Guzy, David Haines, Jr., Suzanne R. Hansen, Ann Hightower, Steven L. Jones, Kenneth M. Kintner, Kevin D. Klein, Eric C. Kohlhepp, Erik E. Krisovitch, Amber Kuns, Charlie J. Legere, Harold K. Leiger, II, Carlos L. Leiser, Patricia J. Marrero, Jason Marshall, Nancy McGillis, Rollin E. Miller, Jr., Joseph C. Moore, Anthony Neri, Benjamin Newell, Tanya M. Novak, Rodney Alan Oakley, Todd M. O'Hara, Donald Palmer, Gary Perico, Jesse R. Rhinebeck, Jr., Timothy W. Rogers, Troy Rohmann, David J. Shiner, Darin Sink, Duane Spencer, Garrett M. Thomas, Jozsef M. Varga, Keith W. Vroman, Robert C. Walter, II, Steven G. Warner, Jamie L. Williams, Kenneth L. Wilmot, Jr., Amanda E. Woodruff.
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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