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The Great Bend Borough Council will be undergoing some changes soon as a consequence of the recent elections. Four seats on the 7-member council were contested. Long-time members Mike Wasko and Bea Alesky will relinquish their seats at the table to Ruth Loucks and Mike VanGorden.
Shane Rumage actually won the vote for a seat, but he also won a seat on the Blue Ridge School Board. Also a borough representative on the board of the Hallstead-Great Bend Joint Sewer Authority, Mr. Rumage said he thought he could handle everything, but then decided that it was too much. The law also doesn’t allow him to occupy two elected positions simultaneously, so he decided to take the school board seat. Council members reminded him that a borough council seat pays more than the school board.
Nevertheless, when Mr. Rumage leaves the field, a tie between incumbent council president Rick Franks and Mr. VanGorden won’t have to be decided by a flip of the coin; they both will take seats at the table.
The new members, Ms. Loucks and Mr. VanGorden, won’t have anything to say about the borough budget until they are sworn in in January. And the new budget, for 2010, as drawn up by Borough Secretary Sheila Guinan, will be a difficult one, as it calls for a property tax increase of 3 mills, the largest in recent memory for the small town. Council voted to advertise the proposed budget, and decided to start its scheduled December meeting a half hour early to allow for more detailed discussion. The budget must be formally approved before the start of the new fiscal year on January 1.
The tax increase is entirely accounted for by a provision of $20,000 (in Great Bend Borough 1 mill will bring in $7,000-$8,000, according to Ms. Guinan) to pay for whatever police can be rented, bought or stolen. Council has been trying for several years to get more police coverage in the borough than is provided by the State Police. And now, house bill 1500 in the state legislature, threatens to impose a stiff fee for state police service on municipalities that don’t have their own police departments. Under that bill, the fee to Great Bend could be about $37,000 in the first year alone.
The Susquehanna Borough police department has had discussions with several municipalities about the possibility of offering a “regional” police service, and the Great Bend Borough Council is very interested. Mr. Franks told the meeting that the Susquehanna Borough Council is now having second thoughts, particularly about the notion of a “regional” police department. And some members of the Great Bend Council are concerned about such a regional department being dominated from Susquehanna. Yet they are determined to boost local police service next year, in whatever form it might take. The Susquehanna police chief has said that a regional force would only make sense financially if at least 3 municipalities participate, and recently there have been some doubts about the willingness of Hallstead Borough to join up. There will be another public meeting on the regional police initiative on Monday, November 23, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Great Bend Borough building.
Except for the extra money for police, the budget is fairly conservative. Council member Jerry MacConnell quizzed Ms. Guinan on actual expenditures for some major services in the current year that she used to justify the figures in the budget proposal. Thus the special meeting next month to consider the details.
In other business, Council voted to accept a bid of $3,500 from Ron Kowalewski Construction for the installation of a new grate on Franklin Street. Extra water is always a problem in this low-lying riverside community. A visitor to the meeting complained of excess water flowing through his property, for example, and Mr. MacConnell insists on keeping “water on Washington Street” on the agenda in an effort to get the state transportation authority to take the drainage from the Interstate in that area seriously.
Mr. Wasko has been campaigning to get an entrance from U.S. Route 11 installed at the state Welcome Center ever since the town was isolated during the flood of the summer of 2006. To many solicitations, the borough’s congressman, Chris Carney, has responded with a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Some are cynical that the response was anything more than a standard form letter, but there are documented examples of such local access to federal interstate highways.
Ms. Guinan read from a document announcing the availability of Community Development Block Grants for 2010. The announcement spelled out the details of what a grant application should contain, and made clear that preference would be given to applications for work that would benefit low-income and disadvantaged groups.
A visitor complained about what appeared to be a disabled and unregistered vehicle parked on a front lawn in his neighborhood. There was some uncertainty on the council about what the borough’s ordinance about such things really means: were 1 or 2 unregistered vehicles allowed, or none at all?
There was some relief on council about one of the list of “code enforcement” items on the agenda. It seems that a house on Church Street that had been cited for neglect had recently disappeared entirely. The item was stricken from the agenda.
And next year the borough will celebrate its 150th anniversary. The fire company has had a meeting or two to plan a parade and other events. New ideas are welcome.
The next meeting of the Great Bend Borough council will be held on Thursday, December 3, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the borough building at Elizabeth and Franklin Streets.
On November 2, a man attending a Forest City Borough meeting posed a request for a handicapped parking sign at his home on Delaware Street. A copy of his doctor’s note has been placed on file at the borough building. The man stated to Council that he has various chronic medical conditions and recently has been diagnosed with a crippling disease. “I haven’t asked for too much from the city,” he added. Council pointed out that a sign will not necessarily guarantee a private parking place, since anyone with a handicapped plate can park in that spot. A motion to post a sign failed for lack of a second.
Borough resident Fran Graytock complained that Hudson Street has not been paved in twenty years and is in deplorable shape. Residents “deserve some sort of action” from Penn-DOT, he added. Robert Trusky responded that once the sewer goes in, a request could be made for Penn-DOT to repair Hudson Street. Concerning sewer progress, Trusky explained that final plans have been submitted to DEP, but the borough cannot bid out the sewer project until DEP approves a Part Two permit.
Next, Mayor Cost read a note from Forest City Regional special education supervisor Donna Potis, thanking the mayor and the police force for their “support for us and our students.”
In his report, Solicitor Paul E. Smith stated that extensions have been requested in the sewer lawsuit, although “we have done everything possible” to meet deadlines.
Council voted to advertise Ordinance 480-2009, preventing parking on Main Street between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., from November 1- March 31.
Concerning storm water management, Smith suggested burying a 36-inch pipe to divert storm water from Rails to Trails, preventing washouts.
Final matters concerned Forest City’s tentative 2010 budget, which all members of Council voted in favor of. The proposed budget includes no tax increase and no funds for buying equipment. This year, funding for the state-mandated tax committee will be paid out of budget miscellaneous funds. A final vote on the budget will occur at next month’s Forest City Borough meeting.
New Milford Borough Council discussed two separate budgets for 2010. The first budget was a very simple one, cut as many areas as possible. The second budget presented was discussed, and all agreed that it was the one which could carry the Borough throughout 2010 in the best manner. The proposed 2010 Budget will be available for inspection at the Borough Building.
Council President Jim Carr told council that it is going to be a very tough decision because of all that the Borough has had to deal with in recent years. “This budget hurts us. We have not had an increase in a number of years. We researched how much it costs to run New Milford Borough and that figure is $133,000,00. Up to now we have only been collecting $84,000.00.”
Council’s Teri Gulick agreed with Carr stating that the floods of 2004 and 2006 damages cost the borough, and taxes have not been increased. Gulick commented that the added police protection for the year 2009 didn’t increase taxes. “That is a real plus, we receive good reports on the Police coverage and the job they do here, even the New Milford Township residents are happy with the Police being here,” Jane Zick reported.
Mayor Joseph Taylor added that many things are in need of work and would not be possible without the slight increase.
Carr emphasized that the 2010 Budget does not allow for any pay raises for employees, something that has not happened before. “We just can’t afford it!”
Discussion also included employee clothing coverage, where 2009 Budget allowed a clothing allowance for the borough employees. Council’s Chris Allen stated that he pays approximately $25.00 per week for two employees and the $275.00 allowance would be cheaper than uniforms.
Teri Gulick told council that she did not feel that the Council should pay for employee clothing and that uniforms are unnecessary. Mayor Joe Taylor reported that some municipalities are using them. It was agreed that the topic would go back to the table for discussion. Carr said that that allowance was not in the 2010 Budget.
The increase is .19 mil for real estate and .57 mil for fire.
Although the budget was cut to “bare bones,” Carr reported that the Council was keeping just the necessary minimum amount of spending and they will be left with only $5,000 in case of emergencies.
Mayor Taylor reported, “I hope we don’t have any emergencies.”
Teri Gulick also reported that they have not and do not borrow tax anticipation loans (like several municipalities.) “Everything we have is paid for.”
One area, which has been cut from $9,755.00 down to $4,000.00, is the payment and includes raises for lifeguards for the New Milford Borough pool. “We hate to do it but we have had to cut wherever we could and unfortunately we will have to relay to the Parks and Recreational Committee that we will gladly pay the budgeted $4,000.00, but any additional amounts will be up to that Committee to handle.”
Rain, drainage and leaves have provided problems on Main and Susquehanna Streets leaving the Borough with a decision to hire Al Sidlosky to come and clean out the pipes and drainage areas for $75. Chris Allen reported that it really needs to be done. Several other areas which have been overflowing and covering streets were discussed and Council will have Bob see to it.
The Trash Burning Ordinance still is providing areas of concern for the Council, stating that it really is too restrictive on burning. The required 15 feet from neighbors and the roadway effects people cooking outside or having the cinemas on their back porch or patio area.
Council was very concerned with this matter, and on the other hand reported burning of trash and even vinyl or plastic has been reported at one area residence several times. President Carr requested Secretary Amy Hine to send a letter to the offending residence after checking with Solicitor Jodi Cordner.
Hine will also send the resident a letter from DEP regarding what can and cannot be burned legally. The letter states that: “waste can not be burned. Pennsylvania’s Solid Waste Management and many local municipalities prohibit open burning of waste. It is also illegal to burn down buildings.” For more information, the phone number for the DEP northeast Regional Office is 1-866-255-5158, then press #2.
The annual “Santa in the Park” will be Santa in his Workshop and will be held in the borough building, this year on Saturday, November 28, from 11-1. Those wishing to attend will receive candy and a free picture with Santa. The cost of having the Santa program was discussed, with some concern on the combined costs of printer ink, paper, candy, etc. The cost of candy alone is over $100.00. Mrs. Eleanor Lempkhe volunteered to cover $50.00 of the candy cost. Council thanked Lempkhe for her generous contribution.
Council is requesting that the attendees bring one non-perishable item for the food banks.
A Trac phone will be purchased for the Borough employee, so he will have the ability to reach someone at anytime. Secretary Hine has researched the ideas of walkie talkies or trac phones and reported that the cost is similar to the $100 amount voted on at the last meeting. Hine said that the trac phone was a better idea due to the fact that the walkie-talkies had only one base and that would not be able to be “manned” when the Borough office was not open. Thus there would be no contact with a Council member or anyone, should the need arise.
Council agreed to the purchase of the trac phone.
The Monthly Police report showed 73% of tickets issued were warnings, including two DWI arrests, with 48 incidents, 33 incidents closed, 41 stops, 12 citations 29 written warnings, three cases active still, two charges filed, and four cases closed, one assist, two criminal mischief, one domestic dispute and one suspicious person/vehicle.
Gulick, who heads police coverage, reported that there was a medical emergency at a local residence, where he was alone. The officer on duty heard the call over the radio and went to the home to stay with the sick person, until the paramedics could arrive. “That was not only a responsible act it was also a kind gesture on the officer’s part.”
Council members agreed and commended the police coverage in a positive manner.
Council’s Jane Zick reported that the new windows and door were installed at the COG Office and said that they are very thankful for the improvement. The cost of the project was $1550.00.
Council will continue to discuss the opportunity to join with New Milford Township in sharing the new Website, which was established for the Bi-Centennial Celebration. The estimated cost of the web site is between one hundred or two hundred dollars, depending upon both municipalities utilizing the site. It was discussed who would be able to update or work on the site. Secretary Amy Hine will discuss possible solutions with New Milford Township’s secretary. Council stated that perhaps secretaries could handle their own municipality.
New Milford Borough Council meets on the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.
Samuel (Trust by Trustee) and Nadine Demianovich (Trust by Trustee) to Nadine Demianovich, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Michael D. Polednak to Michael D. and Arlene B. Polednak, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Catherine and Gerard Kruger to Docs Home Services, Inc., in Susquehanna for $21,000.00.
Walter (by Guardian) and Joyce Welch to Robert Rood, Jr., in Oakland Township for $63,000.00.
Stephan J. Meylan to Daniel R. Meylan, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Margaret A. Allen to Donald L. and Lisa A. Allen, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Donald L. and Lisa A. Allen to Donald L. and Lisa A. Allen, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Dennis F. Palumbo to Richard Davis, in Lathrop Township for $70,000.00.
Tracy Dunn to Michael A. and Karen L. Barrie, in Choconut Township for $129,000.00.
Diane J. Sheldon to Jeffrey S. and Amy E. Bell, in Springville Township for $160,000.00.
Ronna Salansky to Mark and Theresa Tarchak Salansky, in Lenox Township for $3,000.00.
Ronna Salansky to Mark and Theresa Tarchak Salansky, in Lenox Township for $3.00.
William R. and Ellen M. Ashworth to Peter Quigg and Therese Stukas-Quigg, in Bridgewater Township for $20,000.00.
Frank Cancro to Phillip S. and Melissa J. Davidson, in Dimock Township for $5,000.00.
HSBC Bank USA to Stonecrest Income & Opportunity Fund I LLC, in New Milford Township for $10,252.80.
Ronald E. Kocak to William and Catherine E. Rogers, in Silver Lake Township for $50,000.00.
Leo J. and Dorothy M. Feduchak to Gregory and Richard J. Feduchak, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
William M. and Gaile H. Wilson and Gordon H. Shultz to Gordon H. Shultz, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
William L. and Sharon K. Dittmar and James M. and Crystal R. Corl to McCosar Minerals, Inc., in Great Bend Township for $90,000.00.
Lake Idlewild Lake Association to Community Bank and Trust Company (Trustee), in Clifford Township for one dollar.
David J. and Vickie L. Calby to Joshua L. Weller, in Bridgewater Township for $84,800.00.
Michael G. Zuk to Francis X., Jr. and Alicia Lapera, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Louise P. (AKA) Louise Powers (AKA) Clara Louise (AKA) Louise Lamb (Estate) to Carmine D. and Heidi Addiego, in New Milford Borough for $95,878.00.
John B. and Pauline Snyder to Dennis J. and Karen L. Conley, in Jackson Township for $229,000.00.
Eve Baker-Schwartz to Stephen E. and Patricia A. Frederick, in Susquehanna for $35,000.00.
John J., Linda L. and Ernest Gordon to Ernest Gordon, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
HSBC Mortgage Services, Inc. to Emma Mae and Emmagene Cron, in Hop Bottom Borough for $84,000.00.
Duane D. and Rita R. Slocum to Ellen Johnson, in Thompson Township for $187,000.00.
John J. Burris to Jason R. Birtch, in New Milford Borough for $60,000.00.
Steven Lee Fish to Robert A. Wilbur, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Thomas J. Lopatofsky, Jr. and Donna M. Fekette to Charles R., Jr. and Linda J. Canfield, in New Milford Township for $138,192.00.
Marjorie N. Dean (Estate) to Dennis and Linda Soderstrom, in Great Bend Township for $90,000.00.
Michael J. and Janet L. Beasley to Michael L. and Janet L. Beasley, in Auburn Township.
Frances Deason to Bremer Hof Owners, Inc., in Herrick Township for $100.00.
Frances Deason to Bremer Hof Owners, Inc., in Herrick Township for $100.00.
Joseph Zauner to Bremer Hof Owners, Inc., in Herrick Township for $100.00.
Kenneth S., Jr. (Trust by Trustee) and Charlene V. (Trust by Trustee) Kemp to Kenneth S., Jr. and Charlene V. Kemp, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
John and Barbara Decker, Elaine and Herbert Reinert and Donna and George Bleck to Roger and Nancy Hall, in Jackson Township for $255,000.00.
Dorothy Ann Brotzman and George Gay to GCG Ventures LP, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 10:05 a.m. on November 6, 2009.
Antonio L. Alcantara, Duane Aldrich, David P. Atherholt, Jr., Erika L. Back, John W. Barber, Sr., Neeko A. Beahan, David Shawn Blaisure, Joseph Bonavita, Robert B. Carrier, Jason James Carroll, Beverly A. Carvin, Darryl M. Chaffee, Christopher J. Clark, Tony R. Clark, Edward J. Dickson, Jr., Deborah L. Drish, David J. Fischer, Ryan M. Forder, Kelly Fox, Racheal L. Frisbie, David Haines, Jr., Suzanne R. Hansen, William N. Hendrickson, Steven L. Jones, Kenneth M. Kintner, Corey J. Koch, Eric C. Kohlhepp, Erik E. Krisovitch, Lee Labor, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Patricia J. Marrero, Nancy McGillis, David N. Miller, Joseph C. Moore, Anthony Neri, Donald Palmer, Scott Pensak, Gary Perico, Jesse R. Rhinebeck, Jr., Timothy W. Rogers, Sylvia M. Rowlands, Amy Shelp, David J. Shiner, Darin Sink, Duane Spencer, Robert J. Sterling, Garrett M. Thomas, Charles VanWinkle, Jr., Keith W. Vroman, Steve A. Welch, Jamie L. Williams, Kenneth L. Wilmot, Jr., Patrick L. Yachymiak.
Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals.
At the November 2 meeting of the Montrose Borough Council, a public hearing was held regarding the loan to build the new borough building. Since the only person not paid to be in attendance was the architect who designed the plans, it was a short hearing (3 minutes or so long). It was asked whether or not the $450,000 project would lead to a tax increase. Although, it was answered, the budget hadn’t been built yet, in all likelihood there would not be enough money without some sort of a tax increase. The motion passed, and it was decided the project could begin as soon as Labor and Industry approval was received on the plans.
In other money matters, the 2010 Community Development Block Grant was brought up for discussion. It was recommended that the opportunity be mentioned to the Montrose Restoration Committee; a council member was elected to do so.
Correspondence had been received from G H Harris Associates, which led to further discussion of the new tax collection committee and its implications. There are three basic tax collection agencies, it was said, G H Harris Associates, Central, and Berkheimer. It was reiterated that there does not currently appear to be any interest in using PLIGIT as a repository, or in “reinventing the wheel” and creating a tax collection agency. Which company would collect the taxes, however, has not yet been decided. In discussions, various concerns have been raised regarding the various companies; different municipalities are happy or unhappy with the company they use. As for the company Montrose uses, brief mention was made over a discrepancy where Montrose had been receiving some of Bridgewater’s money, although it was stated that this might not have been the fault of the collection agency, and that progress was being made in straightening things out. Mr. Reimel pointed out that there are three years until the county wide system becomes mandatory anyway. The new committee’s meetings are scheduled for the 4th Thursday of each month, although there will be no meeting for the next two months due to Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Mr. Yeager had various concerns regarding the sidewalks, etc. in the town. He asked if the council might request PennDOT to shut off some of the lights above the lighting put in place by the restoration committee, because it could lead to a hefty electric consumption bill. It was agreed that this could be considered. He also wanted to consider excluding the use of tombstones for sidewalks, and to come up with stipulations regarding the proper width and height of these walkways.
Various other things were discussed during the reports section of the meeting. It was stated that the trick or treating festivities went well, although one person broached the question of a maximum trick or treating age. Calls had been received concerning the speed of Gas Company water trucks passing through the borough on Halloween. The police chief mentioned that there had been problems with them speeding, but none that he knew of that evening.
The status of the brake retarder ordinance was inquired about, and it was responded that that committee still needs to meet regarding both this and the skateboarding ordinance. The potential of requiring permits for gas lines was also mentioned, and the code enforcement officer reported having heard of the companies now leasing out town land for horizontal drilling purposes.
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE CRASH
On November 6, at 12:01 a.m., Richard Swingle of Dunmore was traveling on State Route 11, southbound. At this time Swingle swerved to avoid a deer in the roadway and lost control of his vehicle, exiting the roadway off the east berm, striking a culvert and a mailbox, and overturning. Swingle's vehicle then struck a parked truck tractor and came to a rest at that location. The vehicle was towed from the scene by Kozlowski Towing. Swingle was utilizing a seatbelt; he suffered minor injuries.
On November 4, at approximately 12:45 p.m., two youth, Brad Lee of the New Milford area and an unnamed 15 year old male from Susquehanna, are accused of becoming disruptive at the property of Blue Ridge High School in New Milford Twp. The boys allegedly used obscene language and caused public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm by acting in a manner that served no legitimate purpose to them. Charges were pending at the time of report for violations of PACC.
On November 4, at approximately 5:27 a.m., a dark green vehicle traveling north on SR 858 entered the Stateline Plaza Sunoco Gas Station in Little Meadows borough. The vehicle pulled next to the pumps, and an unknown person exited, dispensing $38 worth of gasoline before reentering the vehicle and fleeing the scene. That person never attempted to pay for the gasoline.
On October 14, at 6:50 a.m., Randy Teel of Falls was traveling north along SR 29 in Dimock Twp. when he encountered a deer that ran across his path of travel. Teel swerved to avoid the deer and lost control of the steering by overcompensating. His vehicle traveled across the oncoming lane of travel and went into a ditch on the west side of the road, striking a concrete culvert in the ditch and coming to a final rest. Teel was utilizing a seatbelt; he was not injured in the crash. The vehicle was not functional and subsequently was towed from the scene by Kerr's towing.
PSP Gibson is investigating the theft of Aries Aram-Geo-X Line Boxes along with Powersonic Model #PS-12120f2 Battery Packs, taken from a location on SR 3001, 1 mile south of Youngs Road in Dimock Twp. The equipment belonged to the Dawson Geophysical Company, Midland, Tx. During the thefts several cables, which were attached to the above items, were damaged.
On November 1 at 1:36 a.m. Dustin Anderson of Great Bend was operating a 1993 Chevrolet Z34 and went off the road and into a ditch on School Road in New Milford Twp. Anderson displayed signs of intoxication, and was placed into custody. A breath test was given to him to determine BAC. The results of the test showed that the accused exceeded the state legal limit of 0.08%. He was charged with DUI and careless driving. Charges were filed at District Court 34-3-02.
On November 1 an unknown driver was traveling west on SR 2034 when he or she lost control of his or her 1999 Ford Ranger, which struck and embankment and rolled over onto its roof. The driver fled the scene No fire or EMS responded. Kozlowski's towed unit 1 from the scene.
HIT AND RUN
On October 24, at 10:55 a.m., a crash occurred at the Pump and Pantry on State Route 29 in Bridgewater Twp. The impact occurred as an unknown vehicle struck a 1996 Toyota Camry while at the service pumps. After impact, the offending vehicle continued to travel north, exiting the property, where it traveled north on State Route 29 without stopping. The driver is reported only as being male. The Camry, which vehicle's owner is not listed in the report, sustained minor damage to its passenger front quarter panel and bumper area.
On October 26, at 7:05 a.m., Mathew Parsons (spelling copied from the report) was traveling south on SR 0081 in Harford Twp. when he struck a deer that came onto the highway with the front of his vehicle. The Saturn spun clockwise for approximately 180 degrees. While spinning, it struck the steel guiderail on the right side of the highway, and came to an uncontrolled stop facing north in the southbound travel lane.
Between the 27th and 29th of October, a 100 lb. LP gas tank was stolen from rental property belonging to Bevery Bennett, of Herrick Center, located along SR0374 in Herrick Twp.
On October 10, at 7:35 p.m., Larry Bean of Forest City was traveling east on SR 106 in Lenox Twp. in a 2004 Dodge Ram. The Ram was traveling up a hill and left the roadway on the right side as it was negotiating a left hand curve. The vehicle went into the ditch and continued to travel east, hitting an embankment with its right front end which caused it to flip over, end over end and then side to side, before coming to an uncontrolled stop facing east partially in the eastbound lane. Bean, and passengers Maryann Bean and Paul Satubas sustained moderate injury; only Satubas was utilizing a seatbelt. Two juveniles, also not wearing seatbelts, sustained moderate to major injuries as well.
POSSESSION OF A SMALL AMOUNT OF MARIJUANA
On October 29 Meagan Todd of Philadelphia was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped on interstate 81 southbound in Great Bend Twp. for violation of 3334 of Title 75. Nervousness was detected on the passengers. The unnamed operator was given a written warning for the violation and the traffic stop ended. A “mere encounter” then occurred where the operator gave permission to search the vehicle. The search yielded a small bag of marijuana and a multi-colored glass pipe from a backpack claimed by the accused. Todd was taken back to PSP/Gibson and processed. The evidence was seized and placed into evidence at PSP/Gibson under inventory number R5-5589 then. Charges were filed against the accused on 10/23/09 at District Court 34-3-02.
Between the 27th and 28th of October, Joseph Fiorentino of Montrose is accused of entering a stone quarry belonging to Edward Murray also of that borough, located in Dimock Twp. The accused then took three pallets of stone, transporting it to Meshoppen Stone and cashing it in. Charges were filed against Fiorentino at district court 34-3-01.
On October 29, at 1:11 a.m., an unnamed driver was traveling south on I-81 in Great Bend Twp. when he or she lost control of a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am, and spun out. The vehicle was driven from the scene. No fire or EMS responded.
HIT AND RUN
On October 21 at 5 a.m., an unknown driver was traveling south on SR 858, at Bow Bridge Road in Apolacon Twp. The 1995 Pontiac Grand Am exited the roadway to the east of the travel lanes, and continued approximately 48 feet while impacting a fence and several headstones in the St. Thomas Cemetery. It came to a final rest within the cemetery. The driver fled the scene prior to police response to the scene.
The mother of Michele Lutz of Montrose reported her missing on 10/25/09; anyone having contact with Lutz is asked to contact PSP Gibson. Lutz was last seen on October 21 at around 6 p.m., on T-526 (Wooden Road) in Dimock Twp. She may be driving a 1993 white Cadillac Eldorado.
Susan Misa of Hop Bottom reported that four cat carrying cages were stolen from her front yard approximately one month ago. Anyone with any information on the theft is asked to contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
THEFT BY UNLAWFUL TAKING
On October 22, it was reported, one or more unknown person(s) entered the room of Ashley Kilmer of Nicholson in Lenox Twp. and took approximately $20 in loose change.
On October 22, at 4:50 p.m., Richard OBoyle of Brackney and passenger Derek Matolka of Vestal were traveling west on SR 706 in New Milford Twp. A deer entered the roadway, and OBoyle swerved to avoid it, causing the vehicle to spin, cross the eastbound lane, and strike a tree before coming to a rest. Montrose ambulance checked out the occupants. Both sustained an injury; both were utilizing a seatbelt. Both declined transport to the hospital. Columbia volunteer fire company responded; Vogel’s Garage towed the car.
If you have information regarding any of these incidents please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
At their November 2 meeting, the Great Bend Township Supervisors opened bids for the Bridging Communities sidewalk replacement project, which encompasses parts of Great Bend Township, Great Bend Boro and Hallstead Boro. A total of five bids were received, with prices ranging from $136,075 to $178,547. Since the project is under PennDOT's aegis, all of the bids will have to be reviewed by PennDOT before any can be accepted. Once PennDOT determines that the bids meet all specifications, the lowest will be officially accepted. The project is expected to be complete by the end of June, 2010.
The roadmaster's report covered catch-up projects, maintenance, patching potholes, repairing a roof leak, cleaning up trees and washouts following the previous weekend's storm, and continuing to prepare for winter.
Permits issued included an assessment permit to Bogumila Manzione for a carport and UCC permits for Daniel Glezen, Harold Stockholm and the Hallstead-Great Bend Rod & Gun Club. Peggy Kelsey/Joseph Mullins received a repair permit, Robert and Beverly Lee's subdivision plan was approved; four driveway permits were issued to the Lees for their Old Route 11 project, and a small non-coal mining permit was issued to Jorge Armondo Tobon for the Benjamin #1 quarry operation.
Correspondence included a reply from Representative Sandra Major in response to the supervisors' letter to her in protest of HB1500, which will, if enacted, impose a State Police service fee on those municipalities that do not have full-time police coverage. Ms. Major's letter outlined the provisions of HB1500 as well as HB963, an alternative bill also under consideration. Ms. Major promised to keep the supervisors' concerns in mind if either of the bills come to the legislature floor for a vote.
Supervisor Guinan had attended a workshop with representatives from Great Bend Boro, Hallstead Boro and Susquehanna, to discuss Susquehanna's proposal to provide police coverage if HB1500 or its counterpart is enacted. Mrs. Guinan said that among items the group discussed was the possibility of forming a regional department, rather than contracting through Susquehanna. Also discussed was forming a committee to oversee operations, comprised of one council member/supervisor and one citizen from each of the municipalities. Mrs. Guinan stressed that the group is working to find a viable solution should either of the bills become a reality, and that Great Bend's supervisors are not ready to “jump into something” without knowing everything involved. Whatever does happen will not happen overnight; the purpose of the meetings is to determine how to proceed in the eventuality that either of the bills pass. The group will meet again on November 24 to continue discussion.
With the likelihood of the impending bills being enacted in mind, the supervisors have included a half-mill increase in real estate taxes in the 2010 budget. Supervisor Galloway remarked that the increase is really not enough to pay for police services in full, should one of the bills pass, but that the supervisors had done their best to keep the budget down to “bare bones.” A motion carried to advertise the budget, which will be acted on at the next meeting.
The supervisors also reviewed a letter from a resident concerned about the gas drilling water filling station on Old Route 11, stating that tanker trucks are causing deterioration of the roads; that there is a “mud hole” at the site, which has no stone or paving; the muddy road from the traffic coming out of the site; and concern about the weight of the trucks using the railroad bridge south of the station. The letter also cited a safety concern, as some of the trucks are apparently exceeding the speed limit. The supervisors agreed to contact the gas company with the concerns, as well as the railroad.
A representative is still needed to represent the township on the board of the Hallstead-Great Bend Joint Sewer Authority.
Under new business, it was noted that a massage parlor has reopened in the Mountain View Plaza; as the township does have an ordinance prohibiting this type of business, it was agreed to contact the township's solicitor for direction in how to proceed.
The township's flood insurance policy is due to expire. After a short discussion, it was agreed to increase the coverage at a premium increase of about $40.
The next meeting will be on Monday, December 7, 7:00 p.m. in the township building.
The Starrucca Borough Council met for their regular monthly meeting on October 7, at 7:00 p.m., at the Community Hall in Starrucca. President (Kirk) Rhone, Mr. Arthur Kopp, Mr. Donald Haynes, Mr. Peter Frank, Mr. Fred Rhone, Mr. Robert Buck, and Mayor (MaryAnn) DeBalko were present. Mr. Anthony Palonis was absent.
President Rhone called the meeting to order, and the minutes from the previous meeting were read. 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.
The following Correspondence was received:
A notice from the Honesdale EMS concerning their immediate downsizing and coverage being limited to only the greater Honesdale area and Paupack Township. Two follow-up letters from the Wayne County Commissioners concerning the new procedure for designation and dispatching of A.L.S. (Advanced Life Support) services.
Penn dot’s new policy changes for the hiring of municipal engineers was received.
In Unfinished Business:
A copy of a letter from the Borough Solicitor to the Auditor General’s office asking, in light of their recent findings, how and if the Borough should proceed with the Stephano Bridge project was read. A copy of a return letter from Director Jeffrey H. Gribb stating, in part, “We regret we cannot issue the opinion you requested. The department is charged with the duty to perform audits after their occurrence, and State law does not permit us to give advance approval, or significant advice regarding a transaction/occurrence or event prior. This is the only guidance we may give you.”
A copy of a letter from engineer Stephan Knash to Jackie Young (Redevelopment Authority) containing the drawings and specs for the bid of the Stephano Bridge project was read. President Rhone stated that the Bridge Committee (himself, Darl Haynes and Mayor DeBalko) attended the Commissioner’s bid opening and there were seven bids presented. He went on to say that the bid was awarded to Tim Kohrs Excavating at the bid price of $103,560.00 which was very close to the grant money the Borough has received for the project. He stated that engineer Knash will over-see the project.
Mr. Darl Haynes Borough FEMA agent, stated to clear up any rumor, the monies for the bridges were not diverted from the Shadigee Creek wall project. The money for the Shadigee Creek wall project was returned to PEMA, upon their request, for lack of eligibility. At the time of the wall repair, money was available through the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) and history will show that Paul Everett’s wife, Loreeda Everett was on Council and the minutes will show she was in attendance when NRCS previously repaired the wall in 1996 after the 1996 flood.
Referring to his position on the Bridge Committee, he said he’d like to thank Jackie Young (Redevelopment Authority), Senator Lisa Baker, Representative Sandra Major, the current Wayne County Commissioners Anthony Herzog, Wendell Kay and Brian Smith and including past Commissioners Donald Olsommer and Bob (Robert) Carmody for all their assistance in the replacement of the Starrucca Borough bridges.
A letter from Robert Muller Jr. of the Wayne Conservation District concerning his assessment of the repairs needed on Fairmount Road was read. Mr. Rhone again asked Mr. Jack Downton (landowner) for an easement to allow the work to be done there. Mr. Downton answered “yes, if Bob Muller’s asking.” The secretary clarified that Mr. Muller suggested the Borough obtain easement. The letter, in part, states “the Borough should consider working off the right of way and obtaining landowner permission to complete the project.” Mr. Downton requested the Borough send him an easement to sign.
Mr. Rhone suggested a letter be sent to the persons listed by Darl Haynes earlier, thanking them for their help. It was agreed.
The motion to grant permission to use the building for the upcoming Elections to the Wayne County Election Bureau carried.
In New Business:
The following “Winter Maintenance” Quotes were read:
Como Construction - $55.00 an hour plowing and or cindering, and $20.00 per ton for the cinders used.
Bill Pykus Excavating - stated he was not interested.
Harmony Township - $75.00 an hour plowing and or cindering, and $12.50 per ton for the cinders (anti-skid) used. Mr. (Ozzie) Miller was present and stated they have a bigger truck with a nine foot blade, getting the job done sooner and have their grader available if needed at the rate of $100.00 per hour to push accumulated snow back. He further stated good judgment would be used and plowing would not take place for a light snowfall. It was agreed the Road Committee (Mr. Frank, Mr. Buck and President Rhone) would be the designated contacts and Mr. Miller would be made aware of the five routes involved. The motion to award the winter maintenance to Harmony Township as set forth, carried.
In Public Participation:
Mr. Robert Martin asked if the Council through their Solicitor has made an answer to the Auditor General’s Office? Mr. Rhone stated the Council is currently working on it.
Mr. Jack Downton asked if the Borough has ever asked for landowner permission before to do a project. Mayor DeBalko stated “yes, they have” and Mr. Rhone listed many places in the Borough.
No further business to come before the Board, the motion to adjourn carried.