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Issue Home February 24, 2010 Site Home

State Budget Concerns SCSD
Another Municipality Goes Gas
Courthouse Report
Susky Appoints Zoning Committee
Sentencing Report
Hallstead Hears Complaint


State Budget Concerns SCSD

Once again, the state budget was a major matter of concern at the Susquehanna Community School Board meeting. Superintendent Bronson Stone said that the governor’s proposed budget is not friendly to the district; while some of the schools in Northeast PA will see an increase of about 17% in basic education funding, SCSD is slated for an increase of only 2%. His hope is that the final budget will provide more equitable subsidies.

There was some good news, though. The district will be receiving a $25,000 grant for the Classrooms of the Future program; the funds will be used to expand technology in the high school and will also be used to enhance website access for data to be used in drafting the district’s strategic plans.

The district will also be receiving a grant through the Enhancing Education Through Technology program; the application was for $65,000, and was approved for $50,000.

Renovation projects are proceeding. The lighting project is set to be started next month, preparations to install the new boiler have begun, and the roof project will begin in June and should be complete in August.

The district is getting ready to expand the K-4 program from a half-day to a full day beginning in September. It will be a six-hour day, which will include a half hour for lunch and a half hour rest period. Students will be transported on separate buses. Registration for K-4 as well as K-5 will be held on March 2 and 3.

The elementary students and staff have raised $1,319.68 for Haiti relief, through collecting change and holding “dress down” days.

The annual state audit is underway, with good results expected.

The district normally carries a healthy fund balance, but there is concern that it may have to be substantially increased in anticipation of the district’s retirement contributions skyrocketing. This year’s contribution is 4.7% of payroll; next year it will be 8.22% and expectations are that it will continue to increase, possibly as high as 33%.

Other items approved by the board were:

- An agreement with WVIA at a cost of $1,000 for the 2010-11 school year; WVIA provides video streaming (library) services and also hosts scholastic competitions.

- The local audit report from Brian Kelly, CPA for the 2008-09 school year.

- Permission for the business office to solicit bids for supplies for the 2010-11 school year.

- Permission for Mr. Stone to file federal and state program applications for the 2010-11 school year.

- District transportation contracts for the 2009-10 school year.

- An agreement with One Call Now at a cost of $1775 for one year; One Call Now will provide an upgrade to the emergency phone notification system currently used.

- Upgrades to the high school and elementary fire alarm systems with Triguard Security System at a cost of $18,575 and $19,120 respectively.

- Purchase of a new LED football scoreboard at a cost of $6,428; Pennstar Bank will reimburse the district for the cost.

- A contract with Freddy’s Refuse for one year at a cost of $9,144.05.

- Homebound instruction for two students.

- Creation of three elementary grade-span leader positions for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years; the positions entail duties similar to high school department heads and will be at an equal compensation rate.

- Denise Reddon’s intent to retire at the end of the 2009-10 school year.

- Hiring of Jolene Otasevic, Special Education Certified, short-term substitute.

- Substitutes for the 2009-10 school year: Brandi Wayman, bus driver and Samantha Gliniecki, teacher.

- The customary list of fundraisers, activities and workshops.

- Appointment of Holly Kubus to the Strategic Plan committee for the remainder of the present plan term.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, March 17, 7 p.m. in the administration offices in the elementary building.

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Another Municipality Goes Gas
By Melinda Darrow

At the February 17 New Milford Township meeting a few items of note did occur, despite its abbreviated length of approximately 15 minutes. Items addressed included the Lackawanna College approval, water withdrawal, and a gas and oil lease.

The Lackawanna College complex project, up near the Flying J, received all its permits Jim Hunter announced, and the complex was, he believed, up and running. DEP approved a planning module which included a holding tank for 5 modular classroom buildings and 1 classroom/multi-purpose building with an occupancy of 85 students and staff. The Susquehanna County Planning Commission, on January 26, granted final approval of the college’s land development plan for Occupancy Permit, with the understanding that the plan would be finalized and recorded when the “as-built” plans were received in their office.

At the previous month’s meetings the township had voted to accept a gas and oil lease proposal from Cabot Oil and Gas. This was the only bid that had been received. The contract stipulates the township to receive $5,750 per acre, with a 21% royalty rate. Drilling would be allowed, and Mr. Hunter quipped that they could drill wherever they wanted. The contract was, as of the meeting, being reviewed by the township’s attorney.

Buck Ridge Stone, LLC of Montrose filed an application with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission for a surface water withdrawal of up to 83,000 gallons a day from Salk Lake Creek. The water would be used in drilling development of natural gas wells and related projects. This was just a notification to the township, the supervisors were not being asked for permission. As near as the supervisors could figure from looking at a map, the location of the draw would be between Rte. 11 and I 81 where pallets of stone and a pole barn used to be located going out of town toward Hallstead. One person did wonder aloud how anyone would get much water out of the creek in a day.

Mindy, the township secretary, put a call into DEP’s Rick Walck concerning the Baldwin Quarry runoffs, the problem of which a visitor had brought to the supervisors attention, providing pictures of the situation. It was learned that this is a state road, but stated that the supervisors are doing their best to follow up on the status of DEP’s findings. As of that meeting, it was known that the quarry was shut down due to the January flooding, and was given a compliance order due to failure to maintain adequate erosion and sediment structure. Part of the quarry, it was reported, was closed until they could submit a plan to DEP, and the plan was approved. It was said, however, that many places had problems during that flooding period.

A subdivision plan was approved for John Ward on West Shore Drive in New Milford Township. The supervisors stated that the SEO had no problem with it, so they were okay with it so long as the sewer remained legal.

A renewal Bluestone Small Noncoal Mining Permit was granted by DEP for Q1 Baldwin Quarry Operation. This, it was stated, was the quarry on top of 848, and was just a renewal of what was already in existence.

As the meeting neared its close, a visitor asked if anybody had complained about Washburn Road, stating that with the recent weather it had suffered a washout and was slick. He had watched two people back down it when they couldn’t make it up. No one had complained, the supervisors answered, but they did try to hit it every day. They also stated that they would happily address concerns should they arise.

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Courthouse Report
Compiled By Lauren Price Ficarro


James A. and Dana M. Hall to James W. Jones, in New Milford Borough for $25,000.00.

James B. and Carol Franceski to Franceski Lumber Company, Inc., in Forest City for one dollar.

Red Oak Sand & Gravel LLC to Red Oak Sand & Gravel LLC, in Oakland Township for one dollar.

Red Oak Sand & Gravel LLC to Red Oak Sand & Gravel LLC, in Oakland Township for one dollar.

Red Oak Sand & Gravel LLC to Red Oak Sand & Gravel LLC, in Oakland Township for one dollar.

James Bledsoe to George E., Jr. and Betsy J. Bledsoe, in Montrose for one dollar.

Justin M. and Fred C. Conrad to Robert S. Watson, in Gibson Township for $15,000.00.

Ghulam M. and Nasreen Ghani Suhrawardi to Dunn Lake LLC, in Ararat Township for $250,000.00.

John N. Gardner to John C. and Elizabeth G. Gardner, in Auburn Township for one dollar.

Nathan Place to Joseph G., Jr. (co-partner), Michael F. (co-partner) and Kevin J. (co-partner) Mulhern, in Lathrop Township for $125,000.00.

Margaret Vivian Boyd to Andrew D. Allen, in Harford Township for one dollar.

Carol Ann and Mark R. Lewis to Carol Ann Lewis, in Dimock Township for one dollar.

Orzel Family Trust (by trustees) to David J. Orzel, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Emanuel Owens (estate) to James W. Jones, in Harford Township for $105,000.00.

Trudy Stallings, Richard A., Chris, Tamara and Eleanor (estate) Rood, Shelly and Bruce Cassidy (AKA) Shelly and Bruce Cassity to Trudy Stallings, Richard A., Chris and Tamara Rood, Shelly and Bruce Cassidy (AKA) Shelly and Bruce Cassity, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.

Trudy Stallings, Richard A., Chris, Tamara and Eleanor (estate) Rood, Shelly and Bruce Cassidy (AKA) Shelly and Bruce Cassity to Trudy Stallings, Richard A., Chris and Tamara Rood, Shelly and Bruce Cassidy (AKA) Shelly and Bruce Cassity, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.

Nicholas, Jessica, Mathew, Ghislain and Priscilla St. Pierre to Ghislain and Priscilla St. Pierre, in Apolacon Township and Little Meadows Borough for one dollar.


The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 10:11 a.m. on February 19, 2010.

Antonio L. Alcantara, Duane Aldrich, Erika L. Back, David Shawn Blaisure, Lisa D. Bollard, Joseph Bonavita, Mechele D. Bonciewicz, Howard A. Burns, III, Darryl M. Chaffee, Gilbert R. Depew, James W. Donahue, III, Deborah L. Drish, David J. Fischer, Racheal L. Frisbie, Deborah E. Gould, George Graham, David Haines, Jr., John J. Hall, Amanda L. Hendrickson, William N. Hendrickson, Erik E. Krisovitch, Lee Labor, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Jason Lindquist, Patricia J. Marrero, Bradley W. Megivern, Joseph Mershon, Kimberly L. Mershon, Ronald N. Mitchell, Joseph C. Moore, Robert A. Muzzy, Steven Nannie, Shane Nelson, Anthony Neri, Jeffrey A. Norton, Sheri Pabon, James E. Purse, Jesse R. Rhinebeck, Jr., Ryan A. Rhoads, Timothy W. Rogers, Robert A. Ryman, Richard D. Shoemaker, Darin Sink, Duane Spencer, Michael Stark, Donald Louis Stocks, Christina L. Trayes, Keith W. Vroman, Steven G. Warner, Donald L. Welch, 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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Susky Appoints Zoning Committee

Two candidates for positions on the boro’s newly formed Zoning Committee were present at the February 9 Susquehanna Boro Council meeting. John Benson and Dick Bagnall were welcomed by council and given an idea of what would be involved with serving on the committee. Copies of the boro’s 1992 zoning ordinance, which was apparently never passed, were made available for the committee members to study, and they were asked to bring any recommendations to council. The committee will set their own meeting schedule, perhaps once a month to begin and then possibly quarterly, and then as needed when issues arise. The committee will also need to have an attorney of record who is not the boro’s solicitor and who is familiar with zoning issues. A motion carried to approve appointment of Mr. Benson and Mr. Bagnall, as well as Roberta Kelly and Gene Price (alternate member).

In other business, Mayor Reddon reported that she and several council members had met with representatives from PennDOT to discuss parking issues on West Main Street as well as the Drinker Creek bridge (on Main Street). She said that PennDOT is in the design phase of the bridge replacement project, although there is no definite word on when the project will begin.

There has been some slight improvement with property owners complying with the boro’s snow removal ordinance and keeping their sidewalks cleared.

The proposed engine retardant brake ordinance is still under review by the solicitor.

Proposed revisions to the employee handbook were distributed for review.

Bids were opened that day (by the county Housing and Redevelopment Authority) for demolition of the Capra building on Main St.

There was further discussion about the traffic light guide wire that is attached to a building on Main St. Information from PennDOT indicates that if the wire were to be attached to a utility pole, the pole must be at least five feet from the curb, and must meet PennDOT specifications. There is also the probability that any pole placed now could be removed during the Drinker Creek bridge replacement. PennDOT also indicated that when the guide wire was originally attached to the building in question, most likely an easement was granted, which will show in the original property deed (from some time in the early 1950’s) and may not necessarily show on subsequent deeds. The easement would still be in effect, even if it does not show on later deeds.

Council received a price quote to have the trees on Main Street pruned, two at the Drinker Creek Park removed, and two on Washington Street removed (in preparation for continuation of the sidewalk replacement project). The price quoted was $12,075, well over the amount ($10,000) that requires work to be put out to bid. After discussion, a motion carried to put the project out to bid in three separate phases, with bids to be accepted from certified arborists. Some of the costs will be paid through grant funding.

Council again reviewed bids to replace the boro building doors, but there was an inconsistency with the bid itself. Although the price quoted was under $10,000, the body of the bid letter stated four doors to be replaced, but five were listed separately below. It was agreed to request a corrected bid.

The two fuel tanks in the boro building, which was built before the Uniform Construction Code was enacted, do not both have fill pipes that allow for filling of the tanks from outside. One must be filled from inside the garage, and the boro’s fuel supplier is no longer willing to do that, so one of the tanks must be moved. It was agreed to look into the available options and costs to move it, later this spring or summer.

Two price quotes for auditing services were received; a motion carried to accept the one from Joseph Collura, cost $3,000.

It was brought to council’s attention that a section of sidewalk on Main Street is collapsing below street level; it will be referred to the commercial codes inspector. An area of the road at the intersection of Columbus and Maple Aves. will be referred to the streets department, as it, too, appears to be collapsing.

Correspondence included a letter from the Susquehanna Community Development Association; they will be sponsoring their annual Easter Egg Hunt on March 17, 11:00 a.m. at the Reddon Sports Complex, and the annual Hometown Days will be held July 22-24.

The remainder of the meeting was spent discussing an events sign for the boro. Council’s newest member, Joe Varsik said that he was researching prices, and thought that an electronic sign, strategically located, would be a good way to keep residents apprised of local events, such as the egg hunt and Hometown Days, and would also save the boro some money as it could also be used to post useful information, such as the availability of leaf bags, items that the boro has usually paid to advertise.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 16, at 7 p.m.

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Sentencing Report

Following is the Susquehanna County sentencing report for February, 2010 as submitted by the county District Attorney’s office.

Randy David Rogers, 53, of Montrose, PA to 1 month to 15 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, followed by 15 months probation, pay cost of prosecution, pay $500 fine, perform 50 hours of community service for Terroristic Threats in Bridgewater Township on May 16, 2009.

Thomas Edward Price, Jr., 26, of Montrose, PA to 6 months to 5 years in a state correctional facility, pay cost of prosecution, pay $300 fine, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay restitution to the victim in this case for Receiving Stolen Property in Montrose Borough on August 7, 2009. Mr. Price also received 3 months to 12 months in a state correctional facility, pay cost of prosecution, pay $150 fine, pay restitution to the victim in this case for Loitering or Prowling at Night in Montrose Borough on August 7, 2009. Finally, Mr. Price received 3 months to 12 months in a state correctional facility, pay cost of prosecution, pay $150 fine for Disorderly Conduct in Montrose Borough on August 7, 2009.

Larry Chester Bean, 47, of Forest City, PA to 12 months probation, pay $350 fine, pay cost of prosecution, not to possess transport or consume alcoholic beverages while on supervision for Disorderly Conduct in Lenox Township on October 10, 2009.

Sharon E Causer, 50, of Montrose, PA to 7 months to 18 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, pay cost of prosecution, pay $500 fine, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act Fee, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample, perform 25 hours of community service for Robbery in Montrose Borough on November 24, 2009.

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Hallstead Hears Complaint

An irate resident addressed the Hallstead Boro Council at their February 18 meeting to complain about the cemetery, which is near his home, or more precisely, the cemetery caretaker. The resident said that leaves were being blown out into the street and put into the drainage ditches. He said that, as a taxpayer, he did not want to see the boro spending time and money to keep the ditches cleared if they were being repeatedly filled with leaves. He added that the cemetery is “a problem to the local community.”

Council’s response was that there had been one “mishap” involving leaves, they had contacted the caretaker and it would not happen again. They also said that the boro has been cleaning the ditches to address a drainage problem in that area, they were not there to pick up leaves.

In other business, there was discussion about potholes on Pine Hill; cold patch has not worked well, especially during cold weather. It was decided to fill them in with dirt for the time being until they can be fixed in the spring.

Council is working on getting a catch basin put in on Old Route 11, near the intersection with Route 11, where water flows down onto Route 11 during heavy rain. PennDOT has been contacted, as they must approve connecting a line into an existing catch basin.

And, there was discussion as to whether or not the boro could make a contribution to a local benefit. It was thought that it would not be legal to do so, and it would also set a precedent; if the boro were to donate to one, they should donate to others. It was agreed that they should check on the legality of such donations just to be sure.

The next meeting will be on Thursday, March 18 at 7 p.m.

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