Please visit our kind sponsors
The Susquehanna Community School Board began their August 4 meeting with a moment of silence in memory of former Athletic Director and teacher Denise Reddon, who had passed away the week before.
After some routine business, Superintendent Bronson Stone addressed the board. The district, he said, provides many services to the community, but its true mission is education. He was pleased to note that both the board and the community have their priorities straight and keep their focus on education. He was also pleased to announce that the district had just received word that the district had met AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) for the fourth year in a row. Mr. Stone noted that the elementary school has made AYP every year since No Child Left Behind began in 2001, and that the high school had only missed twice in that same time span. When a school does not make AYP, it is placed on a warning list for two years. All had worked diligently to get off the warning list, Mr. Stone said, through implementation of mentoring programs, tutoring, and use of computer programs.
Construction on several projects is progressing ahead of schedule; Mr. Stone stressed that rumors that the start of the school year would be delayed are just that, and classes will begin on schedule.
As always, the state budget was discussed. It had been initially thought that the district would see a two percent increase in basic education funding, but the state is now facing the possibility of not receiving an $850 million Medicaid reimbursement, which would wipe out the expected two percent increase. Reportedly, the senate has been working on a solution. It was also reported that the state has lowered districts’ PSERS (retirement) contribution from 8.22% to 5.64%.
Items approved by the board included the following:
- A change order with Contour Construction which covers repaving the elementary playground and the small basketball court behind the high school and sealing the tennis court.
- An addition to policy 201-Admission of Students, covering early entrance to the K-5 program.
- Four-day guidance staff training with Student Assistance Service.
- A transportation contract with the Western PA School for the Deaf for 2010-11; the district is currently in negotiations to combine with the Lakeland School District to share costs.
- Hiring David Jagger as the Special Education Coordinator.
- Granting permission to the superintendent to tentatively hire pending board approval for any vacancies that may occur between August 4 and the beginning of the school year.
- The retirement of Carol Dubas, Elementary Special Education.
- The resignation of Kathryn Matis, District Newsletter Coordinator.
- Hiring for a number of positions.
- Two varsity football volunteers.
- Removing the position of Athletic Director from the current non-instructional contract and assigning the duties associated with the position to the high school assistant principal.
- Providing Justine Ord, high school aide, with a $1,500 stipend for the 2010-11 school year, to serve as compensation for providing clerical support and services to the high school assistant principal/athletic director.
- Increasing the base salary of Holly Warunek, High School Assistant Principal, by $1,000 to serve as additional compensation for increased job responsibilities associated with the athletic director duties being assigned to the position of high school assistant principal.
- Hiring Michael Matis for Specialist Department Head (Technology Dept.).
- Schneider Electric change order at a cost of $60,760 to reline the high school hot water storage tank; replacing the tank would cost approximately $500,000 and relining it will extend the existing tank’s lifespan by ten years.
- A settlement of a matter concerning a special education student; the terms include the district making programmatic changes, engaging the services of a behavior specialist, establishing a $12,500 compensatory education fund and reimbursing $7,500 in attorney’s fees.
- Judy Parks’ resignation from her current aide position and approving her as a substitute aide for the 2010-11 school year.
One item was not approved, a half-year leave of absence for Judy Parks.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m.
Three parks grace the little town of Great Bend, and town fathers and mothers - the Borough Council - take pride in maintaining them. For more than a year they have been trying to get a grant to purchase some equipment for Greenwood Park. A vendor, Miracle Equipment, has been working with the Borough to come up with something, so far with no luck.
At its meeting on August 5, Council decided not to wait any longer. Council will continue to pursue a grant to help furnish the park completely, but Council voted to spend some of the $7,000 in the borough’s own parks account, selecting 2 “spring riders” at under $1,000 apiece from a sale-price flyer. From among the company’s offerings, they chose “Hoppy the Grasshopper” and “Buzzy the Bumblebee.”
For Great Bend Borough, at 40 minutes, the meeting set something of a record. Everyone was feeling good as a result of the town’s successful 150th anniversary celebration, sponsored by the fire company. Local business owner and former council member Bea Alesky attended the meeting and remarked that the “Fire Company did an excellent job” on the parade, the best she remembered in the town. As is his wont, Mayor Jim Riecke also commended the firemen for a “great job,” and displayed a certificate awarded to the “Town Borough Cats” bucket-brigade team that took 5th place (out of 6) in the competition.
A long-running agenda item, “Water on Washington Street,” will soon get some real attention. Councilman Joe Collins reported receiving 2 bids on the drainage work. Given the projected cost, however, the borough will have to advertise for sealed bids before the work can go forward.
A similar item, a favorite of councilman Jerry MacConnell (who wasn’t able to attend the meeting), was finally removed from the agenda by unanimous consent. Not only have new sidewalks been installed at the lower end of town as part of the “Bridging Communities” project, but the work to edge all the sidewalks along Main Street has been completed.
There wasn’t much discussion this time of the borough’s effort to establish a police department. Bids for purchase of a car are due by August 16, and council scheduled a special meeting for 5:00 p.m. that Monday to open the bids. Otherwise, borough Secretary Sheila Guinan reported having followed a telephone trail in her attempt to get a new “ORI” number for the borough, the unique number that identifies a police agency nationwide. She has yet to determine what paperwork needs to be completed to get the number. She noted that a workshop on “Managing a Professional Police Department” is being offered by the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs in Scranton in September. No one on council volunteered to attend.
And finally, council member and the borough’s representative on the Hallstead-Great Bend Joint Sewer Authority reported on the Authority’s efforts to collect arrears from the New Milford Municipal Authority, which he estimates totals some $70,000, or about $120 per household, including accumulated interest. He said that in September it will be 2 years since the New Milford Authority was paid up. The two authorities are in negotiations through their attorneys, but Mr. Jennings said New Milford “just wants to string us along.” He said the sewer authority’s lawyer has cautioned against taking an official stand while negotiations are under way. Mr. Jennings, however, said that the sewer board could be expected to take a position by September, possibly including filing liens on the New Milford authority’s properties.
The sewer system was a presence during the sesquicentennial events - there are times when the smell blankets the town. But it didn’t dampen spirits, and Great Bend is looking ahead to another such event many years hence.
In the meantime, you can attend council meetings every month, on the first Thursday, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the Borough Building (which is also the Blue Ridge Senior Center).
John A. and Vivian (AKA) Vivian W. Bolles to William J. and Frances Heim, in Dimock Township for $800,000.00.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton (by trustee) and Joseph F. Martino to Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton and Joseph C. Bambera, in Montrose.
Joseph A., Sandra, John G. and Sydney Duffy and Maeve Ann and Richard S. Rupp to Maeve Ann and Richard S. Rupp, in Clifford Township for $72,000.00.
Florence A. Zahora to Kenneth Robert and Richard Kenneth Zahora, in Liberty Township for one dollar.
Paul John and Sandra B. Constantine to JEPACON LLC, in Jackson Township for $10.00.
O. Kenneth Shaffer to Myrna McKinnie, in Rush Township for $26,000.00.
O. Kenneth Shaffer to Myrna McKinnie, in Choconut Township for $69,000.00.
O. Kenneth Shaffer to Myrna McKinnie, in Choconut Township for $69,000.00.
Ray G. and Mary Kay Osburn to Mario Fasullo, in Brooklyn Township for $120,000.00.
Philip R. and Marilyn W. Holly to Philip R. and Marilyn W. Holly, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Catherine Capwell (estate) to Nancy C. and Roland E. Decker, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Elizabeth M. Rogers (estate) to Leonard J. Anterola and Donna M. Fielding, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Douglas J. and Holly A. Schilling, in Herrick Township for $1,995.00.
George W. (AKA) George Whitney, Jr. and Jacqueline Chamberlin to Christopher G. Chamberlin, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Michael G. and Tammy Darling to Robert N. Shaffer, Jr., in Rush Township for one dollar.
Stonecrest Income & Opportunity Fund I LLC to US Home Ownership LLC, in Thompson Borough for $13,000.00.
George R. and Dorothy A. (by POA) Smith to George R. Smith, in Franklin Township for one dollar.
Neal (AKA) Neal E. (AKA) Neal E., Jr. (AKA) Neal, Jr. Crafts (by guardian) to Eric D. and Bobbi Jo Diaz, in Montrose for $105,000.00.
Wells Fargo Bank to Edward Wademan, in Lathrop Township for $89,900.00.
Jill Smolowe and Joseph Treen (estate) to Jill Smolowe, in Thompson Township for one dollar.
J. Edwin and E. Louise Eastman to ED Eastman Family Limited Partnership, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Trehab Center, Inc. (FKA) Trehab to Trehab Associates, Inc., in Susquehanna for $58,700.00.
Fannie Mae (AKA) Federal National Mortgage Assoc. (by POA) to Albert T. Belinsky, Jr., in Montrose for $18,500.00.
Richard L. Arnold to David J. and Sherri R. Arnold, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Fannie Mae (AKA) Federal National Mortgage Assoc. to Mario Fasullo, in Lenox Township for $31,500.00.
Samuel A. (by sheriff) and Brenda L. (by sheriff) Miner to Fannie Mae, in Bridgewater Township for $1,193.46.
Susquehanna County Land Sales, Inc. and Daniel and Elaine Peacock to Richard William Erkfitz, II (living trust), in Susquehanna for $16,000.00.
David L. Hughes to April M. Mroz, Dennis D. Hughes and Penny L. Aldrich, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Stephen T., David G., Michael D. and Richard M. Stalter and Julie M. Harvatine to Julie M. and Will Foster Harvatine, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Ira and Frances M. Graves to Tina M. Graves, in Oakland Township for one dollar.
Harriet L., Lee A. and Michele Warner and Dawn W. and Thomas A. Douglas to Dawn W. and Thomas A. Douglas and Lee a. and Michele Warner, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Helen and John W. Soper to John W. and Gina Soper, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Dale J. and Tammy M. Perry (NBM) Tammy M. Crisman to Dale J. Perry, in Gibson Township for one dollar.
Thomas L. and Constance C. Barnes to Thomas L. Barnes, in Oakland Township for one dollar.
Carl S., Jr. and Patti Balliet to Carl S., Jr. and Patti Balliet, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Avis T. Morgan to Deborah Johnson, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Timothy J. Johnson of Montrose and Pamela June Gardner of Chenango Forks, NY.
Daniel E. Eriksen and Heather Virginia Knight-Hicken, both of Union Dale.
Scot A. Nichols and Angela Lynn Moran, both of Ogdensburg, NY.
Joshua Steven Carpenter and Lisa Marie Paterno, both of Susquehanna.
Gregory James Stone and Nicole Distefano, both of Buffalo, NY.
Gregg Zahora and Courtney L. Groll, both of Hallstead.
Randy M. Fairley and Lisa G. Wilder, both of Cincinnati, OH.
Timothy J. O’Reilly and Jessica Franchak, both of Thompson.
Kassi L. Jerauld of Wyalusing vs. Philip H. Jerauld of Meshoppen, married 2005.
Rhonda Cudney of Montrose vs. William a. Cudney of Owego, NY, married 2004.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 10:04 a.m. on August 6, 2010.
Erika L. Back, Keith Bryant Beach, Harold R. Bensley, Tonya S. Birchard, David Shawn Blaisure, Ryan T. Brooks, Howard A. Burns, III, James W. Donahue III, Deborah L. Drish, Robert W. Evans, Jonathan Fathi, Shawn Fiorentino, David J. Fischer, Racheal L. Frisbie, George Graham, David Haines, Jr., Keith G. Harms, Kaci Jo Howell, Erik E. Krisovitch, Joshua S. Lee, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Jason Lindquist, Jennifer M. Miller, Shane Nelson, Anthony Neri, Michael T. Owens, Sheri Pabon, Arthur D. Quick, David J. Shiner, Richard D. Shoemaker, Kristopher M. Slocum, Duane Spencer, Justin Thompson, Christina L. Trayes, Charles VanWinkle, Jr, Keith W. Vroman, Jamie L. Williams, Kenneth L. Wilmot, Jr., Karl D. Zantowsky.
Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals.
After last month's schedule of two canceled meetings, there was plenty to discuss at the August 2 meeting of the Montrose Borough council. In a meeting lasting approximately three hours, many subjects were touched upon and a few acted upon.
Todd broached the subject of the Diesel Oil Loitering Law, and brought it to the attention of the police chief. He asked Dale to check into the matter, and bring it to their attention at the recessed meeting.
Sean Granahan discussed a ten inch water main break which occurred at the Farmer's Market the previous Friday. It was suggested that this, and other breaks, were due to someone having turned the water off and then turned it back on too fast, without bleeding out the air. Estimates of the spectacle included the water gushing a foot and a half in the air, at a rate of 4,000 gallons a minute, and leaving four inches of water on the ground. This process then blew out another pipe. Mr. Granahan asked who would pay for the damage. It is a state road, and he wanted to know what should be done to address the damage. Mr. Darrow volunteered to call the following day to discuss this matter, to establish procedure and whether or not the borough had responsibilities in it.
Mr. DiPhillips was on vacation, but during his report it was decided that he could buy the stone he requested. It is hoped that the curbing and sidewalk on the front of the new borough building might begin soon.
Mr. Darrow then gave his report. Mr. Chamberlain asked about the property next to the borough building. Mr. Darrow said that he had just spoken with the owner today, that the property was being sold and it would be mowed, it was hoped, in the near future. Mr. Reimel brought up the low overhanging branches of some trees above sidewalks. He spoke specifically of one which is a sight hazard. Mr. Darrow said that he had stopped and spoken once with the owner of that property. Various other tree matters were mentioned as well. They discussed a foreclosed property on Laurel St. Mr. Chamberlain had been called on a weekend about this, and Mr. Darrow had investigated it. The property had gone back to the bank, and the bank was spoken with about it. The bank in turn had assured the borough that they would take care of it.
The boy scouts had put in a request to plant a tree within the borough. This led into a much larger discussion. A visitor present had been waiting, Mr. Reimel explained, for two months to come before the borough to discuss a memorial bench and tree program which would give the council more control over such things. She was hoping the borough would adopt it and have anyone donating items to run through it. This would allow people to buy a tree or a bench, with different trees available, and donate it in memory of someone or in celebration of something. It would also give the borough the control to dictate the types of trees used. The boy scouts had wanted to plant an oak tree, which Mr. Reimel explained was not the easiest and most pleasant tree to plant. A weeping willow tree, for instance, would help alleviate drainage issues instead. A reporter present explained that the boy scouts were buying all oak trees to celebrate their 100th anniversary. The borough secretary pointed out that the boy scouts had already purchased their tree. It was suggested that perhaps the boy scouts' tree, then, could be planted elsewhere in town. There was also some discussion regarding recycled versus metal benches. The recycled benches were less expensive and don't require as much care. The motion made was that the boy scouts specifically would be allowed to plant a tree at the borough's desired location.
Mr. Reimel said that he liked the premise of the donation program. It would give the borough control, and people a variety of choices. He made, then, a motion to that effect. The borough would be responsible to place the tree, and they would maintain it. The donating party would be responsible only to pay for the item. It was hoped that the plan could be formulated for September. A group of women would like, the visitor said, to get together for the dedication of the first bench in memory of Jane Spellman, to get some press on the event and get the program started at the same time.
Ms. Waddington expressed her fear about graffiti. Mr. Darrow said that nearer to the ball field end would be more effective than near the playground. Mr. Reimel again said it was hoped that eventually cameras would be able to be put down in the park.
The same visitor brought up the much beleaguered bathroom matter. The little league uses the park, she said, but there is a problem with bathrooms. Mr. Schuster replied that the borough has a problem with the destruction of bathrooms. She suggested that there might be port-a-potties. However, it was retorted, port-a-potties get tipped over. The bathrooms had been closed due to vandalism. In the past, the sinks in the bathrooms have been ripped off the wall, etc. It was stated that people could ask for the keys, or schedule to have it unlocked for scheduled activities, but the visitor's concern was for people using the walking track. When there are cameras, Mr. Reimel stated, parents would be alerted to the actions of their children and made responsible for those actions, but this isn't in place yet. A few weeks ago, Mr. Darrow said as an example of what transpires, a tire had been set on fire down there. The police do drive by and patrol, which helps some. In the end it was left at the fact that they were glad to think on it and work on it, but it was a difficult issue. Mr. Reimel spoke about the shape of the building as is, and that the borough needed to be thinking about a cinder block structure with concrete doors.
The visitor then asked about the possibility to have a clean up day, as other municipalities do, in which people can get rid of large items. A council member explained that he was approached by a recycling center asking if the borough did anything like that, and presumably offering its services. Mr. Reimel was suspicious of this, as last time, he said, the borough was charged money once the recycling center couldn't make money off of the turned in items. Mr. Granahan suggested picking up garbage off the curb, which would keep people from putting inappropriate things in the dumpster, but Mr. Reimel brought up that items which weren't picked up might then be left on the curb. The council decided that at this time it wouldn't be considered.
A CPA candidate, Michael Dougherty of the Murphy and Dougherty Company, was questioned by the council. Mr. Granahan asked a question regarding the difference between an audit and a financial statement. He wanted to stipulate that the council was looking for someone to perform an audit, and wished to ensure that Mr. Dougherty knew the difference. He also asked if the company might be willing to do an assessment of the value of borough owned property. Mr. Dougherty explained that doing this was not absolutely necessary, though some suggested that fixed assets be appraised. This can be a pretty expensive prospect, he said, so a lot of municipalities will opt out of it. He clarified his company's role in relation to fraud.
What the auditor is trying to do, he explained, is minimize fraud. No auditor can prevent fraud, but what they try to do is see that it is discovered, in order to minimize it. Mr. Schuster stated that they were employing him as an insurance policy. He said again that they cannot stop fraud. His company, Mr. Dougherty explained, would take samples of a variety of transactions, to try and sift out inconsistencies. It's not a foolproof system, he said, but they come in with a theory of looking at it from a material standpoint, focusing on what is material to the borough, and looking at the process to discover holes and analyze remediation. It is their obligation, he said, to bring before the council anything they feel warrants their attention. His company, he said, has done municipal work for over thirty years. They also work with at least one school district. The entire matter is being scrutinized due to the disarray of the borough's records in recent years.
Mr. Smith, the police chief, gave his report. Mrs. Waddington commented that they were very busy in July. There was another incident where an officer was injured. Two individuals were in an accident in Silver Lake. They started to fight with each other and the cops, and were split up between a Silver Lake car and a Montrose car. One of them was very irritable, throwing items, bashing his head against the car screen, and spitting on police, and one officer was cut. The guilty party was still in jail. The hospital brought up to Mr. Smith that workman's comp could be reduced by immunizing the police officers. It was decided that the borough would work to follow this advice. Also, he said, the pcdd came and did an audit of their holding facility, and the department passed.
An e-mail had been received from the Community Foundation, which was having a get together and requested additional police presence in case there were any problems. The chief said that he had found instances where, if something was within a municipality, police can do detail work, where a police officer is paid by the hour. This is similar to the agreement with New Milford. It was suggested that perhaps the company should contact council directly, as the police are employees of council. It was motioned that the event be treated as a detail, that the burden of cost be determined, and then the use approved.
The skateboard ordinance was once again addressed. Maps were dispersed regarding where the skateboarders would be prohibited to travel. Mr. Reimel made the motion that the skateboard ordinance be advertised, with a $50 fine for the second offense.
The PAWC backflow devices were brought up. Once installed they have to be inspected every year. The mayor said that a lot of people have been asking him why they have to pay for these meters and tests, when it's PAWC's responsibility to maintain clean water. It was stated that they should direct their questions to Sandy Major, and that this was a state initiative that the PAWC was assigned the enforcement of.
The matter of the 2008 audit was brought up. Marion suggested that council not accept the audit, as, she said, the auditor had certain responsibilities mandated, which he did not meet. She said that she felt it would be a mistake to accept it as it is. Mr. Granahan asked what they were to do with grave errors which council now knows are present, but were not caught. It had been submitted to DCED, but they did not accept it as representative of their financial state. Mr. Schuster recommended that he be told to redo it, and if he had a problem with that he could come speak with council at a public meeting. The secretary was instructed to tell him that she has nothing to say.
Mr. Darrow then spoke about the jake brake ordinance, discussed in march. The council finally heard back from PennDOT, and was approved to erect signs on Grow Ave., Church St. and South Main. They could only be placed northbound on Cherry Street. The stop signs, for which they had also petitioned, were denied. He also said that he had sat with the secretary, and decided that the Clarks Summit ordinance was probably the best for their purposes. When asked about weight limits, he said that he understood that PennDOT was going to put weight limits on all four number state routes. It was planned that at the recessed meeting the matter would be further discussed, and the wording choice considered. The secretary was to write up the ordinance with the borough's information prior to that time.
The council announced that it was in opposition to forced local government merging. A resolution was passed to this effect.
Insurance for a skateboard park in the park, the secretary reported, would require $250 per year for insurance. The requirements of this were queried, and given to council members. Sgt. Walker came up with the idea of registering the skateboards. They would then have stickers, and only registered boards would be allowed in the park. A discount would be given if students brought in their report cards, demonstrating their achievement at an honor roll level. Someone had even approached Mr. Darrow asking to build it.
With the new addresses, Mr. Darrow stated, it is the borough's responsibility to enforce new house numbers. There was some discussion about this. Mr. Darrow proposed setting a timetable that all the numbers be correct by October first. Some on council did not like this duty.
Finally, after an executive session a motion was made to appoint Luther Giordano to the zoning board. An invitation was to be sent to Sal Vetri to attend the recessed meeting to ascertain what ward he resides in, for consideration to fill the vacant council seat.
New Milford Borough had a Borough Codes Enforcement Officer for a week, Jim Carr quipped at the start of the August 5 New Milford Borough meeting. His letter of resignation was one of the first items dealt with that evening.
The Peck Hill situation once again was broached. Nothing much new had developed, it was said, but the owner of the property had picked up the certified letter. A visitor then brought up a codes violation regarding one of that man's properties. Apparently a little house there has a back door barred and locked, providing only one way out. It was said that this would be a COG situation, and that it would be reported. It was also reported that someone was informed he would be adding on to that building. Mr. Carr stated that there wasn't anything they could do about potential, but he was being watched. The visitors also asked about the ditches, having brought proof of what occurred when it rained. They were told it would be addressed later in the meeting.
The council had submitted a grant application to rehabilitate the Midtown Park pagoda, but was denied last year. It was suggested that they apply again this year.
On August 7, it was announced, the Endless Mountains Trio was to put on a concert from 6:30-9:30 p.m. On Sunday, September 12 a sock hop car show is also being planned, as a repeat of what happened last year at the centennial celebration.
The tax claim bureau sent in a list of people who hadn't paid their taxes. The sale was scheduled for Monday, September 13, 2009, according to the letter. It was assumed this might be a mistake.
A letter was received from the Bluestone Gathering System, who proposed to lay a pipeline through this area to the millennium pipeline. They are sending out a survey letter to anyone whose property they might try to go through.
During the Mayor's report, it was announced that the work was completed on Maple Street. The wall in the creek was looked at, and the contractor, Mr. Kowalewski, gave a $500 estimate, which was a high estimate. The wall is in the stream-bed, but it would not be over that amount. Mr. Carr asked how the cash flow looked, and the secretary offered to check with PennDOT to see if it could constitute liquid fuels. Mr. Taylor pointed out that him having the equipment there meant that this is the time to do it, as it might be more expensive later. The council agreed to pursue this.
Finally, for those in attendance, the ditches on Peck Hill were discussed. It is on the borough maintenance man's to-do list, it was reported. The secretary was also waiting to hear from someone regarding how much they are responsible for. She in turn reported that, if it is a problem caused by something the borough did it is the borough's responsibility. If it is caused by a property owner, then it is landowner versus landowner. The visitors present argued that it was the borough that put the ditches in, and that removed a sluice pipe from the top of the hill. Things, one woman argued, hadn't been the same since this was taken out. A man spoke up stating that he had lived there since 1967, and hadn't seen problems until the objectionable landowner moved in. Another proposed cause was the way the road had been crowned last time, causing the water to come down the center of the road and then to leak into the driveways as there are no ditches. Mr. Carr said this problem exists on Church Street as well, but he felt that the ditches needed to be cleaned. A woman asked, then, what about the driveways. When council seemed to reaffirm that this wasn't their job, someone pointed out that the borough had already dealt with someone's property. It was answered that one council member had known about this, but had not given the maintenance man permission. In fact, he had been told that they could not do it.
A man then asked for clarification regarding what cleaning the ditches would involve. It was suggested that the municipal authority be contacted, to see what their records show. The largest complaint seemed to be that the sluice pipes had been removed when the ditches were put in. Amy was to research this further. It was also replied, when asked, that there was yet no certain answer regarding whether that road was a two lane road or not. Mr. Carey said that he guessed what needed to be done was to get state verification that it was not a two lane road.
The skateboarders at midtown park were mentioned. Ms. James said that two kids in a convertible had brought part of a sectional (couch) in and left it in the tennis court. Mr. Taylor said that he didn't want to clean it up this year. Mr. Carr said that the skateboarders had been doing pretty well, but suggested that the borough maintenance guy go to remove the couch and check the rest of the equipment. Mr. Taylor said that he had told them to remove it, so it was decided that if it wasn't out of there by Monday it would be removed. Later in the meeting it was decided to remove it the next day.
Mrs. Drake then brought up a few matters. She explained that she uses some chemicals to deal with the pool, and she had been informed that you weren't supposed to operate a public pool unless you had a pesticides license. There is a class to take to receive the license, and she offered to do it if the borough would pay for it. The pool this year had passed all of its inspections regardless. She also asked if a public service announcement could be made that private lessons would be offered August 13 and 14. The lessons use red cross guidelines but they do not issue the certificates, using private instructors. Notice of this was in the tax bills, which went out late. Once they get over a certain age, people can't do the red cross program at the pool anyway, as they cannot perform the diving. It was requested that maybe she wait to see if there was a course offered in the spring.
The Epstein insurance company donated five bags full of pool toys to the pool, it was announced. They also provided a sign advertising their business. These were diving toys, etc., it was stipulated, nothing dangerous. Mrs. Drake said the pool is in great shape.
A meeting had been held, and it was decided that Mike Dobko would be reinstated as the codes enforcement officer. Having been in the role for five years already, it was suggested that he wouldn't have to come in on a probationary status. Mr. Taylor quipped that he should be sent on Peck Hill on Monday. It was suggested that a back up CEO be found.
Then the wage tax was discussed. It had been thought to put it on the ballot in November. However, it cannot be put on the ballot in November, as it's a non-binding referendum item. Mr. Carr said that the way he saw it there were two options. Either the borough approve it, or advertise for another public hearing. Ms. Abbot suggested that during the work session it be hashed out what they might do with the money, although it was mentioned that it might be difficult as it is not exactly known how much might come in. It was decided it would be put on the wage tax. Ms. Abbot suggested that knowing how it would be spent would help justify asking people to pay it. It was suggested a survey of residents could be sent out to discern how many people already pay the tax somewhere else.
Under new business the alert system was discussed, as there were no ground rules yet for when it could be used for a public service item. One man said that he felt, as long as it was a not-for-profit it was okay, but it wouldn't be used to announce a birthday party, etc. Someone joked that it could be a replacement for the fire truck driving around announcing. The service doesn't cost for use. It was decided that items could come to the borough secretary.
Ms. Scarborough asked if anyone had attended the meeting on the gas company seeking public domain. Mr. Cary and Ms. James had, and explained that the company wanted to be named a public utility and be granted eminent domain. This is what Bluestone Gathering wants as well. Mr. Carr mentioned that he had asked if, were the pipe broken, did the gas odorize? The representative had replied to the negative. Also, the landowner would be held responsible for fixing any damage. Mr. Carey recommended that before signing a contract people hire an attorney. A visitor said that it wasn't a utility because it wasn't supplying anything, and it was said that this has been in the courts. Where the pipe was going to be located was questioned, and it was suggested that it could be anywhere within a five mile swatch. The meeting Ms. James and Mr. Carey had attended was for Laser Gathering LLC which wanted to run from Montrose down to New Milford. All of the information at that meeting was to be used in court. It was said that were this made a public utility, they would have the right to put the line where they wanted. If someone wishes to have input, they can write the public utilities commission, which is to rule on this matter. This led to quite a bit of discussion.
Several new hires were announced on August 2 at Forest City Borough’s business meeting. Sharon Vannan was approved to serve as borough secretary, and three part time police officers, Brandon Bell, Chad Hanson and Dale Wilson, Jr., were hired.
Correspondence involved the announcement of an economic breakfast meeting, sponsored by the Susquehanna County Economic Development Board. Featured speaker will be Scott Linde. The breakfast will be held on Thursday, August 26 at 8:30 a.m. at The Summit Tea Room in New Milford. Interested individuals may contact Secretary Vannan for reservations.
It was noted that KBA Engineering filed an annual report with DEP concerning storm water discharge.
Next, Mayor Pat Coles thanked the Old Home Week Committee and various donors for the time and effort they put into Old Home Week.
In his report, Solicitor Paul E. Smith announced that a policy concerning electronic control devices was reviewed, and minor revisions made. Council passed a motion to adopt the policy.
Council also passed a motion to post “no smoking” signs in the borough building.
Old Home Week was reflected upon after an individual pointed out that cars had been parked in the no parking zone by Kennedy Park during the fireworks display. Another individual admitted that he could see the situation as a “disaster waiting to happen,” with cars parked along the street and motorists occasionally speeding through. Council agreed that an alternative site for the fireworks might be advisable; the matter will be discussed with the Old Home Week Committee.
Garbage bids will be advertised and will be opened at the September borough meeting.
Next was a follow-up on the topic of swimming in Kennedy Park, which was discussed at last month’s meeting. Nick Cost and Mary Twilley recently met with the Kennedy Park Board and DEP concerning the matter. They will look at current requirements for the beach area and will continue to pursue the matter. In the meantime, “no swimming” signs have been posted.
Residents should note that due to the Labor Day holiday, the next Forest City Borough meeting will be held on September 7 at 7 p.m.
The Starrucca Borough Council meeting was called to order by President Jack Downton on Monday, July 5, at 7:00 p.m. at the Starrucca Community Hall. Pledge to Flag.
The following Council members were present: Jack Downton, Robert Martin, Barbara Glover, Arthur Kopp, Mayor Maryann DeBalko, Robert Buck, Michael Martin and Anthony Palonis.
Minutes from the June 7 meeting were presented. R. Martin made a motion to accept the minutes. B. Glover seconded the motion. R. Buck, A. Kopp and A. Palonis abstained. J. Downton, B. Glover, M. Martin and R. Martin voted yes.
The treasurer’s repot was given and the motion to accept carried unanimously.
The bills to pay for July were presented. The motion to pay all bills presented, including Scott Township bill (snow plowing) for Jan. to Dec. 2009 and Jan. to March 2010, carried unanimously.
R. Martin brought up the fire tax that was not paid last year. The motion to pay Thompson fire tax of $2,178.97 for year 2009 carried unanimously.
Correspondence: discussion was held on Federal Labor Law Poster. The motion to contact Jeffrey Treat regarding poster for Federal Labor Law carried unanimously.
Discussion on letter from Hess was tabled until next meeting.
Rights-To-Know request from Ian Peterson regarding cable franchise. R. Martin suggested replying to Mr. Peterson, no record of agreement on hand for cable franchise.
In response to a letter from Wayne Conservation District regarding funding for eligible dirt road repair and maintenance, the motion for M. DeBalko to attend training for funding for eligible dirt road repair and maintenance carried unanimously.
Discussion on the fax from Attorney Harry Coleman regarding mediation conference call. Check with H. Coleman to see if he wants a representative from Council to be there for mediation conference call. V. Pres. R. Martin & B. Glover would represent Council. R. Martin made a motion for B. Glover and himself (R. Martin) to attend mediation conference call to represent Borough Council. B. Glover seconded the motion. J. Downton, A. Kopp, R. Buck Abstained, A. Palonis opposed.
Letter from Darl Haynes requesting FEMA-PEMA documentation on Starrucca Creek Wall Project.
Letter from Joseph McGraw Esquire: J. Downton suggested that this letter be moved on to Jeffrey Treat. B. Glover made a motion to turn copy of letter from J. McGraw over to J. Treat. R. Martin seconded the motion. R. Buck, A. Kopp and A. Palonis opposed. J. Downton, M. Martin, R. Martin, B. Glover voted yes. Motion carried.
Only letter of interest from Patricia Schneyer for Borough Secretary/Treasurer position. B. Glover made a motion to hire Patricia Schneyer for Borough Secretary/Treasurer starting August 2, 2010. R. Martin seconded the motion. A. Kopp and R. Buck opposed, A. Palonis, J. Downton, B. Glover, R. Martin, and M. Martin voted yes. Motion carried.
The motion for Borough Auditors to do a preliminary audit due to change of Secretary/Treasurer carried unanimously. The motion to pay the auditors for second audit carried unanimously.
Council is still working on getting all Starrucca Borough documentation back from Bugaj.
Second letters to those who have not paid for advertising signs at ball field. The motion to send final letters to those that have not paid for ball field signs carried unanimously.
Bank loan with Pennstar Bank: Bank is now suggesting to not only defer a payment but work with council somehow and maybe reduce the payment. Council will see what the bank is going to do to help them out because they can not afford a nine thousand dollar ($9,000.00) loan payment.
Arthur Kopp and B. Glover ball field committee brought up getting a deposit for use of table and chairs for up keep. The motion for a donation from borough residents for table and chairs carried unanimously.
J. Downton miss-spoke at April meeting - meant to say D. Haynes zeroed out the final project worksheet for wall project money, not deobilagated.
Audit sent to State, Dan Kramer presented the 2009 audit, copies to secretary.
Public Comment: Francis Buck asked if there was a reason why minutes were not posted. R. Martin said once they are approved after meeting post them on the board at the Community Hall.
No further business, meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
Starrucca Borough Council held a special meeting with Solicitor Jeffrey Treat, Friday, July 30, at 7:00 p.m. in the Starrucca Community Hall. The meeting was called to order by President Jack Downton. Pledge to Flag.
The following Council members were present: Jack Downton, Robert Martin, Mayor Maryann DeBalko, Barbara Glover and Michael Martin. Robert Buck and Anthony Palonis were absent. Arthur Kopp was unable to attend.
Executive session called by Pres. J. Downton at 7:02 p.m. Open meeting resumed at 7:45 p.m.
Solicitor Jeffrey Treat explained the Buck Bridge payment case. Normally a contingency agreement, there are some provisions for the lawyer who does the work and if newly elected Council does not want to continue, lawyer has a right to come back for his fee.
Recommendation from Jeffrey Treat, a letter to Auditor General from him to assist in recovery of money for Buck Bridge.
The motion for Jeffrey Treat to send a letter to Attorney General’s office for assistance to recover money for Buck Bridge carried unanimously.
Solicitor Jeffrey Treat has received Borough records from Attorney Bugaj.
The motion that Jeffrey Treat turn over the Borough records to Council that were received from Attorney Bugaj carried unanimously.
Discussion on bank loan. Solicitor Jeffrey Treat and Jack Downton negotiating with the bank on payment. The motion for J. Downton and Jeffrey Treat to negotiate with bank on loan carried unanimously.
Solicitor J. Treat recommended that it might be a good idea to bring loan payment current. The motion to bring loan payment current by paying interest and possibly late fees carried unanimously.
Solicitor J. Treat had read the letter from Attorney Joseph McGraw and it does not state who he is representing. The motion for J. Treat to responded back to Attorney Joseph McGraw’s letter to Borough carried.
Mayor M. Debalko has been in contact with Steve Boyer regarding the Creek Wall. The motion for Maryann DeBalko to contact Steve Boyer to see if he will meet with council regarding the Creek Wall carried unanimously.
Public Comment: Loreda Everett asked who Steve Boyer was. M. DeBalko explained Steve is with PEMA and once a meeting is set up the public is welcome to attend.
R. Martin thanked Solicitor J. Treat for attending the meeting.
No further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
The Great Bend Township Supervisors’ meeting of August 2 began with the roadmaster’s report. Work on a number of roads had been completed, and mowing was expected to resume the following day, after the mower had been repaired. And, a motion carried to accept the resignation of Richard Luce, with regret. A motion also carried to advertise the vacancy.
The Bridging Communities sidewalk replacement project was nearly complete; as there had been some funds remaining, the project was extended about 600 feet.
Five assessment permits were issued to Bob Lee (for sheds).
Correspondence included a copy of the revised Hallstead-Great Bend Joint Sewer Authority’s 2010-11 budget; a letter from Laser Midstream LLC expressing the intent to submit an application to DEP for the Susquehanna gathering pipeline; and an invitation from the Susquehanna County Farm Bureau to attend a summer farm tour on August 26.
The township is still in need of an emergency management coordinator.
Public comment included a thank you for addressing a water problem on Bogart Street, and a discussion about the merits of using hot oil on dirt roads.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 7 at 7:00 p.m.
News | Living | Sports | Schools | Churches | Ads | Events
Military | Columns | Ed/Op | Obits | Archive | Subscribe