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The changing needs of county offices were reflected in the Susquehanna County Commissioners' decision to eliminate a clerk typist position in the Planning Commission department and add a part-time position in the Register and Recorder's office at the August 11 meeting.
Inundated with demand from the gas industry in Susquehanna County, the Register and Recorder's office, headed by Mary Evans, requested the creation of a part-time clerk typist position for that department. The job is limited to 950 hours maximum per calendar year, at a rate of $7.89 per hour, with a six month probation period and benefits. Since the influx of leases pertaining to the Marcellus Shale gas exploration, the county has had to provide additional office space and equipment for the department to handle the high volume.
The county Planning Commission, however, will eliminate its clerk typist position. After a closed executive session during the Salary Board meeting, commissioners announced the position would be eliminated. The office will now function with Director Robert Templeton and Deputy Director Eleanor Kurosky.
During approval of seminar requests, an audience member questioned the high expense for two of the seminars. Commissioners responded that Dean Johnson, newly hired in the Assessment office, must attend Certified Pennsylvania Evaluator classes, at a cost of $4,069, as a requirement for his position.
Two members of the county Planning Commission will attend the annual state conference at a cost of $1,202. Director Templeton said one member had never attended the conference and the other had not attended since 2007, and attendance would enable them to better serve in their positions.
Commissioners accepted with regret a letter of retirement/resignation from Recorder's office employee Betty J. Phillips. The full-time union position will be filled by Phyllis Sheldon of New Milford.
Robert Fearnley, who previously held an Erosion and Sediment program specialist position, was hired to the open, full-time position of Watershed Resource Coordinator.
Kenneth Knapp, Herrick Center, has been hired as a full-time dispatcher in the 911 department.
The Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau Committee will see a change in membership. Recently appointed member Gretchen Backer has tendered her resignation, due to other obligations. Her term will be filled by Dennis Maloney, of Maloney's Irish Sports Pub and Family Restaurant, Hallstead.
The next Susquehanna County Commissioners meeting is 9 a.m., Wednesday, August 25, in the county office building downstairs conference room, 31 Public Ave., Montrose.
For the first time in a while, the Blue Ridge Schools can claim district-wide Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in standards-based testing under the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), the testing program mandated by the Federal No Child Left Behind Act. At the School Board meeting on August 9, each of the 3 school administrators was able to report that the latest PSSA results earned each of them AYP. The Elementary School continued its string of 2-year awards.
The schools used to offer pizza as an incentive to encourage students to participate in the PSSAs. According to Board member and Wellness Committee chair Priscinda Gaughan, that is no longer acceptable. In fact, according to Ms. Gaughan, District policy since 2006 has prohibited the use of food as a reward in any school-sponsored program. In an effort to combat an “epidemic of obesity,” Ms. Gaughan asked the administration to send a letter to all school-based organizations reiterating the policy, and discouraging the distribution of junk food as incentive. She said that there are actually financial incentives for the District to avoid such practices under state regulations. She said that 75% of food available at the schools should reflect “healthy choices,” especially from vending machines. “No food rewards whatsoever are to be allowed in the schools,” she said.
The meeting actually opened with a presentation by teacher Joe Conigliaro and two representatives of Lackawanna College, promoting the expansion of the dual-curriculum program in business. For 9 years, Blue Ridge and Lackawanna College have collaborated on college-level offerings for high school students. According to Mr. Conigliaro, 40% of students in higher education in the U.S. are studying in business-related fields, including accounting, marketing, management, finance, business development and entrepreneurship, and leadership. He said that there are nearly 300 businesses operating in the Blue Ridge district, and the coming boom in natural-gas exploration will offer many more opportunities. He urged the Board to carefully consider proposals to expand the business programs focused on accounting.
The new Lackawanna College New Milford campus is open for business out near the Flying J on Route 848, and pledges that it is here to stay, with new offerings in entrepreneurship and business development.
Mr. Conigliaro encouraged the Board to consider making the course in personal finance mandatory for all high-school students. He said that enrollment has fallen since the course was first introduced. It “can’t seem to entice the students,” he said, noting the importance of understanding loans and personal bookkeeping in our modern society.
The evening’s business agenda was completed in short order by wrapping all but one of its 13 points into one motion. Among the items:
Hiring Christine Conaboy as a 3rd grade learning support teacher. She was in attendance, but was overlooked at first, being only one item on the agenda. When her presence was pointed out, she accepted the Board’s welcome with a brilliant smile.
Approving a list of textbooks for the new school year, a procedure that allows interested parents to see what their children might be reading.
Approving another change order for a summer construction project, to the tune of $17,034.95.
Creating a position of “Technology Integrator.” According to Board President Alan Hall, this person will be expected to help bring students now served by the so-called “cyber-charter” schools back to Blue Ridge to help reduce this unpredictable cost.
Mr. Hall and Laurie Brown-Bonner were named to attend the annual Legislative Policy Council of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, the schools’ lobbying organization in Harrisburg.
The Board had a little difficulty with appointments to Schedule B, the list of ancillary positions established under the teachers’ contract. Board member Christina Whitney questioned the nomination of one of the guidance counselors to the position of “Diversity Club Co-Advisor.” She said that the purpose of the club is unclear, given how it was presented to the Board last year. The Board has already approved another co-advisor to the club, but Ms. Whitney wanted her colleagues to recognize the difference of opinion on the subject. And she won her point: the Board voted in the majority against the appointment.
An executive session that preceded the Board’s business meeting also focused on Schedule B. Last month the Board severely cut into the list of positions under Schedule B in an effort to cut costs, by, among other things, eliminating all of the department heads. According to Mr. Hall, the Blue Ridge Education Association - the teachers’ union - filed an “unfair labor practice” grievance, and the Board decided it would be cheaper to reinstate the positions than to fight the labor action. That fight will resume in January, when the teachers, the administration and the Board begin negotiating a new contract. In the meantime, the meeting agenda was augmented to add some of the positions back onto Schedule B.
With the new school year fast approaching, Business Manager Loren Small assured the Board that what appeared to be chaos around the schools would all be put right in good time. Much of the area around the entrance to the Elementary School is torn up awaiting new concrete, and the cafeteria is still a construction site as well. He said that all projects are on schedule, with the possible exception of one piece of cafeteria equipment.
The parking lots are another matter entirely. In a dispute with the paver, Mr. Small said the contract and associated performance bond will be kept open until the district is satisfied with the work, which it is not so far. The district will withhold as much as $37,000 until the project is satisfactorily completed. There have been problems with seams between sections of the asphalt pavement, and with the striping laid on the fresh surface. He said the warranty work on the roofs cannot be assessed properly until it rains.
The Blue Ridge School Board will resume its twice-monthly meetings in September, beginning with a business meeting on Monday, September 13, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Committees often meet an hour earlier.
Edward Szparagowski to Walter Drab, in Middletown Township for $95,000.00.
Pro-Ko Properties, Inc. and Bear Creek Properties, Inc. to Charles E. and Shawna P. Geertgens, in Jessup Township for $84,900.00.
James J. and Jennifer A. Mihalcik (AKA) Jennifer A. Clifton to James J. Mihalcik, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Kyle L. Herbert to Robert and Patricia O. Aiken, in Montrose for $46,500.00.
Marcia B. Williams (estate) to Mark F. Williams, in Gibson Township for one dollar.
Brian and Alicia Fraser Natzle to Alicia Fraser (NKA) Alicia Fraser Natzle, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Penny A. Slocum and John T. Tarbox to Penny A. Tarbox (NBM) Penny A. Slocum, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Bertice L. and Sally I. Lewis to Robert R. Starr, Jr., in Great Bend Borough for $119,000.00.
Nellie J. Murphy (estate) to Myron Murphy, in Lanesboro Borough for one dollar.
Carol J. Douglas (NKA) Carol J. Ralston to Kevin Bryden, in Great Bend Borough for $55,000.00.
Katherine M. and Steven M. Deriancho to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for $40,700.00.
John Buffamonte to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Great Bend Township for $33,900.00.
David L. Mills to Kenna Lou Mills, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Jeffrey L. Wright to William C. Koehler, Jr., in Oakland Borough for $78,000.00.
Richard J. Andel (estate) to Ronald Teets, in Liberty Township for $20,000.00.
Lorraine E. Stoke to Kenneth J., Jr. and Donna M. Richter, in Little Meadows Borough for $277,500.00.
Phillip G. and Dawn M. (by POA) Yeomans to Jamie L. Atkinson, in Liberty Township for $180,000.00.
Stanley E. and Beverly Y. Grier to John R. Marconi, in Silver Lake Township for $75,000.00.
Larry N. and Cathy R. Hall to Brett Mullen, in Great Bend Township for $166,000.00.
US Bank (by POA) to Bobby E. and Elsie D. Sweeney, in Great Bend Township for $59,500.00.
Nestor B. and Margaret K. Morales to Nestor B. and Margaret K. Morales, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Robert L. (trust by trustee) and Charlotte A. (trust by trustee) Squier to Sharon and Stephen P. Lathrop, William B., Laura A. and Leigh E. Squier, Mary Ellen and Rodger C. Sayre and Allison K. Quick, in Bridgewater and New Milford Townships for one dollar.
Robert L. (trust by trustee) and Charlotte A. (trust by trustee) Squier to Sharon and Stephen P. Lathrop, William B., Laura A. and Leigh E. Squier, Mary Ellen and Rodger C. Sayre and Allison K. Quick, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.
Doris F. Fancher (estate) to Paul A. Kelly, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Winding River Grove Sportsman’s Club, Inc. to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Great Bend Township for $10.00.
Robert R. and Julia A. Fagan to Laser Midstream Company LLC, in Liberty Township for $34,665.00.
James B. Hawley to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for $35,235.00.
Eugene A. and Patricia Fraser to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for $68,460.00.
Gertrude Green to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for $45,300.00.
Carol J. Lesjack to Jason M. Card, in Hallstead Borough for $77,000.00.
Lance Tesoroni and Lisa Kishbaugh to Philip A., Jr. and Katherine A. Martino, in New Milford Township for $49,900.00.
Mabel Olmstead (estate) and Sharon Gillett to Sharon and Arthur Gillett, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Derrick W. Copper (by POA) and Laurel Maslo-Copper to Ronald C. and Carol L. Dubas, in Ararat Township for $64,900.00.
David and Gladys Longacre to Michael H. and Gina M. Cook, in Jackson Township for $260,000.00.
J. Scott and Betty Jane Hall to S&B Hall Partners LP, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Brenda Odell to MC Mineral Company LLC, in Rush Township for $10.00.
Madeline Rodriguez to Jessica Mendez, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Thomas Talboys to Mark Mortgage Associates LP, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Heather C. Wiggins to Heather C. (trust) and Arthur W. (trust) Wiggins, in Harford Township for one dollar.
Frances M. (AKA) Frances Slater (estate) to Phillip S. and Michelle K. Depue, in Franklin Township for $80,000.00.
Penny A. Tarbox of Susquehanna vs. John P. Tarbox of Hallstead, married 2004.
Valerie M. Kuhar of Harford vs. Joseph C. Kuhar of Hellertown, PA, married 1998.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of August 13, 2010 at 9:10 a.m.
Erika L. Back, Keith Bryant Beach, Harold R. Bensley, Tonya S. Birchard, David Shawn Blaisure, Ryan T. Brooks, 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, 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.
The municipality of Harford Township owns about 16.02 acres in 3+ parcels comprising the sewer plant property; the township building, garage and yard (which is actually 2 parcels); and the ballfield. As municipal real estate it has no value. As a potential reserve of natural gas, that property is now known to be worth at least $92,000. Or at least that’s what Cabot Oil is willing to pay to lease the gas rights.
At their meeting on August 10, the Harford Township Supervisors signed a separate lease for each of the 3 properties under the tutelage of Jamie Shave, of T. S. Calkins & Associates of Bradford, PA, a title search and lease broker, in this case representing Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation.
The leases - which allow no surface activity on the properties - will pay a bonus of $5,750 per acre and carry a production royalty of 21%; there is no automatic renewal option, and no pipeline right-of-way provisions in the contracts.
The authority of the Supervisors to contract the lease was secured by a resolution adopted at the meeting but back-dated to April 13, 2010. That was the date of a meeting at which the Supervisors decided to advertise for lease bids. Ms. Shave said that the resolution had to pre-date the contract date.
Asked what the township might do with the windfall, Supervisor Garry Foltz mentioned repairs and upgrades at the sewer plant, and the possible purchase of some additional oil to control dust on the roads (about which, more later). But he said nothing definite has yet been decided.
Mr. Foltz actually carried most of the meeting himself, and ran into a few snags as he worked his way through the agenda. The difficulties began when he discussed the project to replace a sluice under Stearns Road at the outlet of Tingley Lake to reduce the potential for flooding. He said he had spoken with state representative Sandra Major, a representative of state senator Lisa Baker, and met a representative of the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) at the site. DEP cannot decide on a direction for the project, but Mr. Foltz is hoping for some suggestions. He is looking for a less costly alternative than the $200,000 project limned by the engineers that the township hired to assess the situation following the flooding of 2006.
A couple who reside at Tingley Lake who have attended recent meetings to follow - and encourage - progress on the issue, presented a copy of a letter and list of signatures of lakeside property owners that they would send to Ms. Major and Ms. Baker in support of the township’s application for a grant to help pay for the project. Mr. Foltz said that he had contacted the state Department of Community and Economic Development for the status of the grant application and was told that, while it is still active, it might be better to rewrite the grant proposal for submission to a different agency.
Asked for a time frame for progress on the project, Mr. Foltz demurred, saying he had “no clue,” and “we’re working on it.” He said that he was reluctant to ask all township residents to pay more in taxes for a project that would benefit only a small number at Tingley Lake. Ms. Major and Ms. Baker have both agreed to provide letters supporting the township’s grant application. The Tingley Lake couple left the meeting apparently frustrated with what they heard.
The Supervisors moved on to discuss a couple of “assessment permits.” An assessment permit is issued for construction when the proposed structure does not fall under the guidelines for a normal construction permit, either because it is small (under 1,000 square feet), or because it would not be furnished with power, water or sewage. Construction permits for Harford Township are handled by the county Council of Governments (COG). In one case, an assessment permit issued in May for a property on Old Route 11 was revoked because the building turned out to be other than what was described in the permit application; the owner will be directed to work further with COG. In the other case, although the building on Laurel Lane is not expected to exceed COG guidelines, the owner is already working with COG on provisions to supply power to the structure.
The Supervisors formally adopted an ordinance on “defacing” “public and private” property in the township, where “defacing” includes “destruction or removal.” The Supervisors have become exasperated at the vandalism directed at township property, in particular, damage to and theft of signs, including the new street signs, some of which can cost up to $100 each. The ordinance is expected to give the State Police grounds to enforce what might seem to have been law all along. Mr. Foltz pledged to “nail” the perpetrators when they are caught.
Mr. Foltz reported that he had been asked by a resident to consider adopting an ordinance controlling solicitation in the township. Such an action could require permits, and result in those signs about “permits required” appearing at the boundaries of the township. Alas, that won’t happen.
Mr. Foltz said that he discovered that municipalities with such regulations are quietly discarding them. It seems that a court decided that under such an ordinance, all door-to-door solicitations would require permits, not just for outsiders selling stuff, but also Girl Scouts selling cookies, and fire departments and charities canvassing for contributions. Since the township isn’t likely to want to go that far, the matter was dropped.
The Supervisors also announced the retirement of Hollis Adams effective at the end of last month. Mr. Adams started as a township employee just about 2 years ago, and his retirement was accepted with regret, as a valuable member of the crew working the roads.
Mr. Adams may have picked a good time to retire. There was a dust-up (so to speak) during the Roadmaster’s road report toward the end of the 2-hour session. Harford’s summer this year has been particularly dry, and complaints of heavy dust on the roads have been particularly troublesome. The township allocated about $38,000 in its budget for AEP oil for dust control, most of which is already used up. “We’re out of oil,” said Mr. Foltz, and “we need to find money” to purchase more. He said the price was some 40% higher this year than last.
Mr. Foltz said he had been “slandered,” “harassed” and “threatened” by certain residents, and Roadmaster and Supervisor Terry VanGorden actually shouted and pounded the table in exasperation at the pressure he feels when he and his crews are doing the best job they can under the circumstances. The most serious recent complaints apparently come from the Stevens Road area, which Mr. Foltz said was originally paved and was torn up when it “shouldn’t have been.” “We were misled,” he said, about the way Stevens Road was worked back then. There seem to have been some complaints about favoritism when applying oil in that area.
Several people involved themselves in the heated debate, each certain that his method of working the roads would be the best: “berm” first, where the berm dirt goes, how to properly ditch a road, how to operate a grader. In the end, Mr. VanGorden said that his goal was to finish preparing the roads for the school buses that would be appearing in a few weeks.
The Harford Township Supervisors meet in public session on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the township building on Route 547, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
The Oakland Boro monthly council meeting began on August 12 with the mayor’s report. Mayor Glover had contacted PennDOT about putting in a crosswalk at the bridge intersection on State St. He said that the boro can put one in if it is at an intersection, but it must be done in accordance with state regulations. Any crosswalk where there is not an intersection would need to be approved by PennDOT. And, a second, unnecessary stop sign had been removed from the intersection.
At prior meetings, council had discussed purchasing a taser gun for the police department, but the mayor recommended that it be tabled for the time being. He said that he would rather see using the money towards increased patrol hours, as there have been increased incidents lately. He also reported that the last regional police meeting had been canceled due to the death of Susquehanna Boro’s Mayor Denise Reddon.
Several ongoing codes violations were discussed. A motion carried to authorize the CEO to take any legal steps necessary to address a situation on State St. A draft of a letter to be sent to property owners adjacent to the new sidewalks regarding maintenance of the walks was reviewed.
Council is still attempting to contract Chesapeake Energy to discuss renewal of their agreement to withdraw water for gas drilling.
It was noted that there have been several incidents of individuals tampering with the fire hydrants, which is a federal offense and will be dealt with accordingly by the police if they continue to occur.
The secretary’s report included notice that the service contract on the boro computer is due for renewal, which it was agreed not to renew; a draft of a letter to a local business owner regarding trash accumulating at the base of a sign in the boro advertising the business; and a survey from NTRPDC regarding hazardous road conditions.
Topics discussed during public comment included parked vehicles limiting sight distance at the intersection of Westfall Ave. and State St.; people putting their garbage out in trash bags rather than cans with lids and animals getting into it; drainage problems on Wilson Ave.; and, a property where there are more unregistered vehicles than is allowed.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, September 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the Lanesboro Community Center.
On August 12 at 3:56 a.m., Ahmed Hamana of St. Leonard, Quebec was traveling on SR 81 northbound in Lenox Twp. when he lost control of his commercial vehicle and crashed into the guide rail, subsequently flipping over. The crash caused closure of the highway for in excess of eight hours due to yams being strewn across the road. Hamana was transported to Scranton CMC for treatment of injuries. The crash investigation was continuing as of the time of report; multiple traffic violations were to be charged.
Between April and June of 2010 Patricia Irving is accused of stealing checks from friend Paul Bailey, forging his signature on the checks, and cashing them.
On August 8 at 3:40 a.m. Adam Biefeldt of Endicott, NY is accused of going to a residence in Choconut Twp. and, after a verbal conversation, scratching the vehicle of William Moodey, Jr. of Liverpool, NY, before walking home to Endicott.
On August 8 at 10:00 p.m., an argument occurred between Amanda Benjamin of Binghamton and Debbie Riolo of Vestal, while on the grounds of Mess's Fireworks in Great Bend Borough. This escalated into a physical altercation on Main Street, in which the contents of Riolo's purse were scattered about the ground. Hearing the commotion, Joshua Neary of Great Bend and a 17 year-old juvenile decided to investigate, and attempted to intervene. The 17 year-old was pushed backward by Benjamin during this attempt. Benjamin and Riolo were charged with Assault-Harassment, Disorderly Conduct, and Scattering Rubbish. Benjamin was also charged with pushing the 17 year-old female.
On August 9 at 1:35 a.m., Robert White of Scott Twp. was traveling east on SR J2008 in Clifford Twp. when his Dodge pickup truck exited the roadway and impacted Utility Pole # E5. He was transported via ambulance to CMC Scranton for treatment of injuries obtained during the collision. The investigation was ongoing as of the time of report.
Matthew Slivinski of Montrose reported that sometime between July 31 and August 6 four hand guns were removed from his house. The investigation was continuing as of the time of report.
During the night of August 6 Montrose Feed in Bridgewater Twp. was forcibly entered, and approximately $1,000 in cash and loose change stolen from within, along with two laptop computers, handmade jewelry, and a right angle drill. Anyone with information is asked to please contact PSP Gibson.
On August 8 at 9:31 p.m., Robert Young was traveling North on Herb Button Rd. in Springville when he lost control of his Ford F250, which left the roadway, striking a tree with its driver door area. Young got himself out of the vehicle and was lying on the roadway, where he was found by another motorist. He was life-flighted to CMC in Scranton for treatment. Springville Fire and EMS responded to the scene, along with Montrose EMS. Route 6 towed the vehicle from the scene. Young was utilizing a seat belt.
PSP Gibson is investigating the theft of a red diamondback bicycle, between August 3 and 4, from Ararat Township. Anyone with information is asked to please contact the station.
Between July 30 and August 1, it was reported, a Black G.E. Countertop stove was stolen from the rental residence of Samuel Donahue of Athens, PA.
On July 18, at 3:33 a.m., Kyle Falkenberg of New Milford was sitting on his porch when he observed a youth bring his bicycle to a stop near his truck. The youth then went near his vehicle. At this point Falkenberg started down the steps to see what the youth was doing, and the youth fled, leaving his bicycle behind. The bicycle is a Next, green in color, 20”, and a chaos model with serial # GS090364451. Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
On July 30, at 5:53 p.m., Timothy Tingley and Adam Jones of Harford went to the residence of Darrick Morcom of Lenox and threatened him with physical violence. The accusers blamed the victim for stealing their drugs and marijuana. Charges were filed at Court 34-3-03; anyone with information is asked to please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
On August 1, at 10:30 a.m., Chimene Hanley of Staten Island, NY was traveling south on I-81 in Great Bend Township, in the left southbound lane. Hanley lost control of her vehicle, causing it to leave the roadway via the median. The vehicle then crossed the median and entered the northbound lanes, while continuing to travel in a southern direction. The vehicle then crossed both lanes of I-81 northbound and exited the roadway via the right shoulder. Finally, it impacted with an embankment and came to rest facing south on the embankment.
On July 30, a residence in Harford Twp. was entered by means of a window with a running air conditioner. The air conditioner was pushed through the open window, and the residence was entered. A 10” by 6” wooden box was removed, which contained $850 cash and 1/8 of marijuana. The box belonged to Adam Jones of Kingsley. The incident occurred at 3:15 p.m.
If you have information regarding any of these incidents please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
The public comment portion of the August 10 meeting of the Oakland Township Supervisors concerned permits. Two property owners asked about the process to get a permit for a minimal use sewage system for their seasonal residence. They were advised to contact the township’s Sewage Enforcement Officer. Their other question concerned the process for getting a permit to build a garage some time in the future. They were told that, when the time comes, they should contact the supervisors for information.
Correspondence reviewed included an invitation to the annual county economic development breakfast meeting on August 26; a letter from Bluestone Gathering System regarding a proposed pipeline; an invitation to the annual county Farm Bureau tour on August 26; a list of township properties listed in the Tax Claim Bureau’s upset sale on September 13; information on a Managing Professional Police Department course offered by the PA State Association of Boroughs; a letter from Rep. Sandra Major regarding HB2431 (eliminating local government at the boro and township level and moving it to the county level), which she opposes; and a letter from the county department of transportation regarding weight limits on roads. The township is in the process of enacting a weight limit ordinance and will discuss a draft of the ordinance at their next meeting.
A list of ongoing codes violations cases and permits issued was reviewed and discussed. As of the date of the meeting, there had been no response to a letter the township solicitor had sent on the township’s behalf regarding unauthorized work on township roads.
Minutes of the last regional police meeting were reviewed. The township had received a proposal from Oakland Boro to contract with them for police coverage; the supervisors discussed the proposal at an executive session following the meeting.
A meeting will be set up with the supervisors, the township tax collector and a business owner to discuss delinquent amusement taxes.
A survey from NTRPDC was discussed; it requests information on hazardous road conditions.
The township’s fax machine is inoperable; it was agreed to look into grant funding through NTRPDC to fund part of its replacement cost.
FEMA has indicated that they might be interested in purchasing two properties near the township building through the flood buyout program; if it does come to pass, the properties would then be turned over to the township but would entail restrictions as to what could be done with it.
And, work on next year’s budget has started.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Long in coming, residents of Mud Road will soon see the replacement of their deteriorating bridge. Clifford Township Supervisors announced at an August 9 board meeting that a special session had been held to open bids for the bridge project, with Ken Rauch selected. One resident of Mud Road stated that some guard rails and other construction debris have been left in the creek. “[Rubble is] gonna fall, but at least clean it up,” he added. Dennis Knowlton, chairman, and René Reynolds, secretary, promised to pursue the matter. Knowlton defended Rauch as having a good reputation.
For the sidewalk project at the municipal building, Tim’s Construction was chosen as contractor. Although a few other construction firms presented lower bids, the supervisors selected Tim’s Construction for its solid references, with Knowlton remarking that the supervisors must choose the “lowest responsible bidder.” At $22,700, the bid still falls under the allocated grant money.
Due to changes made, ordinances related to natural gas drilling will be tabled until the September board meeting. The revised ordinances may be viewed on the Clifford Township website.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, a few individuals discussed road matters. A resident of Elk View Drive stated that vehicles routinely drive “way over and beyond” the posted speed of 15 MPH. He requested that the township post more signs, since presently, there is just one. It was pointed out that the state requires an ordinance for speeds below 25 MPH; township solicitor Joseph McGraw promised to investigate the matter. The resident also stated that Elk View Drive should receive a more permanent fix than patching potholes. He inquired about whether any grant money is available. Reynolds stated that she has been looking into the matter but cautioned that grant money favors low income areas.
Lively debate arose over Hemlock Lane in the Crystal Lake Forest Development. After months of consideration, at a previous meeting, the supervisors agreed to take the road over, but a Hemlock Lane resident complained that the project is at a standstill. “I don’t think you really want to help us,” she asserted at one point. “We can only move as fast as Penn DOT will move,” defended Knowlton. “[The takeover] is in the process,” Reynolds added, explaining that multiple steps are involved in the takeover.
In order to raise public awareness about what is recyclable, flyers will be distributed at the township building on recycling day. Information was provided by the Susquehanna County Recycling Coordinator and is also available on the Clifford Township website.
Donald Carroll, police chief, acknowledged that the township has experienced several burglaries lately, with some businesses targeted, as well. Hits seem to occur when the police are off-duty, Carroll added. Altering the hours of coverage was suggested.
Knowlton praised the historical society for doing a “tremendous job” tiling the hallway in the township building. Sandy Wilmot thanked the volunteers - mostly historical society members - who assisted, adding that installation took over nine days to complete. The hallway will serve as a display area for local artifacts.
In partnership with the PA Humanities Council, the Clifford Township Historical Society is sponsoring a stonewall restoration seminar and workshop. The event will occur Sunday, August 29 at 1 p.m. in the Clifford Township Building. There will be no charge for the event; interested individuals may call 679-2723.
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