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Issue Home September 8, 2010 Site Home

GB Boro Police In Limbo
Business Amidst Laughter In NM
Courthouse Report
State Police Arrest Forest City Secretary


GB Boro Police In Limbo
By Ted Brewster

According to Jerry MacConnell, it’s been 2 months since the Great Bend Borough Council decided to apply for a new ORI (Originating Reporting Agency Identifier) number to establish its own police department. And he is “not pleased” that the process doesn’t appear to be any further along.

Council has been told that it could take 4 months or more for Harrisburg to issue a new number. At the Council meeting on September 2, Borough Secretary Sheila Guinan read the letter she was directed to send to the State Police requesting information about how to get such a thing. Since she was told by the State Police on the phone to send the letter; she didn’t think it would do a lot of good to call them again. Nevertheless, Council asked her to try to determine the status of the application by the next meeting in October - or for a special meeting, if more information becomes available sooner.

In the meantime, Council has provided to its solicitor its only copy of a procedure manual created by Jon Record of the Lanesboro Police Department. Attorney Frank O’Connor was asked to review it and recommend to Council. So far Council has heard nothing, so they will try to arrange a meeting with Mr. O’Connor to discuss the matter, and perhaps look for other counsel, if Mr. O’Connor doesn’t have the time, or isn’t inclined to undertake the review.

Two weeks ago Council accepted the sole bid for a police car from Port Dickenson, New York. The vehicle is expected to be available by the middle of September, and Council has to decide what to do with it once the purchase has been made (for $7,000), at least until the department can be formally established.

There was other business on the agenda at the September 2 meeting.

Ms. Guinan reported that the Borough Building will soon need a new roof. Council is considering replacing the shingles with steel. In either case, no one on Council claimed expertise to draw up specifications for bidding. So a search will be made for someone in the community who can determine what needs to be done so the bid can be advertised.

Council member Joe Collins reported progress on a design for a culvert to deal with flood waters along the Washington Street corridor to avoid the kind of damage that resulted from the flooding in the summer of 2006. PennDOT is recommending a large egg-shaped concrete culvert pipe. Mr. Collins is trying to find out how to get the work done for the least possible cost.

Mr. MacConnell reported on a series of e-mail messages that offer encouragement that something will finally happen with the creation of an emergency exit to the Visitor Center from U.S. 11. During the 2006 flood, a temporary ramp was created to allow residents out of the otherwise isolated area. The Borough has been trying to get PennDOT and Federal authorities (the Interstate is a federal highway) to come up with a plan to install a permanent egress that would be locked except in emergency situations.

Council is concerned about the deterioration of Spring Street due to heavy truck traffic associated with construction at the sewer plant. Apparently there is nothing in the paperwork that requires the contractor to restore the road to prior condition. But Council will send a letter to the Sewer Authority asking for its position on the subject. Council’s representative on the Sewer Authority Board, Bret Jennings, said that the construction is supposed to be “substantially complete” by early Spring next year.

Council also asked Mr. Jennings to look into the sewer system’s rate structure. Mr. MacConnell noted that considerable development has occurred on the “flats” at the Interstate junction since the sewer system was installed. He believes the rate structure may be outdated and “unfair” to residents who may be subsidizing the service for patrons of the fast-food outlets who arrive by the busload.

Two deteriorating properties in the Borough have been cited in letters sent by Ms. Guinan, who also serves as the Borough’s codes enforcement officer. Both appear headed for District Justice Peter Janicelli. Mike Crook attended the meeting to complain about a couple of other properties that he thinks should be investigated.

Mayor James Riecke took advantage of Mr. Crook’s presence to thank him for keeping the Borough cemetery looking “neat and clean” all summer.

The next scheduled regular meeting of the Great Bend Borough Council will be held beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 7. All meetings take place at the Borough Building at Elizabeth and Franklin Streets.

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Business Amidst Laughter In NM
By Melinda Darrow

There were no visitors, aside from press, at the September 2 meeting of the New Milford Borough Council. This, it seemed, led to a meeting which was not only relatively short in duration but high in jocularity. Nevertheless, several items of note were reported and acted upon.

The president, Jim Carr, asked about the Peck Hill questions, which have plagued the last few months worth of meetings. The secretary, Amy Hine, had checked into several of these complaints and questions in the interceding month. She explained that the townsperson against whom the complaints have been levied had picked up his certified letter regarding the removal of a large piece of equipment from the top of the hill, but it was reported that this had not yet been done. One of the complaints last month had been that there was a fifth apartment on one of the buildings, patched into insufficient electricity and not cleared appropriately with authorities. By law, Ms. Hine explained, the borough's CEO can not go inspect the property. Another certified letter was sent, which was also picked up. No response had been received regarding either letter.

Another complaint had been that the little house had the back door barred, thus having only one exit. Ms. Hine had checked with COG, and been informed that as a single family dwelling only one exit was required. Regarding the comments about the roads, she said, she had been watching tapes about the projects. She said that there was no defined ditch on the right hand side of the street, as far back as 1992. She also brought to the meeting several pictures which had been taken during a project in June of 2007, and which had been obtained from the Housing Authority. The general consensus was that there were no visible ditches in those pictures either. Terri Gulick held up one picture, and queried why so much landscaping would be in place had there been a ditch.

One female resident, at the last meeting, had stated that she wanted the pipe back under her driveway, which she alleged that the borough had taken out. The secretary stated that she had spoken with Al Sydlosky, the contractor, who said that he put two six inch pipes under each of the driveways affected, and a fourteen inch pipe, at least 120 feet long, which ran all the way from the catch basin at the top to the one at the bottom of the road.

Thus there were pipes in place still, they just weren’t visible. Another issue discussed had been whether or not the road was a two lane road. Amy said the road was fourteen feet wide, and with the average car being six or seven feet wide the road would indeed be a two lane road.

Mr. Carr said that the remaining question then was regarding whether or not the ditches needed to be cleaned. It was suggested that the fire company might be requested to go shoot water through the pipe running the length of the road.

A report was also given regarding the trailers on Main Street. The Codes Enforcement Officer had gone and told the property owner that the trailers had to be removed within 30 days. The day prior to the meeting, a call had been received from a lawyer stating that legal assistance had been retained. The trailers, it was said, had to be removed as they were recreational.

During the treasurer's report, it was stated that the lifeguards had come in under budget. The pool had closed on September 15 this year. The secretary had made a call regarding Vicky Drake's request to attend a seminar to become certified with the use of pool chemicals, made the month prior. She had discovered that a class would be offered in the spring, to which council planned to send Ms. Drake. A few of the council members spoke of what an excellent job had been done this year, with Vicky and her husband John being given special notice. They had spoken with someone regarding how to keep the chlorine in the pool better, and acted upon it, which saved money. Those present, in general seemed to want to commend the staff; it was said that no complaints had been heard about the pool this year.

The large piece of stone was removed from the creek near the Church Street bridge. It took a long time to be removed; it is a very large piece of stone. It is sitting currently on the property next to the creek, but the Township does not have anything large enough to transport it. It is planned that it will be broken into smaller pieces. The secretary had discovered that the money can come out of liquid fuels.

Ms. Gulick reported on various ordinances. The handicapped parking ordinance was reviewed; there will only be two spaces on one end of Broad Street, and another at the other end. There will be an additional parking spot at the council building and the Blue Ridge Park. This ordinance was motioned and approved.

She then reviewed the burning ordinance, which she said has been worked on for years. The fear had been, she said, that the setbacks would hurt the Green Gables and the Parkview, which have fire pits. Some of the setbacks had been moved closer to the roads then. It was thought, too, that a special section could be put in which would allow for commercial burn use with fire pits. This was to be sent out for review. Ms. Gulick thought that it would please everyone. Residents are allowed still, she said when asked, to have their bonfires and burn barrels. It was hoped that a motion could be made to advertise it at the next meeting.

The tree planting idea was discussed again, which had been broached at previous meetings. The idea was to plant trees along the stream at the pool park, but there had been confusion regarding which side. It was confirmed that the idea had been to plant them alongside the fence to prevent soil erosion, but there was fear that there wouldn't be enough room. Penny Scarborough suggested planting them within the fence, but it wasn't known if this would be feasible until after the walking track was completed. The police reports were mentioned. Ms. Gulick said that she hadn't heard complaints against the police, despite a few grumbles. It was asked if they were watching the Valero parking lot, and responded that yes, they were patrolling there more frequently at the company's request.

The wage tax survey was broached, with a draft being presented. The survey had been revised, and a question added explicitly asking if people were in favor of an earned income tax. It was also suggested that an information sheet be added explaining the tax, and that it be stipulated that the tax is only for 1% of income. The Berkheimer representative had postulated that $60 or $65 thousand dollars could be brought in the first year's three quarters, but it was hoped that the survey would better pin these numbers down for the council.

During a discussion of the budget, it was mentioned that a flag and top of the pole had been stolen from the park. It was decided that a date would be set in October to discuss the budget, and the secretary threw out that people should be considering their wish lists.

Mr. Carr said that he had spoken with someone at the fair who worked in wagon wheels. It was decided that they could look into this further, for the cannon.

The House Bill 1500 was discussed, when Sue Abbot was speaking about a breakfast meeting she had attended with Sandy Major. Apparently Ms. Major had expressed her opinion that it would not pass, as the person pushing it was from the city and didn't know how rural areas functioned.

Ms. Gulick brought up the subject of the deregulation of electric. She said that the county has been working on this because they have had quotes come in regarding who they would go through for electric. She thought that it might be about time they considered it too. Ms. Abbot suggested that they call and discuss when exactly deregulation was. A reporter said that it was in December, but she thought that large use customers would be able to purchase earlier in the year. It was suggested that electric use might be 20-30% more in cost.

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Courthouse Report
Compiled By Lauren Price Ficarro


Endless Mountains Health Systems to Earle A. and Robert R. Wootton, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Wayne R. and Anne Adams to Wayne R. and Anne Adams, in Harford Township for one dollar.

Raymond G. Sheridan, Jr. to STVH Holdings LLP, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

Jesse D. and Stacey M. Trunk to Lucas J. Baker, in Springville Township for $133,000.00.

Melvin G. McKinney to Oakland Township for one dollar.

Thor W. and Tari K. Trowbridge to Raymond E. and Laura A. Coolbaugh, in Bridgewater Township for $132,000.00.

Steven F. and Laurie M. Serfilippi to Elbert G. and June A. Allen, in Ararat Township for $195,000.00.

Virginia M. Brainard to Mark W. Lewis, in Harford Township for one dollar.

Franceski Lumber Company, Inc. to Lori A. Frost, in Forest City for $88,000.00.

Duane L. Schell (estate) to William Allen and Lisa Martin, in Forest Lake Township for $65,000.00.

Donna M. and Richard M. Marcho to Donna M. and Richard M. Marcho, in Rush Township for one dollar.

Kay Zawisky to Michelle and Debra Tedesco and Jennifer Praefke, in Herrick Township for one dollar.

Velma E. Hornbeck to William, Robert and Jean Marie Dempsey, in Forest City for one dollar.

Cecile M. Killiany (NKA) Cecile M. Rokavec to Cecile M. and Daniel J. Rokavec, in Forest City for one dollar.

Brian and Nicole Chamberlain to Thomas Chamberlain, in Susquehanna for $12,000.00.

Craig G. Brown to Lisa L. Brown, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.

Philip and Antoinette Degruccio to Joann, Ann Marie and Antoinette Degruccio, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.

George, Carol, Joseph and Betty Zuk to George, Carol, Joseph and Betty Zuk, in Clifford Township for one dollar.

Bear Creek Properties, Inc. and Pro-Lo Properties, Inc. to John and Kristy Benscoter, in Auburn Township for $125,000.00.

Carl A. and Elizabeth A. Hatcher and Margaret P. Princenthal to Chad A. and Carol J. Lojewski, in Springville Township for $186,700.00.

Mark Franklin Associates LP to Mark Franklin Associates LP, in Franklin Township for one dollar.

Mark Franklin Associates LP to Mark Franklin Associates LP, in Franklin Township for one dollar.

Earl R. Leaser (by trustee) to Bremer Hof Owners, Inc., in Herrick Township for $100.00.

Bonnie R. Layland to Bremer Hof Owners, Inc., in Herrick Township for $100.00.

Faith and Alix Vis to Faith Vis, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Karen M. Prestys (NBM) Karen M. Bonczkiewicz to Karen M. and Michael Prestys, in New Milford Township for one dollar.

Gabriele Linna (estate) to Francis J. and Francis J., Jr. Pinkowski, in Jackson Township for $33,000.00.

Steven R. Herman and Joanne S. Wisniewski to Steven R. Herman, in Hop Bottom Borough for one dollar.

Allen G. and Lisa M. Jones to Allen G. and Lisa M. Jones, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.

Mark R. Franklin to Westholme Energy LP, in Springville Township for one dollar.

Michael and Michele Thomas to Flynns Stone Castle, in Rush Township for $60,000.00.

John E., Karen L., David C. and Kimberly J. Watson to Edgar T. Warriner, in Montrose for $120,000.00.

Lois S. Carlsen to Lois S. Carlsen (revocable trust), in New Milford Township for one dollar.


Ashley Whipple of Springville vs. Reid Whipple, Sr. of Kirkwood, married 2003.

Lisa L. Brown vs. Craig G. Brown, both of Hallstead, married 1985.

Charlene E. Cole of Hallstead vs. Robert W. Cole of Montrose, married 1980.


The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of September 3, 2010 at 9:25 a.m.

Erika L. Back, Keith Bryant Beach, Harold R. Bensley, David Shawn Blaisure, Ryan T. Brooks, Christopher J. Clark, Deborah L. Drish, Robert W. Evans, Jonathan Fathi, Shawn Fiorentino, Christopher M. Fiorentino, David J. Fischer, Jason Gardner, Deborah E. Gould, George Graham, David Haines, Jr., Keith G. Harms, Anthony D. Hibbard, Sr., Kaci Jo Howell, Erik E. Krisovitch, Casey J. Lawton, Joshua S. Lee, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Jason Lindquist, Jennifer M. Miller, Shane Nelson, Anthony Neri, Brian T. Phillips, Arthur D. Quick, David J. Shiner, Richard D. Shoemaker, Sinon C. Smith, Sr., Duane Spencer, Justin Thompson, Christina L. Trayes, Keith W. Vroman, Donald L. Welch, 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.

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State Police Arrest Forest City Secretary

Following is a press release from the PA State Police, Dunmore Barracks.

Pennsylvania State Police at Gibson arrested Susan E. Coleman, 650 Main St., Vandling. She has been charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition, Theft by Deception, Receiving Stolen Property, Access Device Fraud and Forgery.

Coleman, while acting in her capacity as Forest City Borough Secretary, is accused of issuing herself duplicate borough paychecks by forging a borough council member’s signature, making unauthorized purchases on a borough credit card, purchase of computer equipment with borough funds and opening a cellular telephone account, all for her personal use.

The investigation began after Forest City’s financial institution discovered irregularities in the borough’s account. Borough officials contacted State Police to begin the investigation. Investigators uncovered the thefts had occurred over the course of ten years.

Coleman was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Peter Janicelli, New Milford. Coleman received $50,000 unsecured bail.

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