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Montrose Concerned About Pipeline
The month of November was heralded in for the borough of Montrose with a council meeting full of concerns about water and an executive session. Other, seemingly smaller matters of business were conducted as well.
Mr. Todd Chamberlain commented on the latch on the holding cell, calling the sound awesome. In general, the council and employees seemed to feel the sound might have an effect on those held within it.
Shortly into the meeting, the council called an executive session to meet with District Attorney Jason Legg. When asked, personnel was cited as the reason for the meeting.
During Ken DiPhillips report, after the somewhat lengthy executive session, the subject of the new building's sign was broached. The idea would be to have two signs, one for the main building and one for the police, perhaps internally lit. Mr. Randy Schuster said that he was opposed to the internally lit sign, because one rock could ruin things (thrown by kid or plow). It was proposed instead that floodlights light the sign from the base of the flagpole. There was then a discussion of colors, with Mr. Schuster making a motion that two council members be in charge of the size and color. Although the motion never went anywhere, it seemed generally agreeable.
Mr. David Darrow, the code enforcement officer, provided a report which led to a discussion regarding spot zoning. Apparently a pipe company was interested in a building within the borough. One council member cautioned about the dangers of creating spot permits indiscriminately.
The police report was next, Chief Dale Smith calling October a busy month. He spoke on the training that they had asked to attend at the last meeting, regarding big trucks. He was requesting a hotel room for the three officers to stay in Harrisburg. The training would provide the same certification that state troopers use. The council agreed, and advised Chief Smith to put supportable scales in his next budget.
Jamie Holbert didn't know a lot about how council functions, Mr. Chamberlain said, but felt he might be interested in the council seat open after Justin Sprout's resignation. With him being present at the meeting, the discussion of him filling this post was begun. If they waited until the next few days, the council would have to petition the judge to appoint someone, he continued, thirty days having passed. There was some question regarding length of residency however, as Mr. Holbert stated that he had only resided in his home for around six months. The state code was fetched, and the matter tabled temporarily while that regulation was researched.
Mr. Chamberlain brought up the traffic signal maintenance agreement. Solicitor Marion O'Malley expressed her displeasure with it, calling it draconian. It placed the onus, she said, of the maintenance of the signal and hiring of an engineer on the borough. Council agreed with this negative impression. It was suggested that future calls be forwarded to the solicitor, as the secretary had apparently been receiving several.
A no parking ordinance for South Main Street was approved for advertisement. It would encompass the road from the Catholic Church to Kelly's. This was a repercussion of the driveway incident from the month prior, per PennDOT’s request. It will cover all of the driveways in that area.
The fire company submitted a request to hold a parade of lights with Santa on December tenth. The route would travel from Andre's old feed mill to the fire hall. Additional fire police would be provided by the coordinators. Council granted the request.
Some representatives from PAWC apparently had visited the borough during the month previous to provide information regarding their actions with the pipe line, and to alleviate concerns about water capacity. In the interim, Mr. Sean Granahan said, council had reviewed the Penn Best application, which was being reviewed by the solicitor at that time. He said from a quick standpoint the application was submitted by PAWC (the water company) under the guise of just a few customers in Dimock, which was smaller than the actual number of affected customers covering around twelve miles. Mr. Granahan said that the borough was going to compile a response, and provide Penn Best with that response. They felt that there needed to be some clarification to the Penn Best board before Penn Best settled the actual application. Penn Best had explained to him that they were primarily a bank, and there didn't appear to be any significant grant application involved. It was essentially, they assumed, a business loan. The rate payers and tax payers along the line would then be paying the loan, Mr. Granahan stated. The way the process works, he continued, on November 9 the Penn Best board would meet, at that time they would provide PAWC with a commitment to fund. This commitment was not set in stone, and could be challenged. This particular project, he continued, had been given an emergency spin by Mr. Hanger however, so Penn Best could not tell him if part of this settlement process would be waived. He recommended, then, that the borough get their response together. PAWC did confirm for the council that no current and related water capacity studies had been done on Lake Montrose, and that they had committed 150,000 gallons a day to Choriza. According to the Penn Best application, though, Alta was the largest user of water on this particular Lake Montrose pad. The borough wanted to make sure that there was a mechanism in place to make certain that the gas company's hookup would be cut off at a certain point, such that they only used what they were allowed. There had been no evidence of this thus far, it was said. According to the Penn Best application Alta was pulling over 228,500 gallons per day current usage. PAWC told the council when they visited that they had sold Chorizo 150,000 gallons a day. The borough is committed to 250,000 gallons a day. (It is also unknown, Ms. O'Malley said, where the information from the application came from.) The water company told the council that 500,000 or 600,000 gallons a day could be run from the lake. Mr. Granahan expressed concern that if both those companies remove that amount of water and the borough removes its allotment, there may not be enough water.
It was confirmed, then, that there were two opportunities to express the borough's concerns - prior to the November 9 meeting and through the settlement process. It was also stated that there had been no response from DEP to the letter. A visitor asked permission to speak up, having been working with a group opposed to the pipeline. He said, though, that the only entity involved in this with any legal pull was the borough. Mr. Chamberlain quipped that it was funny, considering this, that no one had contacted them. Mr. Hanger is on the board of Penn Best, it was said. It was suggested that more letters be written. Mr. Craig Reimel suggested that he felt it should be added that they have serious concerns about the water. It was agreed that Mr. Granahan would work on a shortened statement of their concerns, to be sent to individual Penn Best board members, with the longer letter to be attached.
In other news, it was proposed that further research be done regarding offsite data backup. This would be used for the secretary's records, police records, etc. Council motioned to approve a vendor.
Near the end of the meeting it was decided that Mr. Holbert wouldn't qualify for the open position, as he did not meet residency limits. According to code, they were set for a minimum of one year. It was unknown whether or not the judge might not be able to overrule the residency requirement, however, in the face of a lack of other interest. The meeting adjourned.
Forest City Declines To Accelerate
Notable absences at the November Forest City Borough business meeting included the mayor, the solicitor and the head of public works; reports from these individuals will be presented at the borough’s December meeting.
During public comment, Robert Trusky, board president, received thanks for meeting with the owner of the former ABC Market building. The building is now receiving improvements, inside and out.
Next, a resident announced to the board that one of his buildings had been vandalized “again,” and stated that he replaced five broken windows earlier that day. “This is constant,” he said, and encouraged the board to hire a police officer to patrol at night.
The board entered a lengthy discussion about whether to require stickers or standard, printed bags for garbage collection. Several members favored bags on the premise that bags would eliminate virtually all problems previously experienced with garbage day. However, since the board had already negotiated with Franceski Waste for stickers, the borough would have to absorb the extra cost of bags, with the money being drawn from the bulk pick-up fund. The board passed a motion to purchase yellow bags and eliminate stickers. Nevertheless, borough residents should note that Waste Management stickers will remain in use through December 31. After January 1, bags with a Waste Management sticker will not be picked up.
At the request of Trusky, Barbara Mihelc explained the issues involved in “accelerating” in 2011, or using the county tax collector who will be instated in 2012. Currently, the borough is paying a tax collection rate of 1.85% with G.H. Harris and would pay 1.7% with the county collector. Kelley Twilley asked about the rationale for not accelerating, given the apparent savings. Mihelc stated that the school districts, and many of the municipalities, feel that there is not enough time for the new collector to obtain all of the necessary information by 2011. A resident interjected, “That’s when mistakes are made.” Several members of the board stated that they were not comfortable with accelerating, and the matter was tabled.
Next, the board passed a motion to drop its present auditor and enlist the services of Brian T. Kelly, CPA. Trusky stated that he would set up a committee meeting with Kelly to discuss details.
A resolution was passed to adopt Uniform Construction Code 2009, which amends Ordinance 475 to “reflect the most current building codes.”
The final matter of business was a motion to enlist Pennsylvania Municipal Services to collect delinquent sewer fees.
Richard and Natalie June Allen to Terri Lynn Bennett and Richard Dean Allen, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Stanley, Jr. (AKA) Stanley Kaminsky (estate) to Stephen Kaminsky, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Stephen and Kathleen Kaminsky to Stanley and Theresa Kaminsky, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Stanley, Jr. (AKA) Stanley Kaminsky (by estate) to William Rinkers, Jr., in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Stanley Kaminsky, Jr. (estate) to James Orazi, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Honesdale National Bank to North-Eastern Telephone Company, in Forest City for $16,000.00.
Montrose Minute Men to Montrose Minute Men, Inc., in Montrose for one dollar.
Deborah and Ronald J. Hettinger to Deborah, Ronald J., Joshua J and Nichole K. Hettinger, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Silver Lake Presbyterian Church to Silver Lake Presbyterian Church, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Birmingham Corporation to Fredericksburg Royalty LTD, BHCH Mineral LTD, Peacock Paradox LLC, DFP Investments LTD, FFP Investments LTD and Dawiel LLC, in Great Bend Township for $5,875.88.
Robert A. and Rosemary Parkinson to Chad L. MacDonald, in Gibson Township for $105,894.00.
Donna M. Fielding to Leonard J. Anterola, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
James Tyler and Holly Ann Reese to Blackwood Enterprises LLC, in Herrick Township of one dollar.
Margaret (AKA) Margaret E. Mulhollen (estate) to Freya Musumeci, in Franklin Township for $77,380.00.
Eric Drake to Eric Drake, in Lathrop Township for one dollar.
Michael P. (AKA) Michael (by sheriff) and Jane C. (AKA) Jane (by sheriff) Lenz to Bank of New York Mellon, in Lathrop Township for $1,368.19.
Robert J. and Faith A. Garza to Robert J. and Faith A. Garza, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.
Walter Sears to Russell G. and Annette L. Sears, in Brooklyn Township for one dollar.
Clair S. Swingle, Jr. to Robert G. Donald and Charles Schimpf, in Silver Lake Township for $60,000.00.
David A. and Kendra Darrow to John Sershen, in Franklin Township for $139,800.00.
Neil D. Mitchell to Nancy Lahoda, in Herrick Township for one dollar.
Joseph A. (AKA) Joseph and Lois (AKA) Lois A. Petrocelli to Joseph A. and Lois A. Petrocelli, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Lori Sweppenheiser to Calvin and Gail Hunter, in Choconut Township for $25,000.00.
Jeffrey and Colleen Haberle to Christian Pfamatter, in Franklin Township for $115,000.00.
Miles E. Krause, Jr. and Koni Worth to Pratt Memorial Library Association, in New Milford Borough for one dollar.
Eugene R. and Jennie R. Paumgardhen to Edward J. and Lucille A. Czarnecki, in Great Bend Township for $133,750.00.
Steven J. and Carol G. Galloway to John T. and Journey L. Lane, in Harford Township for $89,900.00.
Doreen Henstell to Doreen Deborah Henstell (trust), in Forest City for $10.00.
Gary A. and Gail M. Shields to Shields of Dreams LLC, in Dimock Township for $27,745.00.
William L. and Beverly A. Knight to James and Leslie J. Henry, in New Milford Township for $40,000.00.
Mary Dorothy Walsh (estate by sheriff) to Federal National Mortgage Association, in Forest City for $4,470.97.
Ronald J. Frigerio to Frigerio Living Trust, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Herbert, Elsie, Jacqueline, Jeffrey, Diane and Kenneth Kilmer to Elsie, Jacqueline, Jeffrey, Kenneth and Thomas Kilmer, in Lanesboro Borough and Harmony Township for one dollar.
Melissa Lee Ankeny and Scott Charles Sander to Karen Taylor, in Great Bend Township for $112,500.00.
US Home Ownership LLC to R & LB Investments LLC, in Thompson Borough for $29,200.00.
Dale and Martha J. Richards to Natural Gas Winds LLC, in Hop Bottom Borough for $10,000.00.
Pamela Howlett to Michelle M. Light, in Silver Lake Township for $160,000.00.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 3:55 p.m. on November 4, 2010.
Craig J. Anderson, Erika L. Back, Keith Bryant Beach, Harold R. Bensley, David Shawn Blaisure, Howard A. Burns, III, Jonathan Fathi, David J. Fischer, Thomas Fisher, Jonathan S. Guzy, David Haines, Jr., Keith G. Harms, Jason R. James, 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, Michael S. Rieman, David J. Shiner, Richard D. Shoemaker, Sinon C. Smith, Sr., Justin Thompson, Robert J. Twilley, Keith W. Vroman, Roderic R. Williams, Kenneth L. Wilmot, Jr., Steven G. Wormuth, Karl D. Zantowsky.
Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals.
Gibson Barracks Report
On November 3 at 10:39 p.m., John Oliver of Montrose was traveling west along SR 706 in Bridgewater, Twp. when he struck a deer which ran onto the road. After driving the vehicle to the side of the road, he was transported to Montrose hospital for minor injury to his thumb from the deployed airbag. A seat belt was in use.
On November 3 a light pole and outlet were damaged on the property of Susan Heed in Dimock Township. Anyone with information is asked to please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
On November 2 at 8:45 a.m. an unknown thief pumped $20.06 worth of unleaded gasoline into his vehicle and departed the scene prior to paying for it. The incident occurred at Out Right Sales in Little Meadows.
Between October 1 and 25 approximately $4000 worth of fishing supplies were stolen form the boat of Daniel Totino of Kingsley. The boat was parked on his property at the time. Fishing rods, reels, line releases, down riggers, and various miscellaneous fishing spoons and lures were among the stolen.
On October 19 at 2:20 a.m., Omar Hammoud of Centreville, VA was traveling northbound on I-81 in the right lane when he lost control of his vehicle, which exited off the west berm and struck a guide rail. The Infiniti FX45 then spun and once again impacted the guide rail, coming to a rest with its rear end on top of the rail. Hammoud was not injured; he was utilizing a seat belt.
On October 29 at 12:28 a.m. Dustin Singleton of Montrose was traveling southbound on SR 2001 in Dimock Twp. when his vehicle exited the roadway to the east of the travel lanes as it rotated counterclockwise. The explorer impacted a utility pole as it began a rolling maneuver. Both Singleton and a female passenger, Ashley Zapolski of Montrose, sustained major injury; only the passenger was utilizing a seatbelt. Singleton was transported by Guthrie air ambulance to Robert Packer, Sayre hospital for treatment of injuries. The passenger was transported by life flight 3 air ambulance to CMC, Scranton hospital.
On October 27, at approximately 1:50 a.m., a white male entered the convenient food mart in Lenox, brandished a revolver, and demanded money. He left soon after the clerk refused his demands. The clerk was not injured in the commission of the crime. The perpetrator was wearing tan pants, a black hooded sweatshirt, and a black “ski” mask. He also wore a white button down shirt that was sticking out from the bottom of the sweatshirt. He had an accomplice driving the “getaway” vehicle. There is no description for the driver at this time. The vehicle is described possibly as a black Honda Civic coupe, possibly bearing NJ tags. The vehicle was equipped with a large canister type muffler on the passenger side. It was also believed to have some lettering on the top of the rear window. Anyone with any information is asked to contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154. Similar incidents with the same description of the perpetrator have been reported from mini marts in Old Forge and Dickson City.
PSP Gibson is investigating a burglary which occurred at the Choconut Fruit Stand between October 26 and 27, between 10 p.m. and 8 the next morning. After entry was gained, the cash register and start up money were removed, totally approximately $600 in all. Any person with information may contact the barracks at (570) 465-3154, and refer to the incident.
Between the 25th and 26th of October, overnight, Ronald Dauro of Hallstead Borough discovered that several pumpkins were taken from his Hallstead porch without his authorization.
On October 22 at 1:35 a.m. James Donahue of Gibson was traveling south along plank road, with George McMillen of Bunnell, FL. Donahue lost control of his vehicle and traveled through the guard wire, striking a small tree while sliding down the embankment. The automobile then rolled over and came to a rest at the bottom of the embankment in between Plank Road and SR 11. The passenger did not suffer any injury; the driver suffered a broken leg. Neither were utilizing seatbelts. Donahue was to be charged with numerous traffic offenses as of the time of report.
On October 12, at 5:30 a.m., Alisha Chapman of Scranton, PA was arrested after an investigation into the theft of prescription medications. The accused was staying at the home of Eric Dryer of Clifford, when he found her taking his medications. She then assaulted him as he was attempting to summon help. The accused was charged and arraigned before judge Suzanne Brainard at district court 34-3-03, and failed to post $50,000 bail. She was incarcerated in the Susquehanna county jail.
THEFT BY UNLAWFUL TAKING
On October 19 in the late evening or October 20 in the early morning, someone approached the property of Edward McMullen of Gibson and removed a hand carved wooden sign advertising his bed and breakfast, “The Patriot House-Fern Hill.” The sign was approximately 3 feet in height and made of oak. It had a hand carved eagle and shield affixed on the front. A photograph of the sign was attached to the report. Anyone with information is asked to contact Corporal William Wagner at (570) 465-3154.
FLEEING OR ATTEMPTING TO ELUDE POLICE/RECKLESSLY ENDANGERING
On October 11 at 1:45 a.m. troopers from PSP Gibson attempted to stop a 2007 Ford Focus for traffic violations; it was driven by an unnamed 17 year old juvenile male . The accused refused to bring his vehicle to a stop and traveled across the state line into New York, finally stopping it on Main Street in Kirkwood. The vehicle reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Two young area females were listed as victims in the report. A petition was filed against the accused with the Susquehanna county juvenile probation department.
On October 12 at 7:30 a.m. an unnamed driver was traveling in the left lane of I-81 in Harford Township when she lost control of her Chevrolet Aveo and exited the roadway off the west berm. The vehicle spun out in the median and came to rest at that location facing east. It was driven out of the median and was drivable, but the operator chose to have it towed from the scene. When interviewed at the scene the driver related that she was northbound and she thinks she fell asleep which caused her to exit the roadway. In addition she related that she was not injured and was wearing a seatbelt.
THEFT FROM A MOTOR VEHICLE
Overnight on October 21, five church street vehicles had a variety of items stolen from their unlocked vehicles in New Milford Borough. The vehicles were parked in the owner's driveways at the time of the incidents. That same night, two Dewalt circular saws and one Ryobi kit containing 5 drills, two circular saws, and a saws all were stolen from an unlocked tool box located in the back of another New Milford resident's pick-up truck.
On October 21, at 10:57 a.m., John Goodenough, the manager at the Rock Mountain Bible Camp, reported that someone had damaged some signage to the Bible Camp property. Anyone with any information is asked to contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
On October 21 at 9:52 p.m. an International Harvester was parked in a park stall at the Penn Cann truck stop when another International Harvester struck it with the left side of its trailer while traveling through the parking lot. Neither operator is listed in the report. No fire or ems responded.
On October 22, between midnight and 8:30 a.m., power tools were stolen from within the garage of Weldon Flewelling of New Milford. Anyone with information is asked to contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
If you have information regarding any of these incidents please contact PSP Gibson at (570) 465-3154.
Great Bend Boro Offers Budget
Joe Collins reported 613 visitors at his house on Halloween. He says it was like an assembly line, but he says he enjoyed every one of them, no matter where they were from. Pat Thatcher is of another mind. She says she won’t do Halloween any more: too many of the kids were from out of town, and even out of state, and she heard similar complaints from some of her constituents.
As disputes go, this was a mild one, as Ms. Thatcher, Mr. Collins, and their colleagues on the Great Bend Borough Council met for their November meeting on the 4th. The meeting covered a lot of ground, and ended with a budget proposal that calls for no increase in taxes for 2011.
The meeting opened with a complaint from Lori Raub, of Raub Construction, that the borough was circumventing the rules by separately costing the materials and the labor for replacing the roof on the borough building. She said that the law doesn’t permit a municipality to separate the parts of a project just to get the costs below the $10,000 bid limit. Council President Rick Franks assured her that it was not Council’s intention to circumvent the law, just to keep the expense as low as possible by purchasing the materials separately. Borough Secretary Sheila Guinan added that, in any case, the Borough has neither bid nor purchased anything yet.
Ms. Raub, remarking that her comments were not at all related to her interest as a contractor, said that it is often more beneficial to allow the contractor to purchase the materials. Otherwise the borough would have two vendors to deal with should something go wrong and the finger-pointing begin. Mr. Franks allowed as how he hadn’t thought of that, and thanked Ms. Raub for her contribution.
Ms. Guinan then reported that the county Council of Governments (COG) is pursuing a local contractor who has been doing work without permits. (The Borough is a member of COG, which is responsible for all building permits in the borough.) He has been warned multiple times, so now COG will try to impose a double fine, half of which will be returned to the borough.
Council then proceeded to select CDG Excavating as the low-bid contractor to install water control measures in the Washington Street area, for $17,550. Another contractor attended the meeting to witness the contract award; his bid, as were all the others, was substantially higher. The project will put an end to a long-running worry that heavy rain could flood the town from the Interstate through the Washington Street area, as happened in the summer of 2006.
Mr. Franks reported that the emergency exit gate that was requested of PennDOT and Federal highway authorities at the rest stop on the Interstate “looks like it’s going to happen.” Council member Jerry MacConnell later announced that outgoing congressman Chris Carney helped to make it happen. During the flood of 2006 a temporary ramp was built over the curbing at the rest area to allow access to the otherwise isolated town. Council has ever since wanted a more permanent solution in the form of a locked gate and entry. There is no estimate when the work will be done, but at least everyone has approved the idea.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been working on updated flood maps ever since that momentous flood. Ms. Guinan reported that the new FIRMs (Flood Insurance Rate Maps) should be available by the summer of 2012.
In the meantime, Ms. Guinan will be studying maps provided by Navarro & Wright, consulting engineers for PennDOT, to help locate the borough’s existing facilities. There is rumor that PennDOT is preparing to work on U.S. Route 11, the town’s Main Street.
Ms. Guinan spoke with District Attorney Jason Legg about the policy & procedures manual proposed for the police department the borough is struggling to establish. Mr. Legg doesn’t actually approve such documents, but told Ms. Guinan that, since it is actually only a copy of the manual used by Lanesboro, it should satisfy the borough’s insurance provider (with suitable amendments for names, etc.), which should be the main consideration.
In the meantime, the borough’s solicitor, Frank O’Connor has been trying to pare down the huge book to something more narrowly targeted at satisfying the borough’s insurer. Council decided to ask Mr. O’Connor to suspend that work, intending to make only the required name changes before adoption.
Mr. O’Connor has also requested a special meeting with Council to discuss employee policies for the incipient police department. A mutually agreeable date needs to be determined.
Council also decided to attend a meeting of the Hallstead-Great Bend Joint Sewer Authority (HGBJSA) on November 15. Council member and the borough’s representative on the board of the HGBJSA, Bret Jennings, on a crusade to bring the New Milford Municipal Authority into line with its obligations to the sewer system, which it joined a few years ago under contract, presented a resolution that will be considered by the HGBJSA board to admit a non-voting member representing the New Milford authority. Mr. Jennings said that he strongly opposed the measure as contrary to the Municipal Authorities Act, and would ask the District Justice to have it rescinded if the HGBJSA board adopts it. He suggested that the Borough Council should have an interest in these matters, but since Council seemed reluctant to get directly involved - other than attending a meeting - he said he would do it on his own hook.
Mr. Jennings has also been battling the HGBJSA board over money that he says the New Milford Authority owes to the sewer system as a result of increased fees since New Milford joined the system. He said the arrearage totals some $70,000 by now. He said that all other rate payers on the system are subsidizing New Milford because of the shortfall. Ms. Guinan, who is also an elected Supervisor in Great Bend Township, told Council that the township does not want to get involved in these matters.
Council has also asked the sewer authority to consider modifications in its rate structure to collect more from the food outlets in the plazas between Great Bend and Hallstead. Ms. Guinan said that the restaurants do not pay “per toilet,” but per seat, and pay many thousands of dollars each quarter for the sewer service. Nevertheless, there is concern that the many buses entertained by some of the restaurants, particularly on weekends, should be accounted for in the sewer system’s rate structure.
Member Ruth Loucks told her colleagues that the fire company would like the borough to cooperate on stronger enforcement of the borough’s ordinance on false fire alarms. The ordinance calls for a fine of $300 or more for more than 3 false alarms in a year from a single location. The fire chief can petition the Borough to assess such fines. While everyone tied mightily to keep from singling out the Kime apartments for criticism, it is well known that most of the town’s false alarms come from that location, in particular because of the wired smoke alarm system in the building.
And finally, with little further ado, Council accepted a budget prepared by Ms. Guinan for 2011. The budget will be available for public scrutiny until Council’s next scheduled meeting, when it will be formally adopted. Some time ago Council agreed among themselves to increment the budget regularly to avoid major increases. They’ve never actually done that, however, and there isn’t much enthusiasm to start now, as Mr. MacConnell said, “the economy being the way it is.” Ms. Guinan even said, “I don’t think you have to raise taxes.” Last year Council did boost property taxes by one mill to pay for creating a police department with the $20,000 it would raise. A police car was purchased, but the department to use it is still on the horizon.
So, the new budget expects to spend exactly the amount that the 2010 budget projected, $146,700, with only modest internal shifts.
The Great Bend Borough Council meets on the first Thursday of each month, beginning at 7:00 p.m., at the Borough Building at Elizabeth and Franklin Streets.
Slurry Of Complaints In New Milford
At the November 4 New Milford Borough meeting, it was business as usual. Items discussed included the budget, the recent road treatment, and one very large rock.
A letter was noted from Jodi Cordner, the solicitor. She stated that she would not be reapplying for the position of solicitor for the borough in the coming year. She had apparently suggested three replacements, though it was hoped someone might express interest directly to the council.
DEP wrote regarding bridge work for the bridge on Route 11 near the library. Act 14 requires the permit applicant to give at least 30 days notice to a given municipality before DEP issued or denied the permit. It was asked that the council return some information as well. The question was asked regarding foot traffic during this time, as it is a main thoroughfare to the post office. There was also concern regarding an alternate route, as the Church Street bridge, it was feared, couldn't handle the large truck traffic of Main Street.
A letter was received from FEMA to update the flood insurance rate map for the national flood insurance program. No action was required; it was merely an informational note. There was some confusion as to the letter and its purpose as only the township was mentioned. It was suggested that perhaps for the purposes of expediency FEMA had included the borough within the township. It was decided that a call would be placed to discuss the matter further.
The director of the Endless Mountains Heritage Region wrote asking for the council to adopt a resolution in support of the Growing Greener program. The needs, the letter said, would not be met if the program was not renewed. A resolution was attached to the letter. The borough, it was said, has benefited from the program, however it was also pointed out that passing the resolution might attach responsibility to the borough. It was suggested the matter be dealt with at the work session.
During the mayor's report, the large rock on the Jones' property was brought up. It was suggested that perhaps a jack hammer could be rented. It had been suggested that a hole be drilled and powder used to blow it apart, but the majority of council appeared to feel this was not a good idea. The stone needs to be broken down before the township can remove it. It was decided that perhaps a jackhammer attachment could be rented for the skid steer. The man who removed the stone has said, when asked, that he's working on it. The property owner was commended for his patience. The hope was to have this done before the snow flies.
There was another piece of stone up in Vogel's creek. It was decided at a prior meeting that this could be left in the creek as support, but needed to be moved to the side.
Someone had suggested that an ordinance be put in place requiring a yard sale permit. There appeared to be mixed feelings about this, as the idea was really stemming from one resident in particular who had a continuous sale going. Some felt that all shouldn't be punished for the actions of one, by the creation of an ordinance. It was argued that the ordinance wouldn't hurt anyone, it wasn't stating that there could be no yard sales it simply gave them structures. It was also stated that it would regulate when signs had to be taken down.
A brake retarder restriction ordinance was also brought up. Montrose had recently passed one. It was decided that the planning commission would look into both this and the yard sale ordinance.
After having the streets done, it was said, several complaints were lodged. It was supposed to be a slurry treatment, stemming from when Chris Allen made arrangements years ago to protect the new paving. A slurry treatment had previously been done near the New Milford Market in the past, by a different vendor. One visitor argued that this had been a very different substance, and had held up well. It was stated by a few people that the new treatment was a waste of money, and suggested that perhaps Vestal Asphalt be contact and displeasure expressed. There was some doubt as to whether it was actually slurry seal, given the differences between it and the prior job. This job is completed it was said, so there would be no more of it in the foreseeable future.
The earned income tax survey was discussed, a hundred and five were received back. Of these, 73 respondents said no, and 23 were in favor of it. It was agreed that the matter would then be a non-issue, and appreciation expressed for the 25% of the residents who participated in the survey.
The 2011 budget was discussed. No tax increase is being planned. A 20% jump in electric bills was figured in. There was no change to payroll, and the police budget was increased by 2,500 dollars. The borough is finishing the year with roughly $18,000 left after budgeted expenses. A motion was made and approved to advertise the budget.
Santa is moving back to the park this year, it was said. The event is planned for the 27th, and the Men's Club is planning on attending again with refreshments. The council is looking into having an enclosed tent for photo development, as they can't be developed in the cold.
When asked about the rash of burglaries in town, it was emphasized that people need to lock their cars. The state police were questioning people, but little more was known for certain. It was said that not everyone called the police, so there are more than are actually reported.
Terri Gulick said that she had received several calls regarding the alert call system. There was some concern over using it for things such as trick or treating, as the words alert now seem to insinuate an emergency. It had been decided that it could be used for public service announcements, but the council was to change the message to state when it is a public service announcement as opposed to an alert now.
The parade of lights was complimented. Ms. Gulick thanked those who decorated the council float. No one seemed to know who won the house contest or the float contest however.
2010 State General Election Results
Following are results of the Pennsylvania 2010 General Election which affect Susquehanna County.
Governor: Tom Corbett (Rep).
United States Senator: Pat Toomey (Rep).
Representative in Congress, 10th Congressional District: Thomas A. Marino (Rep).
Senator in the General Assembly, 20th Senatorial District: Lisa Baker (Rep).
Representative in the General Assembly, 110th Legislative District: Tina Pickett (Rep).
Representative in the General Assemble, 111th Legislative District: Sandra J. Major (Rep).
Representative in the General Assemble, 114th Legislative District: Sid Michaels Kavulich (Dem).
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