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Near the beginning of the December 20 Mountain View school board meeting the new student government liaison, Ryan Walsh, from the high school, presented his report of current happenings. The student government had a conference in October, which he said was a great success. During the Feed a Friend program the district donated over 500 cans to the Susquehanna County food bank. The instructors had a door decorating contest again, which Mrs. Diane Lombardi won. The FBLA had a regional leadership conference, which he termed overwhelmingly successful. In January it was planned that a Jr. High versus faculty game would be held; the senior high game was successfully run before Thanksgiving. The National Honor Society hosted an American blood drive and caroled at a veteran's center. The scholastic club placed 3rd in a recent event. A grant was received from Target allowing the school to run a traditional trip to the opera.
Mr. Twining asked whether the health technician would work at both schools, as the current school nurse does. One was appointed later in the meeting.
The district motioned to advertise for bids for the general supplies. This does not, it was clarified, mean that the district had decided not to go with the earlier idea of choosing a provider. It was just a matter of exploring options.
Mr. Mirabelli gave a presentation regarding the 2011/2012 Preliminary Budget. At the last section of budget meetings, he said, it had been the new goal to get the preliminary draft budget before year end, and this was that draft. In the past, he said, the budget had been presented piece by piece by department heads, and the board didn't get the whole picture. He attempted, then, to bring the entire picture at once before the board so that the bottom line would be apparent. He hoped, this year, that the meeting with the department heads would be more of a question and answer situation. On the voting meeting on January 17, the board is scheduled to make the decision to stay within the index, file for exceptions, or file for referendum. If the district were to choose the second option, the intent to do so would need to be advertised and the preliminary budget made available for public perusal. The third option, he opined, might be a waste of time as it seemed unlikely that the public would pass the increase in taxes in an open vote. The final budget deadline is, as usual, June 30 of the coming year.
Mr. Mirabelli then reviewed the budget outlook, warning that the stimulus funds that have kept people floating are scheduled to disappear on the 30th of June upcoming. The cliff is looming, he warned. The edu-jobs funds may be a glimmer of hope, depending on how they will be allocated. The largest line item that the state has is education and some cuts will need to be made. The new governor gets an extra 30 days to prepare the budget, which may effect revenue uncertainty. On the local side there is still high unemployment, lowering earned income tax, low real estate sales, reducing real estate transfer tax, and low interest rates on investments. The total budgeted revenue is $16,472.921, and the budgeted expenses $17,899,949.29, resulting in a $1,427,028.29 estimated deficit. This figure represents funding for every current program and staff person, with no cuts. The proposed millage rate would be increased to 34.3 mills. If the board were to try and balance the budget only through taxes, they would need to be increased by 8.4 mills.
The state revenue is the district's largest revenue source and, he stated, it was the most uncertain. The lack of stimulus funds could greatly deplete federal funds as well, leading to the somewhat negative outlook. The school expenses are broken down into several categories: salaries and benefits, the high school, elementary school, district office, transportation, special education and medical access, technology, maintenance, and athletics. The salaries and benefits budget is fixed, there is the least control over that. Both salaries and benefits continue to increase, on a pretty steady, gradual grade. The psers employment contribution, however, could be really drastic. The salary factor was broken down further, with 79% of the salary expense going to professional staff. Administration comprises 8% of salary expense, and the other departments comprise 5% or less. The psers rate is slated to increase from 5.54% to 8.65%, a 56.1% increase. Also, there is a projected health insurance increase of 10% due to health care reform, though the district might do a little better because their system is self funded. There are now no lifetime limits on claims, and dependents are to be covered until the age of 26 now. The last few years, the high school has been carefully monitoring not spending money not needed, and has been keeping spending below the proposed budget. The elementary budget had shown a similar trend. In terms of the district budget, there were a few years where the district was not budgeting for charter schools and was overspending the budget. In the past year, the district had managed to spend less than budgeted. The transportation budget had been kept flat over the years. The special ed department had been trending downward in both budget and actual expenses, which he proposed may have been due to medical access dollars. It was suggested also that bringing the students back into the district had affected this. In 2008 and 2009 the technology expenses had skyrocketed, due to the upgrading of technology. For two years the grants from the state were received to help cover those costs. For the last two years, as was known at the time, the actual had been below the budgeted amount. The maintenance budget had remained somewhat steady, but there had been little, if nothing, in the way of major overhauls. The athletic budget pretty much stays the same every year.
At the end of his presentation he spoke about where the district was to go from that point. The expenses needed to be reduced and revenues increased. The decision on January 17 would be, then, an important one. It was asked if further investigation had been done regarding how gas royalties might be used were they to occur. There was nothing written regarding whether or not they could be used for operating budgets, Mr. Mirabelli said, so he felt a solicitor might be consulted.
The district's current copier contract is approaching completion, and Mr. Mirabelli has looked into buying out the copiers. The interest rates are low, and the vendor has offered the district to bring in seven new copiers, all of them upgrades. According to the vendor, then, $1,000 a month for the life of the lease would be saved. There was some board trepidation about this, with at least one board member advocating for seeking out other bids from companies. It was pointed out by Mrs. Piptone that, when considering other companies, the district had current leases with Top Copy, which the company is going to let them out of for the upgrade. To switch to another company would require them to either stay in the lease until it expires or pay for a buyout. Mr. Philips suggested getting more information and leaving it to the discretion of the administration. Mrs. Rinehart-Cowan however wanted to get more information and discuss it in January. Mrs. Yarrish proposed that if the service is good, it should be run with. In the end, the board decided to wait until January, skipping the deadline.
During his report Dr. Chichura spoke of the changes in the political situation in Harrisburg, and what it might mean to the district. The new governor campaigned on a platform of balancing the budget and not raising taxes. That administration is looking to continue to support education, but they are looking to track spending classroom by classroom. On the campaign trail also was a pledge to strengthen charter schools and the installment of a voucher system to defray private school cost.
The board was passing around a birthday card for a former school nurse celebrating her ninetieth birthday on the 23rd of December. Another retiree also recently had his ninetieth birthday, and it was planned to provide a card for him as well.
During his report, Mr. Doster spoke of the Rachel's Challenge program, calling it one of the best programs he's seen in education. A parent program was also held. At the elementary school a holiday concert was held, which was standing room only, and the principal thanked those who participated. The pre-k program was evaluated recently, and the monitor was very pleased with how it was run. Appreciation was given by Mrs. Pipitone to the parents, staff, and everyone involved in the recent compliance monitoring of the special education department. Eight students went to Wallenpaupack recently for scholastic competition. On Sunday January 23 at 7 p.m. on WVIA, the students were to be featured on scholastic scrimmage.
As of January 1 Mrs. Rinehart-Cowan reported, the electric rates would increase over 14%, however the district electric bill was lower in the past year due to improvements. The board had decided, thus far, to stay with Penelec instead of seeking a different provider.
Along with regular business, Susquehanna Boro Council wrapped up the year by recognizing past and present employees at their December 21 meeting. Police Officer Robert Sweet was commended for his efforts on the boro’s behalf, and was promoted to the position of Chief of Police. Officer Phonechanh was also commended for his outstanding efforts and was promoted to the position of sergeant. And, outgoing secretary/treasurer Ann Stewart was recognized for her service to the boro and was presented with a letter of appreciation as well as a gift.
In other business, Mayor Mike Matis recommended that an item, police regionalization, be taken off of the agenda for the time being until the issue comes up again, but council president David Scales thought that it should be kept on the agenda until after council gets a chance to continue discussion at the next committee meeting.
A motion carried to carry over $13,500 from the 2010 budget to be included as income in the 2011 budget (the amount needed to balance the 2011 budget). All voted in favor with the exception of Bill Perry. Mr. Perry also voted against adopting the 2011 budget, which did pass.
A motion carried to re-advertise the opening on the vacancy board, as no applications have been received.
Property the boro owns on Washington Street was advertised for sale after the condemned house on it was demolished, with no response. There was some discussion as to whether it should be listed with a realtor, or if the Susquehanna Community Development Association should be contacted to see if they are interested in purchasing the property. Bill Perry didn’t think council should approach only one organization. After discussion, it was agreed to re-advertise it for sale.
A motion carried to transfer the treasurer’s bond from Ann Stewart to Gail Hanrahan and to have all boro bank accounts updated to reflect the change.
Two bids were received for sale of the S10 pickup truck. A motion carried to accept the higher of the two, from John Sholtiss for $526. Motions also carried to accept a price quote from Hinds Oil for a propane gas heating system for the boro garage, and to purchase a new (paper) shredder for the boro office as well as a snow blower.
The meeting schedule for 2011 will be the same, with committee meetings on the first Tuesday of the month and the regular meetings on the third Tuesday of the month, and a motion carried to retain Myron DeWitt as the boro’s solicitor for 2011.
The contract for fire protection for 2011 was approved at the same rate as 2010.
One item, a resolution setting police salaries based on time served was tabled for further discussion at the committee meeting. It was felt that the wording needed to be clarified as it could be interpreted to read that salary increases would be retroactive.
During public comment, the owner of a Main St. property asked if the food bank in the house next to his residence had been the subject of a variance hearing. He felt that it, and the offices on the second floor of the building, designated it as commercial and that a hearing should have been held. Mr. Scales said that council would check the zoning ordinances and with the boro’s solicitor for clarification.
Mary Weaver was sworn in as the boro’s new property maintenance (codes) officer.
A motion carried to have the trees on Main Street trimmed at a cost of $70 each, with funds to come out of the capital reserve fund. A separate estimate will be sought for the four trees at the Drinker Creek Park; they are somewhat older and bigger than the ones on Main Street, and will most likely be more expensive to have trimmed.
A motion carried to accept Dick Hennessey’s resignation from the Parks and Rec. Committee, with thanks for his many years of service and accomplishments.
Advertising for volunteers for the Parks and Rec. Committee and for applicants for police officer was discussed. Mr. Scales said that it had been decided at the committee meeting to purchase a full page ad in the local paper, but several council members thought that would be too expensive. It was agreed to purchase a smaller ad.
Following is the Susquehanna County sentencing report for December, 2010 as submitted by the county District Attorney’s office.
Andrew J. Artley, 21, of Hop Bottom, PA to 15 months probation to run concurrent to sentence currently being served out of Wyoming County, pay $250 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 Act 198 fee, pay $50 Criminal Justice Enhancement Act fee, pay $250 DNA testing fee and submit sample, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages, not to possess firearms, not to have contact with anyone on supervision, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, continue with mental health treatment for Delivery of a Controlled Substance in Lathrop Township on September 8, 2009.
Mark William Whittemore, 43, Brackney, PA to 9 months to 18 months serve 4 1/2 months in Susquehanna County Correctional Facility and upon good behavior 4 1/2 months served home confinement, pay $1,500.00 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $100 CAT surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay $300 Act 198, subject to Pennsylvania Ignition Interlock Program, not to possess, transport or consume alcoholic beverages, complete the alcohol safe driving school program for Driving Under the Influence in Silver Lake Township on April 3, 2010.
Dawn M. Williams, 39, of Kingsley, PA to 6 months probation, pay $300 fine, pay cost of prosecution, pay $50 CAT Surcharge, pay $10 EMS, pay $100 Act 198, receive a drug and alcohol evaluation, not to transport, consume or possess alcoholic beverages for Driving Under the Influence in Bridgewater Township on May 2, 2010.
Mark G. and Lori A. Shelp to Nicholas N. and Doreen Manley, in Liberty Township for $23,000.00.
Lisa M. Connaughton (NBM) Lisa M. Pressey and Timothy S. Pressey to Lisa M. and Timothy S. Pressey, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Genevieve W. Shields to Heather J. Kolmansberger, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Cynthia Higginbotham, Josue and Rebecca Stephens (NKA) Rebecca Orr to Cynthia Higginbotham and Rebecca Orr, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Carl R. and Kathleen A. Ernst to Meadow Pond Farm LLC, in Little Meadows Borough for one dollar.
Carl R. and Kathleen A. Ernst to Meadow Pond Gas Company LP, in Little Meadows Borough for one dollar.
Bertha M. Stone to LB Stone LLC, in Franklin and Silver Lake Townships for $17,020.00.
Eric and Laura Radman to Cynthia L. Fisher, in New Milford Township for $118,000.00.
Janis E. Captain (estate) to Pamela Weedo, Rhonda Schoonover and Timothy Captain, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Barbara B. Evans to Aaron P. Rockwell and Alyssa A. Dooley, in Harmony Township for $100,000.00.
Margaret D. Calby to Margaret D. Calby, in Montrose for one dollar.
Marcellus Partners LLC to David B. (revocable trust) and Lois J. (revocable trust) Dowler, in Thompson Borough and Thompson Township for $160,000.00.
Diane Weber, Donna Marie Wells and Deborah Davis to Francis J. Schell, in Clifford Township for $312,500.00.
Kurt Stiles to Thomas G. and Mary Lee Hood, in Herrick Township for $275,000.00.
Federal National Mortgage Association (by POA) to James Gana, in Great Bend Township for $32,500.00.
US Bank (trustee) to Robert W. and Helen Darnell, in Oakland Township for $86,000.00.
Genevieve W. Shields to Gary A. and Gail M. Shields, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Peoples National Bank to Lisa J. Schmidt, in New Milford Township for $28,000.00.
Morton F. Daller to Daller Energy LP, in Harmony Township for one dollar.
Raymond Lee Smith, III and Corrine Rosetta (AKA) Corrine R. Hawley to Corrine R. Hawley and Raymond Lee Smith, III Partnership, in Jessup Township for one dollar.
George J. and Catherine M. Donovan to John S., Antonia F., John A. and Erin B. Kintzer, in Herrick Township for $145,000.00.
Ramesh and Kumud Patel, Amarjit S., Darshan K., Pritam S. and Paramjit K. Grewal to Raceway Holdings LLC, in New Milford Township for 700,000.00.
Donald D. and Helene B. Shibley to Jason W. and Danielle M. Marvin, in New Milford Township for $5,300.00.
Mable W. Allen to William A. and Jacqueline Kingsbury, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Fiondi, Inc. to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Middletown Township for $10.00.
Thomas H. Sipe, Mary Spering and Judy Johnson to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
Mark and Ronald Powers to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Middletown Township for $10.00.
R. Christopher and Kristin Reilly to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
William F. and Laura C. Curley to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
Nancy Powers to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
Daniel J. and Alfred Jones to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
Edward L. Kelley, Jr. to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Middletown Township for one dollar.
Clifton and Rose Oakley to Clifton Oakley, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
John R., Sr. and Mildred A. Barr to JRB Property Management, Inc., in Lathrop Township for $450,000.00.
Arvin F., Roselyn, Milan J. and Cecilia M. Hibbard to Arvin F., Roselyn, Milan J. and Cecilia M. Hibbard, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Arvin F., Roselyn, Milan J. and Cecilia M. Hibbard to Arvin F., Roselyn, Milan J. and Cecilia M. Hibbard, in Dimock Township for one dollar.
Carlton R. and Nadene L. Hawley to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Donald J. and Pearl M. Potts to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Anita M. Cole and Carlo Schneller to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Potts Living Trust (by trustee) to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
D R Small to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Mark Andre to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
James B. Hawley to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
James G. and Jean Grassman to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest City for $10.00.
William W. and Vonda C. Nash to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for $10.00.
Michael W. and Debra A. Russell to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Edward L., Jr. and Diane D. Nowik to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for $10.00.
William D. and Maria Pileggi to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for $10.00.
Mary Alice and Leslie J. Hawley to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Joshua S. Capwell to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
George C. Capwell to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Mary Alice and Leslie J. Hawley to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.
Bruce J., Sherry L., Robert G., Jr. and David Bonnice to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Jessup Township for one dollar.
Dorothea G. Sniegos to Raymond S. (AKA) Ray S. Sniegos, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Lisa L. Crandall of Susquehanna vs. Donald F. Crandall of Carbondale, married 1986.
Robin Davis vs. Jehovah Davis, both of Forest City, married 1995.
Michele Moody of Susquehanna vs. Shawn Moody of Hallstead, married 1997.
Albert Salansky of Union Dale vs. Ann Marie Salansky of Eynon, married 1985.
Diane Quattrocchi vs. Vincent Quattrocchi, both of Montrose, married 1974.
Jeneane A. Fugel of Montrose vs. Gary J. Fugel of Kingsley, married 2003.
The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 4:15 p.m. on December 23, 2010.
Erika L. Back, Keith Bryant Beach, David Shawn Blaisure, Ryan T. Brooks, Daniel M. Brown, Douglas Buckman, Bryan S. Burnett, Howard A. Burns, III, John C. Creps, David Depue-Fitzpatrick, Jonathan Fathi, David J. Fischer, Thomas Fisher, Ryan M. God, Jeremy J. Grick, Andy L. Groff, David Haines, Jr., Keith G. Harms, William Neil Hendrickson, Shannon J. Hollister, Gerald C. Hundley, Jason R. James, Erik E. Krisovitch, Lee Labor, Casey J. Lawton, Joshua S. Lee, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Derrick Lezinsky, Jason Lindquist, Heather L. Martin, Mark C. McCarey, Jennifer M. Miller, Shane Nelson, Anthony E. Olszewski, Brian T. Phillips, Jeremy Presson, Theresa A. Pushinaitis, Arthur D. Quick, Tammy Raymond, Michael S. Rieman, David J. Shiner, Richard D. Shoemaker, Sinon C. Smith, Sr., Justin Thompson, Robert J. Twilley, Donald Welch, Todd M. West, Roderic R. Williams, Steven G. Wormuth, Edward K. Zajaczkowski, Karl D. Zantowsky, Donna Zeluff.
Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals
On November 2 at 3:15 p.m., officers were dispatched to Main Street for a two car motor vehicle accident without injuries. Ralph Althouse from Carbondale was traveling west on Main Street when he collided with James Barvainis of Vestal, NY while he was turning left into the parking lot of Clifford Auto. No charges filed.
On November 3 at 4:45 p.m., officers were dispatched to the area of SR0247 and Kennedy Park, Clifford Twp., for the report of goats in the roadway. Officers arrived on scene and removed the goats off the roadway, placing them back to their pen. Officers could not make contact with the owner, Melanie Staples of Clifford Twp. No charges filed at this time.
On November 6 at 3:50 p.m., officers were dispatched to the smoke shop on Main St., Clifford, for a man with a gun. While arriving on scene, officers noticed it was the store owner, David Carachilo of Carbondale, holding the shoplifter, Kurtis Tracy of Hop Bottom, at gun point for stealing three packs of zig-zag wrapping papers. Tracy was placed into police custody. Charges were filed.
On November 12 at 3:15 p.m., a mailbox was smashed and detached from its post belonging to Samuel Desist of Clifford Twp. Incident occurred overnight. Unfounded at this time.
On November 12 at 9:55 p.m., officers were dispatched to the area of SR0247 in Dundaff for a male intoxicated at a residence. Caller stated that he pushed her with his body and he was about to leave. While officers arrived in the area, they noticed a vehicle fleeing at a high rate of speed while not stopping at a stop sign. Vehicle was stopped near Airport Rd. The driver, Scott Halstead of Clifford Twp., was arrested of suspicion of DUI. Charges pending at this time.
On November 14 at 4:00 p.m., officers were dispatched to the Cathleen Clark residence located on SR0247, Clifford Twp., for the report of a cat shot in the face. Ms. Clark stated that she heard a gun shot from across the street then moments later her cat ran back to the house with facial wounds. Unfounded at this time.
On November 15 at 4:10 p.m., officers were dispatched to the area of T.R. Williams Rd., Clifford Twp., for a report of a deer lying in the roadway, possibly shot out of season. Upon arrival officers noticed a bullet wound through the deer’s neck made by a large caliber round. Game commission was notified.
HARASSMENT BY COMMUNICATION
On November 17 at 3:30 p.m., officers received a call from Ms. Kristy Dehart of Clifford Twp. stating that she was being harassed by William Smith over the phone. No charges filed at this time.
On November 20 at 7:38 p.m., while on routine patrol in the area of Dundaff, officers noticed a vehicle traveling in and out the opposite lane of travel heading towards a marked patrol car. The driver, Teresa Watson of Greenfield Twp., was stopped and arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Charges pending at this time.
On November 27 at 7:00 p.m., officers received a call for a two-car motor vehicle accident located at the intersection of SR2029 and Cottrell Lake Rd., Clifford Twp. Jessica Lee, of Thompson PA, was traveling east on SR 2029 in the wrong lane of travel when she collided with Paul Schott, also of Thompson, who was traveling west. No injuries were sustained. Charges were filed on Ms. Lee.
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