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Susquehanna Boro’s new secretary/treasurer, Ann Kemmerer was officially welcomed by council at their August 9 meeting, with all in attendance except Pat Frederick. Also present were Mayor Hurley, two residents and two reporters.
Mr. Matis began the meeting with a statement, to address what he characterized as “attacks” on council members and boro employees. While council encourages residents’ participation, council meetings should not be used for those wishing to follow a personal agenda, he said. If a resident has a complaint, there is an official complaint form available from the secretary. “Complaints will be looked into,” he said, and encourages residents to attend committee meetings to discuss their concerns rather than during public comment time at council meetings.
Mr. Matis read a second statement, addressing a headline in the August 3 edition of the County Transcript, “Susky Police Are ‘Broke’.” He felt that the headline was misleading as only one line item in the police department budget has been used up; the budget has $25,000 for the rest of the year, which is on schedule with what has been budgeted.
Mrs. Kemmerer has been familiarizing herself with the duties and procedures of her position. Resolutions were completed to change the boro’s bank accounts to reflect the change in treasurer. Mrs. Kemmerer extended thanks for prior secretary Judy Collins for taking time out of her personal schedule to help her.
During her report, Mayor Hurley expanded on Mr. Matis’ comments about the County Transcript’s August 3 headline, and read a two-page statement which summarized what had been discussed at the July 26 meeting. It went on to say that, since she became mayor in 2003 the department has never gone over budget. “We still have police protection and business will go on as usual.” She said that she knows firsthand what the police department does on an everyday basis; their statistics show that they are the best police department this boro has ever had, and has a great rapport with the community. “I can assure the public, they are well protected. It is a disgrace that a local newspaper would print such a misleading headline. The press has a moral obligation to report the facts and not distort them. Most newspapers investigate corruption in a government, whether local or national, and inform the public of their findings. In this case, the corruption is from without. The public will come to their own conclusion.”
She said that since the headline appeared, she had been contacted by residents who are convinced the boro no longer has a police department; fear and confusion have been the results of the report. “Why would a local newspaper want the public to believe this? What kind of message is this sending to drug dealers and other corrupt individuals? I would like to ask the Transcript to define the word ‘broke,’ and how did you get the facts to support this statement?”
Mayor Hurley went on to report that the door of the police department’s Cherokee has been temporarily fixed, but it does have rust. Three night shifts have been completed in response to residents’ concerns. Speed traps were initiated on Franklin Ave.; the fastest vehicle was found to be going at 33 mph. And, on the evening of July 12, the night before the meeting when residents had complained about speeding vehicles, there had been an officer at that location.
During public comment, this reporter stated that she does not have any influence or control over what is done with reports once they have been turned in (such as writing headlines, editing, or determining placement).
Former council president Ron Whitehead commended this reporter for her accuracy and lack of bias. Mr. Matis responded that the report in question was accurate; council’s problem was with the headline.
In other business, council carried a motion to advertise for fuel bids.
A resolution was approved to change the signatures on the boro’s bank accounts.
Mr. Matis said that with contracting police services with Great Bend Boro back “on the table,” an informational meeting has been scheduled for September 12, 7:00 p.m. Residents are encouraged to attend. Mayor Hurley said that there will be a guest speaker from another boro that contracts out for services, and the boro’s police officers will also be present.
Council member/CEO Shane Lewis gave his monthly reports for Susquehanna and Oakland Boros. Mr. Bronchella asked about the status of the Troup building on Main St.; Mr. Lewis said that it is in litigation.
Correspondence included a letter from the SCDA, which is planning to host a Pumpkin Fest on October 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They asked permission to use the boro building for the occasion, and to allow display of scarecrows made by elementary students along Main Street; council approved. The letter also asked if council would again host a haunted house during the festival, as last year’s had been a great success.
Also read was a letter from the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau; the Route 92 corridor has been designated as a scenic byway, which will be included in the bureau’s annual visitors guide.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, August 23, 7:00 p.m. in the boro building.
The August 11 meeting of the Oakland Boro Council began a bit informally; council members Dave Dibble, Ron Beavan, Randy Glover, Doug Arthur, Chad Crawford and Jack Agler, mayor Wendy Dudley, secretary Flo Brush and a number of residents, some not usually seen at meetings shared their reminiscences of longtime mayor and council member Art Towner, who had recently passed away. Over the years, Mr. Towner did a lot of work for the boro, at no charge, on his own time. He leveled the ground at the park, and helped with other work there. He kept the snow plow going for many years. He kept the boro building going, with special attention to what was referred to as “his baby,” the boiler; he made frequent trips to the building, especially in winter, to see that it was working properly. He was said to be a quiet man, one who did a lot that no one knew about; he was not one to sing his own praises. Some time ago, he joked with council that after his passing, he did not want anything named after him; council responded with some good natured ribbing, that they would find a sewage treatment plant or an outhouse or something of that nature to name after him. During his lifetime, he helped many people, always cared enough to ask how things were going, and gave his support to those he thought would have the boro’s best interests at heart. As one person commented, “It was a pleasure knowing him. His years of dedication to this boro will not be forgotten.” Council will welcome suggestions from residents on how best to honor Mr. Towner.
Mr. Beavan gave a summary of a special meeting that had been held on July 23, to address the prohibitive costs of heating the boro building in light of recent extraordinary increases in the cost of heating oil. The building’s two tenants were invited to attend; one only uses storage space in the building, and does not require heat. The other, the Windwood Hill Dance Academy agreed to a rent increase. But, although $5,000 worth of fuel has been prepaid, it is estimated that it will cost in the neighborhood of $10,000 for the coming winter. Some cost-cutting measures were discussed, such as insulating the windows, moving the thermostat so that the dance academy can turn the heat down when it is not needed, shutting off unused rooms, putting in a small electric water heater, and finding an alternate location to hold council meetings if the building does end up being shut down. Mr. Glover, Mr. Arthur, and Mrs. Dudley planned to attend the next meeting at the Canawacta Rod and Gun Club, to discuss possibly using their facilities to hold meetings if it becomes necessary.
Copies of the 2004 audit were made available for review; it appears in the legal section of this issue of the County Transcript.
Mr. Arthur and Mr. Glover gave a detailed report of codes activities, including those properties that have seen some progress, those that an eye will be kept on, two that have pending sales, and one where the owner has died since the last meeting.
Police Chief Bob VanFleet will be asked to look into a complaint about cars illegally parked on a State St. property without the owner’s permission.
The Park and Rec. Committee is in the process of putting in sidewalks at the park; the frames had been set, with pouring of concrete scheduled for this week. Railings will be put in at the bleachers once that has been completed. Council approved transfer of $425 from the general fund into the parks account, roughly half of what had been budgeted for the year.
The scrap metal pickup was so successful that yet another dumpster would be needed as soon as the full one in the parking lot was removed. Mr. Arthur said that most of the freon had been removed from refrigerators and air conditioners that still needed to be removed; it was expected that would be done shortly. He also reported that residents were still dropping items off.
Three bids were received for paving of Brush and Prospect Streets, and one was accepted; work is expected to be started in September.
Thank you cards were passed around for all to sign, for former resident Marilyn Hand and Bobbi Jo Turner (Susquehanna County Housing and Redevelopment Authority); both had put a lot of time and effort into getting grant funding for drainage work on State Street. What had begun as a $10,000 project had increased in scope and grew to over $50,000, thanks to their hard work.
Surveys that council distributed last month have been coming in. Preliminary (majority) results are as follows. Residents prefer banning burning altogether; enacting a curfew for the entire boro for those age 17 and under; forming a Crimewatch; converting the boro building into senior apartments or selling it for same; maintaining the police department as it is, with a part-time officer(s); not maintaining a boro website; no increase in taxes; and holding town meetings. Suggestions for improvements to the boro have not yet been tabulated. Mr. Beavan commented that the results of the survey will not dictate council’s decisions, but council will try to make the best choices that could be made with residents’ opinions in mind. The final results will be made available for review by residents once all the surveys have been tallied.
During public comment, a resident asked Mayor Dudley why police made more traffic stops in Susquehanna and Lanesboro than in Oakland. Mrs. Dudley replied that Officer VanFleet has been out, and read his July report which cited nine traffic violations, and six other incidents he responded to. She said that he frequently patrols, and does respond when he is called. And, she noted that Oakland’s side streets probably have a lot less traffic than either Susquehanna or Lanesboro. The resident said that he had asked Mr. VanFleet to patrol the intersection near his home, but that it had not been done. Mrs. Dudley said that she would speak with Mr. VanFleet.
Another resident asked council to look into a parking problem on Brush Street. The road is too narrow, and when cars are parked on or partially on the road, it makes it difficult for oncoming vehicles to pass and hampers some drivers trying to pull out of their driveways. Mr. Beavan said that Mr. VanFleet had spoken to the owner of the vehicles in question, had been patrolling that particular area, and would continue to do so.
Another resident complained about four-wheelers being ridden in the boro park, especially at times when there were a lot of children using it. Mrs. Dudley said that there has always been a problem with people making complaints, but reluctant to have their names mentioned. People need to take a stand, she said, and be willing to come forward and support the police when a complaint is made. Mr. Beavan agreed, that those making the complaint need to be willing to follow through, even if it means appearing at a court hearing.
Continuing discussion about police, council discussed what the boro will be doing about police services; Mr. VanFleet intends to retire by the end of the year. Some options discussed were sponsoring training for a qualified candidate, contracting out with neighboring Susquehanna for services, or trying to find part-time officers. Mrs. Dudley said that before contracting with Susquehanna was considered, the boro should have an appropriate contract in mind, which would include the hours of coverage the boro would like to have, how much Oakland would be willing to pay, as well as other considerations. Some questions were, wouldn’t it be too expensive to contract out? And, would contracting out be affordable if Oakland no longer had to pay for liability insurance, which is a major portion of the boro’s police budget? After discussion, it was agreed that a fact-finding committee would look into costs and probability of all of these options. The committee will be comprised of Mrs. Dudley, Mr. Arthur, and Mr. Beavan. In the meantime, an advertisement will be posted, asking for letters of interest from qualified officers willing to work part-time.
The boro’s backhoe was said to be in “sad shape.” Council will find out if it is worth repairing.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, September 8, 7 p.m. in the boro building.
Commissioner Jeff Loomis chaired last week’s meeting of the Board of County Commissioners, filling in for vacationing Roberta Kelly and delaying a clash between the two Republican commissioners that has been brewing for a couple of years. But Minority Commissioner Mary Ann Warren gave Mr. Loomis all that he could handle after he threw her a curve and made a surprise motion that was not on the meeting agenda.
At the end of the regular meeting agenda, Mr. Loomis said he had another motion that was not on the agenda. He then moved for the county to give $1,500 to the Harford Agricultural Society, a gesture that had been done by the county in previous years but was not appropriated this year because of budget constraints. The Society is an adjunct of the Harford Fair which did receive its annual county allotment of $5,000.
Mrs. Warren seconded the motion to bring the subject to the floor for discussion. She then said she has been doing some research relative to county funds being donated. She said the $5,000 given to the fair was legitimate but she found nothing that said the county could give $1,500 to an agricultural society even though the practice has been going on for years.
Mrs. Warren then took exception to Mr. Loomis’s actions.
“I think,” she said, “that Mr. Loomis did this to try to trap me into something that would make me look bad and himself look good.”
“I am not doing this to make you look bad,” Mr. Loomis snapped back, “and I resent your implication.” He went on to explain that the Juvenile Probation Department had received almost $90,000 from the state and that the money was added to the county’s general fund. He said the $1,500 could be taken from the general fund.
Mrs. Warren echoed the sentiments of Mrs. Kelly who said at the last meeting that she had a problem with raising taxes to finance the county’s needs and then giving money to outside agencies. However, she praised the charitable work being done by volunteers and earlier in the meeting voted with Mr. Loomis to give $5,000 to Friends of Salt Springs Park to be used in conjunction with a Pennsylvania Conservation Corps Grant that provides summertime help at the park.
Mrs. Kelly was adamant in her refusal to support the Salt Springs Park project. On a number of occasions she pointed out that the commissioners were in unanimous agreement in January to adopt a required resolution for the workers program but Friends of Salt Springs Park would raise the needed $5,000 matching funds. The resolution adopted last week by a rare Loomis/Warren coalition amended the January resolution by allowing the county to come up with the $5,000 rather than Friends of Salt Spring Park.
Sheriff Lance Benedict also brought some good news to last week’s commissioners’ meeting. He announced that the county had received $45,000 from the federal Department of Homeland Security to improve security measures in the courthouse and the county office building, both located in Montrose. (Read more on this in the Along the Way column that can be found in today’s pages of The County Transcript.)
Other motions approved by the commissioners completed the following actions:
– Authorized C&D Waterproofing to remove three stone tablets from the Civil War Monument in Montrose and make repair of them in their facility. The company received the contract to restore the monument and will now make good on its warranty in the wake of a number of complaints about the restoration.
– Adopted a motion to increase the number of members on the Susquehanna County Conservation board from seven to nine members.
– Hired Becky L. Wall to the open fulltime position of Occupation Clerk in the Assessment Office. The Salary Board agreed to pay her $8.32 an hour in accordance with the union contract.
– Hired Samantha O’Dell to the fulltime position of 911 dispatcher with a starting hourly rate of $8.50.
– Hired Sharon Stockholm to the temporary part time position of processing anterless deer permits at $5.35 an hour.
– Hired Lisa Moore as a part-time correction officer at the county jail at a starting rate of $11.34 an hour.
The Clifford Township Supervisors cruised through a regular monthly meeting last Tuesday night, completing a light agenda in less than 30 minutes.
Chairman John Regan did announce that two tenants are preparing to occupy space in the township building that once served as the Clifford Elementary School. He said a real estate firm and a day care center is fixing up rooms they will occupy, He said the rent paid by the tenants will help the township with is monthly payment of $988 for the new township garage.
The township also learned that work is proceeding on the playground behind the municipal building. A committee member told the supervisors that the playground, which already boasts of an excellent ballfield, will also include a basketball court.
And the supervisors were also advised that committees are working on the township’s bicentennial celebration. The township will be 200 years old in 2006.
Looking at housing, the supervisors were advised that a Long Island developer plans to purchase 8 or 9 lots and construct prestigious homes on them.
The Police Department had a busy July. According to the monthly report, 22 citations were issued including six for speeding. Nine incidents were investigated including illegal fire works, underage drinking, and public drunkenness, all at the same event.
Clifford Police urge township residents to call 9-1-1 immediately for assistance and especially during any accidents, fires or improper incidents.
Dianne R. Baker (estate) to Ivan F. Baker and Delores M. Baker, in Lathrop Township for $46,300.
Konstantinos Konstas, Sophie Konstas to Eric Wilson, Susan Wilson, in Montrose for $82,150.
Joseph R. MacConnell, Roberta J. Houlihan to Shirley D. Sheridan, in New Milford Borough for $58,500.
David G. Talabiska, Lesha L. Talabiska to Dennis Latwinski Jr., in Lenox Township for $49,362.
Dennis Latwinski Jr. to David G. Talabiska, Lesha L. Talabiska, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
David G. Talabiska, Lesha L. Talabiska to David G. Talabiska, Lesha L. Talabiska, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Suzanne Floyd, David Floyd to Brenda L. Welch, Victor M. Reyes, in Auburn Township for $78,800.
James L. DeCoe, Rudolph J. Sumpter to Donald S. Knotts, Gerald Gray, in Gibson Township for $350,000.
Dale Howell Enterprises Inc. to Brian L. Penny, Ruby J. Penny, in Hop Bottom Borough for $30,000.
Rebecca Lewis (fka) Rebecca Aliano, Brian Lewis to Jason Henke, Christine L. Henke, in Jackson Township for $65,000.
Vickie A. Reganata to Gerald Cromer, in Franklin Township for $130,000.
John Gercie Jr., Sandra Gercie to Ross M. Gercie, John R. Gercie, Rayshele Berezny, in Springville Township for one dollar.
Jeffrey V. Bagley, Elizabeth Ann Bagley to Guy L. Parrish, Karen L. Parrish, in Bridgewater Township for $197,608.
Hector J. Lopez, Esther Lopez to Jeffrey Gargiulo, Laura Gargiulo, in Choconut Township for $155,000.
William Puerile to Shirley Jane Horst, Barbara M. Horst, Timothy F. Sills, in Jackson Township for one dollar.
George H. Stover Jr., Judy Y. Stover to Donald R. Anesi, Linda J. Anesi, in Great Bend Township for $19,000.
Donald R. Anesi, Linda J. Anesi to Donald R. Anesi, Linda J. Anesi, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.
Alex Ostapchuk to Alex Ostapchuk, Alan J. Ostapchuk, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.
Michael Briechle, Michelle L. Pavelski to Michaelk Briechle, Michelle L. Pavelski, in Lenox Township for one dollar.
Robert L. Warner (estate) to Stanwood J. Snowman, Stephen D. Marshall, in Great Bend Township for $14,500.
Joan Thiede (trust by trustee), Thomas Thiede (trust by trusteee) to Jason Thiede, Thomas A. Thiede, in Clifford Township for one dollar.
Barbara A. Fisher to Stacey Fisher, Jason Fisher, Jordan Fisher, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Raymond F. Minni, Marceline C. Minni to Steven C. Pert, Debra B. Pert, in Forest Lake Township for $12,000.
Marcia O’Reilly to Kenneth R. Bush, in Forest Lake Township for $125,000.
Thomas R. Trusky to Thomas R. Trusky, Robert Trusky, Deborah Trusky, Christopher Trusky, Donna Trusky, Maria Koslosky, in Forest City for one dollar.
Burt J. Whittemore, Donna M. Whittemore to Victor L. Howell, Maureen J. Howell, in New Milford Township for $5,000.
Charlene A. Ayres (trust by trustee), Charlene A. Ayres (trust by trustee) to Charlene A. Ayers (trust aka) Charlene A. Ayres (trust), in Bridgewater Township for one dollar. (corrective deed)
Raymond E. Deleporte (estate aka) Raymond Deleporte (estate) to Willard G. Conroe, in Lathrop Township for $40,000.
Alice Szymczak to Joseph Szymczak, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
Thomas C. Hermida to George R. Gunn Jr. and Ruth W. Gunn, in Herrick Township for $330,000.
Charles T. Cleveland to Alec W. Mazikewich, in Oakland Township for $125,000.
Wachovia Bank to Paul H. Ehrenberg, in Hallstead Borough for $37,500.
River Bounty Inc. to Susquehanna Borough, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Vincent R. Branning Jr., Cynthia M. Branning to Vincent R. Branning Jr., Cynthia M. Branning, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Lillian M. Branning (estate), Lillian M. Branning (trust by trustee), David S. Branning to Vincent R. Branning Jr., Cynthia M. Branning, in Susquehanna for one dollar.
Viva May Hubal (estate), Joel A. Hubal Sr., Pamela M. Hubal, Joel A. Hubal Jr., Deanna C. Hubal to Jeffrey C. Conklin, Jamie L. Conklin, in Thompson Township for $72,800.
Anthony S. Lane to Chester G. Klabbatz, in Thompson Township for $45,500.
Irwin H. Cook, Jessie M. Cook to Richard L. Cook, Susan Cook, Audrey Cook, Daniel W. Cook, Mary Catherine Cook, Gerald R. Cook, in New Milford Township for one dollar.
Thomas A. Marshall (by sheriff), Michelle Marshall (by sheriff aka) Michelle M. Marshall to EMC Mortgage Corporation, in Auburn Township for $2,291.50.
Melbourne Harwood Jr. (aka) M. Kimbel J. Harwood, Kathleen Harwood (aka) Kathleen L. Harwood to Melbourne Hawrood Jr., Kathleen Haarwood, in Bridgewater Township for one dollar.
James Robert Boorujy, Burke, VA and Allison Sue Lont, Monmouth Jct., NJ.
Mark Victor Birtch, Great Bend and Emilia M. Gemmer, Great Bend.
Justin J. Bishop, Springville and Hillary Jane Saunders, Tunkhannock.
Mark S. Snedeker and Olga Giberson, both of Johnson City, NY.
David John Lambiase of Binghamton, NY and Judith Dryden Sharp, Johnson City, NY.
Bryan Anthony Glasgow and Melissa Ann Gillespie, both of Hallstead.
Nick Alan Andrejack and Jennifer Ann Cobb, both of Montrose.
Joseph D. King, Monroe Township and Kathleen Marie Gaynor, Jackson.
Joshua L. Atherton, Harford and Christine A. Kilmer, Nicholson.
Andrew Nathail Bray and Crystal Ann Casterline, both of Susquehanna.
Jeffery Alan Gumm, New Milford and Jennifer L. Tompkins, Hallstead.
Frank Keris Jr. and Candy Marie Hitchcock, both of Meshoppen.
Chad Michael Welch and April Marie Wayman, both of New Milford.
William Thomas Bennett and Jennifer Lynn Spear, both of Lawton.
Carol H. Hawthorne, Laceyville vs. Michael R. Hawthorne, Friendsville.
Edward Wilmot, Thompson vs. Teresa L. Wilmot, Susquehanna.
Sean D. Shea, Nicholson vs. Trudi L. Shea, no address available.
Kenneth A. Ross and Marcelan M. Ross, both of Brackney.
In our issue of July 27, 2005 we incorrectly identified Barbara Wheeler as a teacher. Mrs. Wheeler was a long-time employee of Blue Ridge, and retired as the principal's secretary.
We apologize for the error.
The Forest City Regionl School District Board of Education beefed up the district’s teaching staff, appointed a substitute teachers list, and approved extracurricular appointments at its final meeting before the start of the 2005-2006 school year.
The board also accepted a couple of administrative resignations, replaced the high school varsity coach, and approved the wording in a contract for the transportation of school students to and from school but offered no information on costs.
In a suprise move, Katelyn Hilborn resigned as school psychologist effective June 28 which was right about the time that she was appointed. School Superintendent Robert Vadala said Ms. Hilborn never accepted the job. The board also accepted the resignation of Melissa Rose as assistant principal effective July 15.
Thomas Regan of Greentown was named school psychologist at a salary of $49,360. The district is still searching for a replacement for Ms. Rose.
There was one surprise in the extracurricular appointments. Jack Pisarcik, who had been serving as an assistant varsity basketball coach was named head coach replacing Jack Majdic.
Other extracurricular appointments are as follows:
Athletic Director, Brian Durkin; Varsity Baseball, Brian McCormack; Junior Varsity Baseball, Open; Varsity Girls Basketball, Carl Urbas; Junior Varsity Girls Basketball, Michael Heck; Boys Basketball, Jack Picarcik; Junior Varsity Boys 8 Basketball, Jason pantzar; 9th grade Boys Basketball, Elliott Lorne; 8th grade Boys Basketball, Robert Lowry; 7th grade Boys Basketball, Drew Sparks; 5th and 6th grades Boys Basketballl, Harold McGovern; 8th grade Girls Basketball, Pamela Kresock; 7th grade Girls Basketball, Dave Liuzzo; 5th and 6th grade Girls Basketball, Danielle Kresock.
Also, Grades 9-12 cheerleading, Stephanie Myers (volunteer); Cross Country, Gene Corey, Junior Varsity Cross Country, Orson A. Corey (assistant); Golf, Michael Heck; Intramural, Girls Basketball, grades 9-12, Brian Durkin; Boys Basketball grades 9-12, Jason Pantzar; Volleyball, Girls/Boys, Svecz Kelly; Softball, Varsity Girls, Stephen Fonash; Junior Varsity Girls, Bernadette Twilley; Soccer, Varsity Boys, Stephen Fonash; volunteer coaches, Jack Pisarcik, Bob Richards, Stan Vitzakovitch; Junior Varsity Boys, Jason Pantzar; Junior High, Kenneth Goben; Varsity Girls, Elliott Lorne; Junior Varsity Girls, Open; Volleyball, Varsity Boys, Jeremy Snyder; Junior Varsity Boys, Kelly Svecz; Varsity Girls, Charlene Collins.
Also, Speciality: Band Director, John Olcese; Chorus Music Director, Mary Ferraro; Drama Club Director, Linda Corey w/ J. Klimkiewicz; John Klimkiewicz with L. Corey; Environthon, Bernadette Twilley; FBLA, Linda Mendelson; Junior Academy of Science, Mary Jane Hoffman, with A. Nebzydoski; Audrey Nebzydoski with M. Hoffman; Junior Academy of Science, Mary Jane Hoffman with A. Nebzydoski; Audrey Nebzydoski with .M. Hoffmann; Junior Prom, Ann Stefanov with T. Erdmann, Terri Erdmann with Ann Stefanov;
And, Math Counts, Janet Adama; National Honor Society, Open; SAAD Advisor, Sandra Morahan; School Newspaper, Terri Erdmann; Senior Class Advisors, Patricia Galvin with C. Wade; Christopher Wade with Patricia Galvin; Ski Club, David Costanzo; Student Council, Daniel Nebzydoski, Cynthia Washine; Ticket Collectors, Mary Alice Remus, Linda Fitzsimmons; Timekeeper, open; Washington Trip Chaperones, Cynthia Washine, Daniel Nebzydoski; Yearbook, Theresa Nebyzoski.
Other motions approved by the board completed the following transactions:
Set the daily substitute teachers‚ rate at $75 a day, the same as it was in the 2004-2005 school year. If the substitute holds an Instructional I or Instructional II certificate and is subbing for the same instructor for 10 consecutive days, beginning with the eleventh day, the rate will be $100 per day.
Approved a change order that will install fire rated tile in the pre-kindergarten classooms and additional elementary classroom and install a drywall partition for aa duct chase at the existong classroom at a cost of $3,374.
Approved another change order to provide piping and taps to existing heating and ventilation system and for the installation of fire dampers and accessories to provide additional relief air from existing classrooms at a cost of $3,178.
Award the bid for the drivers’ education vehicle to Alan Hornbeck at a cost of $187.50 a month.
Appoint Kristin Blancao to a long-term substitute position in Title 1 Reading for the first semester of the 2006-2006 school term; and, apppoint Sarah Neuls to a special education teaching position with the initial assignment in the partial hospitalization program.
Appoint Lisa Harris as Spanich teacher for the 2005-2006 school year.
Appoint mentors for the following new teachers: Kristin Blancato (James Bolcavage); Julie Bouse (Shelby Lalli); Tara Dippel, open; Sara Neuls, Mary Kluck.
Appoint Patricia Gardus as secretary in the high school office at a starting rate of $9.32 an hour.
Approved the high school student/parent handbook; the revised elementary school student/parent handbook; the athletic handbook for the 2006-2006 school year; and the coach’s handbook for the 2005,2006 school year.
In their reports, Secondary Principal Anthony Rusnak and Elementary Principal Ken Swartz reported anticipated student populations for 454 and 464 respectively.
Montrose, PA – Charles Perkins, Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Susquehanna County announced that the deadline to sign up for FSAs Crop Disaster Program is September 9, 2005 for the 2003 and 2004 crop years. Signup for the 2005 year is close of business December 16, 2005. Producers who suffered crop loss from damaging weather in 2003, 2004 and certain 2005 crop losses are eligible for assistance.
"We are pleased to be able to provide these benefits to producers as quickly as possible," said Perkins. "Drought, floods and hurricanes are unpredictable weather events that put farmers and ranchers at risk in producing a dependable and affordable national food supply."
For further information, contact the Susquehanna FSA office at RR7 Box 7113, Montrose, PA 18801,(570) 278-1197 ext. 2.
The Mountain View School Board convened Monday, August 8 at 8:00 p.m. with prayer and pledge of allegiance. The board approved the appropriation of unbudgeted Federal revenue ($56,435.00) and State revenue ($62,050.00).Entrances and stairs at the gym and kitchen of the high school are scheduled for repairs.
Special education expenses totaling $37,487.50 were approved for two students.
Three substitutes were approved pending receipt of all documentation. The substitutes are: Terry Madas (Harford), John Michaels (Harford) and Dennis Holbrook (Montrose). Joan Peters was appointed as a part-time Latin teacher at $22.00/hour for two periods a day as needed. The resignation of Melissa Wasko was accepted in her role as Gifted Facilitator then appointed as a temporary professional employee in the position of Jr./Sr. High School Title 1 Reading Specialist with a salary of $39,182.00.
Handbooks were approved for the Jr./Sr. High School and Coaches. A discussion occurred debating the benefits of sports practice on Sunday and holidays. The Board determined that it should be a rare event. Sundays and holidays have historically and culturally been held to be for family time and the Board wants that to remain noting that children need to participate in the ethnic culture of their family and not just school events.
August 18th the high school will hold an orientation to help students and parents get acclimated to the daily business and expectations of attendance at that level. Lockers will be assigned. Schedules will be handed out. Picture IDs will be taken. Staff will be available to answer any and all questions of parents and students so that when school begins the students can hit the ground running.
During public discussion Jim Matis, Harford questioned why one of the five teaching positions in sixth grade was cut. Matis said that will increase the class size and may negatively impact the quality of teaching. Superintendent Mr. Arthur Chambers reassured the public that it is a needed budget cut and that the enrollment has decreased. Class size in grades 7, 8 and 9 average 23-25 students. There also is no state mandate to class size according to Chambers.
During a brief presentation Constance Schulte outlined the gift her and her husband, David Schulte Jr. will donate to the school in memory of their daughter, Lornah. Lornah died as a result of a car accident last December. The Schultes are supplying the funds to create a garden sanctuary on the school campus. It will include a small pond, flowers, native plants and a seating area. The court yard will provide a quiet spot for people to reflect on life and find reprieve as they go about their business of teaching and learning. The beautification effort will be done through the cooperation of students and staff.
New Milford Township supervisors were all present at the monthly meeting held Wednesday, August 9. They faced an ever enlarging crowd demanding to know what is really going on in their township. FOX 40 news was also available and interviewing angry patrons who were forced to cut short their stay at East Lake Campground and to vacate their camp due to yet another court order quickly obtained earlier this week. The Youngs were unable to get their legal representatives to motion court on such short notice and the judge did not continue the hearing despite the lack of evidence according to the information outlined at the meeting. The owners of the camp, Scott and Ginny Young did have their attorney, Charlie Wage, with them at the township meeting. Wage specializes in environmental law and permitting and is involved in local conservation efforts. The supervisors also had the township solicitor present which is Michael Briechle from the Michael Giangrieco law firm. The tension was high. The camps were firmly established.
No agenda was afforded the public and no minutes were provided by supervisors.
After a reading of the minutes Chair Buzz Gulick addressed the crowd and informed them that before the meeting is opened to the audience there will be a speaker. Gulick introduced Mr. Robert Templeton, County Planning Director from the Susquehanna County Department of Planning and Development. Templeton explained that for approximately six months his office has tried to facilitate joint planning with Harford, New Milford and Great Bend townships and boroughs. With the creation of a joint comprehensive plan municipalities poise themselves to qualify for grants to improve their communities and attract business. This effort, according to Templeton and the other representatives present from the state DCED (Dept. of Community and Economic Development), will control growth and avoid unnecessary taxes. Ed Le Clear (DCED Harrisburg) and Cindy Campbell, (DCED Scranton) gave examples of what happened to communities that failed to plan. Infrastructure can be utilized efficiently and maximized to serve the current population if planning is done by combining the efforts of several groups. It was stressed that the people are in charge of whether or not to plan. Several people in attendance were quite outspoken about not wanting outsiders such as them to come here and “push your rules down our throats!” Negative personal affronts were directed to the guest speakers and Gulick issued a reprimand.
Templeton reminded the crowd that the planning office is a resource for communities to use to address issues such as sewage, roads, commercial and residential development. The DCED will assist in locating and obtaining money to fund projects that the people want. Eighteen of the forty municipalities in the county are involved in multi-municipal planning.
After the presentation the issue of the closing of the campground was addressed.
Attorney Briechle, township solicitor, stated what occurred this week in court. He explained that testing was being done and the camp will remain closed until the results are in. According to Young SEO Fortuner refused to do testing previously despite invitation. Briechle alleged digging occurred at the camp in violation of the court order. Wage, having personally been to the camp, retaliated by explaining precisely what earth was moved and why. In preparation for the inspection by the SEO test holes were dug and the septic cover was unearthed. Wage explained that a 6-8” galvanized pipe approximately 100 feet long was discovered. The pipe according to Wage is a rainwater collection pipe that begins under the eaves of the roof of the recreation hall, travels underground and discharges onto the township road. The pipe does not contact the sewage system and is not creating an environmental hazard according to Wage. Young questioned the supervisors as to whether they have the authority to regulate rainwater. Gulick stated repeatedly they are trying to enforce the sewage code as advised by the Harrisburg office of Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). Wage reported that had he known that erroneous information was used to obtain the court order he would have objected and indicated he will.
The public continued to comment in no organized fashion with some anger and frustration being directed at the supervisors for not informing them of the alleged health hazard. Again the public wanted to know if there is a hazard then why did no one from the township or state notify the neighbors. If there is no hazard then open the camp tonight and stop wasting our hard earned tax dollars was reiterated. One man directed a comment to Gulick demanding to know “which friend of yours wants to own the campground?” Cheers were heard.
Phil Davidson of Dimock, a camper with a wife and two children, and employed locally noted that the supervisors “ seem a bit hostile…amazingly hostile.” He further stated that he thought the supervisors would have done everything in their power possible to assist the Youngs and keep a business open in the county. Gulick reminded Davidson he has not been to the hearings and seen the evidence. After much more discourse Gulick stated he wants the Youngs open for business and that the supervisors are stuck “between a rock and a hard place.” Gulick explained they were advised to enforce the regulations and shut the camp by the Harrisburg office.
The increasing legal bill will be paid by the tax payers, however, some might get reimbursed by DEP. Later in the meeting the supervisors voted to get paid for their court attendance. Young asked if he too could get paid to attend the hearings. A resident questioned whether that fits the budget.
In other matters the Callwell subdivision will not be finalized without the SEO’s approval of the sewage. The Highland road was repaired where it is washed out. ATVs have been tearing up the road. Supervisors will not approve any road for general ATV travel as requested by a resident.
Gulick presented a request for people and businesses to get involved with the Watershed Project to repair creeks and banks. He offered that $6.25 million will be made available and distributed as needed in the form of grants and loans for any one who gets involved. A meeting for that project will be held the evening of August 29th in the Great Bend Borough building.
The crowds thinned. The bills were paid and the meeting adjourned about 9:30 p.m. Next month’s meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 14, as scheduled.
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