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Borough Council Minutes
May 14, 2001        6:30 PM
Attendance: Mayor John Backman

Council Members :
       Council President, James Bogaczyk
       Council Vice-President, Jerome Ogden
       Tonya McNamara
       James Holleman
       Cheryl Bubacz
       Raymond Kaminski
       Brian Laverty

Borough Manager, George Lloyd
Police Chief, Ronald Steffen
Borough Secretary, Sally Ward
NPHS Council Representative, Amber Jackson

Minutes of the April 9, 2001 meeting were read and approved as corrected.
The Treasurer's report was read and approved, subject to audit.

A motion was made, seconded and passed to pay bills as presented.

Guests : Mr. & Mrs. John Deming of North Williamson Road, Blossburg, re: to express concerns involving the dump which has been proposed off East Creek Road at the north end of the town.

Mrs. Deming commented that in other towns she has seen signs which are posted stating "no trucks except local delivery". This might be one step which could be taken by the Borough of Blossburg. The condition and size of the present small bridge on East Creek Road was discussed. John Deming mentioned the sharp curve. Concern was expressed about vehicles of garbage truck size meeting other vehicles on East Creek Road, school buses, general traveling public.

Questions road safety study: A study would be required to determine the fitness of the road as to the amount of weight it (East Creek) can withstand. Mrs. Deming asked if anyone knew what it would cost. Hamilton Township has had a study done to be used in their ordinance. Perhaps they could give Council some information on the cost for that study. This has to be done for bonding purposes as explained by the PADOT representative Gary Hopple when he brought papers for the borough.

Study cost: John Deming stated it might be that it will cost more to the borough, if a study is not done.

Bridge inspections are required on certain size bridges, not East Creek bridge.

Bridge: J. Bogaczyk outlined the information on the bridge and road study which Mr. Hopple had discussed with J. Bogaczyk, G. Lloyd, and Ward. If they were to plan an approach through Covington Township, this would have nothing to do with the Blossburg Borough.

Trucks inspection: J. Deming asked if the police could inspect trucks? He expressed that if something is not done soon, the people who are behind this plan will be moving right along as they have experience (not the new company - the backers) and would be able to get things to the point where the borough would be left with no protection. J. Bogaczyk said that the use of a scale and of inspections have been talked about generally as no formal presentation has been made to the Borough Council at this time.

Liability future if leaking: J. Ogden said that he is very concerned with the liability which could come after the private company's bonding which could be for 10, 20 or 30 years expires and then the company is out of business or sold to someone else.

NTSWA monitored: The Northern Tier Solid Waste is under guidance of Tioga County. This, J. Ogden said, was at least some assurance NTSW will be monitored, unlike if the proposed dump is closed or sold. We need to see cost of study.

No limit how high trash: When G. Hopple was reviewing the conditions and possible concerns, he also had pointed out that there is no limit as to how high the "mountains" of garbage can be according to D.E.P. rules. Another problem involves insects, not just the encephalitis carrying ones. The "West Nile" disease has been found in our area. More types could be in garbage, puddles from truck washing.

School bus safety: J. Deming asked that consideration for the safety of the school children as to the bus route be seriously looked into. He is not only concerned about the bridge. It is the road with garbage trucks and buses on it at the same time, weather conditions also a concern on roads.

Borough concerns: J. Bogaczyk told them they could rest assured that the Blossburg Borough would do everything it can to address all the concerns. However, still at this point nothing has been formally presented to the Council on this matter.

Meeting 29 May 2001: Hamilton Township is planning meetings as required by the laws. The 29th of May will be a meeting about the rezoning requested in their community by the applicants. This will be at North Penn High School. It is open to the public.

Mr. & Mrs. Deming expressed their appreciation for the time Council allowed them. Also, they will be following the course of actions by Council. The Demings left at 6:45 PM. John said, "We have complete confidence in you."

Reports : Mayor :  View report.

Police :  View report.

Borough Manager :   View report.
Borough Manager's:   Activity Log.

Planning Commission :  View report

Recreation :  View report.

Fire Department :  No report

Television :    View report.

Library :    No report

Street Committee :    View report.

K.C.C. :    View report.

Budget Committee :     View report

NPHS Student rep :    View report

Zoning Hearing Board :    No Report.

Ordinance Update Committee :    View Report.

Old Business:
  1. Gulick Street trailer park: No report.
  2. Regionalization: No report.
  3. Street lighting: No report
  4. Codification Study: Addressed earlier.
  5. House Numbers Ordinance: Addressed earlier.

New Business:
  • Parade staging area Coal Festival: Same streets needed as last year by school. A motion was made, seconded and passed to allow the use of the same streets.
  • Traffic control Memorial Day: Police will handle this for 11 AM on 28 May 01.

  • TCAB will be held at Liberty on 24 May 2001.

Mayor report:

  • Natural Gas Costs Concerns: A letter he wrote was sent to the PAUC referencing the hearing advertised on the request for increase in the natural gas rates. He expressed his displeasure at the increases requested as the residents will have difficulty paying the bills. He contacted Senator Madigan's office. Arnie Kriner will be looking into this. The Mayor said he wanted to have a letter on file in that office for future reference. More should be available next month from Kriner. He pointed out that the natural gas was shipped from here to Texas, stored in Texas, then shipped back causing the transportation charges for something that came from here to begin with.

  • Mayor

Police report:

  • Skateboards: J. Bogaczyk asked if any complaints had been received about kids on the sidewalks on skateboards on Main Street. The Chief said several warnings had been given out. Some children were taken home. J. Bogaczyk said it seemed he has seen more lately. The Chief said it was that time of year.

  • E. Barnett: Eric Barnett has been given more hours by Mansfield. He will work here, if he can to help out.

  • Tobacco Products: The Chief did research on the smoking and tobacco concerns that have been brought up. He went on the "net". Basically, all other places have done is add the word, "possession" to their ordinances.

  • State Law Needed: There exists a state law to regulate the sales of tobacco products. He thought that locally there would be more power. According to the research he did, it must start with the state. He was under the impression that the local government could go ahead and make the ordinance. He said that you have to wait for the state to get behind you on it. It has been successful in other states by the reports he received. The problem is that there is no wording about possession. Discussion on ways of trying to control the sales and use continued.

  • New Officer: A new officer is being hired by Nelson. He could also be available for some hours here, too. He did very well in the last academy class.

  • County Program EMS Person: Emergency Services is running a new program to try to acquaint those who work in this field and on the air with what goes on locally. The County is paying the salary and insurance for the person to work four hours along with the officers on duty to get a better understanding of what happens. He will be receiving a letter from the county stating what will be paid, etc., if Council approves of the person to ride along with the officer. The Chief will get more details to present to Council.

  • Study of Costs: The Mayor asked Steffen to get a report made of what it would cost to run an operation to inspect trucks and see what could be done in the event that the garbage trucks do start running through town. It may be that a new scale would have to be put in. The Mayor stated he wants a report on these.

  • Program of County Approved: A motion was made, seconded and passed to approve the accompanying of the officers in the vehicle by the persons not in uniform and riding along to observe through the County Program activities by the department.

  • Bike Rodeo: A Bike Rodeo is scheduled for 23 June 2001. C. Bubacz reported that a child in the road on a bike had a very close call this morning. Hopefully, the Chief commented that the word will be passed on to the kids. Hannibal Street between Morris and Main will be closed off for the part of the day that the activity is going on.

  • Street Closing: A motion was made, seconded and passed that the section of road for the Rodeo be closed for the activity from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

  • A motion was made, seconded and passed to accept the Police Report.

  • Police

Borough Manager's report:

  • Cleanup Week: Review of cleanup week: four days wages about $1,500, fees about $900. Staiman Brothers will take metals. Comparable to last year, but metals will be better handled.

  • Equipment Sale: Bids for the sale of Borough equipment were opened at this time. Bid from Robert Shaffer, Sunbury: #1-Mobile Sweeper -- $256; #2-1978 Jeep -- $56; #3-1962 International Step Van -- $156.
    Discussed bids. Bid for items. Locally at auction might get more for vehicles. Will try that.

  • A motion was made, seconded and passed to sell Mobile sweeper for $256 to Robert Shaffer.

  • Report forms reference Borough Budget and Employees prepared and given to the members in order that they have an opportunity to review them prior to the next meeting, if not acted upon at this meeting.

  • Stop signs need to be added to the ordinance for Wm B. Street, Joseph Street, Adam Drive, North Williamson Road Cul-d-sac. Others are to be checked for addition to the list. J. Holleman asked about the Carpenter Street problem. Signs have been ordered.

  • Borough Manager

Planning Commission report:

  • No meeting. Ward reported no applications at this time. One concern expressed by Ward involves the J. & P. Kelly (Jr) property, located on East Creek Road, which the Tioga County Commissioners removed as far as taxes are involved from the Blossburg Borough Tax book.

  • Planning Commission

Recreation report:

  • Workers hired and Lessons: Summer help hired. Problem again with Red Cross and life guard status. This is being looked into. G. Lloyd reported new information from R. Hall re Red Cross. Charges for kids to have lessons have not been made by Blossburg. Now, it appears a charge will have to be added in addition to season passes due to Red Cross.

  • Mower: Lawn mowers discussed. Rebuilt one bought from Toothaker on South Williamson Road.

  • Trees need to be cut: Trees which need to be cut down again discussed. R. Kaminski will look at the ones that someone has suggested for removal. R. Kaminski noted that there are, as far as he has checked at this time, fifteen at least. This would be a great expense to have them all done.

  • Cannon: The disrepair of the cannon, B. Laverty asked if anything could be done to clean it up or repair it. This will be looked into further. David Jones might be able to recommend how to proceed. B. Laverty is concerned about liability.

  • Electric: J. Backman said they were to have an electrician look at the scoreboard. A spotlight was talked about for the plaques.

  • Basketball and Trees: T. McNamara asked if anyone had discussed any of the portable basketball setups. Also, asked about trees being replaced possibly by asking people to donate in memory of someone as they have in the past. The native pines have not been coming back when transplanted. R. Kaminski recommended a plan for this. R. Steffen suggested contacting Rasmussen about trees.

  • Play Area: Wood chips will not be allowed on the play area. Another piece of playground equipment will be put up in that area. T. McNamara commented that the boards holding the chips in are falling down and out. This should be checked.

  • Recreation

Television report:

  • C. Bubacz reported a problem with channel #12, R. Kaminski agreed. This will be reported by J. Ogden.

  • Television

Street Committee report:

  • Paving to be done if approved on various streets. Bids will be advertised on motion of B. Laverty; Second T. McNamara. All in favor. School bids will be included but the School District must make a decision as to accept or not. All in favor. Bids to be opened 11 June 2001.

  • Street Committee

K.C.C. report:

  • B. Laverty asked if there would be any objection to removing the piano from the middle room of the building as it is in very bad shape. No one seems to play it, if it could be. The old rug will be torn out and bids received for that work and putting in a new one. The Gridiron Club voted to donate $500.00 towards that project.

  • K.C.C.

Budget report:

  • Wages: Papers presented for review by G. Lloyd. He said he wants to have different beginning wages in order to have people apply. Mayor brought up wages for police. He wants more added to present hourly wage for part-time.

    J. Bogaczyk said Committee would recommend these changes, as presented by Manager. Motion to accept scale as presented by B. Laverty; Second R. Kaminski. All in favor.

  • Evaluation: Second part is evaluation as given to Lloyd by Mayor. It is asked that this be studied so it can be presented to the Budget Committee when begin work for next year. T. McNamara asked if there is a probation time set up. G. Lloyd said that when there was a contract, that the time was six months. Classifications discussed, J. Bogaczyk reported how some places rate. This gives more leeway when discussing wages. Bring this back to next meeting. Budget meeting in October as planned at this time.

    J. Bogaczyk also brought up at this time the letter he and the Mayor sent to PennDot reference to a turning lane at end of North Williamson Road. No reply yet.

  • Budget Committee

NPHS Student Representative report:

  • NPHS student, Amber Jackson, told members that the Student Council is trying to regroup following the conference which was a success. Also, to try to plan ahead for the next school year. Students are writing essays opposing the dump. Much activity among student groups opposed to this being brought in. She apologized for missing the meetings as one time she was on a trip, the next meeting she was ill. Appreciation and encouragement was expressed by Council. The Mayor recommended that the essays that students are writing should be read at the meeting on May 29, 2001. Also, send them to Senator Madigan as he is interested in what students are doing.

  • Ward reported that Evelyn Woglemuth had been the first place winner in the whole of District 15, V.F.W. Essay Contest. Mayor will write a letter of commendation.

  • Amber reported musical events at school. B. Laverty said the Concert Band which Jay Barton is in charge of, won first place out of 14 bands. This is another accomplishment which is encouraging for the students.

  • Amber said there is also a chorus concert. J. Backman asked if this is put on the sign by the bridge. Ward does not receive anything on this for the news generally. These things may be on the Web as Mrs. Jones would know.

  • NPHS Student Representative

Ordinance Update Committee report:

  • This study will take some time due to the number to be done by the company.
  • The ones sent for this meeting need to be corrected. The Mayor expressed concern about the house numbering ordinances. More corrections to the building permits needed.

  • Ordinance Update Committee

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Adjournment at 8:45 PM
Sally Ward
Borough Secretary