Tunkhannock Borough Council met Monday after pushing the regular Thursday meeting back due to the Triton Hose Carnival.
UGI engineer, Kristen Sunday, submitted a letter to council stating that UGI will be extending the natural gas line from Warren Street down to Tioga Street allowing more perspective commercial customers to hook up, including the borough building.
Borough Council has not yet decided if the building will connect to the natural gas line.
The letter from July 30 also stated UGI is tentatively making plans to gas up the pipeline on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
UGI’s Don Brominski confirmed Tuesday, “We introduced gas into the station yesterday, and today we will introduce it into the pipeline, so as part of that process, we have to purge the line, which means making sure that any non-natural gas is out of there and there’s 100 percent natural gas. Sometimes to make that happen, we may have to flare some gas off until we’re sure that the line is fully purged. That’s a normal part of the purging process.”
Back on Monday night, council noted the borough had received impact fees totaling $40,977.
Council President Robert Robinson suggested the money from the fees could be saved to later be used for resurfacing of borough streets. Chief Keith Carpenter said he would also recommend that a borough councilman reach out to the Wyoming County commissioners about using county-designated Impact Fee monies to benefit first responder organizations. He said he believed a similar model existed in Susquehanna County.
Under Finance and Administration, Robinson pointed out the Civil Service Commission met on July 2 to approve a test for patrolmen on Sept. 16. It was recommended that Section 5-1b be revised to state that every applicant for a position as a patrol officer may be required to fill out a personal data questionnaire and may undergo a polygraph examination. The motion was passed by the council.
There was considerable discussion about grants available to possibly bring on another police officer, but the application process had been tied up in the courts. The matter has now been reopened, and councilman Marshall Davis recommended Chief Carpenter to monitor upcoming grant releases that would benefit the borough police department.
Davis asked for support from the council and Mayor Stacy Huber in assisting with the grant submission. It was noted in the meeting that the grants may only have a 60-day time frame. The council approved a motion for the assistance in expediting the grant submission before the council meets again. The grant funds would be applied for the benefits and salary of a police officer for three years with the borough resuming funding in the future.
During the police report, Chief Carpenter stated Officer Richard Stevens would be attending a three-day training in Montour County on Vehicle Code and Inspections for tractor trailers. Carpenter also acknowledged the effort of Officer Stevens running the Jack Daniels Mile in full uniform in under seven minutes during Triton’s carnival.
On July 22, the DPW Committee met with a resident, Don Casterline, to discuss a drainage issue that runs from the borough parking lot on Warren Street into a property on Harding Street. The runoff is causing damage and entering the back of a building. After a review of the property by some council members, a recommendation was made to install a catch basin at the southern corner of the parking lot and a pipe along the property to divert the water. The borough suggested providing a catch basin. The committee approved the motion to work with the solicitor on developing an agreement to free the borough of any legal liability.
Council also made a motion to adopt a noise ordinance 2019-1 which was unanimously approved. President Robinson said a petition needs to be sent to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board with the noise ordinance included. The resolution 2019-4, was approved and adopted by council.
Mayor Huber commented on a routine update of the Hazard Mitigation Plan to continue eligibility with PEMA and FEMA in the event of a natural disaster. Huber asked the council to approve the plan and filing of the document to ensure continued coverage. The resolution unanimously passed.
Robinson also acknowledged the need for the lines to be painted under the traffic lights in the center of the borough for safety reasons. The line painting will take place at times where it would not impact peak traffic hours.
DL & S Railroad in Honesdale evaluated the condition of the caboose at Riverside Park stating that the caboose was in poor condition. It had been the target of past graffiti artists.
Last fall, the railroad expressed interest in transferring ownership of the caboose. The general manager of DL & S Railroad recently reached out to the council again saying that they are still interested on taking ownership of the caboose and refurbishing it. Council agreed to formerly pursue the transfer of the caboose to DL & S Railroad.
It was noted that council is actively recruiting applicants for a crossing guard stationed on the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Tioga Street.
Councilman Ruth Vincenti ended the meeting by congratulating Triton Hose Company on its annual carnival. She acknowledged the enormous participation of the community during this major fundraiser event.
Reporter Brooke Williams also contributed to this story.