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Issue 51 — Thursday, July 24, 2014
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Noisy Gas Pump Station Vexes Fawn Lake Forest
By Ken Baumel

LACKAWAXEN — Fawn Lake Forest Association residents, speaking at a regular Lackawaxen Township meeting on Monday, expressed concerns about Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s (TGP) noisy pump-station just outside the community association.

Even though TGP recently tried to address the issue by adding a noise suppressor, Fawn Lake Board member Luba Siryja and resident Aaron Jones complained that the noise still intrudes into the community 24/7.

During the day, traffic from a nearby roadway mitigates some of the noise caused by the pumping station vibrations, but at night and early morning, the noise is still intrusive, noted Siryja.

Supervisors Bob Cocchi, Rich Krochta, and Mike Mancino said that Lackawaxen fire departments are scheduling a walk-through this month at the TGP facility, but the inspection is related only to emergency-response matters.

Township Solicitor Tony Waldron said that the township supervisors have less discretion than usual in dealing with utility-company matters because Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC) oversees utilities.

Waldron said, “If a federal agency regulates a utility company, local government cannot preempt that regulatory power. But, a township can advocate and appeal an issue to FERC. We can’t force FERC to change.”

Jones said that the gas companies are working to improve natural gas transmission, create jobs, and improve the local economy, but he is concerned about quality of life issues now and into the future.

Supervisors agreed to write a letter of concern to FERC as the first step. The next step would depend on FERC’s response. Waldron noted that FERC has in the past been receptive to make changes in local matters... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Speeder In Township
Park Prompts
Enforcement Inquiry
By James Worrall

DINGMAN — A recent speeding incident at the Dingman Township recreation park has sparked questions from township officials on how to properly enforce the rules and punish violators.
A couple of weeks ago, crew members working at the park observed a vehicle traveling at approximately 50 miles per hour on the premises’ driveway, which has a posted speed limit of 15 miles per hour.

“This is dangerous. There are kids up there, people walking, and we do not need people doing silly things [at the park],” said Chairman Supervisor Tom Mincer during the board’s July 15 meeting.

Because the lane is a private drive and not a state road, the state police cannot enforce violations. Section 12 of the township parks and recreation ordinance forbids reckless driving and speeding, but does not outline ways to enforce these rules. Township Secretary Karen Kleist mentioned the possibility of township employees issuing warnings, but Supervisor Kerry Welsh, a retired Pennsylvania State Trooper, confessed that it might not be a good idea as they do not possess the proper training to handle such situations.

Township Solicitor John Klemeyer stated that a device to clock speeds would be needed, and suggested that if the township appoints an enforcement officer, most likely the township constable, there might be a legal possibility to run license plate numbers through the state system, which gives very limited access. He added that if witnesses are present during a violation, they could testify in court.

Mincer stated he would look into existing criminal statutes to see what guidance is available moving forward... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Blooming Grove
Emergency Services
Commission Announced
By Heather Adams

LORDS VALLEY — The seven-person commission to oversee emergency services in Blooming Grove was announced at the Township meeting Monday night.

President Lance Spodek, Vice President Carl Griffiths, Secretary Patty Magie, Treasurer Phil Blecker, Robert Palumbo, Robert Drake, and Shawn Longhenry will serve alongside a non-voting supervisor delegate.

The committee will oversee both the Hemlock Farms Fire and Rescue and Blooming Grove Fire Department with responsibilities such as reviewing standard operating procedures and bylaws... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Justice Carolyn Purdue Passes

MILFORD — Former Pike County District Justice (DJ) Carolyn Hommel Purdue, a Milford Township native, 77, died in Vero Beach, Florida on July 5. Purdue served in the county judicial system for 29 years.

Prior to election as DJ of the Peace, Purdue worked for Pike County district justices August Metz, III, and George Hatley as a secretary and administrator for a total of four years. Metz was elected DJ of the Peace in 1971, but after serving three years of a six-year term, he resigned in 1974. He relocated and entered a new industry.

On June 17, 1974, then Pennsylvania Governor Milton Shapp appointed George Hatley to complete Metz’s unexpired term. Purdue had belief that she could make the leap from an office job to district justice. She pursued her dream, was elected, and served longer than most DJs in recent Pike County history.

Purdue said in an exclusive interview in the late 1990s that she considered herself familiar enough with the day-to-day functioning of the DJ office and court rulings to handle the job. So, she tossed her hat in the ring. Purdue won in the Primary Election, ran against Hatley in 1975, won on her first foray into politics, and never looked back. She served as DJ until Dec. 31, 1999. She was only the second woman DJ in Pike County history. Dorrie James was the first... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Milford Township Set To Build Website

MILFORD — Although it is still in the planning phase, Milford township supervisors announced at their meeting Monday night they intend to build a website for the township. Supervisor Gary Clark received two bids that he is waiting for formal proposals on before choosing a company to build the site. One company bid $2,400, while another bid $1,500. Supervisor Don Quick suggested the cost of the site not go over $2,000. Supervisor Gary Williams stated, “If we’re gonna spend $2,000 on this, I want to know exactly what we’re getting for it.”

Williams agreed to wait until formal proposals were in to move forward. Clark compared this price to the $7,000 Dingman Township spent, and $4,500 Lackawaxen spent on their sites, noting that Milford is getting a significantly lower price.

Clark was able to purchase the domain name for the website this week. He explained the need to buy it now before he had to purchase it from someone who purchased it first. Supervisors intend the site to announce events in the area, a list of things to do, and local businesses. They would also like a section for zoning information, and Nixle, a website that official groups can load alerts to, such as weather or crimes, and alerts are then sent to registered phones and e-mails.

Clark noted he would like the website to also have tablet and smart phone capability, stating “it’s time our township was brought into this century... for complete story, get this week's issue.

AAA Holds Senior Center Opening

MILFORD — Last week, Pike County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) celebrated the grand opening of the newest AAA senior center, one located at the Pike County Library’s headquarters and main Library.

The Library is on East Harford Street and 4th Street in Milford Borough. AAA started using the Library’s Community Room from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays each week as a senior center on June 10.

AAA Executive Director Robin LoDolce said that AAA’s need for another center became compelling last year when Delaware Township supervisors announced they would not renew the AAA lease for the senior center program at the Delaware Township building.

AAA closed the Delaware Center on June 30 when the lease ran out. The opening of the center in Milford Borough complements AAA senior center programs at the Pike County AAA building off Route 739 in Blooming Grove and in the Lackawaxen Firehouse building on Route 590 and Scenic Drive in Lackawaxen Township... for complete story, get this week's issue.

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