Local News...

Issue 20 — Thursday, December 18, 2014
Send your event listings to
events@pikedispatch.com
Don't forget to include:
who, what, where and when!

 

K-9 Dog Seamus
Dead At 15

MILFORD — Seamus, the Pike County Sheriff’s K-9, passed away on Dec. 11, 2014. He would have turned 15 years old in January. Seamus was well known by the community for being a drug detection and search and rescue dog. He was very successful in helping law enforcement in the fight against drugs.

Seamus also worked alongside police and fire personnel with searching for lost individuals, some good, some bad. He was best known for his assistance in water and fire recoveries.

Seamus loved to work with the community to help kids learn the importance of resisting drugs. He was trained by the New York State police as a drug detecting, tracking, and cadaver dog and was certified in 2001.

He was later trained as a water cadaver dog. Seamus was honored by many local officials and was recognized in a national magazine for his water recovery.

He and his handler, David May, were voted officer of the year in October of 2006 and was inducted as an honorary member into the American Legion also in October of 2006.

He was also recognized by the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Masonic Lodge, the Rotary Club, and also received letters of appreciation from numerous Boy Scout organizations, schools, hunting clubs, and church groups.

Seamus will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and the community. Seamus thanked the community for their love and support.

Scheduling Tax Hearing Date
Awaits Town Reorganization
By Ken Baumel

WESTFALL — Although supervisors approved moving ahead with exploring Earned Income Tax (EIT) and discussing potential EIT financial impacts on the township budget in early 2015, supervisor Ray Banach explained in an interview that supervisors could not technically schedule an EIT hearing in February until supervisors approved the 2015 regular meeting schedule at the annual township reorganization meeting.

Supervisors set the reorganization meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 5. Banach also said that although he is open to gather information on EIT, he is the only supervisor who has consistently opposed such a tax initiative in Westfall in the past few years.

Banach said that his preference is that supervisors continue to lobby for a county sales tax as an alternative to property tax. Such a sales tax could generate more revenue than EIT and would be a fair alternative to property tax.

By statute, state legislators approve a county tax. Westfall sent letters of request to other Pike municipalities to join Westfall supervisors in lobbying Pike commissioners and state legislators to implement a local sales tax, but the majority of other townships informed Westfall that they were not in favor of such tax... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Delaware Surplus Means Windfall For Nonprofits

DINGMANS FERRY — At the Delaware Township Supervisors meeting Wednesday Dec. 10, the Board of Supervisors donated $70,000 to local non-profits out of the 2014 budget surplus. The Delaware Township Volunteer Fire Company and Ambulance Corps each received $20,000, while Habitat for Humanity, Safe Haven, and the Center for Developmental Disabilities each received $10,000. The local food pantry received a $2,500 holiday donation, approved at the previous township meeting on Nov. 12.

George Beodeker of the Fire Company has had 25 years of service to the Township and called the donation “unprecedented” and “greatly appreciated.” He took this as a reward for the increased accountability demanded by Township Supervisor Tom Ryan. Ryan said that the Fire Company had provided a “very specific list” for the funds and Beodeker said they would be putting “brand new stuff on a brand new truck.” Ryan said, “I can’t thank you enough for the services you provide to our residents.”

Karen Kontizas of Safe Haven said that this was the first time Delaware Township has joined the other townships of Pike County in donating, and she expressed gratitude for the donation. She emphasized the need for their services due to higher incidences of domestic violence in rural areas... for complete story, get this week's issue.

Twp. Still Waiting On FERC Approval Of Compressor

MILFORD — Milford Township has spent well over a year debating and discussing a compressor station expansion project by NiSource, and supervisors were surprised at their regular meeting Monday night that the company is still waiting on approval of an application by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC. NiSource, who owns Columbia Gas, originally submitted the application last summer, with a construction start date of Aug. 1, 2014. On Aug. 18, FERC held a public question and comment about the application.

Supervisor Gary Clark noted that FERC will reply to each comment in writing. Over 50 speakers made public comment at the meeting in August. Clark stated, “I thought we would have an idea of where this is going by now, but I’ve heard nothing, absolutely nothing, so far.”

Supervisors believe FERC will approve the compressor station, but are hoping that they will require it to be electrically powered rather than gas powered. Clark stated, “I’ve spoken with residents living on Fire Tower, and they agree with an electric motor. There would be no emissions.” A main concern for residents has been pollutants the station could create.

Greg Lotorto, an active volunteer against the compressor station, stated that he and other volunteers would rather no expansion of the compressor station, and plan to bring a lawsuit against NiSource, pending approval of the company’s application to FERC.

Clark questioned what the purpose of a lawsuit would be, to which Lotorto responded, “we’re looking at if these compressor stations are even necessary.” According to Lotorto, after a recent fall in gas prices, the company may not need to expand. He has looked at emission levels, and harmful effects, and feels they should not be building anything... for complete story, get this week's issue.

 

© 2014 The Pike County Dispatch, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of the format or any content without express permission is prohibited.