Residents vent on 537 plan

BY ROBERT L. BAKER

Wyoming County Press Examiner

About 20 residents turned out for the Tunkhannock Township supervisors meeting Monday night to give their elected officials a piece of their minds about sewers at Lake Carey.

The township, along with Lemon, is under a state Department of Environment Protection-mandated order to develop what’s called a 537 plan to sort out possibilities of addressing what currently exists.

Steve Butler opened the comment period by noting he had read the plan in its entirety and it seemed sound to him.

“However, funding will be a challenge,” Butler said. “If I could make just one comment, it makes more sense to route any proposed sewer lines along the road.”

David Rineheimer said he tried to get zoning for the township back in 2004-5, and he found the current process “disturbing.”

“To put in sewers when there are no land use controls is madness,” Rineheimer said. “It’s an invitation to broad-scale development.

He said he also didn’t like the closed nature of the information on the present process.

Rineheimer asked, “Why would you want to put this out before the public knowing only 25 percent of the people (meaning seasonal population) is still around? It seems in bad faith, at best.”

He noted that he was unable to look at the entire document, because the Milnes Company website at www.milnescompanies.com/News/LemonTunhannockTownshipsAct537.pdf doesn’t have maps and he works during the week and can’t get to the township office between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

John Tidball said the Lake Carey Welfare Association was trying to make the entire plan “accessible to those not able to get here.”

He said he had issues with one of the office supply houses that was going to help him copy all of the plan including large maps, but ran into a roadblock because of a copyright symbol on the map(s).

“I’m asking that a motion be made to allow Milnes to release copyright,” Tidball said.

Supervisor Veto Barziloski said he did not want the possibility to exist for somebody to try to alter the original document.

After some discussion, Tidball said he could create a file for public display that was password-protected.

Supervisor Randy White motioned and Barziloski seconded the matter.

Resident Mary Ellen Mills said, “The way it sounds to me is this is a done deal. Is it?”

Barziloski said, “No. We need to get all your concerns in writing.”

Resident Lou Beraly said, “Nobody here is denying there are a couple, 10, maybe 20 individual on-lot systems that are not working. I think we can fix them cheaper than the $9 million that’s being discussed.”

Minturn Smith, said the Residents for a Healthy Lake Carey which he represents are grateful the executive summary of options is out there, and “We, too, support having all the documents put online.”

A female resident said she wanted to get to the bottom of costs. “I don’t want to pull a loan out for something that I don’t want,” she said.

Barziloski said, “This is a plan, not a project. Nobody knows what it might cost until we get your input.”

Resident Rick Szloboda said he had lived at Lake Carey since he was one year old “and the lake seems to be in good shape.”

He told the supervisors to look at Harvey’s Lake. “It’s a disaster,” he said. I think we should table this and leave it alone.”

Resident Marlene Butler said she had been at the lake since she was seven, “And I have to disagree with what was just said.”

“I swim in the lake. I have children and grandchildren who get rashes after swimming in it,” she said.

Supervisor White said he swims in it and didn’t have rashes.

Butler continued to make comments but got interrupted a couple more times by White and others.

“Look, I’ve been there 50-some years. I’d like for my grandchildren to swim there for a good number of years. I am not about developing,” Butler said.

Resident Gloria Pasternak asked, “If this is the plan, once this gets submitted is it going to be approved by somebody?”

Barziloski said the plan would be going to DEP. “They have an implementation schedule of all the different plans.”

“So this closes the door on input?” Pasternak asked.

Barziloski reiterated, “No, your comments become part of the plan.”

The public has until November 16 to submit its concerns in writing to either Tunkhannock or Lemon Township which will then forward the information to DEP.

In other business, the supervisors voted to advertise that a 2013 budget which has held the line at 5.5 mills and includes $1.445 million in expenses will be put up for a vote at the supervisors’ December meeting.

The body also reviewed a subdivision plan from the Gas House Gang to put a gasoline station about a mile north of Tunkhannock, off of Rt. 29.

Supervisors heard from two residents who were concerned about washouts along Creekshore Drive, near Mountain Energy and Deer Park Lumber. They said they felt that what the township was doing was inadequate.

When they didn’t get the response from supervisors that they appeared to want, they stormed out of the meeting.

Supervisors addressed a request from JoJo Oil about an ordinance for a ‘No Parking’ section along Rt. 6 near Keystone Caps.

They said a traffic study was needed, and Police Chief Stanley Ely said he would follow up on that.

Secretary Judy Gingher said that by law the township was continuing to receive notices of gas drilling activity within 3,000 feet of the township’s borders.

Chief Oil & Gas announced that in Lemon Township, it was drilling at Harvey 1H and 2H and Garrison North 3H.

An engineering firm representing Citrus Energy said it was continuing work at Procter & Gamble sites in Washington Township.

DEP also sent a letter notifying that application had been made for an erosion and sediment control plan for the Citrus Pipeline Project – Mattocks to McConnell- in the Dark Hollow area.

The supervisors were also in receipt of a letter that Ann Henry, a majority judge of elections, had tendered her resignation, and it was looking for a replacement.