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Laceyville Council Discusses Sidewalks, New Police Car, Paving

Laceyville barber Joe Colegrove left little doubt at Tuesday night's meeting of the town council that a recent letter he received from council exasperated him.

Colegrove reminded councilmembers that in January he told them he would not pay for a new sidewalk in front of his barbershop until cracks were repaired.

"I was told the cracks would be repaired when the weather got warm," Colegrove said.

But along with the repairs not yet being completed, what really upset Colegrove was a letter from council stating that he would be charged interest on his unpaid bill.

"I'm telling you right now I'm not going to pay," Colegrove said. The sidewalk renovations in front of Colegrove's shop were part of the town's revitalization project, which overall brought numerous improvements to Laceyville's downtown.

But Colegrove said the sidewalk work in front of his store was never right.

He said the cracks became so bad that he spray painted them to keep people from tripping.

Mayor Ken Patton said the letter Colegrove received was a mistake on council's part and it shouldn't have been sent.

Councilmember Lorraine Brewer said she didn't recall the question of sending out letters being discussed by council.

Borough Secretary Mary Tyler said she had been instructed by Brian Ace, who headed the revitalization project, to send out letters to persons who had not yet paid for sidewalk construction.

Colegrove seemed satisfied with the mayor's admission that he should not have received one of the letters.

But when Colegrove asked for someone to sign his letter stating that it was sent in error, Tyler said she would not do that unless told to do so by Brian Ace.

Instead, the mayor placed a notation at the bottom of the letter stating that it was sent in error and that Colegrove was not responsible for paying late charges.

Councilmember Phil Brewer noted that the problem with Colegrove's sidewalk was due to inspectors hired by the state not doing their job. "These people should be accountable to someone, but that doesn't seem to be the case," Brewer said.

Patton said he had contacted local contractors about repairing Colegrove's sidewalks, but none seem interested.

"That's because this is a little job and they have big jobs to do," Council President Don VanDeMark said.

The discussion ended with council agreeing to advertise for bids to get the work completed.

Colegrove, meanwhile, didn't seem very confident that he'd being seeing repairs to his sidewalk anytime soon. "We'll see what happens until I get my next letter," he said, leaving the meeting.

Other business discussed by council included:

— Hearing from Mayor Patton that the borough would need to replace its police cruiser sometime during the next year. Patton reported it cost $1,600 to get the car through inspection this month and it was time to replace the car.

— Appointing Don VanDeMark to clarify bids submitted for paving a number of borough streets and then to award the contract to the low bidders. Bids were received from American Asphalt, Shavertown, PA, State Aggregates Eastern Industries, Tunkhannock, and Pike's Creek, Hunlock Creek, PA. Bid amounts will not be disclosed until the contract is awarded. Mary Kimble noted the borough's highway fund is depleted so council intends to use one of its CD's to cover paving costs.

— Agreeing on a resolution stating that council would participate in PENNDOT's Agility program and another that would make the borough eligible for some $1,400 in Wyoming County funds.

— Hearing from Mayor Patton that one borough police officer, Dale Smith, is seeking full-time employment with another police department and, if hired, would no longer be able to work for Laceyville.

— Agreeing to store the borough police car in Bob Otto's garage at a cost of $36 per month, which also includes Otto checking oil, tire pressure and other items.

Water Company Superintendent, Councilman Tim Shotwell, was absent from Tuesday night's meeting.

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