Police Patrols Resume In Wyalusing Borough
Wyalusing Mayor Jean Reinhart introduced officer Joe DeMuro at Monday night’s meeting of the borough council.
DeMuro is a member of Laceyville’s Police Department and has been contracted to conduct patrols in Wyalusing.
He told council that he’s been walking the streets of the borough introducing himself to residents and business owners. He worked 27 hours in May but expects to work about 100 hours per month from now on. He told council he was recently recertified to serve as a police officer in Pennsylvania.
“I hope I can do some good for your community,” DeMuro said. He replaced Sgt. Lloyd Overfield in Laceyville’s Police Department.
If DeMuro’s name has a familiar ring, it’s likely because he served as a police officer in Wyalusing for a short time in the 1980’s. He began his career as a police officer in 1986 in Laceyville where he was sworn in by then Mayor Mable Clark. He also served as Ulster’s Police Officer.
Council is discussing a way for residents to contact DeMuro in non-emergency situations. In cases of emergency, residents should dial 911 and either DeMuro or state police will be dispatched. He said when he’s on duty in Laceyville, he will respond to emergencies in Wyalusing and will also respond to Laceyville emergencies when he’s patrolling in Wyalusing.
Council Still Wrangling
Over Parking Issue
It’s a question that the Wyalusing Borough Council just can’t seem to answer.
For the third straight monthly meeting, the question of whether Carolyn Harrsch can park in front of her Route 6 home was a topic of discussion.
Council thought it solved the problem last month by okaying a motion to create a handicapped parking spot in front of Harrsch’s home for her to use.
But Monday night Harrsch was back again and told council she still wasn’t happy with its decision and wants more than a single parking spot.
Council banned parking along Route 6 after the reconstruction a few years ago. PennDOT built Harrsch a driveway so she could park off the street, but she had it removed, saying it was substandard.
Harrsch is handicapped and said she needs to park near her home for easy access. She came to the meeting in a wheelchair assisted by friends. She turned down a request from Reinhart to enter council’s meeting room, saying she suffered from claustrophobia and instead addressed council from the borough hall’s vestibule.
“This is a big room, Carolyn. I don’t think you’ll get claustrophobic in here,” councilmember Mary Ann Raffin said.
“I think it’s an excuse,” the mayor added.
“I’m taking medication for it and you can talk to Dr. Webb,” Harrsch replied.
Harrsch said she was informed following last month’s meeting about council okaying a handicapped parking spot, but there would be no other parking permitted. “I’m here to inform you that that is not an acceptable option,” Harrsch said. “You will have to come up with something else.”
Harrsch was accompanied by a companion who said his name was simply Mr. Beppler. When asked to spell his last name, he replied “Boy, Edward, Peter, Peter, Larry, Edward, Robert.”
At first Mr. Beppler also declined an invitation to enter council’s meeting room, preferring instead to stand in the doorway, however, he later ventured in. He offered council all sorts of expert advice on a number of subjects ranging from a broken fire hydrant on Second Street and the handicapped access entrance to the borough hall to Harrsch’s parking issues on Route 6.
“You’re dealing with a lot of the same issues that other places are dealing with and as far as from what I’ve seen they are doing it a lot better, I’m sorry to say,” Beppler said. “Maybe you guys just need to be a little bit more organized with the way your meetings go and try to keep it more to the meeting and not the side stuff that has been going on. You might find that your meetings are a little bit better off.”
Getting back to what he said was his main reason for coming to the meeting, Beppler said: “As a somewhat interested party in this handicapped parking thing, I’ve been coming up here for a year and a half now visiting my friend. I came up here starting in January and there was parking allowed then until the very end of last year or beginning of this year when someone started to vandalize the signs. There had been parking there, now you’re trying to say it isn’t allowed.”
“We’ve been through all this before,” Council President George Anderson said. “You’re wasting your time and ours. We’ve gone down this road about 14 times.”
“If you wanted to really inquire and check on these things,” Beppler continued, “it’s not hard to do. But the biggest thing is that you’re taking away something that was there with the sale of the house. If you Google it, you can see that parking was allowed.”
Anderson thanked Beppler for his comments and said council would give his concerns more discussion at a later time.
Other business included:
Following an executive session, agreeing to give Borough Secretary Stacy Hart two weeks paid vacation, which is an increase of one week.
—Unanimously approving a request from Mayor Reinhart for council to cover costs of her attending the two-day PA Mayor’s Convention in Scranton.
—Hearing from Reinhart that she will be officiating at two weddings in July.
—Discussing posting signs that tell truckers that the use of Jake Brakes in the borough is prohibited.
—Accepting a $2,500 bid from Lines by Lew to paint crosswalks and other street lines in the borough. Council added a number of crosswalks from the initial bid specs, and they expect the price to increase to include this work.
—Agreeing unanimously to name Larry Wentovich to the Wyalusing Zoning and Planning Commission. The commission’s next meeting is June 28 at 7 p.m. at the borough hall.
—Setting a work session to take place on June 20 at the borough hall starting at 7 p.m.
—Discussing options regarding a project planned by Wyalusing Community Corp to bring new lighting and other improvements to Bridge Street.
—Agreeing that Stacy Hart can represent the borough in a matter regarding insurance coverage with Gannon Insurance.
—Learning that the hearing date for a zoning variance requested for property owned by the Hayseed Group (formerly the Friery Farm) is set for July 18 at the Wyalusing Fire Hall starting at 7 p.m.
Next month’s council meeting will be held on July 11 due to the Fourth of July falling on the first Monday of the month when council normally meets.