Same Old, Same Old at Wyalusing Council Meeting
By David Keeler
It’s a debate that’s become a regular and sometimes lengthy part of the Wyalusing Borough Council’s meeting every month since February—Route 6 resident Carolyn Harrsch or a family member or a friend sparring with council over the loss of on-street parking in front of Harrsch’s home.
Council ended parking along Route 6 near the intersection with Canal and Church Streets as a safety precaution.
When Route 6 was rebuilt through Wyalusing, the contractor built an access to Harrsch’s property so she wouldn’t have to park along the street, but she claimed it was substandard and had it removed.
When Harrsch refused to abide by the parking ban, council had local police ticket her car, but later agreed to not enforce the tickets after Harrsch explained she was handicapped and couldn’t walk to her house unless she parked close by in front of it.
Council responded by offering Harrsch a handicapped parking spot, but cautioned that it could be used by any handicapped person, not simply Harrsch. She responded by saying she wanted two handicapped parking spots. The result was that nothing happened.
Harrsch has maintained over the course of the debate that parking on Route 6 was permitted when she bought her house and council had no right to prohibit it.
The sparring continued. Next council offered to cover the cost of building a driveway for Harrsch, providing the borough could place a lien on her property to reimburse the borough when she sold her property. Harrsch refused the borough’s offer.
Monday night Harrsch’s daughter, Melissa Lee, and a friend, who at a previous meeting introduced himself simply as “Mr. Beppler,” attended council’s meeting and said they’d traveled to Harrisburg and were informed by PennDOT that the borough’s prohibiting parking along Route 6 is illegal. “You do not have any right of way along Route 6,” Mr. Beppler proclaimed.
Ms. Lee also informed council that PennDOT couldn’t find its files relating to Wyalusing Borough. “They’ve gone missing,” she said.
“I took them,” Council President George Anderson joked. Lee and Mr. Beppler failed to see Anderson’s humor.
Mayor Jean Reinhart asked to see that decision by PennDOT in writing, and Lee told the mayor that someone from PennDOT was supposed to call the borough.
But Borough Secretary Stacy Hart said no one from PennDOT ever called.
Lee ended this segment of the monthly saga by telling council that her mother now has two cars and would be parking them both on the street in front of their home.
The ball is in council’s court.
Other business included:
—Agreeing to hold a budget workshop on Oct. 17 at 6 p.m.
—Hearing that an ongoing discussion is taking place between the Homer family and the Wyalusing Municipal Authority regarding the well on the Homer property that the authority would like to lease as a backup source. Another meeting on the matter was expected to take place last night.
—Agreeing to accept an insurance package with a $17,500 annual premium as presented by Gannon Insurance.
—Agreeing to either move or cut away brush obscuring the totem pole in the borough hall courtyard that was created by Wyalusing artisan Bill Bendinsky.
—Agreeing on the advice of Stacy Hart to acquire a two-year maintenance agreement at a cost of $240 covering a computer in the borough hall.
— Hearing that liquid fuel tax monies expected to come to the borough next year should total about $16,000.
—Discussing a proposal to rezone the property at the former Wyalusing Elementary School, which is now owned by Tuscarora Wayne Group of Companies, to the Business 2 category.
— Hearing from Mayor Reinhart that a Peeping Tom has been visiting homes in the borough.
—Making a $100 donation to the Wyalusing Valley Volunteer Fire Department in memory of Jody Miller.
—Setting Wyalusing’s annual Trick or Treat Day for Sunday, Oct. 30 from 2 to 4 p.m., which will follow the Lioness Club’s party at the fire hall from 1 to 2 p.m.