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School's Playground Equipment Offered to Laceyville Borough

Laceyville Borough Council President Donald VanDeMark told the borough council Tuesday night that he had received a phone call asking if the borough would be interested in having the playground equipment that is currently located at the Laceyville Elementary School.

VanDeMark didn't say who had called him but it apparently was someone speaking on behalf on the school district. Laceyville's Elementary School, which is located just outside the borough on Lacey Street, is slated to close at the end of this school year, along with elementary schools in Wyalusing, Camptown and New Albany. All will be replaced with the new school currently under construction.

"It would be nice, but where would we put it?" Councilman Rich Rodgers asked.

"We've got room at Waterworks Park," VanDeMark responded. Borough Secretary Mary Tyler said Waterworks Park offered a level area to place the playground.

The borough also owns Donovan Park just across the river from the borough.

"What about liability?" Linda Sabatelle asked. "We have insurance," VanDeMark responded, adding that the borough also carries insurance coverage for Donovan Park, where the community's Little League field is located.

Rodgers raised a question about the cost of moving the equipment and placing it in the borough. VanDeMark said his conversation did not include any discussion about the cost of purchasing the equipment.

"Does this include the basketball hoops, too?" Rodgers asked.

"All they asked me is whether we are interested," VanDeMark said, "and I would say that we are interested at this point."

Mayor Ken Patton agreed. "We are interested."

Patton suggested the borough's insurance agent should be contacted about how the playground equipment would impact the borough's insurance coverage and costs.

Rodgers said relocating the equipment might make a good senior project.

Frustration Mounts

Over Water Woes

Earlier in the meeting, Mayor Patton told council that progress in getting the borough's water problems resolved has basically come to a halt. The borough drilled a new well on the advice of an engineer and DEP, but there are now questions about the reliability of the new well. "They forced us to drill and now they're saying maybe that wasn't such a good idea. We're basically at the mercy of DEP," Patton said.

Rodgers said he emailed State Representative Sandra Major and Senator Lisa Baker and asked them to meet with the borough. He said he never heard from Baker's office but did get a reply from Major's office explaining that they would look into the borough's water problems. After not hearing anything for three weeks, Rodgers said he sent another email explaining that he was trying to organize a meeting with borough officials, state representatives, DEP and anyone else who could help resolve the borough's water problems, but never got a reply. "They don't care," Rodgers said of the situation. "They don't want to resolve it, they don't want to speed it up, they don't want to do anything."

Patton said that part of the reason it took three weeks for Rodgers to hear initially from Major's office is that they were waiting for a report they had requested from him. "I was part of the problem," Patton said.

"What really ticks me off is hearing that it's going to take from eight to 14 months to get a permit," Rodgers said. "That is absurd. This process is stopping someplace and sitting on someone's desk and nothing is being done. Who's accountable?"

Patton said the project is currently under review by an engineering firm and if they decide to take on the project, they will submit a plan to DEP and then the search begins for funding. "We will be lucky to see any progress in 18 months," Patton said.

"That is absolutely absurd," Rodgers said. "I don't know how anyone can say that is acceptable."

VanDeMark said it's a matter of which way the money is flowing, to or from DEP. "If it's coming from them it takes forever," he said. "If it's going to them, they want it right away."

Tyler said the process takes forever. "It's like your time is nothing," she said. "You submit something, wait a year and then submit it again."

Rodgers said he would persist in trying to resolve the problem. "I'm going to be the squeaky wheel," he said. "If they don't want to sit down and talk with us, then just release the money and let us move. It's a matter of do what we want and ask for forgiveness later. Forget DEP. Let's go do our own thing and let them sue us. It would probably be cheaper."

Other Business

Other business at the meeting included:

— an encouraging sign that warm weather isn't far away, council agreed to advertise for mowing bids for the borough's parks;

—Setting Saturday, June 4 for the borough's annual Clean Up Day. (This should not be confused with the Laceyville to Wyalusing cleanup along Route 6 being organized by Richard and Karen Rodgers). Tyler said the June 4 cleanup is when the borough covers the cost of hauling away items that borough residents place at curbside.

—Hearing from Sgt. Lloyd Overfield that water tankers are constantly traveling along Main Street and whether this was a concern for council. Council generally agreed this was not a problem.

—Discussing the matter of repairing a number of streetlights that are not working and also various signs throughout the borough that are missing or damaged and need replacing. Overfield will provide council with a list of signs that need replacing.

—Briefly discussing a proposed subdivision of property along Route 6 just east of Bluhm's Shopping Center owned by Ed McClain and a proposed sale to Phil Taylor.

—Agreeing to pay Andrea Robinson and Worthie Kiefer $150 each for auditing the borough's records.

—Hearing from Rich Rodgers that he will get prices for street line painting in the borough. The lines include parking spaces and crosswalks along Main Street and crosswalks on Route 6. Sgt. Overfield suggested that the painting also include the lines police use in VASCAR speed timing.

Tim Shotwell was absent from the meeting.

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