Pipe Yard Slated for Wyalusing Property
A 4.6 acre parcel of land that once was part of the Friery Farm in Wyalusing Borough is slated to become a pipeline storage area, according to Wyalusing Borough Council President George Anderson.
Anderson said he was informed by Dan Driscoll, an official with the company that plans to build the facility, that it will be located behind the Farm and Home Plaza on land currently owned by the Hayseed Group.
Anderson said there had been rumors that a car and truck washing business would be located there, but that is now apparently not the case.
“They’ve met all the requirements and it should be an economic plus for the community,” Anderson said.
Anderson told council that the facility would include an office trailer, canopy for welding and a pipe yard. The work to construct the facility will include removing some eight inches of topsoil and replacing it with crushed stone.
Anderson said the borough had been informed as a courtesy and council was not required to take any action regarding the facility.
Gary Rouse, a visitor at the meeting, said commercial growth in the Wyalusing area pointed to the need for council to focus on possible future uses for the Wyalusing Elementary School, which is expected to be sold.
“You may want to look at changing the zoning for that property,” Rouse said. “Otherwise it could become something like a 24-hour welding shop and nearby residents probably wouldn’t like that.”
The school will be vacated at the end of this school year, and students will attend the new consolidated elementary school in the fall.
“If you wait until it’s sold, it could be too late,” Rouse said.
Bath Salts Menace
Sgt. Lloyd Overfield told council that the bath salts craze has arrived in Wyalusing. “There have been a few calls that I’ve been involved with,” Overfield said, adding that state police had also been called a couple times when he was off duty.
“People have overdosed,” Overfield said. “It doesn’t seem to be the young kids, but rather people in their 30’s.” He told council that bath salts can’t be purchased locally. “It’s my understanding you can buy them in New York State or in the Wyoming Valley,” Overfield said.
Kelly Bradley asked if bath salts is what brought two state police cars to the borough recently, and Overfield confirmed that the reason was bath salts.
Bath salts have been found to cause extreme agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, high blood pressure, chest pain, suicidal thoughts and other lingering side effects.
Mayor Jean Reinhart said bath salts have been banned in at least one Pennsylvania county and others are expected to follow suit, along with a statewide ban being imposed.
Overfield told council that people have attempted to buy bath salts at Smokin’ Joe’s tobacco store in the Farm and Home Plaza. “The girl who works there told me ‘you wouldn’t believe the people who come in here trying to buy bath salts,’” Overfield said. “She said people are coming in most every day and asking for bath salts. It’s gotten to the point where she stops people midsentence and tells them bath salts aren’t sold there.”
Overfield said he expects bath salts will eventually be labeled as a controlled substance in the state of Pennsylvania. Currently, however, bath salts are dangerous and at times deadly, but not illegal.
“I wonder what they’ll try next?” Anderson said regarding the bath salts, craze. “I wouldn’t want to take a guess,” Overfield replied.
Other than seeing the first signs of bath salts in the borough, Overfield told council that March had been a rather uneventful month likely due to the abundance of snow and ice. He worked 55 hours during March.
Mayor Reinhart told council that police fines for January totaled $1,515 and $910 in February. She said fine monies are increasing as expected.
Parking Questions Persist
Council continued to search for answers to parking issues on Route 6 and Front Street.
Brian Keeler wrote a follow-up letter to his visit to council last month requesting that the borough reinstate parking on both sides of Front Street. Keeler said having parking on just one side of the street leaves tenants at his rental property with no place to park. He suggested that council at least consider allowing parking on both sides of the street from April to November, when parked cars wouldn’t hamper snow plowing.
Mary Ann Raffin summed up one side of the issue: “If you live in a place and you have nowhere to park, what are you supposed to do?”
Anderson said the other side of the question centered on council spending tax dollars to have ordinances enacted and then changing them. “We can’t just start chopping away ordinances every time someone doesn’t like them,” Anderson said.
Council tabled action on the matter and will likely have a final answer at a meeting set for April 25.
As for the Route 6 parking question, Carolyn Harrsch, who was represented by a friend at council’s February meeting, came to Monday night’s meeting herself. Harrsch had been ticketed for parking in front of her home in an area that has been designated as a no parking area, although she says she’s parked there legally for 16 years.
To complicate matters, Harrsch, who is disabled by arthritis and came to the meeting in a wheelchair, pressed council to create a handicapped or, as she called it, a “blue spot” in front of her home.
She said she’d seen other handicapped parking spaces along state highways, including along Route 6 in Towanda Borough, which she said set a precedent that Wyalusing Borough should follow.
Harrsch said she asked council about three years ago for paperwork to get a handicapped parking spot in front of her home but never got it. She also claimed that council changed the area in front of her home, where parking was permitted when she bought the home, to no parking. “Now all of a sudden I’m being told I have been parking illegally for 16 years,” Harrsch said. “I’m being called a liar, and I have not appreciated that. All I am asking is to be able to park as I have for the last 16 years, and I would appreciate a blue spot. I would like to continue to park where I have because it’s the only place where I can park. If you take parking away from the front of my home, you will have to find parking for me that is within the 50-feet that I can walk and that doesn’t give you many options.”
Anderson said that the borough ended parking along Route 6 on the advice of a state trooper.
Harrsch, who was accompanied by her daughter, Melissa Lee, pointed out that people attending St. Mary’s Church routinely park along Route 6 and don’t get ticketed.
Raffin said the fact that Harrsch is handicapped made the matter especially difficult. “This is a horse of a different color,” she said.
Kelly Bradley brought the discussion, which had reached an impasse, to a close by suggesting that Harrsch, council and a PennDOT representative meet to resolve the matter. Harrsch agreed, and a meeting was tentatively set for April 25.
Other business included:
—Hearing from Gary Rouse that large trucks leaving Route 6 via Third Street next to St. Mary’s Church are causing congestion and problems. “They’ve hit the pole a couple times,” Rouse said. He said the trucks are bound for the Dandy Mini Mart and often park where they are blocking the entrance to the Wyalusing Fire Hall, despite signs banning parking. Most of the trucks are making deliveries at the Dandy Mini Mart, Rouse said, however, some are bound for the Ram Zone tavern. A previous problem like this was solved, Rouse recalled, after council wrote to the Dandy Mini Mart.
—Learning that April 29 has been proclaimed as Arbor Day in the borough by Mayor Jean Reinhart, which is the same day as it is observed across the state. Borough Secretary Stacy Hart said the borough will be receiving a number of Black Locust trees, compliments of Chesapeake, which will be planted at as yet undetermined locations in the borough. “We just found out we are getting them,” the mayor said. On another matter, the mayor said she would be issuing a letter of congratulations to Jonnica Lynn Robinson in recognition of her attaining Cadet Scout status in Girl Scouts.
—Reminding borough residents that Wyalusing’s annual Spring Clean-up Day is set to take place on Saturday, May 21. Spring Clean-up Day is when the borough covers the cost of hauling away unwanted items from homes and businesses located in the borough. A list of what does and does not qualify for free pickup will be published in a future edition of this newspaper.
—Hearing that the borough will receive $15,529.88 in state liquid fuel tax monies. The money must be used for repairing the streets.
—Announcing that Main Street would soon be swept and requesting that Main Street business owners sweep their sidewalks into the street before, not after, the street is swept.
—Agreeing that councilmembers should make donations in memory of Sandi Lewis to the Wyalusing Public Library on an individual basis. Sandi’s husband, Earl Lewis, is Chairman of the Wyalusing Municipal Authority.
—Agreeing to proceed with action against Lynn Alexeev and her friend, Robert Nemeth, who are in violation of the borough’s animal ordinance and failed to comply with a deadline issued by the borough in January.
—Unanimously approving an ordinance as proposed by Anderson for the borough to borrow $450,000 to repair drainage problems along Marsh Street and other areas of the borough. Council passed the ordinance. Anderson said he hopes the work can begin this summer.
— Hearing that a pickup truck parked along John Street with its gas tank leaking into a bucket had been removed. ‘It could have blown up the whole town,” Anderson said.
—Agreeing to place the borough’s sign, which gives motorists a reading of the speed they’re traveling, at a location along Route 6 near Tuscarora Wayne Insurance.
—Announcing that bids for the renovation of the borough’s equipment garage will be opened on April 25.
—Hearing that borough employee Dave Keeney will place crosswalk signs on Route 6 and Main Street in the mornings, and John Bradley will pick them up in the afternoon. Bradley has been doing both parts of the job himself.
—Learning that a land survey of the borough’s Brewer Hollow property, which includes some 600 acres, has not been completed because surveyors are busy with work for gas companies.