State, county, and local dignitaries were on hand before the Tunkhannock Borough Council meeting was held on Monday to wish Tunkhannock Borough a happy 175th birthday.
Officials presented Tunkhannock Borough with proclamations from the Pennsylvania State Senate, the Pennsylvania General Assembly, and other government bodies in recognition of its 175th anniversary. Representatives from the Tunkhannock Business and Professional Association also participated in the ceremony, which included cake and other refreshments.
Among the elected officials making presentations included state Senator Lisa Baker, state Rep. Karen Boback, Wyoming County Commissioners Tom Henry, Judy Mead, and Ronald Williams, Tunkhannock Mayor Norman Ball, and TBPA the Tunkhannock Business and Professional Association, members Nancy Parlo and Mark Monsey. Each provided the borough with a declaration, honoring Tunkhannock Borough for reaching its milestone. Council also acknowledged the reception of a plaque from the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs.
“I think it’s great,” Mayor Ball said following the presentations. “There’s so much going on - 175 years, Riverside Park is 20 years old.”
Another great event, the mayor said, was his welcoming the Tunkhannock Little League Softball 8-9-10 softball team home on Sunday after the state championship.
“It went very well,” said Huber. “Everyone was courteous and cooperative. The county commissioners have always been very helpful to us, and you can say the same about state Senator Baker, and state Rep. Boback. They’ve always been there for us.”
Following the reception, Boback stayed to attend the council meeting.
In his first report to the council, Officer-in-charge Keith Carpenter said he views his new position as ‘more than just leadership.’
The new officer-in-charge, who last month assumed the responsibilities of former Police Chief Roger Hardy who retired in June, thanked the council for ‘bringing him on board.’
“I want to bring both employees and employers back together again,” Carpenter explained.
In the month he’s been in his position, Carpenter said, he’s seen progress ‘by leaps and bounds,’ but also said that there’s still a great deal of ground to cover.
Carpenter also provided the council with some background information, saying he’s been an officer on the Tunkhannock force for 17 years. Although he had the opportunity several times to work in other communities, Carpenter said he always stayed because this is where he wants to be.
Carpenter had nothing but glowing praise for the new computer system recently incorporated into the local police cruisers.
“It’s like driving a Yugo for the past 17 years, then suddenly driving a Mercedes or Corvette,” he said.
Carpenter provided council members with a bar graph he was able to generate via the new computer system, demonstrating the number calls for service the department received for each day of the week, with Friday the busiest time with 30 calls received, and Sunday the quietest with about nine calls received.
Carpenter also showed the council a pie chart generated by the system, but said he still has to work on it correctly demonstrated the data. Once he gets the hang of it, Carpenter said, the chart will provide a breakdown on law enforcement activities, fire calls, and miscellaneous situations.
Carpenter reported the department issued 38 warnings to people who over parked in the parking lot located across the street from the post office. Last month, council authorizing installing new signs, reducing the amount of parking time from 12 hours to 2 hours. It was also instructed that warnings should initially be given to those who parked over 2 hours, and tickets issued at a later date.
The officer-in-charge said that most of the businesses adjacent to the parking lot have been grateful for the department’s efforts. Officers will be issuing tickets to offenders within a few weeks.
Police Chairman Marshall Davis said that earlier in the month, he, Mayor Norman Ball, and Council President Stacy Huber met for about 2 hours with department representatives to discuss protocol and other items.
“It wasn’t one-sided,” Davis explained. “Everyone had the opportunity to ask questions and express their opinions.”
In other business:
*On a motion by Davis and seconded by Joe Myers, council voted to hired a grant writer, at a cost of no more than $7,500, to put together a proposal to obtain the necessary funding for the treatment of storm water generated in the borough, as required by the Department of Environmental Protection. Stacy said that the Storm Water Committee examined the area near the Wyoming County Correctional Facility on July 1, and will be providing council with a report on the situation in the near future.
*Member Robert Robinson informed the rest of the council that Marion and Washington streets will be closed from 5 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 11 in conjunction with the “Not One More” addiction and overdose awareness rally being held at the courthouse square.
*Huber reported that the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs - which provides Tunkhannock with insurance for its employees through The Kilmer Group - has provided the borough with a $10,215 dividend. The dividend was provided because of the excellent record in below average loss expenses. Huber thanked the borough employees for their efforts, saying the dividend is much more than what was received in the past.
*It was reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a hearing on Aug. 15, to consider a special exception being sought by Hand Break Holding for non-conforming use at 21 W. Tioga St. The company is seeking to have a business established at the property, which is zoned residential.