NE Marcellus Shale back in borough

STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER Road crews work Saturday on the east side of Bridge Street laying a water line for NE Marcellus Shale.

The on-again off-again NE Marcellus Shale waterline that had hopes of stretching seven miles to Lemon Township from the Susquehanna River in support of the natural gas industry is back on, Tunkhannock Borough council announced Thursday night.

The pipeline project got underway in February of 2019 and was supposed to take six months to lay.

At one time there was some confusion about the feasibility of the project with at least six new fire hydrants to be provided to Triton Hose Company in the borough, and concerns about water pressure, but it's not clear if that issue has been resolved.

According to Mayor Stacy Huber, "It has not."

Road crews have been working along the east side of Bridge Street (Rt. 29) within the confines of the borough laying pipe for about 10 days, and are expected on Harrison and McCord streets later this week.

In the finance and administration part of the meeting, council president Bob Robinson talked about the 2020 Census and noted the return rate so far was well below 2010 levels of response, for the same time frame.

Borough manager Dawn Welch said that only 58 percent of households residents had responded so far.

Robinson said the Census "helps determine the amount of funding that would be allowable for a variety of needs."

Councilman Ron Coolbaugh asked about built-in deadlines and no one on council seemed to have an answer.

Robinson said that for those yet to fill out a form, they could go to a toll-free telephone line at 1-844-330-2020 or visit online at my2020census.gov.

Robinson also spoke to the development of a website for the borough and noted that Welch and councilman Chas Mead were working with marketing consultant Coal Creative in Wilkes-Barre for the project that could take up to six weeks to complete.

Under Transportation and Streets, it was announced that Founders Day which is normally held in late June was very likely not happening because of the COVID-19 pandemic and would probably be moved to Oct. 3, when the Tunkhannock Business and Professional Association had planned a number of harvest-type events to bring people downtown.

A motion to change the date to Oct. 3 and another to close down the street from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that date were passed.

Robinson also tentatively announced spring clean-up days in the borough as follows June 1 (Ward 1); June 8 (Ward 2); June 15 (Ward 3); and June 22 (Ward 4).

Welch asked the police chief to make sure out-of-towners were notified not to bring trash in within the borough limits. There was some discussion about having the jail warden identify folks who needed to do community service time. Another suggestion was to reach out to persons involved in treatment court, and police chief Keith Carpenter said he would reach out to Judge Russell Shurtleff.

Under building and grounds Mayor Stacy Huber said there had been previous complaints about individuals with concerns about trash.

In his police report, Chief Carpenter noted that the court activity was opening up more in the wake of the pandemic and charges at the magistrate level would become more commonplace.

Under zoning was a discussion about the Sherwood property at the end of Second Street and a public hearing with the intent to adopt an amendment and map June 17, and a need to actually adopt the motion on July 2.

Councilmen Dave Wiggins and Lisa Tesluk talked about the rally to open up for business earlier in the day which Wiggins thought went very well, and Tesluk hoping and praying the governor would do the right thing.

Mayor Huber said he sensed that business people are burdened with the need to reopen, adding, "My heart goes out to them." He also reminded that even if opened up, "There is still a need to wear masks and be cautious."

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