Mehoopany addresses sewer funds, gunfire
BY JEFF HORVATH
Wyoming County Press Examiner Correspondent
Wednesday’s Mehoopany Township Supervisors meeting was highlighted by a discussion of past-due sewer funds and public comments concerning excessive shooting.
Prior to commencing their regular meeting, the Mehoopany supervisors (less Steve Comstock who was absent) convened to discuss issues regarding the Sewer Fund. The Treasurer’s Report for the Sewer reported that despite taking in $8,402.50 since last month’s meeting, the township still had yet to receive $80,517.33 in sewer payments.
The uncollected funds represents roughly 156 people and businesses, 120 of which are at least 30 days overdue.
Chairman Bill Henning did explain that a large portion of the 120 represents Trehab, which is set to open a development of new apartments which are located on Schoolhouse Hill Road.
Nevertheless, Henning acknowledged that, “the sewer is not paying for itself.”
Henning then motioned that the township should seek an updated list of those who haven’t paid their sewer bills so “action can be taken and debts collected.” The motion carried.
The Supervisors then voted to borrow against the general fund to pay the sewer bills for this month.
When the floor was opened for public comments, Mehoopany resident Jeff Chambers brought the issue of excessive shooting to the attention of the supervisors.
“I live on Sugar Hollow Road,” Chambers said, “and all I hear is shooting… hundreds of rounds a day, sometimes thousands.”
He prefaced his complaint by saying that he has no problem with gun ownership or the second amendment, but the shooting has become a nuisance and should be addressed as an issue of common courtesy.
“I was raised not to shoot on Sundays or holidays,” a disgruntled Chambers told the audience. “This is blatant disrespect.”
When Chairman Henning suggested that Chambers approach the police or the game commission with his complaint, Chambers said that they have both told him that there is nothing they can do.
Henning was sympathetic to the complaint, but said, “It is hard to legislate without impeding on freedoms.”
Henning added, “I agree from an etiquette standpoint, but this is the kind of thing that is nearly impossible to legislate.”
Chambers said he understands, but after living with the annoyance for 16 years he is getting frustrated. “I built a nice home and it is terrible to live there,” he said.
The Supervisors motioned to approve Ordinance 2013-06: Act 93 Ordinance, which would create an escrow account where money from insurance companies could be examined by the township before dispersal in the event of fire damages and cleanups. Essentially, if the insurance company doesn’t do a satisfactory job and the township had to finish cleaning up an area or property after a fire, the Act 93 Ordinance would ensure that the township was compensated for their work.
The supervisors voted unanimously to carry the motion and the Act 93 Ordinance was approved.
It was announced that a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses who had their church destroyed in the flood of 2011 are interested in renting the large room of the Mehoopany Twp. municipal building for their services.
They have stipulated that they will not leave any of their literature out in the open and would use the building on Sundays and one unspecified day a week. They have also agreed to build their schedule around other activities, such as scouts and the firemen’s breakfast.
Supervisor Eloise Day said, “There should be no conflict with this being a government building, but the church should meet with us quarterly to ensure that there is communication.
The standard rate is $125 a night for the big room, but because the church would be meeting at odd hours and the building would have to be heated at different times the supervisors did not decide on a rental cost. After further research is done the supervisors said they would make a decision.
The supervisors also motioned to approve for hire Diana Doorman-Patten as the township’s new treasurer and Carolyn Northerner as secretary. The motion carried and it was announced that both women will earn salaries of $7,000 per year.
Concerning the roads, it was announced that Shady Lane will undergo tarring, chipping and grading this week.
The Fourth of July parade time was set for 1 o’clock in downtown Mehoopany.