Concerns were expressed during the Tunkhannock Borough Council meeting on Thursday, due to potential changes in local traffic patterns caused by the closing of three elementary schools in the Tunkhannock Area School District.
Police Chief Keith Carpenter said that the influx of traffic could go up exponentially once Mill City, Mehoopany, and Evans Falls elementary schools are closed and students are transported to Roslund and the middle school.
Council President Stacy Huber said that the borough has not yet had the opportunity to discuss the situation with the Tunkhannock school board. Mayor Norman Ball will be hand delivering a letter to District Superintendent Heather McPherson, he said,
In the letter, signed by Ball and Huber, it was pointed out that morning and afternoon school traffic can already produce gridlock conditions in certain sections of the borough. Council is requesting the school district provide information on the potential impact of traffic in the borough that the consolidation of the elementary schools is expected to produce.
Also during the meeting, Huber reported that the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce has obtained the money necessary from the Wyoming County Industrial Development Authority to have an engineering study performed to determine the feasibility having natural gas lines installed in the borough.
The project is part of UGI’s GET GAS program, in which money through grants is obtained to help offset the costs of installing natural gas lines throughout the area. If successful, the project will bring natural gas to the Tunkhannock Area School District, the county courthouse, 13 current businesses, as well as various homes along the route.
Huber pointed out that the school district has not yet signed on to the program, due to concerns over the cost of conversion. Some of the schools heat by electricity and switching to natural gas would represent a major conversation, he said.
The president also reported that the borough will be filing a legal brief with Susquehanna County President Judge Jason Legg concerning the case involving Hand Break Holding.
Located at 21 W. Tioga St., Hand Break Holding owners Steve Franko, Richard Huffsmith and Mike Irish have filed an appeal in court after being turned down twice by the borough’s zoning board to have property’s zoning changed from residential to business.
Huber said that Hand Break Holding’s owners will have until May 24 to file their legal brief, and the judge will make his decision on what he finds in those briefs.
Member Robert Robinson reported that cleanup day is scheduled for June 5 for Ward One in the borough, June 12 for Ward 2, June 19 for Ward 3, and June 26 for Ward 4. Accepted items for curb side pickup include old mattresses, old chairs, pieces of metal, and old toys, Robinson explained. Unacceptable items include garbage and electronic devices.
Carpenter reported that the police conducted 99 traffic arrests in the borough in April, with a year-to-date total of 205. Ball praised the department’s efforts, saying the 99 arrests are a record that will probably not soon be broken.
Council member Ben Barziloski said that Joe Faux, one of his employees, has volunteered to perform grass cutting and weed trimming at Riverside Park. Faux and others will be performing the service at no cost, he said.