Tunkhannock Township supervisors voted last Monday (July 3) to table consideration of zoning across the township.
On a motion made by supervisor Glenn Shupp and seconded by Randy White, the two voted to table the proposal until January. In making his motion, Shupp said he believed it will be best to let the new supervisors handle the issue, following November’s election.
In voting no, supervisor Veto Barziloski Jr. said there is nothing to be gained by “kicking the can down the road” on the matter.
Barziloski, who actively supported zoning, previously announced he is not running for re-election as supervisor in November.
Tammy Balewski is running as a Democrat for his spot, while Randy White is seeking a 6-year term for the spot vacated by Barziloski on the GOP side.
Hoyt Keiser is seeking to fill a 4-year term to which White was appointed in December, and he also will be opposed by Balewski.
The question of zoning has been a thorny one in Tunkhannock Township for the past year.
Some residents claim it is needed to protect the community, while others have insisted it is unnecessary. Shupp has suggested it could have worthwhile benefits, especially regarding what happened when a silica sand plant was proposed years ago. For the same reason, White also was willing to put the matter on the table but hasn’t publicly stated an opinion on what he would support.
Democrat Balewski has said she is against it, and Republican Keiser has previously stated that while he doesn’t like zoning, he is in favor of it on a limited basis.
The tabling of the zoning matter also means that meetings with the public as well as consultant Carson Helfrich that had been held on the second Thursday of the month will also come to an end at least until after supervisors reorganize next January.
At the request of Tunkhannock Township Police Chief Edward Morristell, the supervisors unanimously approved a Medal of Valor for Patrolman Stephen Williams in recognition for his service during the shooting at Weis Market in Eaton Township on June 8. Williams and Tunkhannock Borough Patrolman Dustin Cokely were the first officers on the scene after the shooting occurred.
Morristell, White, who serves as the police commissioner, and Wyoming County District Attorney Jeff Mitchell, all praised Williams’ efforts, saying he walked into a very dangerous situation without hesitation, and performed his duty with courage, bravery and professionalism.
Barziloski reported that the township provided supplemental funding of $125,000 to date (with no new allocation) for a groundwork concerning the establishment of a sewer collection system around Lake Carey.
Lemon Township, which shares the project with Tunkhannock Township via the Lemon-Tunkhannock Twps. Municipal Authority, has been asked to contribute $25,000 as a supplemental fund for the study.
The supervisors questioned this, contending that both townships should equally share the cost, given the fact the proposed sewer system is a joint effort between the two communities.
Barziloski said he would address the issue during the authority meeting on Thursday, July 6.(However, Barziloski was not at that meeting.)
It was reported during the meeting that the township has been informed by the state Department of Environmental Protection that Ace Robbins did not file its discharge monitor reports for industrial storm water in a timely manner for 2015 and 2016. This notice of violation was just a notification for the township, secretary Judy Gingher said, and is neither an order nor final DEP action.
Gingher reported that the township accepted trash from 51 people during a clean up day on June 19. Two dumpsters were filled, and $941 collected. However, Gingher said, expenses for cleanup day were about $1,200, and this is not the final figure because not all factors have been taken into account at this time.
She announced that the township will receive $107,811 from Act 13 gas fund disbursement this year. This was good news to the supervisors, who had only anticipated receiving about $85,000 in Act 13 money.
However, Gingher reported that the amount of money received is still about $13,000 less than last year.
During the police report, Morristell informed the supervisors that the police responded to 352 calls in June, and logged in 5,893 patrol miles.
In the fire report, White said that for the first six months of the year, Triton Hose Company responded 45 times for incidents in Tunkhannock Township, including one building fire; one chimney fire; four false alarms; and five calls to assist police and government agencies.