Tunkhannock Borough Council approved at its meeting Thursday a grouping of road repairs to be completed in the coming months.
Councilman Bob Robinson explained that when the borough’s street committee met on March 24, it was determined that repairs need to be made Elk Street, South Hazel Street, Stark Street and Avery Street.
After the streets are milled, a scratch-coat and new pavement will be applied to recondition the streets.
Council approved putting the project out for bid based on the street committee’s recommendations.
Borough residents are reporting bear activity in the borough, specifically in the area of West Maple and Maple Avenue, toward late afternoon.
In some cases, people have reported seeing two bears at once.
According to Mayor Norm Ball, who spoke to the Pennsylvania Game Commission regarding the bear sightings, the male bear that’s been sighted has likely been finding a steady source of food somewhere in the borough, possibly even skipping out on a winter hibernation.
“I asked the game commission about it and they said, ‘If they’re out there, just go out and make a lot of noise and scare them away,’” Ball said.
In other business, the council authorized a $25 reward for “the capture of the miscreant or miscreants responsible” for stealing stop signs in both Tunkhannock Borough and Washington Twp.
Anyone with information can call the borough office at 570-836-1548.
Council also decided to move forward with a project that will replace a faulty boiler and furnace in the borough building.
Last month, council authorized president Stacy Huber to sign a contract with Scranton Electric for $152,723.00.
Following Huber’s signing of the contract, the council can now move forward with putting plans out for beginning the project.
Brenda Novak approached the borough about hosting a bike race in Tunkhannock, for which they would need assistance in directing traffic flow.
After some discussion and a detailed explanation of how the event would likely unfold, Robinson stated that it would be an unwise decision to allow the race to take place.
According to Robinson, the Department of Public Works determined a variety of hurdles for the borough to overcome in order to host the race.
First, there aren’t enough workers within the borough who are certified in traffic control to safely man the race.
Duties for such a crew would include cutting off streets, helping residents through, and emergency response in case of an injury.
Although Novak informed council that the non=profit running the race, Kiwanis, would supply staff, the council wasn’t comfortable with that notion.
Furthermore, it is unclear as to whether or not the borough’s liability insurance would cover any accidents that happened during the event.
“For these reasons, the committee feels that we should not go ahead and allow a bike race in Tunkhannock,” Robinson said.
Council members were generally in agreement, with Ball adding, “We don’t have enough staff - no one else is allowed to direct traffic. If there was an accident, insurance companies will go after whoever is involved in the event.”
Huber discussed correspondence from the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks, who have been visiting with local municipalities and lobbying against a proposed regulatory change regarding the size of tractor trailers.
According to Huber, the regulation could increase some of the largest trailers on the road to 15 feet.
The coalition has been warning towns about the infrastructure damage that could result from such changes, as well as the safety risks posed by the change.
Accordingly, they have been issuing template letters to municipalities to send to congressmen and senators.
Huber asked for a concurrence that, once the letters are mailed to the borough, he and Ball sign and send, at the very least, to Rep. Lou Barletta.
A number of citizens showed up to voice their concerns in regards to the entrance to the new CVS on Bridge Street in Tunkhannock.
Ben Barziloski, who owns Ebb’s right next to CVS, asked the council for advice regarding a number of incidents that have directly affected his establishment.
For one, a concrete barrier that is installed in the entrance to ensure traffic flow has begun to break off in large chunks, posing a great potential for damage to vehicles.
Barziloski has removed some of the larger chunks to be safe, but noted that it needed to be addressed.
In other instances, vehicles have driven directly through his property’s lawn, including a tractor trailer that left expensive damage.
As of yet, no one has been held accountable for the damage.
As Ball noted the entrance was poorly designed, Robinson said, “It’s going to be a constant problem.”
Huber concurred, noting the number of citizen complaints the borough has received about the size of the speed bump on the way into CVS.
The borough plans to look into the matter inasmuch as they are implicated.
A member of the Tunkhannock Professional Business Association, Mark Monsey, asked the borough what safeguards were in place for notifying community businesses in the event of any disaster, such as the fire at the Prince Hotel last week.
Monsey co-owns Greenwood’s Furniture, and was dismayed at the fact that he was notified by a text from a friend, and not Tunkhannock’s police or emergency agencies.
While borough police possess a call-list of businesses to contact during an emergency such as a fire or a flood, they are not on duty around the clock, and were not on duty for the fire at the Prince.
Ball, who is the emergency management coordinator for the borough, assured Monsey that he would make contact with the emergency communication center on Route 6 to determine if something could be arranged for business owners to be alerted.
In his parks report, Ball said that the only remaining step before the installation of a new bandstand at Riverside is the approval of a construction permit.
The bandstand will be far enough out of the flood plain to remain out of damage and before the gate of the park to avert vandalism.