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Hawley learns from challenging winter, looks forward

By Vera Moret Frendak
March 26, 2014

HAWLEY, PA — It was a full agenda at Hawley Borough Council’s March 12 meeting. While much of the meeting was focused on this past difficult winter, there were also plans discussed for the upcoming spring season.

As with most of the area, this winter proved to be an expensive one. Treasurer Andrea Racht gave her report, which indicated a current balance of $9,794. Taking a close look at the borough’s expected income and expenditures, finance director Joseph Faubel announced that after the next several payrolls were met, there would be a $55,000 deficit in their budget. However, he reached out to Dime Bank and received approval for a balloon loan on the full amount. This loan is expected to be fully paid after an expected $75,000-plus in taxes, along with various liens and foreclosures, is received. The loan was approved unanimously by the board.

It was disclosed that during the course of The Ledges fire on February 14, firefighters noted that 14 hydrants were missing markers and were impossible to locate under snow. Another unanimous vote was made in approval of sharing the $225 cost of replacing these markers. There were 19 fire calls, more than usual, including two structure fires since the last meeting. Put up for future discussion were possible parking restrictions during severe weather conditions in order to avoid plowing difficulties encountered this past season. In addition, 44 tons of salt were ordered to replace the amount utilized this winter. It was also noted that multiple manhole covers in the borough need replacing. These will be installed a quarter inch below street level in order to facilitate plowing.

Winter has not been the only season to impact the borough. The storms in late June 2013 brought significant flooding to the area. While the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was unable to provide funds to assist private residents, they are doing so for certain public areas. Of particular impact had been a culvert pipe near Settlers Inn that became clogged during the deluge and caused significant damage to the establishment. This issue appears to have reached a conclusion, with the final bill for the $537 of damage to the inn to be paid by the borough. FEMA will also provide $8,000 for repairs to the playground caused by the same storm system.

In other news, Police Chief Daniel Drake reported that there was a two-vehicle collision involving a borough township Ford Explorer and a hay-carrying tractor. The Explorer did sustain damage. The accident remains under investigation.