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.
The peddlers’ permits for street vendors, specifically an ice cream truck, are coming under review so as to streamline the application and approval process along with making it simpler to enforce. There is also a continued possibility of Dollar General establishing a location within the borough, but this remains in the early planning stages.
The sewage authority has called for changes to be made in regards to multi-family units. It will now place the burden on the tenant to advise the sewage authority of their tenancy. The borough also wants to take a closer look at precisely how many multiple family housing units are in the borough and whether they are legally zoned.
Looking to the future, race director Matt Krzywicki was present to finalize plans for the first annual Wally Man Triathlon to be held on June 14. This will consist of a 750-meter swim in Lake Wallenpaupack, a 22k bike ride along Route 6, and ending in Hawley with a 5k run. The planning is in its final stages with only clarification regarding road usage needed. Since no detours are to be expected, there may be no need for Pennsylvania Department of Transportation permits. However, this ultimately will be decided pending consultation with police. Permission for the race, with conditions, was passed unanimously. Anyone interested in applying for the race should visit the organizers’ website at www.tri2evolve.com/wally-man-triathlon.html . The race is limited to 300 participants. Also on June 14 in the park will be the annual craft fair and another 5k scheduled for June 1.
Public comment was limited to resident Susan Baldwin requesting information as to who was responsible for upkeep of local sidewalks. She was informed that all upkeep—be it snow removal or damage to the sidewalk—is the responsibility of the property owner and any complaints should be directed to that individual.