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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  • Stolen funds 90-98% recovered

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  • At the Sept. 13 Paupack Township meeting, the board of supervisors discussed the pension of the former secretary. Among other matters, aan extension for the Sanford/Silver Spruce Estates was denied.?Half-way into the meeting, the board went into an executive session for a “legal matter” regarding the previous secretary/treasurer, who was convicted of theft of Township funds.?The former employee is eligible to receive a pension since she was a township employee for years. But, because the township has not completed all the restitution, the board did not have a decision. Township Solictor Ronald Bugaj said he thinks that the township has taken the “corrective measures” to ensure that “it will never happen again” but he added that it’s not easy to forget “what was dumped on us and how we had to clean up the mess.”?Bugaj said he is not recommending legal action at this time because some things still need to be researched. The township has received an estimated 90 to 98 percent of all the funds that were taken from the township. As a result, Bugaj said there is a new secretary and new regulations have been implemented in the operation of the office. The situation provided people with a “good gut-check” and many wrongs have now been righted.?Over $78,000 had been stolen from the Township.?• The Sanford-Spruce Estates subdivision was denied, Thursday because the board heard nothing about needing further time. Solictor Bugaj recognized that if the extension was denied, the applicant would have to start over, but because the board did not receive a written extension request and the statute of limitations was up, the board voted to deny time for further extension.?Bugaj asked for a letter to be sent to Sanford-Spruce Estates explaining the reasoning for the denial. Chandler explained to the public that the board “rarely” denies developers’ applications, but because of the municipal planning code, developers have 45 days to do a subdivision and if it does not “transpose” that to “protect the sub-divider or the property owner” it could lead to a “flying mess” because the subdivision could be recorded as it was submitted, which Chandler said would be “totally wrong to everybody.”?Tom Oakley, Paupack Township Supervisor added that, there was “plenty of opportunity for an extension” but because the project has been “in the work for four months” and it just “sat with no action at all,” that the reason for the denial was appropriate.Other matters:• After the town’s backhoe was sold to Wallenpaupack Lake Estates, the township received a new backhoe two weeks ago, which Bruce Chandler, the chairperson of the Paupack Township board said works very well.?• The Wayne County Conservation District has approved a project that involves drainage work and replacing some pipes on Everly Road in Lakeville. BCM Engineers from Clarks Summit submitted plans and work “has started to progress” Chandler said. At this time, Chandler said the road is only open to local traffic.?• Chandler said by submitting a Monroe County, local share account grant to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for the calendar year of 2012, the grant program could support the paving of Everly Road, township road 352. The project is estimated at costing $279,525 and the Wayne County township has agreed to assist in the funding with $29,525 if the township is the recipient of the grant. Chandler explained that the money is gambling money out of Monroe County Casino resorts because by state law the casinos are required to contribute money to local municipals.?• It was reported that the Wayne Ambulance has taken over for Honesdale’s Ambulance service. Chandler said from what he knew, Honesdale’s EMS was out of business and an agreement was made where some of Honesdale’s EMS was hired. Some of Honesdale’s EMS equipment was transferred too. The company has apparatus stationed at the Lakeville Fire Department’s fire hall. There were 44 calls in Paupack Township for Aug. 2012.?• Through August there were three houses, two garages, three decks, five sheds, a porch, an addition, a 16-ft platform and a set of stairs constructed. Thus far in September there has been one house, one full basement, one garage, one in ground pool and a shed built.?• There will be a public hearing for the adoption of a new zoning ordinance Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Paupack Township building. There will also be a second township meeting for the tentative adoption of the zoning ordinance on Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m.?• The closure of Shadow Rock has required a tallying of deposit monies for the township, where the developer placed the deposit in escrow, to cover various costs for the project. There was an issue of several thousands of dollars that were unaccounted for. Chandler said the last he knew, the township secretary had bills to provide an accurate account to the sub-divider.?• Bugaj added that for large projects the township had implemented a provision that puts the majority of costs on the person who is trying to get a project passed, “rather than among all the property owners and tax payers in Paupack township .” He added that because a project could be very costly, “it’s kind of like a user’s pay theory.”?• Bugaj called Big Bear a “success story” because by working with the Property Owners Association and engineers the sewage repair and replacement project has been completed and it did not cost “the township a penny.” The project is not finished yet and a maintenance agreement has yet to be signed because the township is waiting on the Association’s attorney. There is a court proceeding pending, where Bugaj said a judge has issued a time frame and the potential penalties that could affect the association if they do not comply. He added, “All we want to do is secure compliance.” Bugaj said he has sent the attorney two letters, to no avail. Chandler made a motion to have the township attorney get a signed agreement by the next township meeting or the board will take legal action, which he later recalled as “appropriate action to make sure that we have closure on this agreement.” He called the sewer system “complicated” because of the “very huge drip system.”?• A member of the public thanked the supervisors and Jim Martin on behalf of the Hemlock Hollow Schoolhouse Association because $1,500 will go towards the installation of a new heating system. A man is willing to install the system for free.?• A question arouse about whether or not the Paupack Township Recreational Park is open to the general public. Chandler explained that the park is open to everyone because the park was paid for by state tax dollars through DCED and another grant. But, if the park needs to be used for special occasions, people need to get approval from the supervisors first.?The Paupack Twp. Supervisors meet on the second Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Township office on Daniels Road. 

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