Hawley Council has organized a new committee for 2014, referred to as the Levee/Storm Water/Flood Planning Management Committee.

Hawley Council has organized a new committee for 2014, referred to as the Levee/Storm Water/Flood Planning Management Committee.
At the Jan. 6 meeting Council meeting, Council Vice-President Mary Sanders explained that this new committee is being put in place with the need to update the Borough's storm water management plan and to address significant storm runoff issues. In the wake of damage from the heavy storm on June 30, 2013, Council is discussing development of a five year plan to correct storm water infrastructure problems.
They hope to obtain grant funds to initiate major repairs, starting at Wangum Avenue and gradually work their way to other areas. Storm pipes in place are way too small, she noted.
Named to the new committee are Mayor Kevin Hawk, who is also Emergency Management Coordinator; Sanders, who also heads the Grants Committee; Councilwoman Michele Rojas, who serves as liaison to the Planning Commission and Councilwoman Ann Monaghan, who chairs the Streets & Roads Committee. Members were purposely picked for the new storm committee that have these other duties.
Council will be seeking contractor bids for the February 12th Council meeting for remediation of a storm culvert that goes through the property of Sharon Gries on Route 6 across from the side of The Settler's Inn. The pipe leads to a box under Route 6 that empties runoff from the hill into the old canal remnant on Settler's side and drains to the river.
Engineering specifications have been received, Sanders said, and she has contacts for companies in the area that do this kind of work. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) money is funding the repair. Storm water overwhelmed the culvert in the June storm and damaged Gries' property and The Settler's Inn.
Gries, who was in the audience, expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the time the process has taken. She said she is very concerned about another storm coming along and doing further damage. She said she felt she has been "put off" too long.
Sanders noted that FEMA did not approve emergency funding for private property owners but the Borough was able to include the work on her property by attaching it to the related work under Route 6.
An easement was required from her to allow the Borough to have the work done on her property; last month she was given a draft copy. Gries insisted that she be given the final easement agreement that evening so she could sign it. The agreement document was readied and given her to sign.

••• Playground funds

The PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) has approved a grant of over $200,000 for the Caleb Regenski Memorial Playground. The father of the late 2-year old boy Caleb, Joseph Regenski, proposes to put the handicapped-accessible playground in Bingham Park. Sanders stated that Borough Council must agree to the final design before anything is started.
The grant was awarded to Regenski's non-profit foundation set up in his son's name, which also accepts private donations. Borough Parks & Recreation hopefully will review the plans at their February meeting, Sanders said, and then the plans can go to Council. Mayor Kevin Hawk suggested looking over the proposed site in the park once more. (Editor's note: A separate story is planned.)

••• Also discussed:

• Hawley Area (Sewer) Authority plans to plot locations of manholes on a map and inspect each one. The map will be on computer for efficient access.
• An update on the proposed hiking trail from Lake Wallenpaupack to Hawley Borough is expected at the next Hawley Park & Recreation committee meeting, set for Tuesday, January 28 at 6 p.m., at Borough Hall.
• Mayor Hawk performed two weddings in December.
• Shoveling snow was discussed. Sidewalks on some properties have not been cleared, which is the responsibility of the property owner. Police Chief Daniel Drake also suggested that the borough road crew open up the crosswalks when snow is blocking entrance to the streets. He said that if the Police see a safety issue, they ask the County Communications Center to dispatch the road department.
Hawley Council meets on the second Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Borough Hall, across from Bingham Park. The office may be contacted at 570-226-9545 and their web address is www.hawleyborough.org.