LACKAWAXEN TWP. - There was nearly a full-house at the Lackawaxen Township April meeting, where many appeared to listen intently to representatives from Wayne Memorial Hospital (WMH) speak about  updates occurring at the hospital to enhance the stroke care services. Plus, several others later expressed their thoughts on varying topics in the township.
    Al Beisel started off the meeting asking the Supervisors “what’s going on,” with the approval of bills every month. He requested a “detailed explanation,” and put in a Right to Know request. Beisel said with the funds and number of invoices it appears to be, “getting a little out of hand,” specifically last month. Supervisor and Chairman Bob Cocchi explained that the ambulance received their tax money and two fire departments also received tax money. Cocchi said it should be lower for the rest of year until tax season. The bills for the month were $77,375.81.
••• Stroke care at WMH
    At the township’s March meeting, Fawn Lake resident Sally Whalem expressed her concerns that there isn’t a stroke care facility in the immediate region. To address peoples’ worries, WMH Public Relations Manager Lisa Champeau and the Director of Patient Care Services James Pettinato, BSN, MHSA, RN spoke about the care stroke patients can receive at the hospital and a few developments underway. Although having helped stroke patients for some time, Pettinato said the hospital will be implementing new technologies for stroke care shortly.
      In 2012, he said the House of Representatives passed a bill that designated certain hospitals in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania to become certified stroke centers. WMH, he said decided to go for the status and to do that, certain guidelines have to be followed that specially focus on the care for stroke patients. Those guidelines though, he added aren’t new, it’s just that they are more specific for a hospital that would like to receive the accreditation status. With the accreditation, the hospital is following the same rules, and there is a third party that ensures the rules are followed, he said. The stroke center designation, should be set by September.
    Aside from the accreditation, the hospital has partnered with Geisinger Medical Center in Danville to provide Telestroke services. The services, Pettinato explained bring specialty services to rural or community hospitals through the internet. Because of this method, patients will not need to be transferred to receive special services. The Telestroke is a two dimensional image, where physicians can look at patients in a specialty area and converse about the situation. Pettinato said the technology is, “real time video imagining where there is real time action,” because physicians have equipment that will enable them to contact others that are many miles away. A first test run, occurred last week with a hookup to the Geisinger’s system. Within the next week or two, he said the service will likely be used on actual patients, but more tests are needed.
    With nine neurologists on staff at WMH that are from Danville, he said they will probably never have to be at the Honesdale location because of the realistic feeling of the conversations and ability to prescribe treatment. More than anything though, Pettinato was more concerned with informing the public about stroke signs and what people can do to address the problem.
••• Towpath Road
    Last month, several residents expressed their frustrations regarding the condition of the Towpath. To address this, the Supervisors created an online petition to “rally support from our town and abroad,” said Supervisor Mike Mancino. The petition was presented to Senator Lisa Baker and Representative Mike Peifer. About 780 signatures were gathered; many that Mancino said had “very moving” comments. After receiving the petition, Mancino said Baker wrote a letter to the George Roberts the PennDOT district executive. Looking at work that started tin 2013 and is scheduled to occur in the township over a period of 12 years, Maninco said Baker and Peifer suggested a letter should be written by the Board to request the Towpath to be fixed first.
    • Scott Furer from the Lackawaxen Inn, asked the Board for a block party permit to close a part of the Scenic Drive. The road would be closed around 10 a.m. and when it would be reopened wasn’t said. The party would conclude at 7 p.m., however. Cocchi said the township doesn’t give permits for block parties, but the Supervisors could approve the closure of the road and assist with road closure signs. He suggested Furer contact the state police.
    • Bids to demolish the old Lackawaxen Township building were accepted and the lowest bid was $26,770. The building will be leveled and the building remains will be completely removed. Cocchi said the land may be used to keep trucks in a small garage.
    • The market at Woodloch Pines is scheduled to open within the next month, on Route 590. To assist in the need for parking, representatives from Woodloch requested the approval to build a small gravel parking lot solely for employees across the street. Supervisor Richard Krochta asked about a crosswalk and as of the meeting, a Woodloch representative said that is being looked at. A member of the public expressed concern because of the lot's location near a bend in the road, and to assist in ensuring safety, the woman suggested the Board inform the representatives to also install lighting.
    •  The last public comment came from a woman complaining about the trash along the roadways in the township. Another woman responded that there will be a garbage cleanup Saturday, April 26 from the Rowlands Store to the Forest Volunteer Firehouse starting at 11 a.m. Bags, vests and gloves will be provided.
    • A large number of Fawn Lake residents requested approval for lot consolidations. Solicitor Tony Waldron said the reason being, that Fawn Lake passed a rule where residents have to combine lots within a specific time frame or else residents would be charged for the individual lots even if a house isn't on the property.
    • Township Secretary Camille James will be the alternate planning commission now. At the end of the meeting, the Board went into an executive session regarding personnel.
    The next Lackawaxen Township meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m., at the Township offices on Urban Road. The office may be contacted at 570-685-7288.