HAWLEY - A resident living on a road which goes by no certain name but has been confirmed to belong to Hawley, has reminded her town officials to please take care of her street.

Roberta Holcomb, whose address is 162 Bellemonte Avenue, has one of two houses there; the other is 204 Bellemonte. She came to the Council meeting in November asking for her street to maintained. Some checking had to be done first to confirm that this was in fact a borough street.

The street comes out on Bellemonte Avenue right across from Hawley Antique Exchange.

At the December 13th Council session, Solicitor Robert Bernathy told her that the borough has been collecting state Liquid Fuels tax funds to maintain it, although it appears that upkeep has been sporadic. No records on maintenance of the street have been located.

She said that her street was reconfigured when Route 6 (Bellemonte) was realigned in 1962, and the rock cut was put in. Her street has a steep grade, and used to be a through-street, connecting to Fern Street but it has since been blocked at top the hill. Borough maps, however, refer to the road where it used to connect, as Rowe Street. A tax map calls Holcomb’s street as an extension of Fern.

Before Route 6/Bellemonte was realigned her street used to go straight across as an extension of Atkinson.
Bellemonte Street is the sole access; she and her neighbor uses it and the mailman delivers mail there.
A resident there for 25 years, she said it was never paved. When she had a bed and breakfast business she used to complain more about road maintenance, she said. She said she always calls to remind the road crew to plow for street, and then it gets done.

In about the late 1990’s, she said, the upper end of her road was closed off. The road goes through the woods and someone put rocks at the end.

Because entering Bellemonte at the lower end of Holcombe’s street can be difficult, Bernathy asked if it might be an alternative to close the lower end and re-open the upper. He suggested that the Borough get estimates and compare which would be better.

The upper end, however, is steeper. Police Chief Daniel Drake said it was’t great either way, noting it s hard to push snow up. Council President Ann Monaghan said that they would get estimates, and see which would be most cost effective and safest. Grant funding may also be a possibility, to help maintain the dirt road.

January meeting change

Hawley Borough Council normally meets on the second Wednesday at 7 p.m. The January 2018 meeting, however, has been moved to Tuesday, January 2nd at 7 p.m., at Borough Hall, 94 Main Avenue.

The change was made because Council is required to meet on that date to re-organize for the year. A conditional use hearing will precede it at 6:30 p.m., for the addition to be built onto the 1st Presbyterian Church.

Note: Borough Planning Commission will not be meeting in January.

No tax increase Hawley Council approved the 2018 budget, which contains no tax increase. The total budget is $525,635.00.

Holiday lighting

Mayor Kevin Hawk commented that the town looks so nice with the Christmas and holiday season lights. He thanked Tom Bates, as well as Jerry and Linda Arnold and Jerry Arnold II, Tony and Lani Sambuca and Dan Shakkour for lighting the star on the ridge, a private project done as a gift to the community. Hawk also thanked Teeters Furniture for providing electric to the star; the Sambucas for their help in decorating Church Street and Main Avenue; Bob Myers for putting up lights on Main and other locations; Scott and Hunter Mead for putting up the electric snowflake decorations; C&C Equipment Rental for providing the man lift and Downtown Hawley Partnership. Lights will be installed to illuminate the 9/11 Memorial flagpole, once a bucket truck is brought in. Most of the rental apartments at 706 Church Street have been inspected and passed inspection. Councilman Mike Dougherty asked Deputy Fire Chief Gene Krause if there was any protocol to rescue service dogs in the event of a fire. Krause stated that they do look for occupants when they enter a house. The burned out house on Highland Street remains, after seven years, Deputy Chief Krause said. The Mayor performed three weddings in the past month. The Borough is asked to satisfy a $4,700 mortgage from 1988 for a couple that is now deceased. The couple had received funds from the Wayne County Redevelopment Authority in a program for lower income households, to fix up their house. The money was to have been paid back. A realtor who is trying to sell the house would like it cleared up. Borough records on the matter, however, have not been found. The solicitor is investigating. Council approved the purchase of a new taser for the police department, costing about $1,200. Chief Daniel Drake was commended for his frugality which provided for some unused funds in the budget. Grant funding, however, was discussed for a more expensive need in the police department, to replace the four wheel drive vehicle. Bids were opened for snow removal. Linde Enterprises was the successful bidder. Linde had the contract last year as well. A weed killer for the flood levee, costing $1,995.00, was approved. Approval was given to hire Jones Electric to install better lighting in the borough garage. The quote was $3,000. The borough’s current insurance provider is excluding the flood levee because it had failed inspection (which led to the current project to replace deteriorating storm culvert pipes that cut through the base of the levee). Councilwoman Michelle Rojas discussed contacting another provider. A motion was made and passed to switch to another provider if necessary, as long as the coverage is the same.