LACKAWAXEN TWP. - The river sirens are working in Lackawaxen Township. At the August township supervisors’ meeting, Assistant Supervisor Jeff Shook reported that the sirens are “functioning” after there were “some issues.” Now, to ensure they continue to work without problem, the sirens will be tested the third Monday of every month in the early afternoon for approximately 10 minutes.  
     As of now, a price is being sought to relocate a siren in Rowland because the siren is near a resident’s living room window, Shook said. That resident has shown interest in sharing the cost of moving the siren. As of yet though, it hasn’t been determined if the siren will be moved. If it is moved, the township would have to work with the state to select another location that’s in the right-away along the Towpath Road. To relocate the siren, Supervisor Chairman Michael Mancino said the township has received a $24,718.19 quote. The board tabled a decision upon receiving additional quotes.

Neglected property

     A long-time activist for township beautification, Marge Wassmer presented the board with photos of a [what she described as a ] run-down home with unregistered vans and her thoughts on residents and homeowners who neglect their homes. Wassmer has been on a mission for a long time now, to have the board address these homes.
She noted if she wanted to build a home there would be rules to follow, but in the meantime, these homes are neglected and the township hasn’t addressed them. Shook said such situations are a “statewide issue.”  
Her concerns, Wassmer said isn’t a matter of money, but “pride in your community.” To that, Township Secretary Denise Steuhl agreed. The pictures of the residence she presented, Wassmer said has been a compliant for six years. While she understands a warning may be given to the resident, the township has to follow-up on the instance because the neglected homes are a “matter of caring where you live.” Shook agreed and said it also affected property values.
     There was a two-story home in the township that the board looked at Steuhl said, but to address the issue it would cost the township $11,900 to dispose of the garbage without covering the cost of labor and equipment. There’s another residence on Welcome Lake Road that Shook said would cost $11,000 to address. To look into this matter more, Shook said a committee may need to be created. To that, Wassmer said she doesn’t believe people should have to look at the neglected residences, but the township should “push these people” otherwise progress won’t happen.

Fire Department’s expenses

      After submitting a Right to Know request, a member of the public told the board he is seeking a copy of the Greeley Fire Department’s expenses. To that, Solicitor Tom Farley responded that the man is not “entitled for a Right to Know as it relates to a fire department” because they are a “nonprofit entity.”
To receive such information, the fire department would make the decision because the township doesn’t “control” fire departments. Rather than being an issue for taxpayers, Farley explained that the fire departments give the township a yearly financial report that is also available to the public because the departments receive money from taxes.
The problem for this man, is that he is asking to personally review the records every month, but the department has rules that members can look at the records but can’t take them with themselves and disclose the information. Just because the township gives the departments money each year, Farley said it doesn’t mean the township then regulates the departments’ “internal rules concerning” how members are treated.

Short-term rentals

     As for short-term rentals, another member of the public brought up a decision by the Supreme Court on the matter where the short-term rentals are no longer allowed in an R1-zoned area. Now, the supervisors have asked Farley to draft a proposed ordinance that would outline the differences and regulations and then receive feedback. The man was the first to approach Farley on the issue since the Supreme Court made a decision about four months ago.
But he said there are multiple questions that need to be answered, such as trying to determine how to regulate the ordinance and what’s best for the township and residents. The man who spoke said issues he’s encountering in Tink Wig include an excess of people at one property, public urination and the use of amenities in the community. Now, Farley said he’s waiting on feedback from township residents who would be affected by an ordinance, so time is needed because it is a “pretty sensitive topic” that can affect many economically.

Also discussed:

     • The township has applied for a $265,675 grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for improvements to Veterans Park that will include replacement of the tennis and basketball courts as well as the playground and handicap parking.         
• The Ecker Haupt VFW in Lackawaxen has been awarded a $100,000 grant for a renovation project. Mancino explained that the township was the applicant for the grant, so it is overseeing the project. Bids for the work will be in the September 17 edition of the News Eagle, which will then be awarded at the December 16 meeting. [Editor’s note: The project includes handicapped access improvements.]
     • Bills in the amount of $101,984.83 were approved to be paid from the general fund.
     • The board approved payment of $190,301 to Leeward Construction for work they’re doing on a bridge on Case Road from the liquid fuels account.
    The next Lackawaxen Township supervisors’ meeting is set for Monday, September 16 at 7 p.m. at the township building on Urban Road. A workshop precedes it at 6:30 p.m.