Factoryville council members pass resolution to support byway designation

By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com | October 15th, 2016 8:38 am

FACTORYVILLE — Members of Factoryville Borough Council passed a resolution during a meeting Oct. 12 to support a request for Route 6 to be designated as a Pennsylvania Byway.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation designates Pennsylvania Byways at the request of local communities seeking to highlight cultural, historical, recreational, archaeological, scenic and natural qualities.

According to borough manager Mary Ellen Buckbee, there is no cost for a municipality to be part of the byway. Participating municipalities will continue to be eligible for the same grant programs and funding opportunities as in the past, but may be given a higher rating for project importance or need based on being part of the byway.

In addition, municipalities will be eligible for additional pools of money through a shared municipal services grant which can help fund safety improvements, infrastructure signage and other projects.

At the request of the Clinton Township and Factoryville Borough Joint Municipal Park and Recreation Board, members of council passed a resolution to the park usage policy, stipulating that anyone who rents the park facilities must pay a $50 deposit which will be reimbursed upon proper cleanup of the facility.

The policy adopted by Clinton Township and Factoryville Borough in 2011 originally stated the $50 deposit fee would only apply to groups with more than 100 people.

“It makes sense to me, we’re protecting our investment,” Factoryville Councilman David Truitt, who heads the Parks and Recreation Committee, said.

Factoryville resident Mike Langan addressed members of council after receiving a letter demanding a tree on his College Avenue property be removed or he will be issued a fine.

Members of the borough’s Shade Tree Commission previously removed two trees from Langan’s property through a grant program for a small fee to the homeowner, but there are no grants being offered at this time.

“We had a certified arborist come through town after a big branch fell into the street,” Buckbee said. “Steve (Swift), our Maintenance and Sewer Plant Operator, removed the branch from the street. It was only after that we learned the Shade Tree Ordinance specifies the borough must move the tree to clear the road, but any cleanup needs to be done by the property owner.”

Buckbee added the arborist identified the tree as diseased and dying. The Shade Tree Ordinance mandates removed of such trees that are the within the borough right of way.

“It’s always been the property owner’s responsibility to remove trees,” borough solicitor Paul Litwin said.

In other business:

Gregg Yunko, who has resided of the borough for 41 years, was sworn in as a new council member by Mayor Gary Evans Oct. 7, filling the position vacated by Veronica Geerts, who resigned due to health reasons Aug. 10. Yunko’s term will be in effect until 2020.

Members of council are expected to have a preliminary discussion on next year’s budget during the next meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at borough hall, 161 College Avenue.


By Robert Tomkavage


Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage